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Title:
MULTI-TIERED WORKSTATION ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/197395
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A multi-tiered work arrangement includes stacked horizontal planar surfaces that have footprints that enable stacking of the planar surfaces to provide work surfaces that are easily accessible to a user in both a sitting and a standing position. A first work surface can have a wide end and a narrow end, and a second work surface can have corresponding narrow and wide ends. The wide end of the first planar surface is substantially equivalent in length to the narrow end of the second planar surface such that the work surfaces can be stacked in use, providing two unobstructed work surfaces at different heights.

Inventors:
ABRAHAM, James, Edward (3975 Puite Drive SW, Grandville, MI, 49418, US)
GILLESPIE, Justin (3170 Lowingside Drive, Georgetown Towns, MI, 49428, US)
LACOVONI, Joseph (2350 Hidden Knoll Avenue SE, Cadedonia, MI, 49428, US)
GILLHESPY, Kevin (3856 Minnie Avenue, Wyoming, MI, 49519, US)
MCKENNA, Mark (2046 Argentina Drive SE, East Grand Rapids, MI, 49506, US)
Application Number:
US2017/032700
Publication Date:
November 16, 2017
Filing Date:
May 15, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
STEELCASE INC. (901 44th Street, S.E.P.O. Box 196, Grand Rapids MI, 49508, US)
International Classes:
A47B13/02; A47B13/10; A47B21/00
Foreign References:
DE1764779U1958-04-10
JP2005287620A2005-10-20
JP2003111623A2003-04-15
US8667908B22014-03-11
US20100288168A12010-11-18
US8667908B22014-03-11
US8689705B22014-04-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FLYNN, Terri, S. (Quarles & Brady LLP, 411 E. Wisconsin Ave.Milwaukee, WI, 53202, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1 . A multi-tiered work surface, comprising:

a substantially vertical mounting element;

a first planar surface supported by the substantially vertical mounting element in a substantially horizontal orientation at a first height, the first planar surface comprising a substantially straight edge along a length dimension and an opposing edge

comprising a wide end and a narrow end along a depth dimension, a width in at least a portion of the wide end being greater than a width in at least a portion of the narrow end;

a second planar surface supported by the substantially vertical mounting element in a substantially horizontal orientation at a second height lower than the first height, the second planar surface comprising a substantially straight edge along a length

dimension and an opposing edge comprising a wide end and a narrow end along a depth dimension, a width in at least a portion of the wide end being greater than a width in at least a portion of the narrow end, the wide end of the first surface supported above the narrow end of the second surface, the wide end of the second planar surface being supported beneath the narrow end of the first planar surface, and the narrow end of the second planar surface being supported beneath the wide end of the first planar surface; wherein the first planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the first height, and the second planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the second height.

2. The multi-tiered work surface of claim 1 , further comprising a second substantially vertical mounting element, the second substantially vertical mounting element being offset a distance from the substantially vertical mounting element, and the first and second planar surfaces extending at least partially between the vertical mounting element and the second vertical mounting element.

3. The multi-tiered work surface of claim 1 , further comprising a third and a fourth planar surfaces, each of the third and fourth planar surfaces comprising a substantially straight edge and an opposing edge comprising a wide end and a narrow end wherein at least a portion of the wide end is greater in width than at least a portion of the narrow end, wherein the third planar surface is supported by the vertical mounting element at a third height and the fourth planar surface is supported by the vertical mounting element at a fourth height, the wide end of the third planar surface extending above the narrow end of the fourth planar surface, wherein the third planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the third height and the fourth planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the fourth height.

4. The multi-tiered work surface of claim 1 , wherein the wide end and the narrow end of each of the first and second planar surface are substantially equivalent in length.

5. The multi-tiered work surface of claim 1 , wherein the first planar surface comprises an arced segment extending between the wide end and the narrow end.

6. The multi-tiered work surface of claim 3, wherein the substantially straight edge of the first planar surface coupled to the vertical mounting element faces the substantially straight edge of the third planar surface coupled to the vertical mounting element, and the straight edge of the second planar surface coupled to the vertical mounting element faces the substantially straight edge of the fourth planar surface coupled to the vertical mounting element.

7. The multi-tiered work surface as recited in claim 6, further comprising a substantially vertical planar surface extending between the first and third planar surfaces, the vertical surface providing a privacy shield between a first side of the multi-tiered work surface and a second side of the multi-tiered work surface.

8. The multi-tiered work surface as recited in claim 1 , wherein the substantially vertical mounting element comprises a pre-defined mounting point for coupling the first and second planar surfaces at the corresponding first and second heights.

9. The multi-tiered work surface as recited in claim 1 , wherein the vertical mounting element comprises a first horizontal rail corresponding to the first height and a second horizontal rail corresponding to the second height.

10. The multi-tiered work surface as recited in claim 1 , wherein the first height is a sitting height and the second height is a standing height.

1 1 . The multi-tiered work surface as recited in claim 1 , wherein the substantially vertical mounting element comprises a plurality of pre-determined mounting points at a corresponding plurality of heights.

