What is Movable casework?
Movable casework is a growing alternative to built-in millwork cabinets in every industry. But what exactly is movable casework?
Basically, movable modular casework is upper and lower cabinets that is designed like furniture with the ability to be customized, modified, relocated, and reused while maintaining the look of built-in millwork cabinets. They’re usually designed with CAD or BIM to a customer’s specifications, assembled at the factory, and shipped. When the casework arrives, it’s simply set in place. And if it needs to be moved or reconfigured, it can easily be disassembled and re-assembled because there’s no ganging or blocking and they aren’t permanently anchored to the building.
Why People Are Using Movable Casework
Many industries are replacing their built-in millwork cabinets with movable casework systems. Why?
Now, think about how millwork is installed. It’s usually built directly into the wall. If you move or need to modify your casework, traditional built-in cabinets will need to be torn out and thrown in a landfill every time (where it wastes away and contributes to pollution). Movable casework, as the name implies, is designed to move with you. Should you ever need to relocate, reconfigure, or modify your casework, the modular components will allow you to do so easily. The components are also made from recycled materials where applicable and can be recycled again once you decide to retire them; this means that you not only receive an incredibly flexible storage solution, but also contribute to sustainability and environmental safety.
Secondly, during installation, your facility is subject to extra noise, fumes, and security concerns. Employees are less productive because of the noise, and contractors are coming in and out of your building. Sometimes, employees even have to take sick leave because of the fumes. And this doesn’t even mention remodeling and construction costs, which can be a quick drain on your budget, especially if you need to move electrical outlets and wiring lines around.
Because modular casework is movable, it completely eliminates any of these concerns because it’s manufactured ahead of time, sent pre-assembled, and placed in your building like furniture. That’s it—no construction costs, no contractors, and no noise or fumes.
Movable Casework Benefits
So now that you know what movable casework is, why should you use it instead of traditional millwork? Here are some of the main reasons:
- Environmentally friendly: Built-in millwork and furniture have to be torn out of the building and thrown in a landfill when you move. Casework helps protect the environment by providing a sustainable solution that can be relocated and recycled instead of ending up in a landfill.
- Cost-effective: Since movable casework is reusable, it continues to pay for itself each time you reconfigure or move your cabinets.
- Tax depreciation: Casework is modular and is classified as personal property with seven-year tax depreciation, as opposed to a 31-year depreciation for built-in furniture.
- Standard custom designs: Movable casework uses a wide range of standard components, accessories, and finishes that allow you to customize the design of your project to your exact needs.
- Flexible: Whether you are remodeling or moving, movable casework can be reconfigured and relocated using a few new components.
- Ease of design: Standard sizes using BIM and Revit models making designing quick and easy.
- Quick turnaround and installation: Project timelines are usually very short, from design to shipment and installations can usually be completed quickly without the need for multiple contractors.
- Cabinet consistency: Movable casework upper and lower cabinets are precision manufactured to industry standard cabinet sizes. Cabinets are designed and constructed with built-in adjustability and changeability of components for flexibility ease of replacement should damage occur.
- Eco-friendly: Casework is reusable and designed with recycled content where applicable.
- Sustainable: Movable casework is LEED and Greenguard Children & Schools certified.
- Lifetime warranty
Types of Movable Casework
Movable casework comes in a wide variety of different types, but the most commonly used are stainless steel, metal, and laminate. Your specific application will depend on which type of casework will work best for you—for example, if you need cabinets for an especially corrosive environment, then you’ll want stainless steel. Metal and steel casework is used frequently in laboratories. If you’re installing cabinets for your copy room or breakroom, then laminate will do the job. Read on to learn about these three main types of modular casework and where they are typically used.
Stainless Steel Casework
Stainless steel movable casework might be the most expensive option, but the benefits thoroughly outweigh the cost if your application is for healthcare, food storage, labs, or anywhere else that requires optimum hygienic standards and frequent cleaning. Since stainless steel is non-porous, this means that germs, viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens can’t penetrate into the furniture. It can also handle water, heat, and harsh chemicals without holding onto any particles, deteriorating or rusting. It doesn’t retain moisture and is constructed durably so it can be sanitized frequently, and spills can be cleaned quickly and easily. For corrosive environments and areas with high risks of infection, stainless steel is the safest and most economical choice.
