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A modular in-plant office installation by CMH’s Phil Strouth

The ceiling can’t hold them


A long-time Carolina Material Handling customer had run out of office space but required additional offices. The only available space to put these offices was an area on their production floor in their warehouse. The customer logged onto Carolina Materials Handling’s site to investigate potential solutions. Immediately, the concept of a modular in-plant office jumped out to them and they emailed Phil Strouth to discuss the feasibility of the solution.

“The customer was interested in a 12 ft. x 16 ft. three-wall structure for use as a calibration lab,” says Strouth. “The issue was that, because of insurance purposes, the structure couldn’t have a roof. If the office had a solid roof, it would require them to install a costly sprinkler system into it.”

Strouth visited the customer and inspected the area they had in mind for the system. He recommended a 12ft. x 20ft. 8 ft. high three-wall system connected to an existing cement wall between an existing office area and the plant floor production area. The three-wall area not only saved space, but also saved the customer money.

Strouth contacted Starrco Company to begin design of the system.

“Starrco promptly sent me approval drawings that I took straight to the customer,” Strouth says. “After a minor change to the window location we were able to start production. The system shipped in about two weeks and my customer’s maintenance crew installed the system in about four to six hours. It was the first modular office system they had ever installed and it looks great.”

The office has six windows and a 3 ft. wide swing door and there is provision for six 120-volt duplex receptacles and two combination phone / computer jack outlets. As requested, the office was installed without a roof deck and drop ceiling because the open top allowed for the natural light and production floor light to filter in and also allowed the existing overhead sprinkler system to work for this space.

The walls are constructed from ½ in. think gypsum x 2 in. poly core x ½ in. thick gypsum vinyl covered walls for a total of 3 in. of thickness. The walls have a Class A fire rating and also help with noise control from the production area.

Says Strouth, “The employees who use the office and the plant manager and engineer love the modular ofice system. It created an area for their specific task in a neat, clean and effective manner.”

The customer loved the system so much that they have since purchased another system that was installed very close to the first office.

Distributor: Carolina Material Handling

Supplier: Starrco Company