When it comes to mail delivery for your community, keeping it safe, convenient and efficient should be a top priority for any developer. Knowing how to choose the right mailbox is vital to maintaining resident satisfaction and the overall integrity of your property.
The best way to ensure that you’re making the right choice is to stay up to date with the top of the line locking centralized mail and package equipment applications on the market. Let’s review a few of the options.
USPS Approved Apartment Cluster Boxes & STD-4C Mailboxes
When it comes to mailboxes, there are two types of properties: those with U.S. Postal Service mail delivery and those with private mail distribution. We will refer to these as USPS and private delivery for short. It might seem like a small distinction, but mailboxes are directly affected by the laws governing these two types of mail delivery options. Properties such as small businesses, apartments and office buildings are most often serviced by the USPS. However, private distribution of mail and packages is also common in student housing, corporate offices and institutional properties.
The U.S. Postal Service enforces a series of different codes and regulations that must be adhered to for the safety and efficiency of mail delivery personnel as well as the safety and convenience of residents. Failure to meet these regulatory protocols can result in fines or costly redesign and reinstallation fees for mail delivery systems that aren’t compliant.
Free-standing Cluster Box Units (CBU) or wall-mounted STD-4C mailboxes are required for new construction projects when mail and packages are USPS delivered — regardless of the type of property. Florence has been in the business of designing USPS compliant centralized mail equipment for nearly a century and our team and network of authorized dealers are here to help architects and developers avoid the headache of selecting mailboxes compliant with specific regulations.
Whether your mail center plan is located inside or out, it’s important to ensure you have allocated an appropriate amount of space for CBUs or STD-4C mailbox equipment including space for proper accessibility. Florence’s online product configurator provides installation layout drawings with dimensional notations that allow a designer to do a number of layout variations very quickly. Or let our dealers assist you — we’re here to help!
It’s important to plan ahead when choosing the right mailboxes. When you’ve found a dealer, be sure to send them the blueprints or floor plans of the area you wish to install your mailboxes in so that they can get a good idea of the options and limitations of your property and create a good plan and proposal. This will save you time, money and more than a few headaches down the road.
Cluster boxes and STD-4C mailboxes are a tenant’s dream. These mailboxes come with larger shared package locker space for customer use. The USPS requires a 5:1 ratio of mailboxes to package lockers. These USPS regulations were updated in July 2020 in response to the exponential increases in residential package deliveries.
If your project requires the configurability of STD-4C mailboxes but you don’t have the wall space for mounting them, STD-4C mailboxes also come in a standalone cabinet called the Depot. These mailboxes are compliant and secure mounted in a prefabricated cabinet “wall” just as if they were mounted in or on a building wall.
The bottom line is that with CBU or STD-4C mailboxes, your project is assured to provide a secure USPS compliant mail center for residents — and look stylish doing it!
1. Horizontal Mailboxes
We’re going old school here with these mailboxes that for decades were the bread and butter of centralized mail delivery in large apartment communities, business offices and other properties with many tenants. Until 2006, these mailboxes were prevalent in any building receiving mail — until USPS regulations changed to accommodate packages and larger flat mail.
Though these legacy mailboxes take up less space than USPS-compliant models, they no longer meet the regulations governing USPS mail delivery, and replacing them is often more of a hassle than it’s worth. If, however, you wish to install or replace these mailboxes in a development with private mail distribution, that would not be a problem.
2. Vertical Mailboxes
Vertical style mailboxes were often used in small apartment buildings, unlike their horizontal cousins that were favored for large properties. According to current USPS regulations, these mailboxes only meet compliance requirements when used as one-to-one replacements.
Like legacy horizontals, they are never approved for use in new construction with USPS mail delivery. Vertical mailboxes also do not include parcel locker space for packages, so upgrading to outdoor cluster boxes (CBU) or STD-4C mailboxes, installed inside or out, is the only way to achieve the 1:5 ratio of package lockers to mailboxes and provide residents with an adequate amount of space to receive their packages.
3. Electronic Package Lockers
And don’t forget about all the packages delivered for residents by other parcel carriers! Adding an automated package locker system to your development will ensure residents have all their package deliveries securely stored until they are home to retrieve them.
Made in America by Florence, the Package Concierge® was designed to eliminate the hassles of package management in apartment communities. The system can receive packages delivered by the USPS, FedEx, UPS and any other delivery service provider authorized by the property manager or owner.
Get Help You Can Count On
All this talk of compliance, regulations and mailbox varieties can be disorienting. Coupled with the daily challenges of property development and management, most designers and managers just simply don’t have the time to invest the necessary thought into their mail and package system.
Look no further than the experts that construct these mailboxes in the first place to help you find the right centralized mailboxes and package lockers for your property.
For over 85 years, Florence has been producing and providing centralized mail and package equipment across North America. Check out our product lines, and get in touch with a dealer in your area to get expert assistance and give your development the best mailboxes money can buy.