|•||What is a loft?||•||Lofts must not be enclosed in any way|
|•||In which halls are lofts allowed
||•||Light fixtures, electrical outlets, switches and cords, telephone and data outlets|
|•||Loft requirements||•||Lofts must be free-standing|
|•||Constructing a loft||•||Bed springs and mattresses|
|•||Size of lofts||•||Terminology and acceptable standards|
|•||Height of lofts||•||Safety considerations|
|•||Proximity to windows and doors||•||Residents must provide their own tools|
|•||Sub-floor sleeping compartment||•||Disassembling lofts|
|•||Lofts must not obstruct air or heat circulation||•||After removing a loft|
||Lofts must work around all permanent room structures||•
||Sample Loft Schematic
A loft is a self-supporting, freestanding structure that is not attached to the walls, floor or ceiling. The purpose of a loft is to raise the bed spring and mattress off of the floor. Residents are permitted to construct lofts in varying designs and sizes. Residents who choose to have a loft in their rooms assume any and all liability in regards to damage to the room that may result from the use, construction or removal of the loft. This includes, but is not exclusive to, damage to paint and plaster, ceilings, smoke detectors, light fixtures, bed parts, other furniture and floors.
Lofts are not encouraged, inspected or endorsed by Western Michigan University, although some residents may choose to have a loft in their residence hall room to utilize additional space and individualize their room. All residents are cautioned that the University does not recommend any specific type or kind of loft. In the event of a fire, smoke and toxic fumes rise to the ceiling of the room. Lofts are designed to move beds to the top of the room to increase space below. As a result, if a fire occurs lofts can increase the risk of smoke inhalation or serious injury. Residents who choose to have a loft in their rooms assume any and all liability in regards to physical injury.
The construction, assembly, disassembly and removal of lofts are the sole responsibility of the residents of the room. These guidelines are for the safety and protection of the room occupants and other residents of the hall. Over the years the availability of manufactured lofts or loft kits has increased. Certain manufacturers of lofts may claim, advertise or infer that their lofts have been approved, endorsed or recommended by Western Michigan University. Students are cautioned that no manufacturer of any loft has any such approval, endorsement or recommendation by WMU. Because rooms vary a great deal in dimensions and layouts, a manufactured loft may not fit the room. Measure your room before buying or building a loft. Students are cautioned to use discretion when considering the purchase of any manufactured loft.
Lofts may be assembled between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. during the first three (3) days of a semester and between the hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. thereafter.
All cutting and sawing must be done inside the student's room or outside of the building. Cutting, sawing and construction are not permitted in the hallways.
|•||Lumber, furniture and other items may not be stored in lobbies or hallways during the construction period because of the fire and safety hazards involved.|
|•||People assembling lofts must thoroughly clean up and properly dispose of all waste material. Brooms and vacuum cleaners are available at the front desk.|
|•||Wood should have a minimum of knot holes and be properly seasoned. Untreated construction grade #2 pine or fir is frequently used. Whatever stock is selected, it should be strong enough to withstand normal use. Tree limbs or rough sawn lumber are not permitted.|
Lofts are permitted to occupy no more than 50 percent of the floor space of the room where they are placed. Closet areas will be included in calculating the floor space.
There must be a minimum of 19 inches from the top of the mattress to the ceiling or the surface immediately above the mattress.
The full width and height of doors and windows must not be obstructed and must be available for use as an emergency exit or entry to the door at all times.
Sub-floors are not permitted due to safety restrictions.
Built-in furniture may not be moved. Supporting parts of the lofts may not be placed on top of furniture or affixed to any permanent structure in the room such as walls, ceilings, floors or pipes.
This includes using paneling or fabric.
These may not be moved or blocked by loft parts. Lighting fixtures and electrical cords cannot be attached to the loft structure.
Most residents incorporate standard University bed springs and mattresses into the construction of their lofts. Bolts and nuts are required in securing the springs to the loft; however, different spring sizes exist. Typically springs are approximately 36 inches wide by 80 inches long, but there are a few 76-inch long mattresses throughout campus. Do not drill holes and cut loft pieces without first measuring the size of the spring and height of the ceiling.
Furniture storage: All University furniture must remain in the resident's room. Lack of storage space prohibits the University from storing furniture or loft parts. Bed-ends may be stored; contact your hall director.
|•||Missing bed parts: A fee for replacing missing bed parts such as springs, end boards, nuts, bolts or washers will be assessed.|
Deck - the horizontal surface holding the mattress. Usually a bed spring, but may be a flat piece of plywood as long as it is appropriately supported and at least 1/2 inch thick
Supports - vertical pieces, usually at the corners of the loft. Must be constructed of 4" by 4", 2" by 6" or two 2" by 4" side-by-side pieces, and they must be designed to hold deck and springs
|•||Cross beam - horizontal pieces attached to support 2" by 6" or greater, designed to hold deck/springs. Must be bolted to the cross supports|
|•||Deck joists - horizontal pieces attached to cross beam when plywood decking is used, designed to support the deck|
|•||Cross supports - angled support bracing. At least 2" by 4" or 1" by 3", used for strengthening and removing wobble. Must be bolted or screwed to supports and to cross beams|
|•||Cleat - 2" by 2", running parallel with cross beam, must be glued and screwed to cross beam; used to support deck joists when plywood is used in place of springs|
|•||Hanger - commercially available metal brackets secured to cross beam; used in place of cleats to support deck joists|
|•||Fasteners - use nuts, washers and bolts that are 3/8 inch diameter because the bolt mounting holes in the bed frames are 3/8 inch diameter. Nails are not permitted because they have a tendency to loosen. Lag bolts may be used to fasten cross beams to joists. Bolts should be positioned so that the threaded end will not cause injury nor will it cause damage to the mattress|
|•||Wedges - wood cut at an angle, wrapped in a carpet scrap. Used between supports and the wall to add stability and reduce wobble. Care should be taken when wedging so wall plaster is not damaged|
|•||Ladders: Ladders are not required, but consideration should be given to exiting a loft in an emergency. When in use, ladders must be securely attached to the loft. Ladders must be strong enough to support weight in excess of the anticipated load. Horizontal braces connecting 4" by 4" supports frequently serve as ladders.|
|•||Safety rail: Residents may use a safety rail when sleeping in a loft. A safety rail of sufficient height and strength must be a part of all lofts; however, safety rails may be removable if they are secured in place when in use. If any sides of the loft are pushed directly against a wall, no additional safety rails are necessary for those sides|
|•||Smoke detectors: All residence hall rooms or suites of rooms have at least one smoke alarm supplied by the University. Some two room arrangements have a University supplied smoke alarm in only one room. Residents must supply a ceiling mounted, battery operated smoke alarm in a room with a loft if they choose to use a loft in a room where there is no University smoke alarm. Mounting screws or nails are not permitted; double faced tape is a common mounting method. It is the resident's responsibility to keep all smoke detectors in working order at all times|
|•||Swing-a-way beds: Lofts designed to have the bed spring and mattress move up and out of the way must have a safety catch or chain to prevent the accidental falling of the bed|
Lofts must be disassembled by 8 p.m. on the Friday preceding exam week, unless the resident is returning to the same room the immediate following semester. This early time is required so that the noise of disassembling will not occur during the two days prior to exam week, as well as during exam week. Lofts not removed before exam week may be disassembled between 8 and 11 a.m., on the last day the halls are open.
The room must be returned to the original condition after removing a loft. This includes beds properly assembled and painted where necessary.