Furniture Buying Tips; Companies planning remodeled, new or expanded office facilities have the advantage of a wide variety of vendors from which to choose. Googling "Office Furniture Systems" yields more than 1 million results. Enter "Modular Office Furniture" and the choices narrow to 125,000. Furniture buyers can ease their task by becoming familiar with what to look for in systems furniture then seeking suppliers that offer not only product but ongoing support ranging from office floor plan designs through furniture installation and performance guarantees over the life of the system. For more than 15 years, smart buyers and facility planners have looked to a company called MAiSPACE as one synonymous with best value in systems furniture. The company's innovative products hold a "Best of NeoCon" award, one of the most prestigious in the contract furniture industry, yet are priced up to 40% less than manufacturers whose names frequently are top of mind.
MAiSPACE is a name based on the contract furniture industry's term "Modular Architectural Interiors." The company's Vice President Mark Bassil explains, "When planning office interiors companies must realize that floor plans and requirements are going to change at some point. This calls for modular products that do it easily without sacrificing structural soundness - which is the premise of MAiSPACE. The benefit is improved flexibility moving forward while reducing costly installation and reconfiguration time. It also diminishes the need to buy new parts every time modifications are made.
" Voice, Data and Power Cabling Made Easy MAiSPACE systems revolutionized the contract furniture industry by incorporating standards-compliant plug-and-play cable management systems in its superior quality stackable panel system. Patented, knocked down and ready-to-assemble (RTA) frames equipped with self-aligning connectors simplify moving elements into and throughout the building, thereby reducing installation costs. This design can also reduce the number of framing components required.
"Frames provide unobstructed cable pathways end to end and top to bottom," says Bassil. "Cable runs are laid in behind lift-off panel segments. This differs and is superior to competitive designs requiring that cables be bundled and fished through structural elements.
When moves, ads or changes occur system segments are unplugged, moved and reconnected without disrupting the entire office's local area network (LAN). This frequently can be accomplished by on-site IT personnel without the need of outside contractors," he says. As a research driven company MAiSPACE constantly evaluates and updates product options to enhance furniture system furniture capabilities and keep step with advancing technological, ergonomic and architectural innovations.
The core system features off-modular design allowing flexibility in workspace size, configuration and in locating bins, shelves, and divider panels. Buying Tips Systems Furniture Easily removable panel segment options include laminate, Coverseal, veneer, painted metal, embossed steel, brushed stainless steel, airflow, clear glass, frosted glass, or textured glass, fabric, tackable/acoustical, power/data, marker board and paper management. Segments are designed to facilitate access to the MAiSPACE lay-in cable management system and are available up to 6 feet in length. Customer Support from Day One A pillar of the MAiSPACE value proposition is a professional in-house design team to produce the best and most cost-effective layout not only to satisfy customers' current staffing demands, but also to plan ahead. The company's designers understand facility issues and employ the most appropriate product and space planning layouts. This entails the use of the latest versions of AutoCAD and GIZA specifying software to achieve furniture and floor plans that are virtually fault free.
Related to this are accurate detailed specifications, product lists and installation drawings. "Our objective is to provide customers with beautiful and functional offices without sacrificing affordability or performance," Bassil says. "Moreover, we commit to meeting project time frames, quick turnarounds and fast resolutions to revisions. These services are free with a signed purchase order or order placement." Looking Behind the Panels From a construction standpoint, the MAiSPACE product starts with a 3 1/2 inch wide frame constructed of 16-gauge cold-rolled steel to provide strength and rigidity, allowing it to remain distortion-free during installation and later MACs.
To demonstrate this, a MAiSPACE panel configuration composed of 8-foot panel frames stacked 10 feet high and supported by two 24" return panels was rated to 2.5 tons on the work surface in a test conducted by Underwriters Laboratories. "This is the highest load rating in the industry," Bassil comments.