12. An arrangement with multi-height work surfaces comprising:

a leg arrangement configured to be supported on a ground surface, the leg arrangement comprising a first attachment feature at a first height above the ground surface and a second attachment feature at a second height above the ground surface, where the second height is greater than the first height;

a first work surface coupled to the first attachment feature and having a first footprint relative to the ground surface; and

a second work surface coupled to the second attachment feature and having a second footprint relative to the ground surface;

wherein the first footprint and the second footprint are distinct; and

wherein the space between the floor and the second work surface is at least partially unobstructed by the first work surface.

13. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein the second work surface is co-planar with a top surface of the leg arrangement.

14. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein the first height is selected to be at a height for using the first work surface while sitting.

15. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein the second height is selected to be at a height for using the second work surface while standing.

16. The arrangement of claim 12, wherein a wide portion of the second footprint is adapted to stack above a narrow portion of the first footprint, and a narrow portion of the second footprint is adapted to stack above a wide portion of the first footprint, wherein access to the wide portion of each of the first and second work surfaces is unobstructed for use.

17. The arrangement of claim 12, further comprising a second leg arrangement with a third attachment feature at the first height above the ground surface and a fourth attachment feature at the second height above the ground, wherein the first work surface is coupled to the third attachment feature and the second work surface is coupled to the fourth attachment feature.

18. A multi-height work arrangement comprising:

a frame comprising a first leg assembly, a second leg assembly, an upper support beam and a lower support beam both extending between the first leg assembly and the second leg assembly;

a standing height work surface coupled to at least the first leg assembly and the upper support beam, the standing height work surface having a length running adjacent the upper support beam; and

a sitting height work surface coupled to at least the second leg assembly and the lower support beam, the sitting height work surface having a length running adjacent the lower support beam;

wherein a depth of the standing height work surface is greatest adjacent the first leg assembly and a depth of the sitting height work surface is greatest adjacent the second leg assembly.

19. The multi-height work arrangement of claim 18, wherein the standing height work surfaces comprises a wide end and a narrow end, and the sitting height work surface comprises a wide end and a narrow end, the wide end of the standing height work surface being substantially equivalent in length to the narrow end of the sitting height work surface.

20. The multi-height work arrangement of claim 18, further comprising a bracket assembly for supporting each of the standing height and the sitting height work surfaces, the bracket assembly coupled at a first end to a channel assembly extending between the first and second leg assemblies, and comprising a sitting height bracket assembly that follows the perimeter of the sitting height work surface and a standing height bracket assembly that follows the perimeter of the standing height work surface.

Description:
MULTI-TIERED WORKSTATION ASSEMBLY

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 62/339, 159, filed on May 20, 2016, and claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 62/336,042, filed on May 13, 2016, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties. This application is also related to U.S. Design Patent Application Serial No. 29/565,485 filed on May 20, 2016, which is also incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to workstations generally and more specifically to a multi-tiered workstation that includes work surfaces mounted at different heights that can be used simultaneously to accommodate both sitting and standing users.

[0003] In an increasingly technological world, people often sit for many hours a day working on computers or other electronic devices. Researchers have found, however, that excessive sitting can result not only in reduced productivity, but medical problems, including discomfort in various parts of the body, permanent deficiencies or serious illnesses. Office furniture that enables a worker to stand during at least a portion of the day, therefore, has become increasingly popular, both to increase productivity and improve worker health.

[0004] With advances in mobile technology, people are also increasingly working and accessing electronic devices from a variety of locations, including airports, coffee shops, and libraries. In these environments, temporary work stations that provide work surfaces and access to electrical and network connections that enable a user to connect tablets, notebook computers, phones or other personal electronic and computing devices are important. In these environments, maximizing efficient workspace while minimizing the use of floor space is also important.

[0005] Similarly, in locations such as retail establishments or medical facilities, workstations are often used by a number of workers simultaneously, and provide work surfaces for a variety of uses. A single workstation can, for example, function as a reception desk while also providing a space for users to fill out paperwork, answer phone calls, or access computer databases containing patient date, or stock

information. These workstations, again, should generally be small in size, take up a minimal amount of floor space, and provide surfaces of varying heights for both sitting and standing users.

[0006] There is a need, therefore, for inexpensive, flexible, and comfortable workstations that can be quickly adjusted to the needs of a user. There is also a need for a workstation that provides multiple work surfaces at different height levels and that allow workers to both sit and stand. There is a further need for a workstation that fits within a small footprint and requires limited floor space, while enabling users to connect to electrical and network facilities, and to work in both standing and sitting positions. The present disclosure addresses these and other issues.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] It has been recognized that a multi-surface, dual height workstation can be configured to include standing and sitting height work surfaces where each of the surfaces can be accessed for use simultaneously. The system can provide a number of work surfaces within a small footprint. In some applications, the desk can be part of a reconfigurable system constructed on a core frame that can be easily assembled and disassembled.

[0008] In one aspect, the present disclosure provides a multi-tiered work surface comprising a substantially vertical mounting element. A first planar surface is supported by the substantially vertical mounting element in a substantially horizontal orientation at a first height, and a second planar surface is supported by the

substantially vertical mounting element in a substantially horizontal orientation at a second height lower than the first height. The first planar surface comprises a substantially straight edge along a length dimension and an opposing edge comprising a wide end and a narrow end along a depth dimension. A width in at least a portion of the wide end is greater than a width in at least a portion of the narrow end. The second planar surface comprises a substantially straight edge along a length dimension and an opposing edge comprising a wide end and a narrow end along a depth dimension.

