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As if there weren’t already enough acronyms floating about in the industry, FF&E adds to the mix of terms commonly used when embarking on a new build or renovation project. So, what does FF&E mean?

Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment

Often, we get asked, “Does Dolphin supply FF&E washroom fittings?” and the answer is yes, we do. But, whilst working on projects with our Joinery contractors, we have also found that Mechanical and Electrical companies (M&E) are looking to us to supply products for the same project. A challenge arises because some of the items coincide with FF&E washroom accessories.

In this article, we will clarify our view of what types of washroom products classify as FF&E and M&E washroom fittings from our experience, how these fittings overlap, and why things get complicated for the main contractor when a Doc M pack is specified.

Dolphin Superloo Elements with FF&E washroom fittings in black finish

What washroom products are classified as FF&E?

FF&E fittings are not fixed to the structure of the washroom or building and are typically fitted by a washroom Joinery contractor. We usually refer to them as washroom accessories. Here are some of the different types of products you can expect to find in the FF&E washroom fitting category:

  • Toilet roll holders
  • Waste bins
  • Toilet brush sets
  • Paper towel dispensers
  • Robe hooks
  • Door stops
  • Shelves
  • Mirrors
  • Tissue dispensers
  • Soap dispensers
  • Baby changing tables
  • Grab rails
  • Taps (overlap with M&E)
  • Automatic hand dryers (overlap with M&E)
  • Vanity tops, troughs, and washbasins (overlap with M&E)
  • Shower fittings (overlap with M&E)
  • Combination units with integrated fittings (waste bin, toilet roll holder, toilet brush holder, paper towel dispenser, keeping in mind that automatic hand dryers overlap with M&E in combo units)
Dolphin Superloo WC pan, cistern, flush plate M&E washroom fittings

What washroom products are classified as M&E?

M&E stands for Mechanical and Electrical and are the services provided by a subcontractor who also supplies M&E washroom fittings. Any washroom products that consist of electrical components, for example, sensor activated fittings, or elements that include mechanical systems and water operated components, for example, toilets, all fall under the M&E category:

  • WC
  • Cisterns and cistern frames
  • Manual and sensor taps (overlap with FF&E)
  • Automatic hand dryers (overlap with FF&E)
  • Touch free soap dispensers (overlap with FF&E)
  • Shower products (overlap with FF&E)

FF&E accessories and M&E products can overlap

As you can see from the products listed above, a number of these fittings are in the FF&E and M&E categories. A sensor tap, for example, falls under M&E because of its electrical and mechanical components, it also falls under FF&E because it is an accessory that is removable and not part of the structure of the washroom.

However, washroom products that belong under both categories have a reputation for creating confusion resulting in what could potentially be a messy situation for the main contractor.

What can go wrong if separate washroom Joinery and M&E subcontractors work on the same project?

Because there is a cross-over between M&E and FF&E washroom fittings, there can be a package duplication in the quoting process for both subcontractors working on the same project.

If this is not flagged before purchase orders are confirmed, the two subcontractors may find themselves onsite together with the same specified fittings ready for installation. The pressing questions are, who will rectify the situation and who will lose money because of this oversight?

There is also a significant challenge for contractors who specify Doc M packs from either a washroom Joinery contractor or an M&E contractor. If a contractor does not fully understand what a Doc M pack includes, it can lead to missing items from the pack resulting in a non-compliant accessible washroom cubicle.

Doc M pack FF&E washroom accessories in chrome and white finish

Doc M packs and FF&E

A Doc M pack consists of everything required for an accessible washroom cubicle. It includes an accessible WC pan, WC cistern and frame, washbasin, tap, tissue dispenser, emergency pull cord, grab rails, waste bin, shelves, mirror etc.

If, for example, only the M&E contractor is tasked with quoting a Doc M pack and not the Joinery contractor, the M&E contractor will only include Doc M packages that are applicable in their category. M&E packages would not usually include accessories such as the grab rails because those fittings are not mechanical or electrical components. Typically, grab rails are classified as FF&E washroom fittings, as with the waste bins, tissue dispensers, mirrors and so forth.

The accessible washroom will not be Doc M compliant without the full set, thus it is crucial for contractors to remember this when tendering for this Doc M washroom package. Failing to do so may negatively impact the tender process or after winning a tender because the extra fittings have not been included in the Doc M pack to make it fully compliant.

What to consider when specifying FF&E washroom accessories

As we have already established, FF&E washroom fittings are washroom accessories that do not form part of the structure of a building, and most washroom companies, like Dolphin Solutions, offer these accessories. Some of these fittings overlap with M&E washroom products from other contractors, such as taps, automatic hand dryers, showers etc. thus, scrutinising quotes to avoid duplication is crucial.

If a Doc M pack is included within a subcontractor’s package, ensure they are aware of what a complete Doc M pack entails to avoid the risk of non-compliance with Document M regulations.

Read more about what a Doc M pack includes and what you can expect to be in your quote.

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