Thursday, December 03, 2009

Former Partner of THINKSPACENY Joins BFI- New York

Elizabeth, NJ (December 2009) - Harold Star, III, an industry veteran with over 25 years office furnishings experience has joined the executive sales team at BFI-New York. Harold will continue to build upon his experience having worked for both contract and middle market furnishings manufacturers as well as major dealers over the course of his career.

Prior to becoming part of the BFI-New York Team, Harold was a partner at THINKSPACENY, a Haworth preferred Dealer. Over the years he has also held executive level positions within the business interiors industries where he was able to consistently combine his skills with his know-how to create individual and corporate success as well as long term client relationships. Harold can be reached at 212 685-9344, extension 6283 or by e-mail at Harold will report to Bruce Stone, Vice President, BFI, NY

Monday, November 30, 2009

bfi Finds Green to Go Green

ELIZABETH, NJ (December 2009): On Saturday, November 21, 2009 Public Service was on site at bfi in Elizabeth, NJ to tie in a new 50 Kilowatt Solar Energy System into the grid. All of the renewable energy produced by the system will be used by bfi reducing its annual electric costs by 50%. It is believed to be the largest Solar Energy project in the city to date.

bfi, a contract furniture company, offers Herman Miller and other brands of office furniture to create great places to work, heal & learn. Herman Miller is a national leader in the advancement of “green technology” in the office furniture industry.

Everyone would like to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and create a clean environment however, it is a huge undertaking for a small company. The cost of such a project, especially in this economy, makes it a difficult choice. Inspired by an incentive in the Economic Recovery Act that provides a grant equal to 30 % of the installed cost, bfi project manager, Michael Ricca, began to look into the possibility. He found that there was additional grant money available from the NJ Board of Public Utilities. The company gave approval to proceed with an engineering study to see if the project was viable; how much electricity could be generated, how much will energy costs be reduced, what grants and incentives are available and how could the project be financed.

After extensive research and obtaining three competitive quotes on the project, the high cost made the decision to proceed difficult. That’s when Mr. Ricca and company CFO John Trotter turned to the Elizabeth Development Company and deputy director Bill O’Dea to see if there were Urban Enterprise funds available. bfi found that there was currently a Clean Air Solutions Capital Investment Loan/Grant program available through the NJ Economic Development Authority. But it was only for projects over $1 million and none for smaller projects. However, Mr. O’Dea had designed a program for smaller UEZ companies called the UEZ Renewable Energy Capital Stimulus Grant and applied to the state agency for funding. The program would provide a 20% grant to qualified projects. The timing couldn’t be better for bfi.

Within weeks the program was approved and with the help of Elizabeth EDC Director of Financial Programs and Projects, Carlos Sanchez, an application for the grant was submitted. Approval came within another few weeks and the project was off and running. In just four months, bfi is about to become an example of an environmentally friendly industry to its neighbors and to its customers.

“Green” office solutions is a hot topic right now in the contract office furniture industry. More and more buyers are demanding products that reduce the carbon footprint, are made from recycled material or can be recycled at the end of the product's useful life” says bfi President Dan Morley. “We are proud to offer solutions from Herman Miller, a leader in the industry. But we are also very pleased to make the commitment ourselves in our own facilities, and our clients recognize that we ourselves are passionate about being green.”

Everyone wins, and bfi saves green by going green!

About bfi
For over 60 years, Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi), has been a leader in furniture specification and furniture project management. With offices in Elizabeth NJ, Parsippany NJ and New York City, bfi is a nationwide resource managing product and service solutions, procurement, delivery and installation, furniture asset inventories and reconfiguration services and 24/7 on-line customer service. Representing over 200 office furniture manufacturers, bfi employs over 75 professionals serving a diverse customer base in the corporate, governmental, medical, educational, architectural and design and real estate sectors.

For more information, contact John Trotter, Vice President/CFO at or 908-355-3400, extension 6179.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Spin on an Eames Favorite

Herman Miller Select Program Places a New Spin on an Eames Favorite
Herman Miller, Inc., has unveiled its second limited edition Select release for customers seeking to enrich their connection with two of the worlds most renowned designers Charles and Ray Eames.

The classic combination of Herman Miller and Eames inspired this years release, which includes a set of three distinct spinning tops. Inspired by the Eameses 1969 movie Tops, the Select tops are crafted from walnut and each one carries its own sculptural profile designed by the New York-based KleinReid design studio.

The 2009 Select release puts a playful spin on the passion Charles and Ray Eames had for toys, says Gregg Vander Kooi, product manager for Herman Millers classics. The Eameses considered playtime their productive time and recognized that play can often inspire new and creative ideas.

