BI Watercooler The Latest News in Office Furniture Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:48:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 BI Watercooler 32 32 How to Bring Nature Indoors Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:42:49 +0000 Living Walls | Modular Wall Solution

Breathe is the latest innovation in modular wall solutions from DIRTT Environmental Solutions. Breathe™ is a (patent pending) simple system for incorporating plants into DIRTT Walls. It mounts to the tile layer of the wall, can be retrofitted on existing DIRTT walls with tiles, or can be mounted to any flat, vertical building surface: gypsum, concrete, stone, etc. It is scalable and easily expanded from one panel to a monolithic wall of plants.

Designers can incorporate Breathe living walls, or interior plantscapes, to bring nature indoors and beautify and detoxify interior spaces.

How does the living wall work?

Breathe™ shares the same notion of modularity as the rest of the DIRTT system. It supports living plant modules and an independent water delivery system. Unlike hydroponic living wall systems in which the roots of plants become intertwined and literally embedded in the wall’s material composition, Breathe™ is a box-type system. Plant modules or pots are discrete, and the modules and water delivery are separate units to ensure plants can be maintained and removed individually for servicing or replacement.

Breathe details

The Breathe module is designed to take three sizes of plant pot – 6 x 6”, 3 x 6” and 3 x 3”. Larger wallscape compositions would use 6 x 6” pots. Given the wide diversity in plant habit, leaf shape, and color, plant designers can create works of art with plants. Breathe gives them the latitude to compose a living wall that also changes over time. The pots integrate into the modular slat wall surface. DIRTT’s intelligent 3D ICE software treats the plants as objects, which can be dropped into place for easy composition along the slat wall.

How do you water the Breathe wall?

Only requires watering once a week

Breathe is designed to eliminate plumbing problems and reduce complexity for occupants. For larger Breathe installations a portable irrigation system, such as a WaterBoy, is used to fill the horizontal troughs beneath the plant pots. Smaller systems can be filled with a hose attached to a tap, or with a watering can. There is only one fill point for a wall of plants, at the top. Water travels along the troughs where it is wicked up into individual plant pots by a device that promotes capillary action. Breathe effectively separates the plant pot and growing medium from the water system, thereby eliminating mess and fuss usually associated with watering plants. An overflow mechanism at the end of each trough prevents water spillage and directs the extra water to the next trough. At the bottom of the wall, any remaining excess water is captured. There is no water wastage with Breathe. Fertilizer can be added to the portable irrigation unit for dispensing during watering.

4 Important Design Drivers for Educational Environments Thu, 24 Jan 2019 14:25:07 +0000

Learning environments are under constant change. Technology, teaching methods, enrollment…all regularly stretch the abilities of the physical space and put it in jeopardy. For DIRTT is imperative to provide real solutions that support and enhance the learning space. By creating agile and highly functional interiors, the building itself becomes impervious to the winds of change. DIRTT offers the ability to adapt to changes large and small.

Factors that we take into consideration when designed educational spaces:

1 | Evaluation and understating of the teaching methods and learning activities. By understanding the built environment, all aspects of the space can be altered to support the intended pedagogies. It should accommodate the full range of learning needs, and the mechanism that should be put in place to achieve these needs

2 | Health and safety in educational environments means the absence of physical harm to the students and staff. In order to create a healthy and safe environment, we take into consideration ventilation, room temperature, acoustics, layout, and ergonomics. The difficulty that many designers face is how to balance the staff and student’s health and safety with giving them genuine opportunities to explore, experiment, predict, and take managed risks.

3 | Planning for technology. Studies have shown that using various technologies in the classroom contribute to an expanded learning experience. During the planning and building design phase, we consider the technology growth rate today, the various school technology applications, and the future technological needs of the facility.

4| Assess the overall sustainability and impact of the built space on the environment. With the increased trend toward environmental consciousness, a high number of facilities are doing what they can to improve the Eco-friendliness of their buildings. Exploring these issues during the project’s planning and design phase is the best way to have a truly positive impact on the environment, the community, and the students and faculty.

Smart Solutions


Boost student engagement with writable surfaces, integrated technology, and lively spaces that are personalized just for them. Faculty and staff have environments that support their directive to move students forward. 

Student-Centered Design


Our standard wall tiles are 20 times more durable than drywall. Finishes withstand rigorous cleaning over the years. Check out some of the fantastic finishes available to you

Durable Materials


You can modify these spaces to meet students’ evolving needs. Or reconfigure to match changing enrollment. And they’re future-ready to integrate the latest technology whenever you upgrade.

Readily Responsive


Construction uses more raw materials than any other industry and fills a quarter of all landfills. Our method of construction helps fix that. From recycled denim, to zero volatile organic compound (VOC) finishes, to sustainable forested wood. We continually choose and improve the materials we use to build your space. Every decision evaluates how much energy it took to make the material, how safe it is, and how it can be reused (or at least recycled). All DIRTT components can be disassembled and repurposed. This means they have a long life cycle.

Why Do Acoustics Matter? Thu, 08 Nov 2018 08:16:15 +0000 KIrei Acoustical

Find Solutions Early, 
Before They Become Problems

Great office acoustics are the ultimate silent partner, working in the background of your various workplaces to promote productivity, increase office morale, and reinforce the visual brand identity you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.
A common acoustic misconception is that it costs too much. It’s an up-front investment to plan out the acoustic design of your space. Good planning means that you’ll avoid bigger acoustic issues in the long run. In order to accomplish that, build a budget for acoustics into your project, right from the beginning. You’ll be amazed at how a simple tactic like that can influence the way clients see various design options.

We have hand-picked three of the best solutions from Kirei:


EchoPanel® is a decorative, acoustically-absorbent panel with a felt-like finish, made from 100% PET plastic containing up to 60% post-consumer content. It can be installed on walls, ceilings, in office furniture systems, decorative tiles and even finished products. It is also tackable for a multipurpose solution in office spaces or educational facilities. EchoPanel® flat panels come in 7mm, 12mm and 24mm in a variety of colors, from neutral to eye-popping.


EchoLine is their standard panel with some extra pizazz! It comes in 4 different patterns (Square 2.0, Groovy 0.5, Groovy 1.0, Groovy 3.0) and all 20-12mm EchoPanel colors. The best part? It not only works on flat walls (and ceilings), but it is flexible and can bend with the curves!


Balance Tiles

Balance Tiles are an easy, elegant acoustic fix for nearly any space. These thick tiles add distinct patterning and color, while absorbing sound. Mix and match the different tile sizes and colors to create eye-catching designs. They come in a beautiful palate of 7 colors and 3 different shapes/sizes.

Learn More about Kirei fantastic acoustical solutions click here
3 Reasons to Consider DIRTT Millwork before Traditional Millwork Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:04:50 +0000

DIRTT Millwork is fully customizable, modular cabinetry. Just like traditional millwork, you can create the perfect piece to fit the perfect space, but with DIRTT Millwork you get a set price, fast lead-time, smooth install and long-term agility. DIRTT Millwork can morph into what you need, in the size you need, at the speed you need, and it all hangs from the horizontal support within the walls.


Change the size, dimensions, configurations, and finishes of your millwork without paying extra for customization or complexity. Want to shrink the cabinet size by ¼ inch? No problem. That will cost you less because you only pay for the materials you use.


Change the size, dimensions, configurations, and finishes of your millwork without paying extra for customization or complexity. Want to shrink the cabinet size by ¼ inch? No problem. That will cost you less because you only pay for the materials you use.


DIRTT Millwork uses high quality and durable materials including the most advanced hardware in the world today. Even in heavy-use areas, DIRTT millwork stands up to its 10-year warranty.

