EthoSource and MechoShade Partner for a Green Office Renovation

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Used furniture company EthoSource and high-tech roller shade manufacturer MechoShade collaborated on a LEED Gold renovation of a 91 year old company in Long Island City in Queens, New York.

Used office furniture company EthoSource recently had the opportunity to take part in a historic project: the Leed Gold renovation of a 91 year old warehouse in Queens.

MechoShade was renovating their building, constructed in 1919, with a staff of 180 continuing to attend to business. Chris Wilson of MechoShade said, “There are lots of people who can sell you used furniture, but EthoSource delivered what we needed.” The decision to choose EthoSource for the furniture management was based on “what they do and how they do it. It’s their ability to refurbish the furniture in a green fashion.”

Green is something the two companies have in common. MechoShade creates shade systems that respond to heat, light, and the angle of the sun to raise and lower automatically to keep the workplace comfortable and well-lighted with the least energy use. Autosensors use heat, radiation, and sun position to determine the optimum level for the shades. Using special building management software, the shades, lights, and even heating and cooling systems can be monitored and managed for energy efficiency without causing disruption for the staff.

EthoSource offers green furniture management services, liquidating furniture that’s no longer needed, refurbishing Herman Miller’s EthoSpace cubicles, and working with architects and engineers to configure new, used, and refurbished office furniture to meet the needs of workspaces precisely. By keeping excess furniture out of landfills and recycling the steel underlying structures of cubicles, EthoSource helps consumers be environmentally responsible in a cost-effective way.

The two companies got together to update the office space in the historic building knowing that there would be challenges. “Renovation is always more of a challenge than new construction,” Wilson points out. In this case, the workspace contains soaring columns of steel and concrete, ductwork, and exposed pipes of all diameters in surprising places. Creating a practical workspace without compromising the integrity of the layout required collaboration with the architect and with MechoShade.

The revitalization of Long Island City in Queens, part of the Empire State Program, provides grants and tax incentives for reusing existing buildings. This, alongside the companies’ commitment to sustainability, made the challenges worthwhile.

Jan Berman of MechoShade was excited by the capabilities of the EthoSource products. The superior value of pre-owned furniture was of course appealing, as was the opportunity to use a product that was both almost 100% sustainable and came with a warranty.

Mark Miller, COO of Ethosource, feels that both companies pursued a mission of creating a collaborative and creative workspace in accordance with their “green” objectives. “Our companies have similar philosophies,” says Miller, “so it was satisfying to collaborate.”

They integrated the columns into the planning, using them as center posts in the clusters of cubicles. Ethospace cubicles are built with separate frames and panels, so EthoSource was able to use elements ranging from full 86” panels with doors for complete privacy to those offering privacy while workers are seated but allowing easy collaboration across the panels when colleagues are standing, to the smallest components for team areas.

MechoShade chose vibrant colors, both warm red for energizing spaces and cool green for areas designed for focused work. The result was a unique and welcoming work space designed to encourage creativity and innovation in an eco-friendly and sustainable way.

For more information on EthoSource go to

For more information, please call Mark Miller at 610-286-1766 or send an email to markm(at)ethosource(dot)com

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Stijn Amundsen

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