3D Printing the Future

by Jessica Mewkalo on February 12, 2015

in Culture, Trending

The popularity of 3D printing has been growing quite rapidly in recent years as the possibilities of what we can create using 3D printers seems to have no end. They can print organs, food, knick-knacks, and even full scale buildings. In fact, WinSun, a Shanghai-based engineering company, is leading the way having printed 10 homes in 24 hours from 3D printed material. They even printed a 6 story apartment building that is a little over 11,800 square feet in size.

After creating a CAD drawing of the building, a printer 20 feet tall fabricates the building laying down layer on top of layer of “ink”, which consists of materials like concrete, fiberglass, sand, and a hardening agent. Space was left between the walls for support beams, insulation, pipes, windows, etc.

WinSun claims that their 3D printed buildings can be completed in 50-70% the time of traditional construction, and 50-80% less labor is needed. On the plus side, this means the construction process would be more affordable and pose less risk of injury. Many believe that this will be revolutionary in third world countries where money and resources are limited. On the other hand, what will this mean for the future of the construction industry elsewhere? We won’t see changes over night, but 3D printing may mean an increased demand for engineers and architects and less for people in the field. No matter what, it opens the door to endless possibilities, and it will be amazing to watch the world of 3D printing evolve.





A Week Ago, in an Office far, far away

by Andrew Verderame on January 30, 2015

in Events, FM

by Andrew Verderame on January 30, 2015

As many of you might have heard, the IFMA Boston Chapter was given a special tour of Carbonite Incorporated’s new office facility on January 20th. The event was titled “Carbonite – Episode I: A New Space” and showcased Carbonite’s Star Wars-themed office, fully equipped with several modernly designed meeting rooms, a large multipurpose room, arcade games, and a café stocked with candy, healthy snacks, and drinks. In case you haven’t heard of Carbonite, it is a Boston-based online backup firm that takes its name from the substance which the character Han Solo was frozen in during the original Star Wars movies. The idea of being frozen plays a key role in the purpose of Carbonite’s work, which is to preserve or “freeze” customer data through backup. Hence the Star Wars theme to their new office, which had touches of the sci-fi movies all throughout the design of their facility, including: salt and pepper shakers, bathroom signs, wall murals, room names, and even a life-size model of the all-wise Yoda.

Carbonite's well-stocked café room

Carbonite’s well-stocked café room

The event started with a brief networking session which included drinks and appetizers. The night officially kicked-off with a panel discussion by the key players for Carbonite’s new office project. Carbonite was represented by Danielle Sheer, General Counsel and Reetika Vijay, Managing Principal. Also included in the panel were Shawn Gallant from Columbia Construction, and Roger Kaufmann from Environments at Work. The panel discussed the reason for the office move, which was stimulated by the need for more room for employees as well as to keep up with the competition of hot tech-startups that were also in the Downtown Crossing area. According to Reetika Vijay, the biggest challenge overall for the project was “balancing the design aesthetic with the Star Wars inspiration.” In addition to Columbia and Environments at Work, Carbonite’s project team consisted of Jones Lang LaSalle, Interior Architects, Boston Corporate Art, and Signworks. The project itself started its design phase December 2013, with construction beginning in July 2014, and Carbonite officially moving in during October 2014.

Once the panel discussion was complete, audience members had the opportunity to ask questions and were then directed into small groups for individual tours of the office space. It was a great chance to get up-close and personal with the design of the facility, learning how the office space was catered to employees and see the incorporation of the latest-and-greatest furniture and technology. The 50,000 square-foot facility is also almost entirely comprised of idea-paint, which is a type of surface finish that allows residents to draw and write on it like a whiteboard. The office space in total houses 400 employees and gives adequate space for each of Carbonite’s working teams. The most interesting feature of the office is arguably the sliding walls that separate the training room from the café, which are branded with Star Wars characters and can open fully so that the training room and café space can become one large town hall area.

Overall it was great experience for members to see the innovation and design of one of Boston’s newest offices. It will be interesting to see the success that results from Carbonite’s new space and its impact on its employees’ performance. One can only hope that such a well-designed facility as Carbonite’s can inspire its residents to “use the force” and increase the company’s accomplishments.


-Andrew Verderame, Member of the PR & Community Projects Committee – IFMA Boston

One of Carbonite's Star Wars-themed office rooms

One of Carbonite’s Star Wars-themed office rooms

The Facility Manager’s Plan for Snow Removal

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For many people in New England, this week’s blizzard meant one thing: snow days!  For anyone in the FM industry however, a snowstorm is far from day off.  From planning, communication, staffing and cleanup, managing a facility or campus before, during and after severe winter weather involves a great deal. In the wake of the […]

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Sound Masking in an Office Without Private Offices or Cubicles – The Bridgespan Group

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At the start of each year, millions of people set goals and resolutions as part of a fresh start.  To many, the New Year is a blank canvas that is full of new opportunities.  All to often however, the best laid plans of New Year’s resolutions fall apart for any number of reasons.  Is there […]

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IFMA Boston Gives Back to SPARK Center

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Last month several IFMA members volunteered at the SPARK Center in Mattapan where they painted an old shed, transforming it into a work of art.  The shed now proudly displays paintings of trees, with each of the four sides showcasing these trees in each of the four seasons. The SPARK Center was founded in 1989 […]

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The Air Under There: Best Practices for Successful Raised Floor Installations

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A Professional Look At Speed Dating

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As many of you might have heard, the IFMA Boston Chapter put on a successful Speed Networking Event on Thursday night at the beautiful Haworth Showroom at 125 High Street in Boston. The venue was well selected, with comfortable and spacious seating suited for a more concentrated networking event. Led by Jim Andrews and Shane […]

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A fresh, new look with the same strong reputation

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As many of you  prepare to descend upon New Orleans for World Workplace 2014, you may have noticed a visual shift in the brand identity of your local Boston Chapter of IFMA.  It’s true, IFMA Boston has officially begun transitioning its logo, and signs of this exciting change are popping up all over! Take our […]

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