Furniture in holiday parks sees heavy use. Most sofas are replaced after seven years; some sooner. As these sofas have been glued and riveted in their entirety, making repairs is too expensive and recycling is very difficult. Together with OT Design, Landal GreenParks has come up with a modular sofa to reduce the use of raw materials in its interiors.
Circular design strategy
The modular sofa is designed with a view to quick repairs, updates and recyclability. Sofas are expected to last as long as 15 years. Their steel frame forms a solid foundation on which the other modules have been fitted and can be reused after discarding. The appearance of the sofa can be adjusted by replacing its armrests, legs or upholstery. Each sofa component has a separate cover, which can easily be removed thanks to the smart Velcro construction. As a result, a single stain does not require the entire upholstery to be replaced. Unfortunately, the difficulty in processing the foam and the imitation leather or textile means that the sofa is not yet fully recyclable. Since sofas see heavy use and must be fireproof, sustainable alternatives to these materials are currently unavailable or infeasible financially. However, the longer service life of the sofa prevents a great deal of waste. In addition, OT Design developed reusable packaging to deliver the sofas, which saves a lot of material as well.
Circular business model
The sofas are bought by Landal under a service contract and are returned to OT Design at the end of their service life. While the park takes personal care of minor repairs such as substituting new covers, which OT Design sends by post, the latter performs inspections and major maintenance. The purchase cost of the modular sofa is about 15% higher, but this price difference is soon offset due to the longer service life of the sofa. As a result of the modular design, the sofa can be given a second life at the end of its service life with only limited investment; in this case, both the foam and the cover are replaced on-site.
Results & follow-up
The sofas are currently found in a large number of pilot accommodations. Before long, Landal expects to use the sofa in all its parks. It is exploring the possibility to draw up a lease contract in conjunction with OT Design. Other opportunities to make its interiors more sustainable are also investigated; for example, it has entered into conversation with a bed manufacturer to apply the same system in its beds as well.