Steelcase Inc. Joins Emerge Alliance

Alliance to Create a New Standard for Power Distribution and Device

November 19, 2008 – Boston, Mass. – Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, today announced its participation in the EMerge Alliance™ as a participating member. This group of visionaries, including product manufacturers, architects, building owners, engineering firms, government and code groups, and academic groups, will lead the creation of a new direct current (DC) power, control and device-level technology standard for commercial interiors.

In today’s workplace, overhead lighting, lighting controls and a variety of electrical devices are typically hard-wired to fixed systems. At the same time, workplace demands for flexibility, sustainability and adaptability to new technologies are increasing.

EMerge will advance a DC power platform, starting at the ceiling plane, that can be easily reconfigured and enable new technologies, such as LED lighting, wireless switching, sound masking and security systems. In addition, the platform is an open architecture to accommodate integration of wind power, solar power and other alternative energy sources.

“The EMerge Alliance makes it possible for us to expect a time when the ceiling of a workplace can be reconfigured as easily as modular walls, furniture and floors,” said Mike Lobbestael, general manager of architectural products for Steelcase. “The more than ten years we have spent exploring the connection between architecture, furniture and technology has resulted in a portfolio of products that can access this new standard and distribute it throughout the workplace and to individual workspaces.”

About the EMerge Alliance
The EMerge Alliance is an open industry association promoting the rapid adoption of safe, low-voltage DC power distribution and use in commercial building interiors. EMerge is focused on developing a global standard that integrates interior infrastructures, power, controls and a wide variety of peripheral devices, such as lighting, in a common platform. Building owners can gain unprecedented design and space flexibility along with reduced energy usage and improved sustainability. Alliance membership is broad-based in nature, comprised of entities such as architects, interior designers, consultants, engineering firms, government and code groups, academic and industry groups, product manufacturers, and building owners. For more information, or to find out how your organization can join the Alliance, please visit

About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase provides furniture, services and insights to help people have a better work experience, and to help companies and organizations create inspiring spaces with a maximum impact on performance and a minimum impact on the environment. A Michigan-based company that has been serving customers for nearly a century, Steelcase leads the global office furniture industry with $3.4 billion in annual revenue.

Jeanine Holquist