Again, a width in at least a portion of the wide end is greater than a width in at least a portion of the narrow end. The wide end of the first surface is supported above the narrow end of the second surface, and the wide end of the second surface is supported beneath the narrow end of the first surface. The narrow end of the second surface is supported beneath the wide end of the first surface. The first planar surface therefore provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the first height, and the second planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the second height.

[0009] In another aspect of the disclosure, the multi-tiered work surface further comprises a second substantially vertical mounting element offset a distance from the substantially vertical mounting element. The first and second planar surfaces extend at least partially between the vertical mounting element and the second vertical mounting element.

[0010] The multi-tiered work surface can also include a third and a fourth planar surface, each comprising a substantially straight edge along a length dimension and an opposing edge comprising a wide end and a narrow end along a depth dimension. At least a portion of the wide end is greater in width than at least a portion of the narrow end. The third planar surface is supported by the vertical mounting element at a third height, and the fourth planar surface is supported by the vertical mounting element at a fourth height. The wide end of the third planar surface extends above the narrow end of the fourth planar surface, such that the third planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the third height and the fourth planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the fourth height.

[0011] In another aspect, the wide end and the narrow end of each of the first and second planar surfaces can be substantially equivalent in length. Alternatively, the wide end and the narrow end can be offset in such a way that the wide and narrow surfaces that are intended to overlap in stacked layers of work surfaces align. The first and second planar surfaces can comprise an angled segment extending between the wide end and the narrow end. [0012] In another aspect, the substantially straight edge of the first planar surface can be coupled to the vertical mounting element facing the substantially straight edge of the third planar surface, and the straight edge of the second planar surface can be coupled to the vertical mounting element facing the substantially straight edge of the fourth planar surface coupled to the vertical mounting element.

[0013] In another aspect, a substantially vertical planar surface can extend between the first and third planar surfaces to provide a privacy shield between a first side of the multi-tiered work surface and a second side of the multi-tiered work surface.

[0014] In another aspect, the substantially vertical mounting element can comprise a pre-defined mounting point for coupling the first and second planar surfaces at the corresponding first and second heights. The substantially vertical mounting element can comprise a plurality of pre-determined mounting points at a corresponding plurality of heights.

[0015] The vertical mounting element can, for example, comprises a horizontal rail corresponding to the first height and a second horizontal rail corresponding to the second height. The first height can be, for example, a sitting height, and the second height can be a standing height.

[0016] In another embodiment of the disclosure, an arrangement with multi-height work surfaces is disclosed. The arrangement comprises a leg arrangement configured to be supported on a ground or floor surface, and the leg arrangement comprises a first attachment feature at a first height above the ground surface and a second attachment feature at a second height above the ground surface. The second height is greater than the first height. A first work surface coupled to the first attachment feature and has a first footprint relative to the ground surface. A second work surface is coupled to the second attachment feature and has a second footprint relative to the ground surface. The first footprint and the second footprint are distinct, and the space between the floor and the second work surface is at least partially unobstructed by the first work surface.

[0017] A second leg arrangement with a third attachment feature can be provided at the first height above the ground surface and a fourth attachment feature can be provided at the second height above the ground. The first work surface is adapted to be coupled to the third attachment feature and the second work surface is adapted to be coupled to the fourth attachment feature.

[0018] In another aspect, the second work surface can be co-planar with a top surface of the leg arrangement. The first height can selected to be at a height for using the first work surface while sitting. The second height can be selected to be at a height for using the second work surface while standing. A wide portion of the second footprint is adapted to stack above a narrow portion of the first footprint, and a narrow portion of the second footprint is adapted to stack above a wide portion of the first footprint, wherein access to the wide portion of each of the first and second work surfaces is unobstructed for use.

[0019] In another aspect, a multi-height work arrangement is disclosed, comprising a frame comprising a first leg assembly, a second leg assembly, an upper support beam and a lower support beam, both of the support beams extending between the first leg assembly and the second leg assembly. A standing height work surface having a length running adjacent the upper support beam is coupled to at least the first leg assembly and the upper support beam. A sitting height work surface having a length running adjacent the lower support beam is coupled to at least the second leg assembly and the lower support beam. A depth of the standing height work surface is greatest adjacent the first leg assembly and a depth of the sitting height work surface is greatest adjacent the second leg assembly.

[0020] These and other objects, advantages and aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following description. In the description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which there is shown a preferred embodiment of the invention. Such embodiment does not necessarily represent the full scope of the invention and reference is made therefore, to the claims herein for interpreting the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] Fig. 1 is a side perspective view of a multi-tiered work station constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the disclosure.

[0022] Fig. 2 is a top perspective view of the multi-tiered work station of Fig. 1 . [0023] Fig. 3 is a side view of the multi-tiered work station of Fig. 1 .

[0024] Fig. 4 is a top view of the multi-tiered work station of Fig. 1 .

