TIPS FOR SPECIFYING FIXED AUDIENCE SEATING

BLUE AUDIENCE SEATING IMAGE

Tim Werbstein is a Senior Architectural Specification Writer for our sister specifications company Masterspec in the US. Recently, in a Blog for Arcom, he looked at the many issues an Architect faces when designing and specifying fixed audience seating for theatres, educational and commercial meeting spaces, and sports arenas.

Product selection and layout for fixed audience seating are interrelated with the design of the space where it is installed. The article covers points you’ll need to consider including:

  • Sightlines
  • Acoustics
  • Comfort
  • Alignment of Standards and End Panels at Aisles
  • Steep-slope Seating arrangements
  • Back Pitch
  • Back Height

Masterspec New Zealand’s Managing Editor, Alex Shaw, points out the following to remember when designing under the New Zealand Building Code.

This is an American article that refers to their local requirements of authorities having jurisdiction. The New Zealand equivalents are mostly covered by NZBC C/AS4 fire requirements, NZBC F4/AS1 Safety from falling, and NZBC D1/AS1 Access routes.

In particular:

  • NZBC C/AS4, 3.7.4 - Fixed seating
  • NZBC C/AS4, 3.7.5 to 3.7.10 - Aisles
  • NZBC C/AS4, 3.7.11 -3.7.12 - Loose seating
  • NZBC C/AS4, 3.11.9 - 3.11.10 - Open air auditoriums
  • NZBC F4/AS1, table 1 - Minimum barrier heights
  • NZBC D1/AS1 8.0 - Places of assembly (wheelchair provisions)

The Masterspec section 5514 FIXED SEATING (Interiors) covers fixed seating for theatres, cinemas and auditoriums, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes.

Although not directly related to seating, it is worth noting that most spaces like these are required by NZBC G5, 3.5 to provide Listening Assistance for hearing aids. One way to comply with this is Loop System hearing assistance which is covered by the Masterspec section 7813 HEARING ASSISTANCE - LOOP SYSTEMS (Standard, Services, Interiors).

Read the full article here.

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