A new line of office furniture is based on advanced biocomposite materials. The company, e2e Materials, is a clean technology spinoff of Cornell University that develops products made from its biocomposite materials.
This summer, e2e Materials announced a new company brand, e2e Office, to focus on developing office furniture products using these biocomposite materials. The new brand is intended to address increasing demand for more environmentally friendly office products that contribute to LEED certification and provide a safer and more collaborative work environment.
“The formation of e2e Office is in direct response to accelerating demand from global customers for innovative products that are sustainable, free of toxins, more durable than conventional wood-based alternatives and highly affordable,” said Pat Govang of e2e Materials when e2e Office was introduced. “We’re responding to this multi-billion dollar global market with a series of in-demand products that will fulfill the needs of leading office furniture (manufacturers) and channel partners.”
Using the design experience of designer Carl Gustav Magnusson, e2e Office is developing a number of products, including mobile whiteboards, mobile acoustics, storage and group communication products. All of these designs are intended to meet the requirements of today’s open space and mobile workforce and their need for greater collaboration and improved productivity.
These products are being made with e2e Materials biocomposites that reportedly exceed California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) requirements. The e2e products have also been tested and meet the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) standards. The biocomposites use only 19 percent of the embodied energy of traditional wood composites, according to e2e.
Lightweight work surface
The first commercially available product in the e2e Office product line is the TransForm Workstation, which provides a lightweight and versatile work surface and a series of privacy and communication panels made from the biocomposite material.
Buyers can also buy reused and refurbished leg systems for the work stations.
The e2e Materials company designs engineers and produces biocomposites for furniture, cabinets and other markets.
The company’s biocomposites include 28 pending patents, and are made from feedstocks such as soy flour and natural grass fiber such as jute, flax and kenaf, which do not contain formaldehyde or any toxic chemicals. According to e2e, use of these materials also enables the making of lighter products with high strength and durability.
The company plans to source all of its agricultural raw materials from with 100 miles of its Ithaca, N.Y., production location. Over the next four years, the company plans to support up to 200 manufacturing jobs and as many as 1,500 related agricultural jobs in New York State alone.
Dealer meets demand
One Workplace, a commercial furniture dealership based in Milpitas, Calif., established a distribution partnership with e2e Office in June. One Workplace is a large dealer covering northern California and will first distribute the TransForm Workstation.
“We are experiencing customer demand for office furniture products that meet aggressive environmental standards combined with exceptional durability, weight reduction and affordability factors,” says Dave Ferrari, president of One Workplace. “That’s why we’re partnering with e2e Office. Their innovative biocomposite-based office product line addresses each of these important criteria. It gives our customers new opportunities for earning LEED points and improving employee satisfaction levels due to the significant environmental safety advantages offered by e2e Office products.”
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