Building Block Modular Furniture

Your Building Block modular furniture can be set up in any of four approved configurations. You may be happy with your current configuration, but if you want to make a change, please review and follow all safety requirements and assembly instructions. For safety reasons, only the configurations presented here are allowed. A full brochure can be downloaded for your reference.

You can check out which residence halls and apartments have which style of modular furniture here. This furniture is not provided in Northwood IV and V.

Rooms with Building Block modular furniture will include the following items:

Desktop Organizer12″34.75″30″
Before You Begin…

Think through your room arrangement before you begin. Remove all obstacles from your path, empty the contents of all drawers and clear any items from the tops of furniture. Remove the mattress from the bedframe for safer, easier lifting.

Safety Requirements

  • Many of the modular furniture pieces are heavy. Two or more adults are required to lift and stack these pieces. Always use proper lifting techniques to prevent serious back injuries.
  • The steel pins provided must be used in all stacked configurations to position and lock the pieces together. (Replacement pins are available at your Community Center.)
  • In any stacked configuration, the safety guardrail should be positioned on the outside of the bed and not against the wall.
  • Do not remove the safety guardrail.
  • Do not remove the desktop organizer from the desk.
  • The side of the bed without the safety guardrail must be placed against the wall.
  • Furniture should be a minimum of two feet away from windows and from heat registers and radiators. (Does not apply to Northwood residents.)

Proper Lifting Techniques

  • Before you lift anything, get close to what you want to move.
  • Center yourself with what you are going to lift.
  • Plan the lift so it will not take you off balance, which could cause you to lose control and hurt yourself.
  • Plant your feet firmly.
  • Don’t bend from the waist to lift, as it places too much stress on your spine.
  • Bend from your knees to pick up the furniture, keeping your back straight.
  • Don’t rely on your arms and back alone; let the trunk and leg muscles do the work.
  • As you move during a lift, do not twist your body; instead, turn your feet while your spine remains straight.

The University of Michigan is not liable for injuries you may receive as a result of configuring your modular furniture system.

What's with the asterisks?

Steel locking pins are used to connect the various furniture elements and are essential for safety. The asterisks in the instruction photos indicate pin locations. Please refer to these photos to be sure that you have placed the pins correctly. 

Assembly Instructions

If you want to change your furniture configuration, there are several options to consider.


  1. Decide where you want your loft to be located. Place the desk (with attached desktop organizer) where you want that end of your loft to be.
  2. Place the dresser on the other end.
  3. Place pins in the pinholes on top of the dresser.
  4. Position the bookcase on top of the dresser, making sure that the pinholes in the bottom of the bookcase are aligned with the pins in the dresser top.
  5. Turn the bedframe so the safety guardrail will be on the outside of the bed and not against the wall.
  6. With the shortest ends of the bedposts toward the floor, lift and place the bedframe on top of the other furniture.
  7. Check all pin connections to ensure that they are secure.
  8. Use the ladder to get safely up and down from your loft.


  1. Decide where you want your bunked beds to be located.
  2. Position the bottom bunk with the shortest bedposts on the floor.
  3. Place a pin in each of the lower bunk’s bedposts.
  4. The top bedframe should be turned so that the safety guardrail is positioned on the outside of the bed and not against the wall.
  5. Lift and position the second bunk on top of the first, with the shortest bedposts down (pointing to the floor).
  6. Check to be sure that the pins are firmly connecting the two beds at the corners of each bedpost.
  7. Use the ladder to get safely up and down from the upper bunk.


  1. Decide where you want your trundled beds to be located.
  2. Place the first or lower bed in its intended location, with the shortest bedposts on the floor.
  3. Place the dresser parallel to the lower bed’s safety guardrail. Its distance from the safety rail should approximate the length of the top bed.
  4. Place two pins in the top the first bed’s safety guardrail.
  5. Turn the top bed so the shortest ends of the bedposts are facing down (toward the floor). Make sure the safety guardrail is facing out and not against the wall.
  6. Lift and place the second bed so the pinholes on the bottom of the bedposts align with the pins in the first bed’s safety guardrail on one end. On the dresser end, the bottom of the bed frame should rest at the middle of the dresser top.
  7. Check all pin connections to ensure that they are secure.
  8. Use the ladder to get safely up and down from the top bed.

Single Bed

The bedframe can be flipped so that either the short or long ends of the bedposts are on the floor. The mattress will fit on either side. Placing the longest bedposts on the floor will provide the most under-bed storage.

More Options

The beds are not the only pieces of modular furniture that can be stacked. Consider stacking:

  • Dresser on dresser
  • Bookcase on dresser
  • Bookcase on bookcase

Simply place pins in the pinhole locations to connect the two pieces.

More Assistance

If you need additional connecting pins or help with these instructions, please contact your Community Center.

University Housing is a unit of Student Life, and an equal opportunity educator and employer.

For housing related questions, please contact University Housing.
Phone: (734) 763-3164