October 19, 2022

What Are Site Furnishings?

When it comes to architecture, construction or landscape design projects, the term site furnishings has a very specific meaning and function. It often refers to an exact section of specification documents that defines the furnishings to be used on a given project. Based on the CSI MasterFormat® standard for organizing specifications, Division 12 is where most furnishings are listed. Site furnishings specifically can be found under 12 93 00 with subdivisions for Bicycle Racks, Trash and Litter Receptors, Manufactured Planters, Site Seating, Benches and Tables, Drinking Fountains and Bollards.

In some cases, CSI MasterFormat® Division 32 – Exterior Improvements is where specifications for site furnishings can be found. This would be under 32 30 00 for Site Improvements with a subdivision for Site Furnishings (12 33 00).

Site Furnishings Defined

Whether found in specifications under Division 12 or Division 32 or just on a facility manager’s shopping list, site furnishings can most easily be defined as commercial-grade furnishings intended for public use, typically in outdoor environments. They are commonly installed in and around commercial, municipal and institutional buildings and grounds to support pedestrian usage and public activity within the space.

Types of Site Furniture

Site furnishings can include but are not limited to:

Where Site Furnishings Are Used

Site furnishings can be found in many public spaces such as:

The Benefits of Site Furnishings

Site furnishings can make a space more comfortable and inviting while also promoting social engagement and outdoor interaction. As just a few examples, offering tables and seating on a property helps to guide how a space is used while trash cans and bike racks address common pedestrian needs.

Aside from being functional, site furnishings can also contribute to and enhance the overall appearance of a building or public space. When design-oriented site furniture products are selected and installed properly, they can add the finishing touch to the overall landscape design.

Site furniture is separated from residential patio furniture by its durability, weight and ability to withstand the elements and busy public usage. It can often be bolted or fixed to the ground for a more permanent installation.

The terms site furniture or site furnishings may be common to landscape architects, designers, urban planners, contractors or civil engineers but for those new to the world of exterior design and commercial-grade furnishings, we hope this information gives a better understanding of what it means to include site furnishings into your design plans and the necessary function and aesthetics they provide to public properties everywhere.