Where it can be used?
Fitted benching is most often used in IT suites or for IT purposes in other parts of schools such as staffrooms, libraries and breakout areas. Benching in staffrooms can provide a handy place for lesson preparation during lunch breaks. Another common usage is in dining areas where benching is often installed at a bistro height to provide a variety of dining experiences. Sixth Form common rooms may include fitted benching to form a study area along with freestanding furniture such as easy seating and lockers. Music rooms can be fitted out with customised pull-out fitted benching for music keyboard use.
Types of IT benching
Perimeter benching – this is a wall-mounted benching system that runs around the edge of a room. It doesn’t normally include a modesty panel or upstand.
Island benching – this is an 'island' of benching that does not touch the wall. It would normally have a modesty panel below the worksurface and a dividing screen above the surface that is approximately 300mm high.
Bespoke Peninsular benching – this is similar to island benching but it is mounted on the wall at one end.
Benching can be manufactured in bespoke shapes to suit a specific requirement, as well as some common shapes including sawtooth and wave benching. Sawtooth benching (see image right) is great for textile applications as it facilitates use of sewing machines. It is also used in IT suites as it ensures all pupils are facing the same way and each have their own space to work. Benching can also be angled to improve ergonomics for laptop users. Height-adjustable benching can be installed for wheelchair users. Bins can be integrated into benching for dining use.
IT benching materials
MFC (Melamine Faced Chipboard) - This material is quick to install and is the most commonly used material for IT benching.
HPL (High Pressure Laminate) - The durable laminate surface is ideal for dining areas and providies a saving over SGL, although it is not such a durable material.
SGL (Solid Grade Laminate) - This is a durable worksurface with a solid core, offering exceptional durability and longevity. Also known as Trespa, this is more commonly used in heavy duty applications and may be preferable in dining areas as it has no edging to trap food.
Real Wood Veneer - used for admin and staff areas, perhaps to match up to veneered furniture.
Screens and accessories
Modesty panels are fitted below the worksurface and are often made of the same material as the benching. Screens are above the benching and are used for privacy, dividers and sometimes sound absorption. IT screens can be made of acrylic, glass, laminate or upholstered in fabric. We can also supply other accessories such as monitor arms and CPU holders. Cable management can be included in the main benching installation if required.
Our ranges of: