Office Furniture "101" Terminology - Can You Follow the Lingo?

Office Furniture 101

Are you Expanding or Relocating your business and need to Space Plan your new Office Furniture requirements in compliance with the ADA Regulations? If so, you should perhaps study the following office furniture terminology to ensure that you can follow the "Lingo" and make the correct decisions.

- A -

ADA Regulations
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the first federal civil rights law to deal broadly and specifically with the rights of disabled citizens. Refer to the following Article on this:

Acoustical Panel
Systems furniture panel with acoustical properties to absorb sound within the panel structure providing a higher STC (sound transmission class) rating for the overall workspace.

Adjustable Arms
Refers to the adjustability of chair arm rests, typically on a task chair. They can be height adjustable (vertical), width adjustable (horizontal), rotating and/or have a sliding arm pad.

Assemble Furniture
The process of building furniture from separate components by a professional office furniture installer.

The computer program used by most architecture and interior design industry professionals to generate drawings.

- B -

BBF Pedestal
Abbreviation for Box/Box/File Pedestal. The word pedestal (or commonly referred to as a "ped") is a filing unit, typically about 15" wide and located under a work surface top. A "box" drawer is a 6" high drawer used for smaller items, such as pencils and calculators. The "file" drawer is about 12" high and is a standard hanging file compartment.

Beltway Power
In systems furniture refers to a horizontal strip above work surface height that allows for power and data capability and access. The standard location for most systems is at the base of the panel.

Boat Shaped Table Top
A rectangular shaped table top design that, in plan view, has 2 short sides that are flat and 2 long sides that are bowed outward in a convex shape so as to allow for better person-to-person vision around a long conference table.

Bow Front Desk
This is a type of desk shell that the surface bows outward toward the guests of the desk owner.

The work surface that connects a desk and credenza, so as to form a U-shaped configuration around the user.

Bullet Top
A primary work surface designed with one rounded end to provide a comfortable meeting space for multiple users to gather around.

- C -

A support leg that allows knee clearance for the user underneath the work surface.

CAD Drawing
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the production of drawings, specifications, and other design-related elements using special graphics and computer programs. May be used for creating floor plans and furniture systems layouts.

Call Center
A workstation built using lower panels with a smaller footprint of 4'W x 2'D. People using these stations are usually on the phone providing technical support or making marketing calls.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CPL)
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Refer to the following Article on this:

Wood Office Furniture (Case Furniture) - Pre-assembled units which are joined together on-site with metal plates and/or fasteners by an office furniture installer.

The small wheels that allow for mobility of a piece of furniture.

Collaboration Corners
An informal / rounded surface often used in Space Planning & Design to create multipurpose areas that can be converted and where impromptu meetings can be held.

Collaboration Lounges
An activity based "Touchdown Space", where employees can work without being confined or restrained to a formal desk / cubicle area. Say Goodbye to Big Private Offices and Hello to Shared Private Enclaves.

Small weights in the base of a tall file cabinet the keep it from tipping over when a loaded drawer is open.

CPU Holder
An accessory piece attached to the underside of a work surface to hold a computer's CPU (central processing unit)and assist in wire management.

In a private office setting, it is the work surface/storage unit located behind the user. In a conference room or gathering space, it can be used for serving as well as provide additional storage.

Small self-contained workspace separated by wall panels. Cubicles can provide audio, visual, informational and territorial privacy to occupants.

- D -

Double Pedestal Desk
A desk configuration that consists of left and right pedestal files and knee space in the center for the user.

Drum Base
A large cylindrical base used to support a table or work surface.

Duplex Outlet
A standard electrical outlet with 2 receptacles.

- E -

End Panel
A support panel that runs the entire depth of a freestanding work surface and does not allow for knee clearance for the user.

End Trim
On a systems furniture panel; it refers to the finished vertical end cap.

Ergonomic Products
Office equipment designed to optimize productivity and reduce human fatigue in the workplace.

Executive Desk
This refers to the size of the desk. As a general rule, the executive desk is 36" x 72" and can be rectangular, bow front, or bullet shaped.

- F -

FF Pedestal
Abbreviation for File/File Pedestal. The word pedestal (or commonly referred to as a "ped") is a filing unit, typically about 15" wide and located under a work surface top. This unit houses 2 standard filing drawers.