[0025] Fig. 5 is a bottom view of the multi-tiered work station of Fig. 1 .

[0026] Fig. 6 is an exploded view of the multi-tiered work station of Fig. 1 .

[0027] Fig. 7 is a side perspective view of a multi-tiered work station constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the disclosure.

[0028] Fig. 8 is a top view of a first bracket of the multi-tiered work station of Fig.

7

/ .

[0029] Fig. 9 is a side view of the first bracket of the multi-tiered work station of

Fig. 7.

[0030] Fig. 10 is a bottom view of a second bracket of the multi-tiered work station of Fig. 7.

[0031] Fig. 1 1 is a side view of the second bracket of the multi-tiered work station of Fig. 7.

[0032] Fig. 12 is a side perspective view of a multi-tiered work station constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the disclosure.

[0033] Fig. 13 is a side perspective view of a multi-tiered work station similar to

Fig. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0034] One or more specific embodiments of the present invention will be described below. It should be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, as in any engineering or design project, numerous implementation- specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business related constraints, which may vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it should be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of design, fabrication, and manufacture for those of ordinary skill having the benefit of this disclosure.

[0035] Referring now to the figures wherein like reference numerals correspond to similar elements throughout the several views and, more specifically, referring to Figs.1 - 3, an exemplary workstation desk/table assembly 10 with a multi-tiered work surface constructed in accordance with the present disclosure is shown. The multi- tiered workstation assembly 10 includes a substantially vertical mounting element 12, a first planar work surface 14 supported by the substantially vertical mounting element 12 at a first height, and a second planar work surface 15 supported by the mounting element 12 at a second height lower than the first height. As shown here, a first set of first and second work surfaces 14 and 15 can extend from one side of the vertical mounting element, and a second set of first and second work surfaces 14' and 15' can extend from the opposing side of the mounting element 12 to provide four work surfaces at two different heights. The work surfaces can, as shown here, be constructed with two different footprints, where 14 and 14' are constructed in one footprint and 15 and 15' in a second footprint, selected to enable access for a user from different heights when the surfaces are stacked. Each of the components in the assembly 10 will be described more fully below.

[0036] Referring still to Figs. 1 through 3, and now also to Fig, 4, the first planar surface 14 has a first footprint that comprises a substantially straight inner edge 16 extending along a length dimension, and an opposing outer edge 18 comprising a wide end 20 and a narrow end 22. A width of the first planar work surface 14 is wider in the wide end 20 than the narrow end 22 in at least a portion of the surface 14. Referring still to Fig. 4, the wide end 20 can be joined to the narrow end 22 through a curved or angled edge portion 21 . An opening 24 can be provided in the substantially straight edge 16 to enable routing of cables through the work surface 14, and to provide a grip for assembly and disassembly of the planar surface 14 in the workstation assembly 10. As shown in Figs. 1 - 3, for example, the first planar work surface 14 can be selectively connected to the substantially vertical support 12 in either an upper position, at a standing height and above the second planar work surface 15, or in a lower sitting position, below the second planar work surface 15'.

[0037] Referring again to Fig. 4, the second planar surface 15' has a second footprint that also comprises a substantially straight inner edge 26 along a length dimension and an opposing outer edge 28 comprising a wide end 30 and a narrow end 32. Again, the width of the surface 15 between the straight inner edge 26 and the opposing outer edge 28 is wider in at least a portion of the wide end 30 than at least a portion of the narrow end 32. As shown here, an angled or curved edge portion 31 can join or connect the narrow end 32 and wide end 30. A channel 34 can be cut through the surface 15 to receive cables for computers, phones, tablets, speaker systems, printers, or other types of electronic devices. As shown here, the channel 34 is cut into outer edge 28, and includes a relatively narrow elongate channel adjacent the edge 31 and that open into a large circular opening 35 has been found to be advantageous to enable routing a cable. A grommet can be provided in the opening and the circular opening 35 acts as a catch for the end of a cord, preventing the cord from falling down from the surface, and helping to ensure that the cord is easily accessible. This configuration further enables a cable to be routed between two planar surfaces 14 and 15. In various embodiments, one or more channels similar to channel 34 may also be cut through the planar surfaces 14, 14', and/or 15'.

[0038] Referring now specifically to Fig. 4, as shown here, the length of the wide end 20 of the first planar work surface 14 is substantially identical to the length of the narrow end 32 of the second planar work surface 15 such that, when the planar work surfaces 14 and 15 are mounted to the substantially vertical mounting element 12 in a stacked configuration, the angled or curved portions 21 and 31 of the work surfaces 14 and 15 substantially align above one another. The wide end 20 of the first work surface 14 is supported above the narrow end 32 of the second surface 15, providing a work surface at a first height, which can be, as shown here, at a height selected specifically to accommodate a standing user (a "standing height"). The wide end 30 of the second planar surface 15 is supported beneath the narrow end 22 of the first planar surface 14, providing a work surface at a second height which can be, as shown here, a height selected specifically to accommodate a sitting user (a "sitting height"). Exemplary sitting or desk heights can, for example, include a range of 22-32 inches with 25-30 inches being more common and 29-30 inches being most common. Exemplary standing or counter work heights include a range of 25-48 inches with 38-42 inches being more common.

