Project Story

FHI is a nonprofit human development organization that is dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. In the post-COVID world, with most of their team working in a hybrid model, they realized they did not need as much space as they currently had. In 2022, they decided to relocate their Washington DC office and reduce their overall square footage from 200,000sf to 60,00sf and relocate to a new space.

dancker worked closely with FHI 360 and their design partner, Fox Architects to co-create an environment that supported their mission to advance equity, health and well-being through data-driven, locally led solutions so that humanity thrives. We maximized the investment they had already made in furniture by providing an in-depth evaluation for options to reuse and repurpose existing assets that dancker had provided for current space in 2018.

Approximately 75% of existing furniture was identified for reuse in new space with the remaining ~25% of components mostly made up of overhead storage and electrical components being recycled. Our team reconfigured the existing Answer Beam to reorient workstations; we reused high-density storage towers from workstations in the design for the new offices; reset and tested 100 Steelcase Ology height adjustable stations for reuse (9 of which were shipped to NC location); reused a number of Steelcase Series 1 task seating throughout.  We also helped the project team select new furniture assets to be incorporated into the new space to create an optimal environment for the FHI 360 team and their guests. We leveraged Steelcase and their family of brands to maximize discounting and buying power to accommodate budget constraints.

At the beginning of the project, dancker identified the opportunity to divert 600+ furniture components from a landfill and achieve over $200,000 in savings through cost avoidance. Throughout the project, the team evaluated options and collaborated to achieve an even greater impact by reusing 87% of assets in the space, shipping 13% of assets to other facility, and achieving a cost savings without compromising on the design intent for the finished space.

Our team participated in weekly design meetings and provided detailed, color-coded plans and visuals to illustrate redesign solutions and help facilitate decision making to keep the project on schedule. Our efforts helped reduce their budget by 30% without sacrificing any form or function in the new space.

Photos courtesy of

Erin Kelleher