Picking the right furniture product can be a challenge for facility managers, architects, interior designers, purchasing agents and other professionals involved with intensive-use spaces such as healthcare facilities, correctional environments and shelters — places where a steady stream of clients provide extreme wear and tear on furnishings. After all, furniture for residential settings differs greatly from furniture that is intended to be used in spaces where continuous and rigorous use is a constant challenge and considerations beyond comfort and style are a must.
The difference in various grades of furniture can often be clouded due to the fact that many furniture manufacturers claim to produce products that are highly durable. And they may in fact produce durable furniture. But is it the right furniture for your challenging environment? And does the product stand up to all — not just a few — of the demands placed upon it by your facility?
That is the dilemma that many facilities face when choosing products for their environments. Not only do they have to consider the furniture’s actual durability and its safeguards against breakdown, but they also must consider the chance that the product may become a risk to those who inhabit the facility while the product is being used.