The Select tops carry a minimum advertised price of $199 and will be available beginning
October 14, 2009, until April 15, 2010, from the companys global network of dealerships and retailers.

For additional information:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

bfi Hosts "Back To School" Event

On Thursday September 24, 2009 bfi along with Herman Miller hosted a "Back to School" CEU event for our A&D friends. The topic was Context for Creativity and Innovation and was presented by Dr. Margaret Serrato. It was a very informative and engaging presentation and all who attended enjoyed it very much. Here are some photos from the event. We will be hosting four more CEU events over the next several months so if you are interested in joining us, send us an email and we'll let you know the details.

Putting Contest Winner

Congratulations to Joseph Langan of River Drive Construction for winning the $1,500 Putt-Fore-Cash contest at our annual bfi Broker Golf Tournament. Watch the full movie of the putting contest.

Congratulations bfi Golf Tour Winners

Congratulations to our Broker Golf Tour winners:
LOW GROSS CHAMPIONPeter Elfers (Van Houten Parker) and
LOW NET CHAMPION - Michael Staskiewicz (Newmark Knight Frank).

It was a great tournament thank to all of the participants and sponsors.
Enjoy the photos!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Herman Miller New Products are Real Winners at NeoCon


At NeoCon this year, Herman Miller hit the mark in seating and lighting, reaping two Gold and two Silver Best of NeoCon Awards. Check out how these award winners are helping improve the human experience. And, if you didn’t get to Chicago this year, watch these 2009 NeoCon videos for more on what happened in our space.

Our drive at Herman Miller to make the human experience better has yielded many innovations. Over the last 30 years, each of our seating products has built the foundation of research and knowledge for the next. Setu and Embody once again extend Herman Miller’s legacy of leadership in design, innovation, and sustainability.

Setu Chairs
Our new family of multipurpose seating, Setu, won the Gold Award in the Conference Seating category and the Silver Award in the Sofas and Lounge Seating category. Setu—the chair for how you work and live now—was designed by the Berlin design group Studio 7.5, who also designed the Mirra chair, a NeoCon Gold Award winner in 2003.

Embody Chair
Designed by Jeff Weber and the late Bill Stumpf, the Embody chair—the first work chair to support both the mind and the body—won the Silver Award in the Ergonomic Task Seating category. Jeff Weber of Studio Weber + Associates is also the designer of our Caper seating, which won a NeoCon Gold Award in 1999. Bill Stumpf, in collaboration with Don Chadwick, designed the Equa and Aeron chairs.

Twist LED Task Light
Yves Béhar, founder of fuseproject, has once again partnered with Herman Miller to create an innovative lighting solution. The result is the Twist LED task light, winner of the Gold Award in the Specialty Lighting category. Twist, an energy-efficient, eco-friendly undershelf LED light for systems furniture, provides value, simplicity, and personal control for office workers. Béhar also designed the Leaf personal light, winner of the Gold Award in the Lighting category at NeoCon 2006, as well as the Ardea personal light.

Intent Furniture and Energy Manager
Our space featured two other new products: Intent Furniture and Energy Manager.

Intent furniture, designed by Joey Ruiter of JRuiter + Studio, offers a new furniture solution that extends from the private office to systems workstations in the open plan. Intent furniture has a crisp, clean appearance and was designed to integrate physically and aesthetically with Vivo interiors.

Energy Manager is an electrical circuit control system connected between building power and Herman Miller systems modular power. It can provide programmed or occupancy-based control of power delivery to two of the typical four circuits within a cluster of up to eight Herman Miller workstations. This allows individual worker or owner control of powered devices so they are on only when needed, and off when workstations aren’t occupied. That saves you energy and reduces costs.

2009 Showroom Overview
Our 2009 showroom demonstrated how we work for a better world around you. Check out this video for an overview of the space and highlights of the products we offer. Each is designed to improve your environment whether it’s an office, hospital, school, home, an entire building, or the world at large.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Herman Miller Introduces Intent Furniture

Simple, Affordable Choices that Extend from Private Office to Workstations in the Open Plan

With the introduction of Intent furniture, Herman Miller offers a new furniture solution that extends from the private office to systems workstations in the open plan. Intent furniture has a crisp, clean appearance and was designed to integrate physically and aesthetically with Vivo interiors. As a result, you can achieve a unified aesthetic from private offices to systems workstations in the open plan.

"Intent furniture lets designers connect the look and function of the private office to other spaces in a building," explains John Lubbinge, Director of Product Management. "It blends well with Vivo interiors and our other systems furniture. And, just as important, Intent furniture does this while delivering performance at a price that's right in any economic climate."

