Specifying Furniture Guide

Specifying Furniture Guide
8th September, 2020

At a glance:

This guide assists specifiers in the tender process when acquiring contract or domestic furniture. It also acts as a guide for manufacturers and suppliers looking to satisfy a specifier’s requirements.

Furniture is a deceptively complex product to purchase. There are many factors that need to be considered when specifying furniture; from the suitability of the supplier to the performance of the product. Some of these factors include the consideration of ergonomics, fire safety, frequency and length of product use, product whole life cost, use of the product and sustainable manufacturing.

To ensure that products are suitable for the intended use, it is important that the correct factors are considered at the tendering stage, and that appropriate specifications are transmitted to potential suppliers.

This guide is intended to provide comprehensive and current information for the specifiers of contract and non-domestic furniture for use in producing a tender document.


The guide will assist in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Giving persons new to the tendering process reliable guidance
  • Making the process of producing a tender document as simple as possible for seasoned specifiers and tenderers
  • Assisting in the evaluation process by providing up to date and current advice
  • Offering a consistent approach, simplifying the process for the complete supply chain and thereby reducing the amount of cost and questions generated
  • Reducing the cost of the tender process for all parties

Reducing the amount of challenges on completion of the tender by ensuring consistency across specifiers and suppliers alike.

The guide is particularly useful for:

  • Central government departments
  • Local government departments
  • Architects
  • Interior designers
  • Purchasing & Buying departments
  • Facilities managers
  • Occupational health advisors
  • Housing associations
  • Construction companies and builders

Specifications for furniture used in the following typical environments would benefit from reference to the guide:

  • Offices & the workplace
  • Schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutes
  • Hospitality (e.g. hotels, cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs)
  • Waiting areas (e.g. hospital waiting rooms, public transport, doctors)
  • Living accommodation (e.g. care homes, student accommodation, barracks)
  • Housing Association facilities
  • Outdoor contract areas (e.g. pub gardens and recreational areas)
  • Retail showrooms
  • Renting of furniture

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