California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Sustainable (Green) Building

Modular Office Furniture Specification

Environmental Specification Finalized

An interagency subcommittee of the Sustainable Building Task Force finalized a groundbreaking environmental specification for modular office furniture purchased under State contract. The specification sets new industry standards for indoor air quality, prescribes a high level of recycled content in components and packaging, bans CFCs and HCFCs used in foam production, and addresses energy-efficient task lighting designed for work stations. The environmental specification also requires manufacturers to carry out solid waste audits and prepare waste reduction plans at manufacturing facilities. This benchmark modular furniture specification was the basis for developing Special Environmental Requirements (Section 01350), an environmental specification that establishes sustainable building criteria and guides material selection.

Download the environmental specification (PDF, 135 KB)

Sustainable Modular Furniture Competitively Priced

It is noteworthy that several modular furniture manufacturers participated in the bidding process and offered furniture products that met the stringent environmental requirements addressed in the specification at competitive prices. Significantly, the environmental specification helps explode the myth that environmentally friendly products cost more.

California has always been a leader in the environmental arena. As such, it is anticipated that the environmental specification for modular office furniture will serve as a model for other government and private sector entities throughout the country.

Contract Awarded

After an extensive review, the contract was awarded to Hon Industries on February 6, 2001. Hon Industries demonstrated compliance with all the major environmental provisions of the specification. The Department of General Services (DGS) estimates that the State will purchase up to $60 million dollars in office furniture products over the life of the contract between 2001 and 2004. It is expected that the environmental specification for modular office furniture will live beyond the existing contract and will be re-evaluated and upgraded for future contracts.

View the "Open Office Panel Systems" contract at the DGS Procurement Division Web site. Click on "Contracts," from the "Quick List." Then search for "Panel Systems."

Last updated: December 5, 2014
Green Building http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/GreenBuilding/
Greg Dick: Gregory.Dick@calrecycle.ca.gov  (916) 341-6489