Intent furniture's concise set of parts combines in many ways to make it easy to match furniture layouts to the way people work. Intent can be configured into everything from a basic single- or double-pedestal desk to a full casegoods solution with desks, returns, credenzas, and storage. A variety of material choices as well as multiple leg options add other ways to change appearance and cost. Advances in design and production make Intent very affordable.

"We wanted Intent furniture to be easy to own, install, and use," says Lubbinge. "So we worked with industrial designer Joey Ruiter to limit the set of parts to those that can be combined in the greatest number of ways. We married that with a wide selection of materials to give another layer of versatility to the line."

The need to give Intent furniture a unifying ability at an affordable price presented obvious constraints. But Ruiter, founder and principal designer of JRuiter + Studio in Grand Rapids, MI, thrives on constraints. "Without them you can't be creative," he says. "That's the reality of design. I take complex problems and make the solution
as simple as possible. And I like the people to stand out more than the furniture."

In designing Intent furniture, Ruiter made sure it integrates physically, functionally, and aesthetically with Vivo interiors—and other systems, too. For example, work surface shapes and dimensions correlate, so surfaces can be used to make a desk or hung from a Vivo wall. The About Face work surface is also part of Intent furniture. This orientation lets people face outward as they work. It gives them better privacy and more awareness of teammates and the surrounding environment.

Intent furniture addresses new demands, as well. Ruiter applied his experience in tooling to design a way to manufacture Intent furniture's clean, simple legs with minimal investment—while still offering a variety of styles and sizes.

Intent furniture also introduces some new concepts in versatile storage. In addition to mounting on walls or panels, storage elements can reside on a low, footed deck. A single track accepts a variety of bookcases, cabinets, and cubes. These pieces can be located anywhere along the track and secured in place, and be moved or added to easily. The feet on the deck give storage elements a lighter appearance and a subtle residential reference.

Intent furniture's overhead storage adds more residential appeal. Ruiter designed primary doors that don't require pulls, giving them a crisp, clean aesthetic. Secondary doors on overheads can be easily switched out using different colors or materials, providing a quick and inexpensive way to refresh the look of a space with new accent colors.

Intent furniture meets Herman Miller's Design for the Environment (DfE) protocol. This ensures that it is made of safe materials and recycled content, and recycles easily at the end of its useful life. It contains 35 percent recycled content, both post-industrial and post-consumer. Wood content in work surface substrates is composed of more than 90 percent reclaimed wood, and all veneers used are purchased from suppliers practicing sustainable forestry techniques. Intent furniture may contribute to LEED credits, and it carries a full 12-year, 3-shift warranty.

Intent furniture will be introduced in Herman Miller's third floor showroom during the NeoCon World's Trade Fair at Chicago's Merchandise Mart, June 15-17, 2009.

About Herman Miller
Herman Miller works for a better world around you—with inventive designs, technologies, and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $2 billion in revenue in fiscal 2008. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2009, Herman Miller was again cited by FORTUNE as both the "Most Admired" in its industry and among the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America, while Fast Company named Herman Miller among the innovative "Companies to Watch." Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.

Herman Miller Introduces Setu Chairs

Herman Miller, Inc., the international leader in ergonomic seating design, announces the next generation of multipurpose chair for all the places we work and live now. With Setu chairs, designed by Studio 7.5 of Berlin, Herman Miller applies its award-winning seating expertise to a major chair category that has seen little innovation in years.

"The Setu family of chairs provides new standards of comfort, performance, and value," says Jack Schreur, Herman Miller's director for seating products. "It's made from an innovative combination of materials to provide remarkable levels of strength, flexibility, simplicity, and dematerialization."

Setu will be introduced at NeoCon 2009 in Chicago, June 15-17. The initial offering will include the Setu 5-star, 4-star, butterfly, butterfly stool, and lounge and ottoman. Future models are planned that will further extend the Setu family's range of application.

Multipurpose chairs are used where people sit for shorter periods and frequently move, such as conference rooms, touchdown workstations, and collaborative spaces. However, these so-called "temporary spaces" are now less temporary. For many of us, all the places we sit are temporary as we move throughout the day, spending an hour or two at a time in different places.

The problem is existing multipurpose chairs aren't designed to handle longer-term sitting and more active use. This was recognized by Studio 7.5, who also designed Herman Miller's award-winning Mirra work chair in 2003. During their global travels in support of that chair's international launch, they sat in many different multipurpose chairs along the way. The 7.5 team found the one-piece seat and back typical of multipurpose chairs is not very comfortable; instead comfort is compromised for affordability. Coming home, they recognized a need for a new kind of multipurpose chair—one combining work-chair principles of motion and comfort with good looks, simplicity, and an affordable price.