Because of its cleanliness and durability, stainless steel is most often used in healthcare applications and can even aid in preventing hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Because of its many benefits and ability to stand up to heavy-duty use, stainless steel has been cropping up in even more industries within the past few years.
Stainless steel casework is often used in clinical laboratories, hospitals, food storage areas, pharmacies, morgues, operating rooms, locker rooms, and much more. Click here to learn more about stainless steel casework.
Metal steel casework is another durable casework option that is often seen in industrial environments where cleanliness isn’t as crucial, but a high degree of durability is still needed. They’re perfect for constructing industrial workstations, benches, and drawers; they can also be outfitted with a variety of equally durable work surfaces. Powder coat steel is also a popular and attractive option.
Metal casework is also used in some laboratories. It can be easily designed and modified to work with both lab technicians and the equipment they use, and can be constructed with a variety of finishes while still maintaining its durability. Interchangeable parts allow for quick and easy adjustments. Epoxy finishes increase the casework’s durability and longevity. Click here to learn more about metal casework.
For labs, it's important that your storage complies with any codes and standards set in place so you don't risk safety hazards, injuries, or fines. If you're not sure what type of casework would be best suited for your laboratory, we would be happy to help you figure it out.
For general office applications, plastic laminate casework is the go-to choice and provides the best alternative to built-in millwork. Laminate casework can be reused, reconfigured, or relocated at any time without you having to invest in new construction; the casework easily moves with you instead. Since laminate is easy to manufacture, it’s the least expensive type of casework; it’s also less durable, so it should be used for applications that don’t require heavy-duty use or in corrosive environments.
However, laminate casework offers tons of design options, making them ideal for aesthetically pleasing setups. A wide variety of colors, textures, accessories (like tilted/sloped shelves), and patterns allow you to design the casework to integrate seamlessly with your existing décor. Laminate is also quieter than metal or stainless steel, which is ideal for office environments.
Laminate casework is most often seen in offices, pharmacies, research centers, schools, school labs, mailrooms and copy rooms, and sorting applications. Click here to learn more about laminate casework.
Exam room and breakroom laminate movable casework cabinetry are available for you to design and order on our BIM and Revit site.
One of the most attractive features of casework is the wide variety of configuration options and accessories that are available. You can pick and choose what you need, and only what you need. If you decide to add accessories later on, then it’s not a problem; that can be done easily. Some casework options and accessories include:
- Transparent, solid, or frosted glass doors
- Enclosed drawer glides (protects drawer glides from contaminates)
- Self-closing drawers
- Adjustable shelves
- Lock options for security
- 180 degree fully opening doors
- Fixtures such as sinks, faucets, and outlets
- A variety of work surfaces including resin and anti-microbial copper
How BIM Revit Revolutionizes Movable Modular Casework
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the future of design. BIM allows architects and designers to design three-dimensional models and designs to your exact specifications—making planning and modifications to plans easy and accurate.
Budget is also an important factor in any project, even with something as affordable as casework. The BIM models are embedded with smart budgetary numbers that automatically update pricing as the model is changed, allowing you to see the real cost throughout the entire design process without having to wait for feedback. Even if you're not a designer, the BIM web tools allow you to filter, quote, and compare your choices so you can start planning your budget and storage solution. You can even save your quote to access it later.
Prefabricated kits make the design process even faster. Just load up a design and adjust it to your specifications instead of starting from a blank design. Click here to visit our BIM website.
Contact Us for Movable Casework
Southwest Solutions Group provides design and installation services for movable modular casework to a variety of applications and industries. If you're wanting to know about different options in moveable cabinets, check out our guide on modular casework and millwork. Movable casework can be designed on our BIM Revit website, or we would be happy to offer you a free consultation to determine your exact needs and specifications before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.