The Furnishings & Design Department was created in September 2006 to provide University departments with design services for furnishings and interior finishes (i.e. carpet, paint, etc). Under the direction of the Associate Director, our experienced design staff works closely with the Purchasing Department to ensure that all products purchased are of commercial quality and in compliance with the State of Alabama Bid Law and University furnishings contract. Additionally, the Furnishings & Design Department bears the responsibility of designing spaces that adhere to all building codes and meet all guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

GENERAL GUIDELINES
Furnishings & Design is here to assist you with office renovations. Those renovations could include furniture and/or interior finishes. Departments who need to purchase specific pieces of office furniture such as a file cabinet, storage cabinet, whiteboard, or chair can purchase those directly through Purchasing using one of our standing contracts. Purchasing has contract spreadsheets to assist in these types of quick purchases. If purchasing whiteboards for classrooms, our department will be happy to assist you, as this will involve coordination on the installation to maintain an operable classroom. Due to the volume of projects that our staff is involved in, departments should notify Furnishings & Design of cancellation or rescheduling at least one hour prior to a scheduled appointment. Please be aware that projects will be delayed should this courtesy not be extended.

CONTRACT COMPLIANCE
The Furnishings & Design Department sources interior furnishings and finishes from existing standing University or state contracts. Compliance with the State of Alabama Bid Law is of utmost importance to The University of Alabama as well as Furnishings & Design. As such, our staff works in conjunction with the Purchasing Department to ensure complete compliance with the University’s Purchasing Policies. Any project requiring items not currently on a standing contract will be bid through the Purchasing Department. For additional information, please click here.

Designers assisting on these types of projects will be responsible for writing the technical specifications of the items needing procurement. After authoring those specs, the designers will work with the appropriate buyer to ensure a competitive bid is written and posted. As a partner in the process, the designers will assist the department in selecting the lowest bid while meeting the technical specifications. For information on the standing contracts currently available to University departments, please click here.

Note:  Contracts renewal dates vary; be sure to check the website regularly to ensure that the bid is still active.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE
When designing/space planning an area, the Furnishings & Design staff shall consult and comply with the following regulatory documents:

  • State Building Codes, including all referenced documents
  • International Building Codes, including all referenced documents
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

POLICY STATEMENT ON FURNISHINGS
All furniture is to be commercial grade quality. No residential grade furniture should be installed in a University facility. Furniture shall be in compliance with the following codes:

  • Cushion core on upholstered furniture shall be flame resistant polyurethane foam and shall have passed the California 117 Fire Retardancy Test.
  • All fabric shall have passed the California 117 Fire Retardancy Test.
  • As proof of compliance, a Flame Retardant Certification Label shall be permanently affixed to each furniture item.
  • All products shall be ANSI / BIFMA certified, and shall conform to NFPA guidelines.
  • All upholstered window treatments must meet or exceed NFPA 701.
  • Use of wall coverings must be pre-approved by Furnishings & Design Department. Several factors will determine approval to include but not limited to: the location of the wall in proximity to exterior of the building and the type of wall covering requested.

FEE STRUCTURE
Design services are complimentary to University departments for office renovations. For large capital projects, an estimated fee is developed based on the scope of design work included in the project. This fee is charged to the FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment) portion of the project budget.