Office Pods and Hospitality Furniture
Office Pods and Hospitality Furniture

Office Pods and Hospitality Furniture

I have encountered cord and plug connected office pods or booths during my inspections of business places. They are essentially small glass-enclosed rooms with a ceiling. They incorporate seating and a work surface with LED lighting, receptacles, USB chargers, and perhaps a computer screen or monitor mounted to the wall of the pod. What requirements does UL use to Certify (List) these mini rooms within a building?

A. UL does Certify (List ) pods in many different configurations from sleeping pods to office pods/meeting rooms. Office pods/meeting rooms typically incorporate seating, a table, LED lighting, power receptacles, USB chargers, a monitor, and a circulation fan. UL investigates pods for compliance with the UL 962, the Standard for Safety of Household and Commercial Furnishings.

Pods are free-standing rooms often provided with casters installed within a building and may be cord and plug connected or provided with a fixed wiring system if the pod is attached to the building. Because pods have a ceiling to enclose the room, it is important that the inside of the pod either have access to the building fire suppression system or be provided with its own suppression system. To address those requirements, Underwriters Laboratories developed additional requirements in a UL 962 Certification Requirement Decision (CRD) titled Furnishings Provided With a Ceiling and Occupied Enclosed Furnishings. Among other requirements, the CRD requires provisions to accommodate a fire suppression system, have drop-out ceiling tiles in case of a fire, or be provided with a fire suppression system.

UL Certifies (Lists) this type of powered furniture under two product categories Furniture, Powered and Nonpowered (IYNE) or Furnishings, Household, and Commercial (IYQX). The UL guide information and Certifications (Listings) can be viewed on UL Product iQTM at productiq.ul.com; enter IYNE or IYQX at the search field.

If uncertified pods are already installed, UL can also conduct a field evaluation of them. For more information on field evaluations, contact UL’s Customer Service at 877-854-3577, #2, or https://www.ul.com/field.

 

Q.  I’ve inspected several hotel build-outs. In those build-outs, I have seen headboards and other hospitality furniture made with Certified (Listed) luminaires and other products that are modified by millwork shops to make them cord connected and to enable them to fit in the furniture. Some of these modifications have the enclosures removed and have open splices in wood cavities that I know is not acceptable. Does UL Certify this type of furniture?

A. Yes. UL does Certify (List) hospitality furniture such as headboard assemblies that mount to the wall – typically on a French cleat – and incorporate lighting, receptacles, and built-in USB chargers. These furniture assemblies can be either cord and plug connected or hard-wired.  When headboard assemblies cover the wall receptacle and are cord and plug connected, they are required to have an access door/panel where the headboard plugs into the wall, so the plug and receptacle are accessible.

UL also Certifies (Lists) cord and plug connected back-lit mirrors that may also incorporate a TV behind the mirror. The mirrors typically mount over a receptacle, provided the mounting means are not permanent so that the receptacle is accessible. Other hospitality furniture Certified (Listed) by UL includes cord and plug connected tables and seating that incorporate receptacles, lighting, and USB chargers. If the furniture has receptacles mounted face up in the surface of the furniture, the receptacles are required to be subjected to a spill test.

UL Certifies (Lists) this type of powered furniture under two product categories: Furniture, Powered, and Nonpowered (IYNE) or Furnishings, Household and Commercial (IYQX). UL 962, the Standard for Safety of Household and Commercial Furnishings, is used to Certify (List) furniture in both categories. The UL guide information and Certifications (Listings) can be viewed on UL Product iQTM at productiq.ul.com; enter IYNE or IYQX in the search field.

UL can also provide a field evaluation for already installed furniture. For more information on field evaluations, contact UL’s Customer Service at 877-854-3577, #2, or https://www.ul.com/field.

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