Flipper Door
Refers to the door on an overhead storage unit in a workstation. These doors are typically hinged at the top and lift up either on top of or into the storage unit.

Floor Core or Floor Monument
The process of coring through the slab of a floor to bring power and telephone and data capability to a room or area (mounted in a floor monument).

Refers to furniture not supported by system furniture panels.

Full Height Shelf
Refers to a cubicle shelf the same size as the overhead storage unit. Used for open storage. Normally fitted to higher panels (above 53"H only). Can fit a task light underneath.

- G -

Glass Tiles
An acrylics "window", used in the design of panel systems, to let light through & ensure an open feel.

Refers to the small, adjustable feet on a large piece of furniture or systems furniture panel in order to make it level. Can also refer to the finished ends of a chair leg that protects the floor as well as the chair leg itself.

A finished hole in a work surface or other surface to allow for the passage of wires.

- H -

Half Height Shelf
Refers to a cubicle shelf fitted to lower panels (53"H and lower). Used for open storage. Fitted at same height as a full height shelf, but with lower ends / sides. Not high enough to accommodate upright files, but only used for lower storage requirements. Can fit a task light underneath.

Hanging Pedestal
This is a stack of drawers that doesn't extend fully to the floor. It is almost always a single box drawer and a file drawer.

Height Adjustable Desks
Either Electric, or Pneumatic, Sit-Stand Ergonomic Height Adjustable Desks, designed to promote healthy and ergonomic work environments that provide health-conscious workers with an opportunity to Sit or Stand for flexibility throughout the work day. Refer to the following Article on this:

High-Pressure Laminate
A laminate composed of six to eight layers of material, fused together and bonded with resin, then topped with a melamine plastic facing. High-pressure laminates are often used in office furniture to add durability to a piece of furniture without sacrificing its appearance.

A storage unit that sits on top of a credenza. Typically seen in a private office setting.

- K -

Keyboard Tray
A unit that attaches to the underside of a work surface to hold a computer keyboard. Various models are available to allow for user-specific adjustability and assist in the prevention of carpel tunnel syndrome (see earlier definition under CPL).

Keyed Alike
This is a term that refers to making all the drawer locks unlock with the same key with in a given office. In modular furniture, you will usually have multiple key numbers on one desk; the left pedestal may require a different key than the other pedestal.

Cover at the bottom of a cubicle panel, covering the Power / Data channel. Normally about 3" to 5" high and is easily removable.

Knee Space Credenza
The work surface that sets behind the manager/user that is typically 24"D and matches the width of the desk in front. However, this unit is without the storage cabinet in the center where the user's knees would go when he is working at the credenza.

Knocked Down
(KD) Flat-packed office furniture requiring full assembly by an office furniture installer.

In the base of a systems furniture panel, refers to the hole provided for an electrical or telephone data outlet.

- L -

The corner connector used when two panels meet at a 90 degree angle. Also referred to as a 2-way connector.

LEED Certification
LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, has become the national standard by which buildings and commercial interiors are evaluated. The "gold standard" by which businesses seek to minimize their environmental footprint and create a healthier footprint for their employees. Refer to the following Article on this:

Lateral File
A filing cabinet that is wider than it is deep to allow for side to side filing or front to back filing of records. Typically comes in widths of 30", 36" and 42".

Lead Time
The amount of time needed for production and delivery of a piece of furniture after order entry.

Leveling Glide
This is the round foot at the bottom of the desk or file that will raise or lower when spun. This is important because concrete floors are not level anywhere and leveling glides will help all of the drawer faces to line up correctly.

Load Bar
A bar mounted either to a wall or to a systems furniture panel that accessories are mounted to.

Lumbar Support
A standard or available option on a good quality task chair that provides support for the lower back.

- M -

Managers Desk
This also refers to the size of the desk. Manager's desk is generally 30" x 66" or 30" x 60" and most likely will be rectangular.

Mobile Pedestal
A small storage unit that has casters to allow for mobility. Typically used for files and/or personal storage. Can also be ordered with a cushion on top to allow for informal seating.

Modesty Panel
This is the board in front of the desk that protects the knee well compartment of the desk from being seen by the guests.

