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Welcome to Chart Area Seating: specialists in providing seating solutions for lecture theatre, conference, seminar, training, concourse and waiting area environments

Indicative guidance for planning an effective lecture theatre seating auditorium environment*

Auditoria are often required to fulfil a number of purposes and audiences should be able to see and hear every element of a presentation, speech or conference.

With considered and effective planning of a lecture theatre or auditorium these objectives can be met creating a versatile and comfortable resource for organisations and institutions.

Guideline dimensions for lecture theatre seating: The overall seat depth ranges from a minimum of 600mm to a maximum of 720mm

The tipped seat depth ranges from a minimum of 425mm to a maximum of 500mm Back to back seat spacing 760mm Seat width for seats with arms ranges from a minimum of 500mm to a maximum of 750mm Seat width for seats without arms 450mm Armrest width 50mm

Armrest length should coincide with the depth of the tipped seat Seat height ranges from a minimum of 430mm to a maximum of 450mm Armrest height 600mm

Seat back height ranges from a minimum of 800mm to a maximum of 850mm The number of seats in a row is limited by legislation to a maximum of 22 where a gangway exists at either end of the row and 11 seats where there is only a single gangway.



The minimum width of the gangway is 1100mm and objects that may encroach on this such as handrails must be allowed for to ensure that there is a clear 1100mm width to the gangway.

The means of escape for auditoria aims to ensure all audience members can reach a place of safety within 2minutes 30seconds and no-one should have to travel more than 18 metres from their seat to the exit within the auditorium.

From each level of the auditorium two separate exits must be provided for the first 500 seats with an further exit for each additional 250 seats. The minimum total exit width for a lecture theatre accommodating up to 200 people is 2200mm and this rises as the capacity increases.

The gangways can be raked with a maximum incline of 10% with a maximum rake of 8.5% recommended to ensure access for wheelchair users. If the rake is steeper steps spanning the full width of the gangway must be created which have consistent tread and riser dimensions

For general seating the minimum clearway – the distance between the leading edge of the seat and the seat back immediately in front – is 300mm. This distance is based on the leading edge of the seat in upright position for tip-up seats and increases for longer rows of seats.

A guideline row-to-row dimension of 850mm is recommended exceeding the 760mm required by legislation.

The seating density for lecture theatre seating varies depending on the type of seat specified. When assessing the minimum seat dimensions acceptable the area per seat is 0.38m2 however these seats offer a compromised level of comfort and should not be considered as the norm.

At Chart Area Seating we can offer layouts based on different seat programmes to achieve the optimum balance between lecture theatre capacity and audience comfort.

The upholstery of lecture theatre seating should provide comfort and avoid fatigue whilst encouraging attentiveness and the material must conform to fire regulations.

At Chart Area Seating we can advise on fabric options, which will satisfy fire regulations and has been proven to withstand the regular use of audiences. Lecture theatre seating can be equipped with a variety of writing surfaces including writing tablets, pivoting tables, writing benches mounted to the floor or to the seating row adjacent.

‘Anti-panic’ tablets ensure that in a forced evacuation of a lecture theatre the tablets will move out of the way and not cause an obstruction for the exiting audience. Seating can be configured to accommodate wiring to provide power to the audience seats or to carry amplification equipment.

Read our information on the key elements of an effective lecture theatre seating environment as identified by students themselves.

* The legislation and regulations in relation to auditorium and lecture theatre planning can change frequently and the information contained here is intended as an indicative guide only and must not be actioned without further research.

Please contact Chart Area Seating for more information and to discuss your lecture theatre requirements.

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Chart Area Seating - specialists in lecture theatre seating, high-density seating for conference, seminar and lecture facilities, function rooms and banqueting

At Chart Area Seating we specialise in the specification, supply and delivery of system seating solutions including high-density stacking chairs, tip-up and fixed seating for auditoria and lecture theatres, beam and pedestal mounted seating, home cinema seating, courtroom seating, airport, concourse and waiting area seating.

These seating products are used in seminar and conference facilities, in waiting areas and on concourses, in auditoria, theatres and training rooms. Working with some of the best-established and innovative manufacturers we listen to our clients, understand their requirements and propose the right solutions tailor-made to suit their needs.

We provide technical support and product guidance on this specialised product sector to architects and designers, end-users and specifiers.

Lecture Theatre Seating

Lecture Theatre and Auditorium Seating is one of the key areas for Chart Area Seating and we are proud to have installed tip-up and fixed seating in some of the UK's most prestigious academic and corporate institutions working with our clients at every stage of the design, specification and installation process to create superb lecture theatre facilities.

Our portfolio incorporates an extensive range of beam, pedestal and floor mounted seating products which ensures we can propose the best lecture theatre seating solution to match your specific and unique requirements. View our range of lecture theatre seating here and view our gallery of lecture theatre seating products.

We have prepared a guide to planning an effective lecture theatre which is available to read here.

We have also compiled a list of some of the most important elements of an effective lecture theatre seating environment as nominated by those who use them most; students, and this is available to read here.

Visit our references page to view the list of clients we have worked with to create effective lecture theatres.

Court Room Seating Furniture

We are proud to have installed Court Room Seating to over 100 court houses and complexes throughout the UK.

Our references page lists some of the courtrooms using seating provided by Chart Area Seating, alternatively please contact us and we will be delighted to send you the full reference list and presentation.