How it’s done – designing sustainable office furniture

Speaking to members of the design team behind our best-selling RH Logic chair, we look at what it takes to create high quality, low carbon emissions seating

The RH Logic is undeniably a world-class office chair, combining exceptional build quality with a leading ergonomic design, making it a favourite among ergonomists and health experts as well as those who have the pleasure of using one at work. Relaunched in 2019, the New RH Logic retained its well-being qualities and added a new touch of elegance, but also a new degree of sustainability. A major aspect of the redesign was to update the way the chair was built to include the very latest knowledge within Flokk when it comes to lowering environmental impact when making our chairs.


So how did that happen?


We spoke to two of the design team who played an integral role in making this happen, to find out exactly how it’s done.

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RH New Logic – The Environmental goals

Sustainability is a key part of the process when it comes to making furniture at Flokk. Over the years, we have developed our own set of criteria that we see can have the biggest effect on reducing our impact. Using these sustainable design principles as a starting point, the RH Logic team pinpointed two key aspects that would significantly improve the RH Logic’s environmental performance: Using as high a level of recycled material content as possible and designing for disassembly and repair.


Increased recycled materials

Recycling used materials requires less energy than creating from fresh. The knock-on effect of less energy-intensive production is a reduction in carbon emissions and pollutants.


The main problem is achieving the same level of quality as with virgin materials. For materials like aluminium, this is not such an issue, but it is more so with plastic.


All major components of the RH Logic - including the seat and back shell, foam carriers, neck rests, and armrests - contain Polypropylene plastic (PP). The key benefits of PP is its mouldability, moisture resistance, and crucially in chairs, high flexural strength (being able to bend whilst retaining shape).


Recycled PP is more brittle and prone to breaking, so the components on the new RH Logic needed to be designed specifically to allow for this. Extra levels of intricacy in the structural layout of the Plastic pieces increased its strength, whilst areas more likely to come under stress were thoroughly tested, such as the snap features that fasten the pieces together.


88% of the PP in the new RH Logic 220 is recycled, as well as 98% of the aluminium. Overall, 59% of the RH Logic comprises recycled materials (including packaging), a significant improvement on the original RH Logic (400) which was made from 48% recycled materials.


Read more about the benefits of recycled materials


Design for disassemble and repair

Just as important as the energy and resources consumed to create a product, is how long it lasts. The core of RH Logic is built to last a lifetime – the gas stem, the shells, and the seat mechanism for example. By designing for disassembly and repair, you ensure that the softer parts more prone to wear and damage, can be easily replaced to extend the life of the chair for as long as possible.


With the RH Logic, this is achieved by not using any glues or staples to hold fabrics and foam together. upholstery is kept in place using a drawstring that runs around the perimeter of the material and is pulled tight using a spindle specially designed by Flokk. Whilst this was used on the original RH Logic chair on the seat and backrest, the solution was introduced onto the headrest and upholstered armrests for the first time with the new RH Logic. Additionally, all the various components of the chair are held together with snap fasteners and catches, as opposed to glues or welding.

A breakdown of the core components of the RH Logic 220 shows how easily it can be broken down for repairs, refurbishment and at the end of life, recycling.

Lowered carbon footprint

By taking these steps, the new RH Logic has a significantly lower carbon footprint than the original. Our latest EPD test results show that the new RH Logic (220) has a carbon footprint of 61 kg (without packaging), compared to 75 kg for the original RH Logic 400 – a nearly 20% reduction in carbon emissions generated when manufacturing and delivering one of our chairs.


But it’s more than that. Through the extra care taken with the way the RH Logic is constructed, repairs and replacements are easier than ever, extending its lifetime further than ever.


Learn - What is an EPD and why are they important


Sustainable seating at Flokk

The RH Logic is one of many designs at Flokk with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. Our holistic approach takes into consideration every aspect of the environment – from the materials we use to the way we manufacture our designs, the conditions our employees work in, and the full lifespan of our products.


For those looking to design more environmentally conscious workplaces, we've created the "Sustainable Office" - an inspirational workplace blueprint containing a complete Flokk seating solution, made from our most sustainable designs, each with an EPD certificate, offering accurate data when i comes to environmental reporting.


Find out more

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