[0039] Referring still to Figs. 1 through 3, in one embodiment, the substantially vertical mounting support 12 can include a first and a second substantially vertical mounting elements or 12a and 12b, respectively. The second substantially vertical mounting element 12b is offset a distance from the first substantially vertical mounting element 12a, and the first and second planar surfaces 14 and 15 extend at least partially between the substantially vertical mounting elements or leg members 12a and 12b. In general, the vertical mounting elements12a and 12b are spaced apart to form a frame, and a frame space is formed between the mounting elements for receiving components of the work station 10.

[0040] Referring again to Figs. 3 and 4, exemplary leg assembly 12a includes first and second generally vertical members 40 and 42, respectively, an upper horizontal rail member 44, middle horizontal rail 46, and a lower horizontal rail member 48. The rail members 44, 46, and 48 are secured to the vertical members 40 and 42 in a substantially horizontal configuration. A channel assembly 50 that includes a plurality of electrical receptacles, openings for passing power or data wires through the workstation assembly 10 and to the planar work surfaces 14 and 15, and knockout panels for adding additional functions is provided. The channel assembly 50 can also include clamping coupler assemblies or expansion jaw assemblies providing attachment features for attaching components. Details regarding the construction of the leg assemblies 12a and 12b, corresponding rail members 44, 46, and 48, and channel assembly 50 are found in U.S. Patents 8,667,908 and 8,689,705, which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties for their disclosure of these devices, and related components and equipment. The channel assembly 50 further provides a rigid beam-like structure extending between leg assemblies 12a and 12b to support the lower work surfaces 15 and 14'.

[0041] Referring now also to Figs. 5 and 6, when assembled to a substantially vertical assembly 12 comprising leg assemblies 12a and 12b, of the type described above, the channel 50 is received between the lower horizontal rail 48 and the middle horizontal rail 46. A bracket 52 for receiving and supporting the second planar work surface 15 extends between the legs 12a and 12b at the height of the middle rail 46, and can be coupled to the channel 50. The bracket 52 extends from about the center of the rail 46 toward and extending beyond an adjacent edge of the rail 46, and provides a mounting location for supporting the second planar work surface 15 substantially at a sitting height. A second bracket 54 for receiving and supporting the first planar work surface 14 is coupled to the upper horizontal rail 44 at a standing height. The bracket 54, again, extends from about the center of the upper horizontal rail 44 toward and beyond an edge of the rail 44. The brackets 52 and 54, and other brackets described below, generally follow the perimeter shape of the planar work surface that is supported by the bracket. The brackets can be constructed from structural materials including metals, such as steel and aluminum, hard plastics, wood, and other materials that will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. The brackets can be interconnected using fasteners such as screws, bolts, nails, or similar devices, but could also connected with adhesives, glues, welding, or other types of connections.

[0042] Referring still to Figs. 5 and 6 a second set of brackets 52' and 54' for supporting planar surfaces 14' and 15' extend from about a center of the rails 44 and 46 in the opposite direction from the brackets 54 and 52 extending toward and beyond the outer edge of the corresponding rails. The third and fourth planar work surfaces 14' and 15' extend from the center of the rails 44 and 46, respectively, and in the opposite direction from the corresponding planar work surfaces 14 and 15. A channel assembly 56 extends between the upper horizontal rail 44 and middle horizontal rail 46, acting as a beam to support the upper work surfaces 14 and 15'. Cables can be routed through the channel assembly 56 for use on the upper work surfaces. The channel assembly 56 further provides the function of a privacy screen, essentially blocking the view through the workstation 10 between the planar work surfaces 15 and 14' mounted to the middle rail 46.

[0043] As best illustrated in Fig. 5, the first bracket 52 supports planar support surfaces 15 and 15' and includes a side rail 73 and a support plate 75. The side rail 73 extends parallel to and offset from the leg assembly 12 from the channel 50 along a wide end side edge 77 of the second planar work surface 15, terminating proximate the outer edge 28 on the wide end 30 of the second planar work surface 15. The support plate 75 includes parallel offset edges 79a and 79b extending along the length of the planar work surface and parallel to the channel 50, and side edge 69 and 71 . Edge 79b, which is spaced closer to the channel 50, is longer than edge 79a, spaced adjacent the front edge of the work surface 15. Side edge 69 extends between and substantially perpendicular to edges 79a and 79b and parallel to leg 12. Edge 71 angles from the distal ends of edges 79a and 79b, offset from and substantially parallel to the perimeter edge of the curved edge portion 31. The support plate 75 therefore extends from the side rail 73 toward the curved edge portion 31 , terminating proximate the curved edge portion 31 . The opposing edges 79a and 79b of the support plate 75 are folded over to provide additional support.

