Solar Benches Are a Hot Outdoor Tenant Amenity (BOMA 2019)

06/26/2019 | By Sarah Kloepple

The younger workforce continues to consider the convenient, high-tech amenities offered at your facility—from smartphone access controls to mobile vendors. One simple yet feasible upgrade we saw at the 2019 BOMA International Conference & Expo was SEEDiA’s line of solar benches.

The four collections of benches—Future, City, Urban, Invention—use solar panels to charge batteries inside the bench that power phone chargers through wireless and USB ports.

These Solar Benches are available now and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.

“We live in an environment where we’re always starving for energy,” says David Thakurdin, regional technical manager for Winncom Technologies. “Your phone goes below 75%, and you’re like, ‘I need to go run and find a plug.’ What if your bench is the plug? Outdoors is especially one of those places where you can’t find an outlet.”

Other features of the solar benches include:

  • WiFi access
  • LED lighting at night
  • Sensors that provide the weather forecast
  • Display screens for advertisements and announcements

Since the benches are an outdoor amenity, vandalism is a concern. But the solar benches are made to be durable, with steel casing and a layer of tempered glass covering the solar panels. They’re also anchored to the ground.

“It’s virtually unbreakable,” says Ken Vasilyev, product manager for Winncom Technologies.

Thakurdin says the solar benches can be installed in a variety of environments, from city centers to courtyards to outside hotels, office buildings and parking complexes. Even the right interior spaces that get plenty of light can work for a SEEDiA solar bench.

[Related: Where to Start When Your Building is Ready for Solar Energy]

Benches also can be customized for the needs of the facility/outdoor environment. For example, a SEEDiA City solar bench was recently installed in Athens, Greece in the gardens of the Cultural Center of the Stavros Foundation Niarchos. Along with the basic features, the bench also promotes Polish culture in Greece by recreating the music of Fryderyk Chopin.

Thakurdin says the benches are available now and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.

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