How to incorporate lifestyle driven design into your workspace Tue, 28 Aug 2018 17:57:05 +0000

At the recent NeoCon Show in Chicago National Office showcased a residential inspired style by blending the comforts of home into the workplace. Through Respitality design, National created solutions that have evolved from the fundamental elements of both residential and hospitality. Their beautiful showroom demonstrated how lifestyle driven design can be incorporated into commercial spaces to create cozy areas that grant employees the freedom to get comfortable yet stay productive.

Our favorites from NeoCon 2018 Fri, 29 Jun 2018 15:06:50 +0000 Our team had the opportunity to attend this year NeoCon – one of the most recognized trade shows in the commercial design industry. We had the opportunity to meet with our partners to get the scoop on the newest products. Take a look!

Kimball Office

Focal Point:  Transform the workplace into a destination of choice.


Focal Point: Residential Inspired Spaces


Focal Point: Hospitality at Work–presents a new way of thinking about the office and a more welcoming way to work.


Focal Point: Build the perfect interior space for what you need now –– and whatever the future brings.

The 3 benefits of custom-built learning spaces Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:25:28 +0000 Learning Spaces

DIRTT interior solutions help you create an environment that elevates academic performance and outcomes. The relationship between the built environment and the way we interact within is complex, especially in learning environments. Now more than ever, educators and students want to shape the look of their environment and how it functions. To enable that, user requirements are considered right from the start and are integrated at all stages of the design process. The result is a space that seamlessly supports the needs of diverse groups with acoustics management, integrated technology, ample natural light, writable surfaces and anything else you need.


Clean, Fast Construction

Meet your tightest build schedules during holidays and breaks. Our solutions arrive ready for quick-connect, tilt-up construction so you can welcome students back to a fresh space.


Cost Competitive and Cost Certainty

We are competitive with the first cost of a conventionally built interior space. Conventional builders spend approximately 70 percent of your budget on labor, contingencies, fees, and conditions, with the remaining 30 percent on materials.
Get the pricing and schedule predictability you require. We use ICE® 3D design and specification software to determine the exact cost of your project as you design your space. When your plan is finalized, so is your quote. With this approach, we eliminate the costly uncertainties, including scheduling delays and material slippage, that drives up costs on traditional builds.




All components can be disassembled, moved and reconfigured quickly without dust, delay or design constraints. Current project needs are met from the beginning and you can be confident the space will adapt to any situation with ease, at any time, without compromising performance.

DIRTT Solutions

How to create flexible learning spaces that focus on the needs of students and teachers Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:59:24 +0000 Purchasing the right furnishings can make a difference in creating positive and efficient learning environments. Manufacturers such as National and KI, offer a complete range of products covering the full needs of teaching institutions, from the reception area to interactive learning stations and computer labs. All components are designed to meet your requirements in terms of ergonomics, flexibility and the integration of new technologies.

When it comes to creating a fluid, tech-savvy, and collaborative learning space consider the following solutions:


The wide range of options provides flexibility and functionality making it easier to adapt to different teaching approaches.

Tables & Seating Solutions

Fold Tables by National

Move tables together to collaborate or apart for focus time, or move them out-of-the-way entirely.

Solution highlight: durable casters and flip/nest capabilities allow users to reconfigure with ease.

Essay Seating by National

Essay by NationalFrom classrooms to informal settings, Essay is prepared and ready to perform in any situation. Easily hang a bag or backpack on the chevron-shaped back and feel comfortable that it won’t end up on the floor.

Solution highlights: The optional double pivoting tablet arm offers a non-handed dual work zone allowing users to swivel the worksurface into the perfect location. Add an optional upholstered seat cushion to any Essay model for extra comfort.

Fold by National

Ruckus by KI

Rickus by KIRuckus innovative seating promotes student movement and lets users choose how they relate to their learning spaces. The Ruckus collection fosters student engagement, enables a wide range of teaching styles and adapts to a variety of users and uses.

