Achieving Social Distance in an Open-Plan Office | ACME Teams Up with Columbia Grain International

Posted by Parker Wells on

Columbia Grain International was one of many companies facing this question: How can we keep our employees safe when they return to the office? American workers are weighing the risks of coming back to their jobs, making it more important than ever to promote hygiene in the workplace. To find a solution, Columbia Grain collaborated with our team here at ACME Scenic and Display, a custom fabrication studio in Portland, Oregon.


Columbia Grain International is a worldwide grain and pulse supplier. They operate throughout the northern United States. ACME’s mission was to design and install social distancing barriers at Columbia Grain’s headquarters in Portland. The complex geometry of their open-plan office presented a unique challenge, but the ACME team delivered. 

picture of columbia grain office with newly installed social distance barriers

Americans worry about being exposed to the Coronavirus while at work, as shown in a recent poll taken by Washington Post-Ipsos. They found that nearly 6 in 10 adults who work outside their homes were concerned that they could be exposed to the virus while at work. However, 87% of those surveyed also said they approved of their employer’s response to the pandemic. This encouraging number is due to businesses like Columbia Grain International who invest in the health of their staff.


We began collaborating with Columbia Grain in late April. ACME represented a one-stop-shop for their office renovation, due to our 25 years of experience building custom environments. Columbia Grain planned to bring staff back to their headquarters in early June. This gave our team one month to deliver the office upgrade.


The recent push for workplace protection caused an international shortage of raw materials. Demand for plastics is up to five or six times the normal, and suppliers can hardly keep up. However, ACME is known for our ability to stick to a tight timeline. The project managers at ACME fought through the shortage to stay on schedule. We secured materials and installed Columbia Grain’s barriers with plenty of time before staff returned to their headquarters.

picture of columbia grain office with newly installed social distance barriers

The public health situation evolves every day, so businesses need flexible solutions. For this reason, we opted for semi-permanent barriers. If Columbia Grain needs to dismantle or relocate the screens, they can do so with ease.


ACME is thankful for the opportunity to help Columbia Grain International bring their employees back to work safely. We’ve also collaborated with local medical facilities, grocery chains, and corporate offices. If your business is in need of social distancing protection, check out our protective gear website or contact us at info@acmescenic.com. Together, we can find a fast and effective solution.

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