[0044] The second bracket 54 supports planar work surfaces 14 and includes a plurality of rails, including generally side rails 81 and 85 and transverse rail assemblies 85 and 87. The side rails include a wide end side rail 81 , and a narrow end side rail 83 sized and dimensioned to extend along the opposing edges of the planar support surface 15 adjacent legs 12a and 12b. Each of the wide end side rail 81 and the narrow end side rail 83 extends from the channel 50 along a wide end side edge 89 and a narrow end side edge 90 of the first planar work surface 14, respectively. The main transverse rail assembly 85 extends between the wide end side rail 81 and the narrow end side rail 83 across the length of the planar work surface 14 substantially parallel to the channel 50, and includes first and second parallel crossbars, comprising a first main crossbar 91 and a second main crossbar 92. Each of the first main crossbar 91 and the second main crossbar 92 is rigidly fixed on one end to the wide end side rail 81 and is rigidly fixed on another end to the narrow end side rail 83, with the first main crossbar 91 being disposed more proximate the channel 50 than the second main crossbar 92.

[0045] The transverse rail assembly 87 extends across the wide end of the work surface 14 and includes parallel first and second wide end crossbars 93 and 94, respectively. Each of the first wide end crossbar 93 and the second wide end crossbar 94 extends from the wide end side rail 81 , toward the curved edge portion 21 of the work surface 14. An angled crossbar 95 extends between the transverse rail assemblies 85 and 87, where the angle of the angled crossbar 95 substantially follows the perimeter edge of the work surface 14 in the curved portion 21. The first wide end crossbar 93 is disposed more proximate the channel 50 than the second wide end crossbar 94. The angled crossbar 95 extends from an end of the second wide end crossbar 94, along the curved edge portion 21 of the planar work surface 14, terminating at the second main crossbar 92. [0046] As illustrated, each of the first bracket 52 and the second bracket 54 is rigidly fixed to the second planar work surface 15 and the first planar work surface 14, respectively, using fasteners 96. The fasteners 96 can comprise nails, screws or any other suitable fasteners capable of coupling the respective brackets 52, 54 to their corresponding planar work surfaces 14, 15.

[0047] Referring now to Figs. 7 - 1 1 , an alternative exemplary workstation desk/table assembly 710 with a multi-tiered work surface constructed in accordance with the present disclosure is shown. The multi-tiered workstation assembly 710 is similar in construction to the multi-tiered workstation assembly 10, and as such, like features will be labeled similarly, in the 700 series (i.e. first planar work surface 14 and first planar work surface 714, first bracket 52 and first bracket 752). The differences between the multi-tiered workstation assembly 710 and the multi-tiered workstation assembly 10 will be described below. It should be noted that each of the multi-tiered workstation assemblies 10, 710 described herein are meant to be exemplary and are not meant to be limiting. As such, in many instances, features of the multi-tiered workstation assembly 10 may be combined or replaced with features of the multi-tiered workstation assembly 710, and vice-versa, as desired for a given situational

requirement. These combinations are herein contemplated and are within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0048] Referring specifically to Fig. 7, the multi-tiered workstation assembly 710 includes a substantially vertical mounting element 712, a first planar work surface 714 supported by the substantially vertical mounting element 712 at a first height, and a second planar work surface 715 supported by the substantially vertical mounting element 712 at a second height. A hole 734, or alternative opening such as the channel described above, can be cut through the surface 715 to receive cables for computers, phones, tablets, speaker systems, printers, or other types of electronic devices. As shown here, the substantially vertical mounting support 712 includes first and second substantially vertical mounting elements 712a and 712b, respectively.

[0049] The exemplary leg assemblies 712a and 712b include first and second generally vertical members 740 and 742, respectively. However, as can be seen by comparison between Figs. 1 and 7, in the embodiment of Fig. 7, the first and second generally vertical members 740 and 742 of the exemplary leg assemblies 712a and 712b are higher than the first and second generally vertical members 40 and 42 of the exemplary leg assemblies 12a and 12b, and include additional horizontal rails. As shown, the uppermost horizontal rail members 744 of the exemplary leg assemblies 712a and 712b are higher than the upper horizontal rail members 44. Additionally, the exemplary leg assemblies 712a and 712b include additional rail members, including an upper-middle horizontal rail 745 and a lower-middle horizontal rail 747, in addition to the lower horizontal rail member 748. The leg assemblies 712a and 712b can be mounted together in an assembly with other components as described in U.S. Patents 8,667,908 and 8,689,705, which are hereby incorporated by reference for their description of these devices and assemblies.

[0050] Referring now to Figs. 8 and 9, the planar work surfaces 714 and 715 are supported by bracket assemblies 754 and 752. A specific embodiment is described below, however, these brackets generally follow the perimeter of the supported surface and can be constructed of rails and cross bars. In some applications support plates can also be used to add additional support. The brackets can interconnect with the central channel to ease assembly.

