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BIFMA Revises Public and Lounge Seating Standard

SafeGuardSHardgoodsJune 10, 2020

BIFMA releases ANSI/BIFMA X5.4 — 2020 Public and Lounge Seating. Critical revisions include increasing basis weight and widening scope.

The Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) has released an updated, ANSI approved, version of BIFMA X5.4 – Public and Lounge Seating. 

BIFMA X5.4 defines specific tests, laboratory equipment, conditions of test, recommended minimum levels to be used in the test, and how to evaluate the performance, durability, and structural adequacy of public and lounge seating.

Public and lounge seating is normally used in indoor common/shared spaces such as waiting, reception, visitor seating in patient rooms, restaurant/dining/cafeteria (those not covered by UL 2040) settings, and other gathering areas. Public and lounge seating products are generally not adjustable for personal use. Public and lounge seating includes products with single seat units, units with multiple seating positions within one unit or ganged seating units, arena folding chairs, and standard folding chairs.

The 2020 version, which supersedes the 2012 edition, contains several significant revisions. Among the most significant revisions include:

  • Inclusions of recliners, patient seating, stools, and restaurant/dining/cafeteria seating
  • Basis weight increased to 275 lbs. It was 253 lbs. in the 2012 version
  • Backrest Strength Test – Static, proof load times duration decreased from one minute to 10 seconds for both horizontal and vertical
  • Arm Strength Test – Static, proof load times duration decreased from one minute to 10 seconds for both horizontal and vertical
  • Seating Durability – Multi-seats tested to a minimum of two positions; increased height of drop and weight in the seat of 240 lb. It was 225 lb

A complete summary of changes can be found in Appendix J of X5.4. 

Copy of the standard can be purchased at

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