Herman Miller and Studio 7.5 created Setu to answer those needs, with key inventions that greatly improve on comfort and support: the Kinematic Spine and the Lyris seat suspension material.

Throughout Setu's development, Studio 7.5 was guided by their quest for simplicity. "We want everything as simple as possible, but no simpler," noted the designers, paraphrasing Einstein. Simplicity is especially important in multipurpose seating, where chairs may be used in many places, and many different people may use the same chair during the day.

Setu looks simple and is easy to use. But to achieve that, it contains embedded design intelligence, with form and function working in harmony.

Setu is Motion: The Kinematic Spine
The instruction manual reads as follows: sit down. The first thing you'll notice once you sit in Setu? Nothing. There's nothing to tilt, nothing to tweak, nothing to think about. It's mathematics in place of mechanisms. From the moment you sit down, you and the chair move as one. It is elegant form and performance working together in harmony. It's true comfort, now.

Setu's Kinematic Spine is the primary reason. It has tilt-like kinematics in one continuous seat and back, rather than in a separate seat pan, back rest, and tilt. Because of the spine, there is no tilt mechanism on the chair, and the only adjustment is seat height.

Made of simple compounds for the perfect combination of flex and strength, the spine mimics the synchronized movement needed to fully support the body in any reclined or upright position.

After testing dozens of different materials for Setu's spine, the smartest solution was also the simplest: polypropylene. The spine is a sophisticated geometry made of two different polypropylene variants: one providing the rigidity and the other allowing flex. Every bend, corner and line were painstakingly shaped, reshaped, and reshaped again by Studio 7.5 so that each molecule falls in the right order, in the right place.

The spine works together with Setu's Lyris seating suspension material. This unique suspension has no rigid frame structure on the top and bottom edges of the chair, but is only suspended between the two Kinematic Spines. The suspension was specifically designed and engineered for superior comfort and a weightless feel. The elastomer floats omni-directional within the fabric structure; it stretches in every direction so it distributes weight evenly and conforms to your contours as you move. The openness of the suspension structure also provides aeration and reduces heat buildup.

Setu is Simple: Dematerialization
Thanks to Setu's Kinematic Spine, chair components are greatly minimized. Setu contains only the materials needed and not a molecule more. The Setu basic chair has few parts and weighs less than 20 pounds—less than many tilt mechanisms alone. This means less material, time, and energy needed to build it.

Setu's H-Alloy aluminum base is another example of less equals more. Not only is it durable and anti-corrosive, it is unpolished and uncoated, so there is no added labor or harmful toxins. The result: less eco impact. Well-known in the car industry for years, this material has never before been applied to a chair.

Because there is only one adjustment (height), Setu is simple to use. This makes it ideal for places where many different people use the same chair. Everyone gets the full ergonomic benefit without adjustment.

Setu is adaptable: Wide application
Where Setu is, it belongs. The clean, light-scaled, and simple aesthetic complements a wide range of environments. It is designed to fit most shapes and sizes. But, equally important, Setu is designed to fit all spaces and places. Adaptable like no other chair in its category, Setu appeals to functional needs as well as design aesthetics. It can be the feature of any room or simply be noticeably unnoticeable.

Because the spine provides the chair's motion within the seat and back, multiple different bases can be applied for a wide range of future applications. With its simple and light international aesthetic, Setu is equally stylish and comfortable in office, home, healthcare, education, and hospitality environments, anywhere in the world.

Setu is also remarkably affordable, with contract list pricing starting at $650. Setu chairs will be orderable in the commercial market beginning June 15, and will be introduced into Herman Miller's retail channel in September of 2009. Retail pricing is pending.

Setu is Responsible
Setu Chairs support Herman Miller's commitment to the environment, helping Herman Miller reach its sustainability goals of zero landfill, zero hazardous waste generation, and zero VOC emissions into the air by 2020. Setu adheres to the McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) Cradle to Cradle protocol. The chair has 48 percent recycled content, is 92 percent recyclable, and contains no PVCs. The Lyris suspension uses only environmentally conscious materials: a copolyester elastomer and antimony-free polyester. Setu is under review for MBDC Cradle to Cradle Gold certification and GREENGUARD certification. Setu carries Herman Miller's 12-year warranty.

About Herman Miller
Herman Miller works for a better world around you—with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $2 billion in revenue in fiscal 2008. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2009, Herman Miller was again cited by FORTUNE as both the "Most Admired" in its industry and among the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America, while Fast Company named Herman Miller among the innovative "Companies to Watch." Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.