Solution Highlights: With Ruckus chairs, users can quickly and easily change from focused to collaborative work on the fly without the disruption of rearranging furniture. Seating is non-directional to improve sight lines, and the chair back is perch-able to facilitate tiered classrooms without the need for stools.



Interactive technologies are at the heart of the modern school. A collaborative classroom setting that enables easy integration of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies is essential in every campus.

The Right Tools

The Power Tower by National

Power To wer by NationalThis Power Tower is power hub that can be used in a variety of ways. Simply position it among a cluster of chairs or tables in a lounge, student center, or meeting area to provide 360 ̊ of power to a group of users.

Solution highlight: The power tower provides access to 9 power receptacles and 6 USB charging ports.


Power Tower by Nationa;

Connection Zone by KI

Connection ZoneConnection Zone Screens move where you move. Spark creativity and facilitate collaboration with writable surfaces that create and define classroom zones. Screens can be used individually or ganged together for division of space, or to provide a larger canvas.

Solution highlights: A variety of insert materials are offered, from acrylic to steel, to tackable fabrics. Easel hooks support writing pads, while accessory trays give quick access to Collaborative tools and dry erase items.


Stylish Solutions for Healing Environments Thu, 08 Mar 2018 17:35:12 +0000 Spruce


In the ever-changing world of healthcare, we recognize the need for cost-effective, efficient facilities that serve the patient needs, satisfy government regulations, and offer productive spaces for today’s healthcare professionals.
Manufacturers of healthcare furnishings are focused on creating products that are durable, sustainable, and affordable and yet full of style and comfort. Today we are highlighting three different spaces


WELCOME AREAS | Feel at home

Delgado by National

This seating collection offers components that are stunning so that together they embody spectacular design. Delgado’s plush comfort and unconventional beauty accentuate its design, while the bent plywood back offers angular appeal.

Solution highlight: Its clean lines and crisp details are enveloped by rich wood or tailored upholstery to create a versatile seating collection.


QUIET SPACES| Function and Sophistication

Zola Privacy

Zola Privacy provides a unique level of comfort for higher-back modular seating: a supportive contour that’s been specifically designed to make extended sitting a pleasurable and healthy experience.

Solution highlight: Made to withstand the rigors of heavy use, including bariatric applications, with features such as removable and replaceable upholstery covers, so covers can be cleaned, repaired or replaced as required; modular construction allows damaged components to be easily replaced, and allows for complete cleaning and disinfecting of each unit. 

PATIENT CARE| Distinctive and Diverse

Meadow by Kimball Health

Meadow is a holistic family of recliners designed for human needs within the healing environment.

Solution highlight: Fit for all patient body types and sizes, Meadow offers comfort, smooth motion, and features that support spatial efficiency in a variety of applications


Kimball Redefines Healthcare Design Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:26:09 +0000

“Modularity, Flexibility and Adaptability are the future of all environments but especially healthcare.”

– Aneetha McLellan, Director of Kimball Health Sales, Design, and Innovation.

At this year Healthcare Design Conference in Orlando, Florida,  Kimball Healthcare unveiled their new healthcare design vision with new products as well as “new mindsets to support and challenge today’s healthcare spaces.”

Let’s take a look at the innovative new introductions:

Alterna – Supporting the Full Facility

Modular | Flexible | Adaptable |

Ideal for lounge and waiting spaces, registration, nurse stations, infusion bays, in-room solutions, cafes, administrative areas and more.

Wilder – Design, Simplistic Scale, Comfort and Durability

Wilder is a lounge and guest seating family that is small in scale with aesthetic detailing, while still having a very generous and comfortable seat.



Pairings Health – Changing the Way We Wait

Adaptable | Comfortable |Tailored Solutions

Ideal for privacy room, family alcoves, open café, as well as small group huddle space.

Behavioral Health Solutions

Designed with wellness in mind.