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Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

  • 1.  Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-01-2021 10:31 AM
    Hello,

    We were advised by a consultant from our accrediting agency to replace furniture in consultation rooms with "built in" furniture.

    Has anyone run into a similar advise from an accrediting agency?

    I'm struggling with how to address this. I was thinking along the lines of "booth" type seating, however it would have to be constructed much more durably that a typical restaurant seating. The upholstery shop I contacted typically staples the vinyl covered cushions, which would not be appropriate. But almost any kind of commercially available behavioral health seating furniture is not appropriate to simply bolt to the floor without creating ligature points.

    Thank you for any suggestions and/or pictures!

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    Heather Graham Lewis AIA

    Ann Arbor MI
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  • 2.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-02-2021 05:43 PM
    Edited by Karva Sykes AIA 09-02-2021 07:09 PM
    On the behavioral health project I am currently on, we are using industrial strength velcro to adhere the cushions to our built-in seating. Could you potentially do built-ins without cushions? They will not as comfortable, but less liability?

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    Karva Sykes AIA
    Senior Associate | Project Manager
    HGA
    San Francisco CA
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  • 3.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-02-2021 06:08 PM
    Unless the furniture in question is located in an Exit Access Corridor, the 2012 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code does not include any requirement for "fixed furniture" in New/Existing Health Care occupancies (Ch 18/19) except as follows :

    18.2.3.4/19.2.3.4

    Aisles, corridors, and ramps required for exit access in a hospital or nursing home shall be not less than 8 ft (2440 mm) in clear and unobstructed width, unless otherwise permitted by one of the following:
    (5)*

    Where the corridor width is at least 8 ft (2440 mm), projections into the required width shall be permitted for fixed furniture, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
    (a) The fixed furniture is securely attached to the floor or to the wall.
    (b) The fixed furniture does not reduce the clear and unobstructed corridor width to less than 6 ft (1830 mm), except as permitted by 18.2.3.4(2).
    (c) The fixed furniture is located only on one side of the corridor.
    (d) The fixed furniture is grouped such that each grouping does not exceed an area of 50 ft2 (4.6 m2).
    (e) The fixed furniture groupings addressed in 18.2.3.4(5)(d) are separated from each other by a distance of at least 10 ft (3050 mm).
    (f)* The fixed furniture is located so as to not obstruct access to building service and fire protection equipment.
    (g) Corridors throughout the smoke compartment are protected by an electrically supervised automatic smoke detection system in accordance with 18.3.4, or the fixed furniture spaces are arranged and located to allow direct supervision by the facility staff from a nurses' station or similar space.

    A.18.2.3.4(5) 

    The means for affixing the furniture can be achieved with removable brackets to allow cleaning and maintenance. Affixing the furniture to the floor or wall prevents the furniture from moving, so as to maintain a minimum 6 ft (1830 mm) corridor clear width. Affixing the furniture to the floor or wall also provides a sturdiness that allows occupants to safely transfer in and out.
    A.18.2.3.4(5)(f) 

    Examples of building service and fire protection equipment include fire extinguishers, manual fire alarm boxes, shutoff valves, and similar equipment.

     

     



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    Todd Wyatt AIA
    Senior Project Manager
    Valhalla Engineering Group, LLC
    Denver CO
    ------------------------------

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  • 4.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-02-2021 06:37 PM
    Heather,
    We've not used them yet but the folks at Shield Casework have a good built in product for the application. As to whether it has to be built in, no, it doesn't have to be I agree, but it also has to be heavy enough not to be able to be thrown. Slides 20, 42, and 43 of the link should show you some possible applications: Shield-Casework-Solid-Surface-Healthcare-Virtual-Intro-Presentation.pdf
    Google Docs remove preview
    Shield-Casework-Solid-Surface-Healthcare-Virtual-Intro-Presentation.pdf
    View this on Google Docs >

    Best,
    Rich



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    Richard Onken AIA
    President and CEO
    Alesia Architecture, P.C.
    Elkhorn NE
    ------------------------------

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  • 5.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-03-2021 07:00 AM
    There is no requirement for "built-in" furniture.  Because of the lack of clear standards in Behavioral Healthcare, accreditation surveyors often provide varying recommendations.  The real issue is what safety expectation is applied to that room.  Is it a room where patients will always be under direct supervision? If so, it is not required to meet the same standards for safety required in other rooms as long as it is clearly marked as such and is protected by a self closing, self locking door.  This also requires that the facility's operational protocols incorporate this.

    If the room is intended to be a patient observed room (as opposed to direct supervision), then there is an expectation that furniture will be appropriate to the space.  That does not inherently mean "built in" or even weighted.  It means that it is appropriate to the space and intended to be used per the facility's operational protocols (which should be documented).

    Also, if you do want to provide bolted down furniture, your statement about that not being available is not correct.  All of the major furniture suppliers who specialize in BH furniture make safe, appropriate bolted down or weighted furniture.

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    Kevin Turner AIA
    Principal Architect
    Human eXperience
    Charlotte NC
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  • 6.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-03-2021 08:08 AM
    Heather,

    It would be best to make sure the room aligns with the Safety Risk Assessment for the hospital. In my experience, a consult room is typically a room that has staff present at all times and does not permit patient entry without staff. Therefore we've typically seen this as a Level II room on the SRA. This level doesn't come with a requirement for built in furniture. We've typically used either a light weight piece that doesn't break into shards, or a weighted piece that would prevent throwing (harder to move if the seating needs to move). I'd suggest adding the furniture to the SRA and making sure its appropriate for the Risk Level. We've had success with using Spec furniture in rooms similar to this.

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    Andrew Bowers AIA
    Poolesville MD
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  • 7.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-03-2021 01:20 PM
    I am very interested in what you are installing!  Would you be able to share any photos or drawings?

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    Heather Graham Lewis AIA
    Michigan Medicine
    Ann Arbor MI
    ------------------------------

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  • 8.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-03-2021 01:21 PM
    Thanks!  The furniture is in consultation rooms.

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    Heather Graham Lewis AIA
    University of Michigan Health
    Ann Arbor MI
    ------------------------------

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  • 9.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-03-2021 01:22 PM
    Thanks!  I'll check to see if they offer seating.

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    Heather Graham Lewis AIA
    University of Michigan Health
    Ann Arbor MI
    ------------------------------

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  • 10.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-03-2021 01:26 PM
    Thanks!  We are looking at seating that could also allow napping.  I'm seeking something that can't be looped.

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    Heather Graham Lewis AIA
    University of Michigan Health
    Ann Arbor MI
    ------------------------------

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  • 11.  RE: Behavioral Health Built in Furniture for consultation rooms?

    Posted 09-03-2021 01:36 PM
    These consult rooms are in the grey area, risk wise.  Thank you for the vendor suggestion.

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    Heather Graham Lewis AIA
    University of Michigan Health
    Ann Arbor MI
    ------------------------------

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