BACKSTORY

Whittier College is a small liberal arts school perhaps best know as the alma mater of former president Richard Nixon.

Located in the town of Whittier between Los Angeles and Orange County, the college has a beautiful 75-acre suburban campus which hosts an intimate and interdisciplinary learning community. Whittier has approximately 1,725 students who can select from 30 majors and 30 minors offered in 23 different disciplines including including economics, political science, English, anthropology, mathematics, history, and business administration.

In 2015, the Princeton Review called Whittier “one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education.”


PROCESS & APPROACH

More and more, students are including the quality of their residence hall experience in deciding where to attend college. Whittier College respects and responds to that emerging trend.

Two years ago (2015), Whittier approached us looking for help in upgrading their residence halls with a fresh and updated aesthetic.

At the time, they recognized that a lot of their furniture was dated and they wanted to modernize their entire design standard to something more contemporary.

We worked together to generate and design a completely new bedroom set, which included a desk with mobile pedestal, and chic custom designed beds with maximum 6-drawer underbed storage that was specially engineered to attach to the bed frame.

They loved all of it.

After the first successful installation, we developed a 5-year plan to refurbish their entire campus and fully upgrade their design standard campus-wide.


RECYCLING & CHARITABLE GIVING

One of our core business values is sustainability. One way that we back this up is by offering to recycle, reuse, or repurpose all the furniture that we’re replacing in a given residence hall. This saves everyone money, helps the community at large, and supports local charities.

During our second installation at Whittier, we were able to repurpose, recycle, and upcycle a huge amount of furniture that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

All told, we removed 205 beds with metal springs, 205 pedestal desks, and 205 large five-drawer wood dressers. Here’s how we gave them a second life and kept them out of the landfill.


Metal Beds

In response to a last minute request, we packaged up and sent about 30 beds to a school in Northern California.

We also connected with a gentleman who specialized in scrap metal who showed up every day in a small truck to pack it up and haul the beds away for scrap metal.


Solid Wood Bed Ends

We donated some to a local goodwill, but because they were made from solid wood we re-manufactured and repurposed most of them as parts for use in new furniture. In addition, one fellow came and picked up about 100 bed ends and used them to build a fence around his house.


5-Drawer Dressers

We donated all the dressers to Habitat Restore in Asuza, CA. Amazingly, they sold through all of them in about 10 days.


Desks

We donated as many desks as possible. In total about 75 desks.

Because these desks weren’t made from solid wood, the rest had to be broken down and thrown in dumpsters.

At DCI, we make every effort to extend the life of furniture and keep waste out of the landfill. To that end, we recycle, upcycle, reuse, and repurpose many tons of furniture each year.

View Case Study (PDF)

Project Location: Whittier, CA

Project Size: 450 Sets

Building Type: Multi-use Residence Hall

Project Team: Whittier College, DCI

Product List: Custom Bed with 6-drawer Underbed Storage, Desk, Mobile Pedestal


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