Construction Requirements for Freestanding Structures

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This page describes the policies for renters who wish to build freestanding structures in their rental spaces.


Submission Requirements

A structural drawing of all freestanding structures in rental spaces must be submitted to for approval before constructing. Structures that have not been approved may be taken down without notice.


The Asylum reserves the right to ask for structural or safety improvements (or structure removal, if structural improvements are not possible) to any fabricated structure that could endanger yourself or people near you.

Fire Regulations

  • No object (structural, storage, or otherwise) may be within 3 feet of any sprinkler head.
  • No object may block fire alarm strobe lights when viewed from the nearest fire lanes.
  • Items and structures may not be within two feet of a light fixture.


The platforms / shelves in a structure can only be 16 inches wide. This is to aid in fire suppression.


  • No permanent ceilings. All ceilings must be retractable and retracted more often than not.
  • Permanently installed ceilings (defined as any material overhead, regardless of whether or not it's a mesh, or made of metal, etc.) would be subject to building inspection, up to and including you paying for permits and paying for Yankee Sprinkler Co. to re-route sprinkler heads.

Unbuildable spaces

  • Building 8 has some limitations that the rest of the Asylum does not. In order to change the bulbs in the high bay fixtures, some spaces will not be allowed to have structures put up. These spaces will need to be navigated in to get a man lift safely up to the ceiling. With reasonable notice (7 days), members will need to move items within the space to allow for access.
  • The spaces where construction is limited are 93, 96, 98, 100, 101, 112, and 114.
  • Adjacent spaces may need to be cleared in order to reach fixtures. The estimated lifespan of a bulb in building 8 is 5 years.


No freestanding structures over 8 feet tall without express written permission from the facilities manager. Get your design approved before you start construction; you'll be asked to take it down if it's not approved.

Attachment Points


The structure needs to be free standing. It cannot be fastened to the partitions. No attaching to the floor or other parts of the building (other than walls) without express prior permission.


No attaching to the chest-high renter walls for structural support. Bracing for something short, like a desk or a set of short shelves, is fine. The walls are not that strong, and (by requirement of the building department) not attached to the ground or any wall.

Note that this is not true for larger renters (200 and 250 sqft) - larger renters are welcome to attach to the steel stud walls, and block walls, provided they obtain express written permission. Smaller renters adjacent to a block wall may also attach to the block walls with express written permission.


Q: Someone else has done the thing I want to do that violates one of these rules, can I do it anyway?

A: No, some structures are grandfathered in, and others have special exemption.

Q: I want to build a loft, can I build one like X?

A: No, after each structure is created, the door is closed behind them. Come up with something new and different with your own personal style. Structures ruin sight lines, reduce socialization and make the space darker and smaller. Before you build, think to yourself, “Do I need all of this stuff?”

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