With Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) growing rapidly, the need to convert part of their existing site in Erskine, Scotland into modern workspace took on at a pace. Gordon McNair, Global Real Estate Project Manager, HPE Ltd explains, “We have converted part of what was a warehouse and manufacturing facility, when the building was first constructed, into a Technical Resource Centre - where clients work in close proximity to our engineers and technical experts. As those clients’ needs were growing fast, so was the challenge for us to respond quickly and have the capability to expand our centre.”
The furniture requirement was tendered to the HPE approved supplier list and Kinnarps were appointed. “Overbury, who are very sustainably minded, were our appointed contractor and we wanted to continue the thread of corporate responsibility running through this project, whilst keeping to the defined HPE specifications,” says Gordon. “We followed the standards of a typical LEED certified build and worked with Kinnarps to find a bespoke solution to the desking requirement based on their standard product. The sustainability of design and manufacture is critical to us and we always look for products that are both recyclable and have a high use of recycled content within them. The holistic nature of Kinnarps environmental work is clear to see as they own the whole process of sourcing materials, manufacture and delivery.”
Gordon’s perception of Kinnarps was heightened on a visit to the production facility in Sweden. “I wanted to confirm their capability to deliver to this project on time and to see for myself that the furniture production was fit for purpose. During a break I was offered a cookie with my refreshment. It looked and tasted like a normal biscuit. However, we were then told it contained sawdust purposely sanded from a timber chair and mixed with the flour. They were so confident of the purity of their wood source that we were able to eat it. That was a powerful statement. It struck me that the Kinnarps belief in sustainability has a long history from the Kinnarps Company founders. The factory is built in the middle of farmland, where people understand about best use of resources and why you look after your natural surroundings. It’s a part of their culture rather than a fad and has continued to be in their business throughout.”
The new HPE workplace in Erskine has a clean and fresh air about it. Modern but without fuss or glamour. Well lit, ventilated and open, with a contemporary colour scheme to match Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s professional approach to its business.
Gordon is proud of what the project team have delivered: “Whilst in Sweden we also heard about the risks of chemicals invisibly seeping from furniture once installed and how Kinnarps had removed harmful substances from their products. It is things like this which give us peace of mind that the working environments we deliver to our colleagues and customers are safeguarding their wellbeing. This is also why the desks can be height adjusted; giving the most flexible, ergonomic choice for the users. Everything about this build has been linked to longevity, sustainability and welfare.”
With just over 450 workstations to deliver in a tight schedule, careful planning was required, especially working around other building contractors. “Having seen the packing process in Sweden it was great to see it work for real when the Kinnarps trucks arrived on site with minimal if any packaging. The flexibility of their fitters was an integral part of the success of this project,” says Gordon. “Their attention to detail and desire to get a snag-free delivery was gratifying. Our Kinnarps Account Manager knows the intricacies of such a project and was always flexible, whether it be to solve a specific IT requirement or suggest a way around a problem. I’m delighted with the result.”