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What’s New in Large Occupant Public and Lounge Seating

UL helps customers test to the recently approved ANSI/BIFMA X5.41-2021 Standard.

Modern office building lobby

July 2, 2021

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently approved the new safety and performance standard, ANSI/BIFMA X5.41-2021, Large Occupant Public and Lounge Seating. This article contains information about the scope of the Standard and how UL services can help you deliver your products on time.

Scope of ANSI/BIFMA X5.41-2021, the Standard for Large Occupant Public and Lounge Seating

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) reported that the new ANSI/BIFMA X5.41-2021, Large Occupant Public and Lounge Seating Standard, includes two levels of performance: X5.41-400 and X5.41-600. The 400-pound (181.4-kg) user serves as the basis for the tests for X5.41.400, and the 600-pound (272.2-kg) user is the basis for X5.410-600. Manufacturers and specifiers must clearly specify which of these levels of performance apply to the product.

Please note: the ANSI/BIFMA X5.4-2020 Public and Lounge Seating Standard uses the 95th-percentile male at 275 pounds (124.7 kg) as the basis for the tests.

The new standard features two seat-width requirements. The minimum seat width for X5.41-400 is 22 inches (55.9 cm), and the minimum seat width for X5.41-600 is 26 inches (66 cm).

In addition to normative strength, stability and durability tests, the standard includes several informative appendices that cover recliner pinch points, recliner stability, guidance for seating units with privacy screens or tables, seating flammability and a convertible bed durability test.

How UL can provide support under the new Standard

UL, the global safety science leader, has expanded its testing capability and is a leader in performance and durability testing for furniture, with laboratories located in Holland, Michigan; Nansha, China; and Cabiate, Italy. UL conducts testing for ANSI/BIFMA test methods for seating — including large occupant public and lounge types of seating — so you can rely on us to test your products under the new ANSI/BIFMA X5.41 standard. 

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