[0051] Referring to Figs. 8 and 9, the planar work surface 715 is supported by a first bracket 752 that includes a plurality of rails arranged to follow the perimeter of the planar work surface 715, and that interconnects with the channel assembly 756. As shown here, the bracket 752 connects to the channel assembly 756, and includes a side rail 773 that is substantially perpendicular to the channel assembly 756, one or more front support rails 767 and 768 opposite from and substantially parallel to the channel assembly 756, and an angled rail 770 extending from the channel assembly 756 to the front support rails 767 and 768 at an angle parallel to the edge of the planar work surface 715. The first and second front support rails 767 are offset from and substantially parallel to one another. A support plate 769 can be coupled between the side rail 773, the first and second front support rails 767 and 768, and the angled rail 770. The angled rail 770 extends from an end of the first narrow rail 767 generally toward the channel assembly 756. The side rail 773 and angled rail 770 terminate at and couple to the channel assembly 756. [0052] Referring now to Figs. 10 and 1 1 , the planar work surface 714 is supported by a second bracket 754 constructed of a plurality of rails or crossbars and plates arranged to follow the perimeter of and support the work surface 714. The second bracket 754 includes wide and narrow end side rails 781 and 783, respectively, and a transverse bracket assembly extending across the width of the work surface 714 between side rails 781 and 783, and comprising a plurality of rails or crossbars 791 , 792, 793, 796, and support plate structures 797 and 798. Crossbars 791 and 792 and main support plate 797 can extend along the entire width of the work surface 714 between opposing side rails 781 and 783. Crossbar 792 can extend along the length of the narrow end of the work surface 714 proximate the edge opposite the channel 750, while crossbar 796 similarly extends along the length of the wide edge of the work surface 714. An angled crossbar 795 extends between an end of the crossbar 796 and an end of the crossbar 792, and is angled to follow the edge of the curved portion of the work surface 714. As illustrated, the main support plate 797 is coupled to and extends between the wide end side rail 781 , the first main crossbar 791 , the second main crossbar 792, and the narrow end side edge 783, opposite the first planar work surface 714. A wide end support plate 798 is coupled to and extends between the wide end side rail 781 , the wide end crossbar 796, the second main crossbar 792, and the angled crossbar 795, opposite the first planar work surface 714. As shown, an additional crossbar 793 may be coupled to the opposing side of the wide end support plate 798.

[0053] Referring now to Figs. 12 and 13, another alternative exemplary workstation desk/table assembly with a multi-tiered work surface 1210 constructed in accordance with the present disclosure is shown. As described above, features of the multi-tiered workstation assembly 1210 may be combined or replaced with features of the multi-tiered workstation assemblies described above as desired for a given situational requirement. These combinations are herein contemplated and are within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0054] As shown in Figs. 12 and 13, the work surfaces 1214 and 1215 extend along a portion of the distance between the leg assemblies 712a and 712b, rather than along the entire length as described with reference to the embodiments discussed above. These work surfaces can be used together in a single assembly as shown, or with the work surfaces, and can also be used as shelving. Brackets such as bracket 752, described above, which substantially follow the perimeter of the supported work surface and which connect directly to an inner channel, can be used to support these work surfaces.

[0055] The work surface 1214 includes a substantially straight inner edge 1216 and an opposing outer edge 1218 that is shorter than the inner edge. The side 1223 adjacent the leg is substantially perpendicular to each of the inner edge and outer edge 18, while the interior side edge angles or curves between these edges through a curved or angled edge portion 1221 . An opening 1224 can be provided in the substantially straight edge 1216 to enable routing of cables through the work surface 1214, and to provide a grip for assembly and disassembly of the planar surface 1214 in the workstation assembly 1210.

[0056] Referring still to Figs. 12 and 13, the surface 1215 extends only a portion of the distance between the leg assemblies 712a and 712b. An inner edge 1226 is received in the channel, and the opposing outer edge 1228 is substantially parallel to the inner edge, but is smaller in a length dimension. As shown here, an outer side edge 1233 is substantially perpendicular to each of the sides 1226 and 1228, while an interior side edge 1231 is angled or curved between edges 1226 and 1228. A hole 1234, channel, or other opening can be cut through the surface 1215 to receive cables for computers, phones, tablets, speaker systems, printers, or other types of electronic devices.

[0057] Now that the various components of the multi-tier workstation assemblies 10, 710, and 1210 have been described above, an exemplary method of assembling the multi-tier workstation assembly 10 is described below. It will be appreciated that the following method of assembly is meant to be exemplary and is therefore in no way meant to be limiting. It will also be understood by those skilled in the art that the following description, which is given in reference to the multi-tier workstation assembly 10, can similarly be applied to the multi-tier workstation assembly 710.

[0058] To assemble the multi-tier workstation assembly 10, a planar work surface 14 or 15 is coupled to a substantially vertical mounting element 12 in a substantially horizontal orientation at a first height, which can be, as discussed above, a sitting or a standing height. The planar work surface 14 or 15 comprises a substantially straight edge 16, 26 along a length dimension. An opposing edge 18, 28 comprises a wide end 20, 30 and a narrow end 22, 32. A second, similarly constructed planar surface 14 or 15 is coupled to the substantially vertical mounting element 12 in a substantially horizontal orientation at a second height. The wide end 20, 30 of the first surface 14, 15 is mounted to be supported above the narrow end 22, 32 of the second surface 15, 14, and the wide end 20, 30 of the second planar surface 15, 14 is mounted to be supported beneath the narrow end 22, 32 of the first planar surface 14, 15. The first planar surface therefore provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the first height, which can be, for example, a standing height, and the second planar surface provides a work surface at the wide end accessible to a user at the second height, which can be a sitting height. A second set of similar work surfaces can be provided on the opposing side. Although two heights are described, variations in both the number of surfaces and the heights are contemplated.

