Skilled Nursing Facilities looking to create more of a home-like environment often incorporate furniture for resident use throughout the building. Typically, this would not include corridors, but the 2012 edition of NFPA 101 added an allowance for the use of furniture in facility corridors; albeit with several requirements.
NFPA 101 (2012) 188.8.131.52(5) says:
Where the corridor width is at least 8 ft (2440 mm), projections into the required width shall be permitted for fixed furniture, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The fixed furniture is securely attached to the floor or to the wall.
(b) The fixed furniture does not reduce the clear unobstructed corridor width to less than 6 ft
(1830 mm), except as permitted by 184.108.40.206(2).
(c) The fixed furniture is located only on one side of the corridor.
(d) The fixed furniture is grouped such that each grouping does not exceed an area of 50 ft2 (4.6 m2).
(e) The fixed furniture groupings addressed in 220.127.116.11(5)(d) are separated from each other by a distance of at least 10 ft (3050 mm).
(f)* The fixed furniture is located so as to not obstruct access to building service and fire protection equipment.
(g) Corridors throughout the smoke compartment are protected by an electrically supervised automatic smoke detection system in accordance with 19.3.4, or the fixed furniture spaces are arranged and located to allow direct supervision by the facility staff from a nurses’ station or similar space.
(h) The smoke compartment is protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with 18.104.22.168.
Stringent requirements aside, this allowance represents a great opportunity to create useable space for residents and visitors.