Chicago, IL – June 1, 2013 – Norix Group, Inc., offers a complete line of specialized furnishings for use in healthcare facilities, hospitals and other challenging environments.
Often referred to as intensive-use furniture, Norix furniture is engineered to surpass industry standards for safety, durability and long-term performance in patient rooms, dayrooms, dining areas, lounges and hospital waiting rooms.
The name Norix comes from early Germanic literature with Norix being the son of Hercules, a figure from classical mythology possessing great strength and fortitude (The Twelve Labors of Hercules). Those same attributes describe each piece of furniture Norix makes - utilizing durable wood, steel, and advanced polymer construction to develop furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E), of unsurpassed toughness.
Founded in 1983, Norix first developed heavy-duty furniture for use in corrections facilities. During that time period, the new get-tough-on-crime policies ushered in a burst of building projects at the state and national levels. Simultaneously, corrections facility design shifted from a linear layout to a direct-supervision “podular” design that sought to improve safety for corrections officers, and help them better manage inmate populations from their position in the center of the housing pod. This new facility design model required furnishings that possessed a special set of characteristics demanded by the environment and its inherent dangers.
The original Norix product was the Integra chair, a heavy-duty plastic stacking chair for use in cafeterias and dayrooms that is lightweight and movable yet very difficult to break, vandalize or “weaponize”. The one-piece molded construction is impervious to liquids and makes it virtually impossible to conceal contraband. The Integra chair continues to be a top-selling product not just for use in corrections facilities, but also for use in employee dining halls, camps, shelters, municipal and military facilities, and other commercial settings.
While maintaining a premiere position in the corrections industry since its inception, during the last 12 years the company has expanded into new markets, introducing several new lines every year under the direction of Scott Karl, President, and managed by Brad Karl, Marketing Director. Both are sons of Norix Group, Inc., founders Richard and Heather Karl.
Building upon a deep understanding of what happens to standard furniture in challenging environments, Norix began developing a number of products specifically for behavioral healthcare environments where patient and staff safety are of primary concern. Norix has introduced many innovations in the materiality and manufacturing of case goods, loose furniture and bolted furniture to help reduce risk of injury, tampering, and infection, while at the same time providing a cost benefit to customers that results from extended furniture replacement cycles. The company holds more than a dozen mechanical and design patents and trademarks, with several more currently in-process.
Norix furniture has become the design standard for behavioral healthcare furnishings evidenced by their prominent inclusion in the highly regarded “Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities” authored by James M. Hunt, AIA,NCARB, and David M.Sine, ARM, CSP,CPHRM. At least 17 Norix products are featured in the publication, which recently celebrated 10 years in print. Now in its 6th edition, the Guide is a valuable resource for architects, designers, administrators and patient care staff working in the field of mental health treatment. The Guide helps identify patient safety hazards related to the selection and installation of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) in behavioral health facilities. It is distributed by the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems.
With an expanding line of healthcare furnishings, Norix commissioned prominent healthcare design consultant Tara Hill, of Little Fish Think Tank, to develop a signature color palette for their patient room and lounge furniture. Hill’s design practice draws upon evidence-based research findings as to how nature and color play an active role in our physical and emotional well-being. The Naturals Color Palette, created by Hill for Norix, consists of eight stylish, nature-inspired hues that are featured across a number of Norix furniture lines.
In 2012, Norix entered the contract furnishings market when it launched the Forteá¿½™ Series of lobby and lounge furniture. The Forteá¿½™ Series features modular seating and tables that can be arranged in thousands of color and style combinations. A two-minute stop-motion video on You Tube entitled, “Forteá¿½™Your Way”, provides a glimpse of Forte’s™ style and flexibility. In conjunction with the launch, Norix became a member of the Trade Only Design Library, Inc. to showcase the company’s wide array of healthcare furniture, student & dormitory furniture, and contract furnishings. TODL is the design industry’s only online password-protected, searchable, product-level design library exclusively for professional designers, architects, and product specifiers.
To stay connected with its markets and provide a forum for feedback and suggestions, Norix launched Safe Environments a news and information blog, in 2012. The topics addressed are pertinent to a wide range of architects, designers, administrators and facility managers involved in the design, construction and operation of challenging environments. Customers can view complete product specs and shop online for Norix furniture through a portal on the company’s newly renovated website, or visit dealer showrooms across the U.S.
The company has expanded its operation three times since 1995, with the most recent move in November 2012, when Norix consolidated its operations under one roof, leasing a 12,000 sq. ft. office and 121,000 sq. ft. warehouse, light manufacturing and assembly facility in West Chicago, Illinois.
The family-owned-and-operated company celebrates 30 years in business in 2013 and enjoys a leadership position as a manufacturer of furniture for challenging environments. The Executive Management Team, comprised of: Scott Karl, President; Peter Graves, V.P. of Sales and Marketing; Janis Stacey, V.P. of Administration; Brian Moon, Engineering Manager; and Shane Edwards, Purchasing Manager, is committed to a path of continued product innovation and improved manufacturing methods. Richard and Heather Karl, founders of Norix Group, Inc., remain consulting partners.
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