Multifile/Combination Lateral File
This is a type of lateral file/pedestal that goes underneath the credenza or return that has a lateral file on bottom, two box drawers, and a file drawer on top. This is best used when the user wants a bullet desk but also wants abundant storage.

- N -

Nesting Tables
Training or Conference Tables (with locking castors), that allows for quick setup, change or relocation & storage. They have a flip mechanism, that can be easily activated from either end of the table & that locks into vertical or horizontal positions. Refer to the following Article on this: - Training Room Layouts & Training Table Styles.

- O -

Off Modular
The ability for systems furniture components to join into a perpendicular panel at any increment, rather than the ends of the panel only.

Open Hutch
This is a type of hutch that doesn't have doors on it at all.

A storage unit that sits atop a 4 or 5 drawer file.

- P -

Panel Cart
Specialized piece of moving equipment used to transport disassembled work surfaces, modular workstation panels, conference tables and white boards.

Panel Creep
When planning multiple workstation clusters for a space, it is the dimension of a panel's thickness multiplied by how many times it occurs over the length of the space.

Panel Mount
The ability to mount and hang storage units, work surfaces and accessories to a systems furniture panel.

Also referred to as a "ped", is a filing unit, typically about 15" wide and located under a work surface top. Can be fixed (supporting), mobile or free standing and can have different storage configurations.

Peninsula Top
Also called a P-top, it is a primary work surface designed with one rounded end, simulating a 42" round table added to the end of a desk, to provide a comfortable meeting space for multiple users to gather around.

Plan View
An aerial view of a space, room or piece of furniture, cutting a horizontal section above the floor line.

Pneumatic Height Adjustment
On a task chair, allows different size users to adjust the seat height. Uses an air cylinder to release air, to lower the chair. Also used for Height Adjustable Desks, where a counterbalance mechanism is used that requires you to simply press a lever to raise or lower the desktop. This mechanism is however, restricted to a weight capacity (normally 150 lbs).

Power Infeed
The electrical connection used to provide systems furniture with the building's power source. Also called a Power WHIP.

Power Pole
A floor to ceiling pole, similar to a small column bringing power and telephone /data wiring to a workstation pod, in lieu of a floor feed.

Power Whip
Industry slang for a power source that connects the building's electricity to the systems furniture or cubicle.

Power Grommet Power and Data Center to provide connectivity to Conference Tables, Training Tables & Desks, without sacrificing aesthetics. Refer to the following Article on this:

Power Grommet
Power and Data Center to provide connectivity to Conference Tables, Training Tables & Desks, without sacrificing aesthetics. Refer to the following Article on this:

The list that is generated after the project's completion to indicate any items that are missing or damaged. Applies to contractors as well as to furniture.

- Q -

Quadradplex Outlet
Also known as a quad, it is an electrical outlet with 4 receptacles.

Quick Ship
A program offered by most furniture manufacturers making some of their most popular or easily manufactured products available with accelerated lead times.

- R -

The channel provided within a systems furniture panel to run electrical wiring and telephone cabling to the outlets.

The side work surface stemming from the user's primary work surface creating an L-shape in plan.

Refurbished Cubicles
The process whereby existing used (branded) cubicles are reworked to make them look like new cubicles. Panels are stripped of the old fabric and re-upholstered with new fabric (normally selected by the customer). All painted components are repainted to the customer's specifications. Work surfaces and pedestals can either be re-used, or replaced with new ones depending on the customer's specification or price sensitivity.

- S -

Sliding Seat Pan
An option on many task chairs that allows the seat to move from front to back in order to accommodate different leg lengths.

The ordering information for a piece of furniture. Typically includes the manufacturer's item number, color, finish, size and any other options specific to the piece.

The common center panel running down the middle of a workstation pod that all perpendicular panels connect into.

- T -

The connector used when three panels meet at an intersection, forming a "T". Also referred to as a 3-way connector.

Tackable Panel
A systems furniture panel with a built in tackable surface.

A fabric covered tackable surface generally mounted to the panel or wall between the top of a work surface and the bottom of an overhead cabinet.

Task Chair
The chair provided for employees to work at a desk. Can only recline slightly.

