Commercial Grade Furniture
Commercial furniture, also referred to as contract furniture, is any type of furniture that is used for commercial purposes. That could be a chair, sofa, or anything in between. Hotels, offices, airports, corporations and more are some of the top purchasers of contract furniture.
Commercial furniture is made to meet the demands of commercial furniture use. Commercial furniture differs from standard household furniture due to the frequency of use and the furniture compliance requirements such as the Crib 5 regulation imposed on businesses and other entities. The Crib 5 regulation requires certain entities such as schools, restaurants and offices to comply with Crib 5 fire safety standards. This includes fire-resistant fabric and upholstery materials.
Commercial furniture also differs from household furniture by being a bit more durable to withstand excessive use. Due to the high quality construction required, contract furniture tends to come a higher price, but lasts a lot longer than most standard furniture.
The ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard was developed by stakeholders using a consensus process approved by the American National Standards Institute. The standard was designed to allow for multiple levels of achievement and to provide an open alternative to proprietary protocols.
What does ANSI/BIFMA stand for, and what does it mean? We are breaking it all down here to give you a better understanding of what ANSI/BIFMA is and how it can affect you and your office furniture.
What is ANSI?
The American National Standards Institute, more commonly known as ANSI, is an organization dedicated to designing standards of quality that are used to both further enhance the quality of American life and enhance the competitiveness between American businesses. There are over 1,200 ANSI-approved standards set in place that are designed to protect consumers, the workforce as a whole and the general public. ANSI is also responsible for the first American Standard Safety Code, published in 1921, which detailed the importance of both head protection and eye protection for industrial workers.
What is BIFMA?
BIFMA, or the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, is a non-profit organization that was formed with the purpose of creating voluntary standards that would promote safe working environments. That is, BIFMA produces standards that specifically apply to institutional and business furnishings and also lobbies for legislation that will continue to make office furniture safer for workers and consumers.
In order to determine if a piece of office furniture meets the combined standards of both ANSI and BIFMA, it is put through a series of tests. These tests then in turn determine how safe, functional and sustainable the piece of office furniture may or may not be. After testing, only the furniture that has held up to ANSI/BIFMA standards will be approved.
Benefits of ANSI/BIFMA-Approved Furniture
Therefore, there are some distinct advantages in purchasing furniture approved by BIFMA. There is the assurance that any BIFMA-approved furniture has met rigorous standards for safety. You can feel confident in the fact that any piece of BIFMA-approved furniture will help promote a working environment that is functional and healthy. When such an environment is promoted, there is likely to be an increase in productivity and a decrease in work-related injuries or accidents as a result. Workers are sure to feel safe and inspired. While some furniture that is not BIFMA-approved is still technically safe, when purchasing BIFMA-approved furniture, you are also receiving peace of mind. That peace of mind is something unique to BIFMA-approved office furniture. Working environments are extremely important, and it is vital to provide the best one possible. So for your next office furniture purchase, consider BIFMA-approved options and how it could benefit you and your employees.