|While it may look like any other large woodworking plant from the outside, Steelcaseâs Grand Rapids Wood Plant is anything but typical on the inside. Natural lighting, VOC-free conditions and recycled rain water are among the âgreenâ highights of the 600,000-square-foot facility.|
Grand Rapids, MI
Office furniture giant Steelcase Inc.âs goal in its environmental plan is to reduce by 25 percent its global environmental footprint. The company already has instituted a number of initiatives, including reducing VOCs and tracking chemicals used in materials.
1. The company is implementing one of the first 100-percent water-based, UV finishing lines.
2. Steelcase recently completed a 2-1/2-year assessment of every chemical used in its North American-made products.
3. The Answer workstation is the first contract furniture product to receive a Silver âCradle-to-Cradleâ certification from McDonough Branugart Design Chemistry. Four other Steelcase products have also received MBDCâs official seal of approval.
Using thermal finishing techniques with water-based solvents also does not make sense from a business perspective, he adds. According to Kuske, products made with water-based finishes continue curing for about three months after undergoing heat-induced curing in the factory â which not only increases production time, but also allows for more handling damage in the distribution, installation and move-in process.
But when products made with water-based finishes are exposed to UV light, as opposed to heat, the curing process in the factory is much shorter â and it is completely done as soon as it lea
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