[0059] Referring still to Figs. 1 - 6, and specifically to Fig. 4, in one embodiment, the workstation 10 comprises stacked work surfaces 14 and 15, where the planar work surface 14 has a different footprint than the planar work surface 15, and where the footprints are selected to enable stacking of the work surface having the first footprint above another work surface having the second footprint, while a space between the upper work surface and the floor is at least partially unobstructed by the lower work surface to allow access. As shown in the figures, in one embodiment, the work surfaces 14 and 15 are equivalent in length and have similar shapes. The work surface 14, however, is larger in the depth dimension at both the wide end 20 and narrow end 22 than the corresponding wide end 30 and narrow end 32 of the planar work surface 15.

[0060] In one specific embodiment that has shown to advantageously provide access to users simultaneously accessing both sitting and standing height work surfaces, the work surface 14 is about 58 inches in total length. The wide end 20 has a length dimension 60 of about thirty-two and one quarter inches, the length dimension 62 of the narrow portion 22 of the work surface 14 is about twenty and one quarter inches, and the angled or curved edge portion 21 has a length dimension 61 of about five and one half inches in length. The depth dimension 64 in the wide end 20 is about twenty- five inches, while the depth dimension 66 in the narrow end 22 is about seventeen and three quarter inches.

[0061] The length of the work surface 15 is, again, about 58 inches. The length dimension of the wide end 30 of the work surface 15 is substantially the same as the length dimension of the narrow end 32 of the work surface 15, while the narrow end 32 has a length dimension that is substantially equivalent to the length dimension 60 of the wide end 20 of the planar surface 14. The angled or curved edge portions 21 and 31 of each of the planar surfaces 14 and 15 each have a length dimension 61 of about five and one half inches in length. In the depth dimension, the wide end 30 has a depth dimension 74 of about eighteen inches, while the narrow end 32 has a depth dimension 76 of about four and three-quarters inches.

[0062] Referring now also to Fig. 4, in the specific embodiment described above, a height dimension 80 between an underlying floor surface and a planar surface 14 or 15 mounted to the horizontal middle rail 46 is at a "sitting height" of about twenty-eight and a half inches, while the "standing height" height dimension 82 between the floor surface and the upper rail 44 work surface is about forty-one and a half inches.

[0063] A workstation assembly 10, as described above, can also be provided as a kit for constructing a multi-tiered work surface. The kit can include, for example, a substantially vertical mounting element providing access points for coupling work surfaces at two or more heights, at least a first and a second planar surface, each comprising a straight edge along a length dimension and an opposing edge comprising a wide end and a narrow end. The first planar surface is adapted to be coupled to the substantially vertical mounting element at a first height and the second planar surface is adapted to be coupled to the substantially vertical mounting surface at the second height such that the wide end of the first planar surface overhangs the narrow end of the second planar surface, and the narrow end of the first planar surface overhangs the wide end of the second planar surface, providing a work surface at the first height and the second height. Brackets can also be included for mounting the work surfaces, as well as a channel for cable management and electrical distribution. The workstation assembly 10 can also be mounted together in an assembly with other components described in U.S. Patents 8,667,908 and 8,689,705, which are incorporated herein by reference for their descriptions of such devices.

[0064] Although a specific embodiment has been shown and described, it will be apparent that variations can be made within the scope of the disclosure. For example, although a substantially vertical mounting element comprising a frame constructed of pairs of offset legs has been described above, it will be apparent that other types of vertical mounting structures could also be used. For example an upright post with rails mounted to the post could be used in place of a leg structure. Alternatively, the planar surfaces could be mounted directly to a post, or a frame system including opposing legs and beams running between the beams could also be used.

[0065] Additionally, although each of the embodiments shown above is double sided, a single-sided construction that includes work surfaces extending from one side only is also contemplated. Further, although the footprint for the work surfaces described above comprises a wide end that is offset from the center, such that one side of the assembled work station is longer than another, the wide end and the narrow end of each of the first and second planar surfaces 14 and 15 can also be substantially equivalent in length. Although an arced or angled segment is described as joining the wide and narrow ends of the work surfaces 14 and 15, it will be apparent that these segments can be joined at a ninety degree angle, angled in an alternate direction, or curved. Further, although substantially rectangular work surfaces result from the footprint described, square, angled, and rounded work surfaces could also be provided in different types of footprints.

[0066] Although a privacy screen is described extending between the middle and upper horizontal rails 46 and 44, a privacy screen can also extend between the adjacent upper work surfaces at a standing height, providing a privacy shield between a first side of the multi-tiered work surface and a second side of the multi-tiered work surface.

[0067] Although a rail system is described for mounting the work surfaces, it will be apparent that other types of mounting elements can be used. The mounting elements could, for example, include pre-defined mounting points for coupling the first and second planar surfaces at the corresponding first and second heights, and that vertical mounting elements that include any number of predetermined mounting points can also be provided. The height of the work surfaces can, therefore, be selected or adjusted for the height of a user.

[0068] Although one specific embodiment with defined dimensions is described above, other embodiments having different dimensions in similar ratios will also be advantageous. These dimensions, further, are not intended to be limiting.

[0069] Thus, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following appended claims.

[0070] To apprise the public of the scope of this invention, the following claims are made: