dci furniture and university of maryland


DCI partnered with UMD College Park 35 years ago to furnish their residence halls. Thanks to the sustainability and durability of solid hardwood, in addition to a well thought out management plan, that same furniture is still in place.

When it comes to our favorite topic—sustainability—UMD is a genuine leader with an extensive program that touches almost every part of student life and study.

Starting at the highest level of the school, the university president, Dan Mote, was a charter signatory of the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). His goal? Achieving total campus climate neutrality by 2050.

And the school has made steady progress. According to UMD’s president, the school Reduced carbon emissions 27% over 10 years from 2008 signing to 2017 despite expanding 11% over the same time. UMB has an established Office of Sustainability, which among other things, administers the campus Climate Action Plan.


The University of Maryland was one of DCI’s first partners in the higher education market. We have worked with them over the last 35 years through multiple contracts.

And here’s the remarkable part of our journey with UMD. They are still using the original furniture we installed in their residence halls over three decades ago!

So how does that work and how did it all begin?


When we first started working with UMD, they had the most detailed furniture spec we’ve ever encountered down to the type of screws and components we needed to use.

The school insisted that we make the furniture to their exacting specification. At the time, they were obliged to buy their furniture from a state agency—Maryland Correctional Enterprises. Because of the detailed nature of their specification, they were free from that mandate.

DCI won the contract because we were the only company in the marketplace who could meet their precise spec. Today, UMD is still using the furniture we installed over 30 years ago.


The secret behind our long-lasting furniture is manifold. First, our solid hardwood construction is designed to last for decades, and it’s lasted for 35 years so far at UMD.

Second, we created a maintenance program to ensure the longevity of the product. UMD buys replacement drawers and tops to manage any deteriorating items.

In terms of the furniture itself, it includes 5/8in thick solid wood drawer sides and laminate tops. It also features internal edge banding, mortise and tenon joinery with glue, and low root thread screws with a very aggressive thread.

By weight the furniture is approximately 95% solid wood content.

We love this story, because UMD was one of our very first higher education partners and we’re proud that our furniture is still serving them after all this time.

View Case Study (PDF)

Project Location: College Park, MD

Building Type: Residence Halls

Project Team: UMD, DCI, Inc.

Product List: Bed, Study Desk, Carrel, Five Drawer Dresser, Three Drawer Dresser, Adjustable Height Bed

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