The additional light source commonly provided at a desk or workstation. Can be freestanding or mounted underneath an overhead storage cabinet.

Tiled Panel
A systems furniture panel with a segmented look housing multiple panel inserts. These inserts can be of varying materials to create different looks or have different functions and can be changed out very easily.

Top Cap
The finished piece of the top of a workstation post or panel.

Transaction Top
A work surface typically mounted at 42" high and intended for receiving standing visitors or exchanging information. Often seen at reception or secretary stations.

A surface that light and objects can be perceived through, but not clearly made out.

Clear enough to be seen through.

- U -

The term used when stanchions are used to mount shelving or overhead storage on top of a work surface.

- V -

This is the surface treatment that uses actual thin layers of wood that get applied to the substrate giving the impression of solid wood. Even $50,000 desks will have a veneer surface because all of the "wow" factor that goes into hand crafted desks is done with veneer artistry (like book matching).

Vertical File
A filing cabinet that is deeper than it is wide, in which records can only be stored front to back.

- W -

Wall Mount
Refers to the installation of systems furniture pieces that are mounted directly to a drywall partition, rather than hung from a furniture panel.

Wall Track
A piece of metal mounted to the wall so that systems furniture, cubicles, and workstations can mount directly to the wall instead of a panel.

Wardrobe Cabinet
A personal storage unit in a workspace designed to hold a coat, jacket or other hanging items.

Wire Management
Characteristics of a piece of furniture that conceal wires and power cords from view.

- X -

The connector used when four panels meet at 90 degree angles. Also referred to as a 4-way connector.

CA Office Furniture & Design is an Independent Contract Furniture Dealership, focused on Office Design, Cubicle Design as well as Space Planning of customer offices and workstations, as well as the Office Furniture to support your offices in Southern California, including Anaheim, Carlsbad, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Ontario, Poway, Riverside, Rancho Bernardo, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Monica and Torrance.

We Design Ergonomic Office & Cubicle Layouts, do Office Space Planning, as well as the Manufacturing, Installation as well as the Reconfiguration of Office Furniture. Our ranges cover New Casegood Furniture, Ergonomic Task Chairs, Height Adjustable Desks, Training & Conference Room Furniture, Refurbished Herman Miller Cubicles, Series 1 & 2 Cubicles Systems, Ethospace Frame & Tile Cubicle Systems as well as Used office Furniture.

Products & Services include:

Office Space Planning and Design, Office Layouts, Cubicle Layouts and Cubicle Design, Relocation Project Management, New or Used Office Furniture, Used or Refurbished Cubicles. Office Desks, Office Chairs, Space Chairs, Task Chairs, Visitors Chairs, Lobby Chairs, Conference Chairs, Ergonomic Chairs, Desk Chairs, Training and Nesting Tables and Chairs, Filing and Storage Systems, Reception Desks, Reception Stations, Veneer or Laminate Conference Tables, Telemarketing Cubicles, Call Centers, Reception & Lobby Furniture, Modular Offices and Modular Walls, Executive Office Furniture, Executive Chairs and Cubicle Chairs, Office Cubicles, Office Walls, Panel Walls, Modular Panels, Meeting or Lunchroom Tables, Metal Desks, L Shaped Desks, Laminate Desks, Storage Desks, Reception Stations, Storage Cabinets, Utility Cabinets Lateral Files, Steel Storage, Filing Cabinets, Metal Files, Metal Storage, 2 Drawer Lateral, 3 Drawer Lateral, 4 Drawer Lateral, 5 Drawer Lateral Files.

Focus Areas Include:

LA County: Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Burbank, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, City of Industry, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, East Los Angeles, East Pasadena, El Monte, El Segundo, Florence, Gardena, Glendale, Glendora, Hawthorne, Hollywood, Hyde Park, Inglewood, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Manhattan Beach, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Paramount, Pasadena, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, South Gate, South Los Angeles, South Pasadena, Torrance, West Covina, West Hollywood, Willowbrook

Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Westminster, Yorba Linda

Riverside County: Corona, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Norco, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Perris, Riverside, San Jacinto, Temecula, Wildomar

San Bernardino County: Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, San Bernardino, Upland

San Diego County: 4S Ranch, Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, La Mesa, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Vista