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The Benefits of Smart Lockers

13 . 07 . 2017

At Planex we specialise in adaptive steel storage and locker systems designed for the evolving workplace, and we’re passionate about how designed-in longevity can improve the overall sustainability of your fit-out.

As the office landscape evolves designers are now embracing flexible storage with ‘Smart’ features. Preparing for the future means choosing furniture that’s adaptable to change and can be repurposed, reused, reconfigured or recycled. This redefinition of the office environment is reducing silos in the workplace and improving connection points. ‘Smart’ adaptations ensure flexibility, reduced costs and maximised floor space and extend the duration of the fit-out. Where once historically confined to sports or school facilities, office lockers are now synonymous with flexible, collaborative and ‘Smart’ ways of working.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Smart Lockers? 
Smart lockers are suited to a range of applications such as workplaces, universities and end of trip facilities. No longer a purely functional item, they are now aesthetic design consideration. They solve the problems associated with individual needs in communal work environments, they aid collaboration, drive productivity, maximize space and provide better flexibility than traditional lockers. Smart lockers are also designed to be compatible with all locking system manufacturers.

Smart Lockers Provide

  • A connection to the building and a place to start and end your day
  • They are flexible and reconfigurable units that connect together
  • They’re a place to store belongings and recharge portable devices
  • They provide customisable options for multi-purpose work environments 
  • And they’re specifically designed to provide a range of hardwired locking solutions 

Types Of Smart Lockers
With more employees working flexibly and choosing sustainable transport methods, companies are offering employee lockers, day lockers and end-of-trip facilities. Employee lockers and day lockers support the agile workplace optimising company real estate and resources. These modular locker systems allow facilities to grow storage with reduced costs to the company and the environment. Whereas End-of-trip lockers promote the use of public and sustainable transport systems to reduce reliance on cars.

So What Is The Smartest Material To Use When Specifying Lockers?
At Planex we manufacture and design products using steel. Steel lockers provide the strength, durability and design flexibility to safeguard against obsolescence. Unlike conventional locker systems made of joinery, steel enables faster assembly on site and can be more easily reconfigured. This reduces the number of tools required, allowing for simple replacement and re-use. And the ongoing cost of churn vs new replacement of traditional lockers provides an economic benefit over time. 

Steel lockers are also 100% recyclable and unlike engineered wood products will not end up as landfill at the end of their life-cycle. Steel can be powder coated with environmentally friendly finishes to reflect the clients aesthetic. Without affecting modularity steel can feature optional perforations and acoustic benefits. Steel lockers featuring punch patterns additional provides better ventilation than traditional lockers.

Flexible & Multi-Use 
Designed for the agile, ABW workplace, steel lockers are suited to many different environments
Steel lockers act as a Connection point, Sound barrier, Feature wall, Island, Powering station and most importantly a flexible personal storage solution. Reflecting staffing numbers, ‘Smart’ lockers units can be uniquely replaced, reconfigured or relocated. As group requirements change various group units can be integrated or removed. And products such as Planex’s xLocker2 units clip together to create freeform storage within the floor plan without requiring a new fit out when needs change.

Cable Ready & Wired 
‘Smart’ lockers enable the possibility of soft-wiring to power portable devices. ‘Smart’ lockers are designed to provide a means of reticulating services to all the units. Units can be soft-wired for recharging personal devices. An integrated cavity exists between units for hard-wired electronic locks and the fitting of soft-wired power GPO’s. This means there is no need for separate ducting or conduits as the lockers are the conduit. Wires can be concealed within plinths allowing networking to be hidden underneath and accessed by a removable front panel. And you can see an example of this integration on our lockers in the foyer area.

Smart Lockers Are Also Customisable 
‘Smart’ lockers empower designers and architects to create a space that reflects the client’s aesthetic. And this is especially a benefit of working with local manufactures like Planex as  . Designers can feature units of various colours. Doors can be perforated with unique custom designed punch patterns. And can be fitted with acoustic sound absorbing material to minimise noise. The individual character can be further enhanced by the use of sustainably sourced veneer or ply for the doors, top surfaces and shrouds. Accessorising your locker creates a seamless fit with any environment, with workplaces lockers benefiting from: bench seats, mail slots, shelves, coat-rails, pin-boards and power outlets.  

Smart Locker Provide An Environmentally Benefit 
Steel lockers are also a ‘Smart’ environmental choice as they reduce the amount of non-renewable resources required for manufacture. Steel lockers do not use solvents or Volatile Organic Compounds. Steel replaces the use of unrecyclable engineered boards used in joinery fit-outs. They can be repurposed which extends the longevity of the fit-out. Can be fully recycled and not end up as landfill. And products such as Planex’s xLocker2 range are Green Star rated ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 and AFRDI blue and green tick certified which contributes to the overall sustainability rating of the fit out.

And lastly steel lockers are multi-lock compatible. Steel lockers are designed to be compatible with all locking system manufacturers with users are not limited to a specific locking system as steel lockers provide the levels of security to match the client’s needs.

Key Things To Remember

  • Steel lockers provide multi-use flexibility to reflect staff needs
  • They are cable ready with the capability to power portable devices
  • They are wired ready for electronic locks and GPO’s
  • They provide compatibility with all locking system manufacturers
  • They can be customised to reflect client specification
  • And they utilise environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing 

See the product page for more information on xLocker2 or download the latest locker case study.