"That strength also means the load-bearing panel frames can be used to build walls from 30 inches to 14 feet in height. Panel height can be increased without removing existing panel frames or disturbing power, voice and data cabling, another pillar in the MAiSPACE value proposition in terms of reduced product and labor costs." Buying Systems Furniture Knockdown and RTA framing components equipped with self-leveling connections simplify moving elements into and throughout the building, reducing assembly costs and the number of framing components required. "For example," explains Bassil, "only two horizontal sub-assemblies plus two shared vertical uprights are required to support panel frames up to 8 feet wide. Frames can easily be added to or removed from runs without disturbing adjacent structures.
" Panel segments are constructed from 24-gauge steel for exceptional durability and effective sound dampening. "This allows us to provide a .80 NRC and a 35 STC rating, the highest the industry," Bassil says. A Closer Look at Cabling Systems: The company's patented zone distribution system includes plug-and-play connectors, lay-in cabling and the largest cable capacity in the industry. With a 4-Circuit, 8-Wire system, it supports any network or power requirements needed by customers today, but is designed to grow and change with business. "As suggested earlier, managing voice, data, and power cabling is a snap with MAiSPACE because cable runs are laid in behind lift-off panel segments, not bundled and fished through structural elements," Bassil says.
"Office reconfiguration time is reduced from days to hours without disruption of the entire network." MAiSPACE conforms to telecommunications industry standards for horizontal cabling systems in open offices. Standard belt line access and easily accessible consolidation points provide an interconnection between work area outlets and telecommunications closets creating a zone distribution system. Unrestricted cable pathway access simplifies changes to the existing network. Factory-terminated and tested modular cable assembles in copper or fiber support plug and play office reconfigurations.
A wide variety of cable types are available to meet specific customer needs. "This includes Category 7 cabling, which is available for data-intensive and video applications, surpassing all current industry standards," Bassil notes. Product Innovations Broaden Customer Base focusing on small and mid size companies, MAiSPACE saw a need to develop a sister product called MORSPACE. As described by Bassil, "MORSPACE is a system designed with greater flexibility and more capacity than a monolithic system but at a lower price.
With interchangeable tiles, stacking frames, built in cable pathways and multiple filing and storage options, MORSPACE offers all the features of premium modular office systems, including off-modular capabilities, but at a price that falls within even the tightest of budgets." "Both the MAiSPACE and MORSPACE lines are the most environmentally safe systems on the market," Bassil points out. "Unlike most office systems, which are filled with fiberglass that doesn't break down in landfills and is a source of airborne glass, we use post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from ground up soda bottles. We hope other manufacturers will follow our lead.
Due to the large number of plastic containers being discarded, much of this material goes unused. We've found a use for it that makes sense from every perspective." Ergonomic Seating: Seating rounds out the MAiSPACE product offering. MAiCHAIR is the most affordable, fully functional ergonomic seating line on the market today. "It incorporates all the comfort, style and adjustment features usually reserved for much more expensive chairs," Bassil says. "MAiCHAIR's flexible backrest conforms to the spine and provides critical support in the lumbar region.
The contoured seat cushion and waterfall edge improves blood flow, and the syncro-tilt mechanism helps maintain the correct posture through a full range of motion." MAiCHAIR's adjustable features include a 5-position headrest, an engineered, flexible plastic backrest, adjustable arms, and a lightweight five-star base. The state of the art syncro-tilt provides adjustable tension resistance, pneumatic seat height adjustment and multi position tilt-lock control in one easy to adjust mechanism. Unique to this dynamic, cost effective chair, is that the seat and back cushions are designed with special fasteners that allow for quick and easy removal permitting replacement without tools. Ongoing Customer Support MAiSPACE provides a service program that matches the pace of customers' requirements.
"This is comprised of in-house support services and a team of dedicated professionals," Bassil says. "Additionally, we can access our nationwide network of resources to find reputable local contractors for services such as Move Management, Inventory Assessment, Storage and Warehousing and Furniture Removal and Disposal.".
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