Time Saver Standards For Building Types PDF

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Typical furniture-group units While the typical furniture arrangements presented in the following pages by no means cover the entire range of possibilities, they do cover the fundamental uses to which living, dining, and sleeping spaces are put.

From the suggested schemes furniture arrangements can be developed to suit any particular problem or set of problems with which a designer may be confronted.

Furniture sizes may vary slightly; those indicated are the averages commonly met in upper-middle-class homes and are little affected by changes in style or similar matters of individual preference.

Specific space allowances In studying furniture groupings, it becomes obvious that certain clearances are required.

Spaces, lanes, or paths of different types develop naturally between furniture-group units. Minimum distances for comfort have been established by numerous planners.

These, and in some cases, maximum distances based upon requirements for human intercourse, have been incorporated in the diagrams.

A listing of those generally applicable to all rooms follows:

Single passage (not a traffic lane) between low objects, such as a sofa and coffee table: 18 in I s the minimum.

Single passage (not a traffic lane) between tall objects, hip height or over ft to 2 ft 6 in. It’s the minimum.

General traffic lane : 3 ft 4 in. It’s the practical minimum.

As rooms increase in size, this minimum increases, in order to preserve the spatial scale of the room.

The traffic lane between an entrance door and a major group unit is preferably generous in width.

It is desirable to place doors so that the central portions of rooms do not become major traffic ways between different parts of the house.

Seating areas, confined (for instance, between a desk and a wall): 3 ft is a minimum tolerance, which permits one person to pass the back of an occupied chair.

This minimum does not constitute a major traffic lane.


Typical furniture groups in the living room are as follows:

Primary conversation group: chairs and sofa normally grouped around the fireplace

Secondary conversation group: chairs and loveseat at the end of the room or in the corner

Reading group or groups: chair, ottoman, lamp, table Writing or study group: desk, lamp,
one or two chairs, bookcases Music group: piano, bench, storage space.

Game Group: game table and four chairs

Television group: television set and

seating for several people According to the price of a house and the cubage allotted to the living room, two three, or all of the furniture-group units may be included.

The fireplace is so closely associated with living room furniture that it has been included in all schemes.


Traffic tolerances in living rooms are important since the number of people use the room, and narrow lanes between furniture group units are uncomfortable.

An adequate traffic lane between the main entrance and the major seating group is 3 ft 4 in . wide; and 4 ft 6 in. It s preferred.

The minimum clearance between facing pieces of furniture in a fireplace group is 4 ft 8 in . for a fireplace 3 ft wide.

For every inch added to the size of the fireplace, 1 in. It’s added to the minimum clearance space.

If a wide sofa is placed directly opposite the fireplace, this group is often spread.

A 6-ft tolerance is usually considered the maximum because it is difficult to carry on a conversation over a greater distance.

Considerable flexibility in the location of doors and windows is possible, and all wall pieces can be shifted.

Doors flanking a fireplace are to be avoided so that the furniture group may be concentrated around the fireplace opening.

Typical Living Room Furniture Arrangements

Common living room furniture groups include:

  • The primary conversation area around the fireplace
  • A secondary conversation area in a corner
  • Reading nook with chair and lamp
  • Writing desk workstation
  • Music area with piano
  • Game table and chairs
  • Television viewing section

Rooms may contain two, three or more of these depending on size and budget. The fireplace is central to living room furniture layouts.

Recommended Clearances

Adequate space for traffic flow and comfort is important with multiple furniture zones. Guidelines include:

  • 3-4 feet between entrance and main furniture area
  • At least 4-5 feet clearance facing the fireplace
  • 6 feet maximum distance for easy conversation
  • Avoid doors flanking the fireplace

Flexibility in placing doors, windows and furniture while maintaining proper clearances allows customized layouts suited to the space.

The key is arranging furniture groupings with enough clearance for traffic lanes and social interaction.

Language English
No. of Pages1297
PDF Size15 MB

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