When it comes to campus housing, every detail is important. Whether you’re designing for a small college or large university, a new building or renovation — creating a safe, functional, and attractive common mail area will have a positive impact on the student experience.

So, grab your notebook and drafting pencil as we discuss some common Q&As for mailboxes in campus housing areas.

Are there any special considerations for campus mailboxes?

Yes. One of the main distinctions that colleges and universities typically have is private delivery.

Private delivery is when someone other than a USPS carrier delivers mail to individual mailboxes. (Other private delivery applications include office mailrooms, financial institutions, military housing, and health care facilities.)

Our neighbors at Kansas State University shared how this works at their campus.

“Both campus and USPS mail goes through Central Mail Services, who then distributes it to the individual halls,” said Nick Lander, Assistant Director for Residence Life, K-State Housing & Dining Services. “UPS, FedEx, etc., all deliver directly to our (residence) halls.”

Mailboxes are installed in the lobby of each residence hall, he explained, and each university apartment complex also has a central mailroom.

“It is convenient for students since they can pick up mail where they live as opposed to a central location on campus,” he said.

What types of mailboxes are ideal for these settings?

Mailboxes used for private delivery installations have more flexibility in terms of layout. Because the USPS does not deliver directly to the mailboxes, they are not subject to USPS regulations.

This helps colleges and universities accommodate more mailboxes in a given area. (Lander says their residence halls hold as many as 300 mailboxes!)

K-State uses the horizontal style of mailboxes, he added.

Standard 4C, or STD-4C, are the current standard for indoor, mounted mailboxes. They feature horizontal mailboxes, which protect mail from bending and damage. They are also more secure and durable than their predecessors, the Standard 4B+ mailboxes.

“We have replaced many of our boxes in the last few years, so we don’t have many maintenance issues,” Lander said.

Are the specs any different?

Yes. Because of the flexibility afforded by private delivery, specifying STD-4C mailboxes for colleges and universities is a little different. First and foremost, you should update your master specs to ensure you are specifying the current standard instead of obsolete equipment.

(You can also import BIM Objects directly into Revit.)

You can also fully configure the mailbox installation — from installation height to mailbox sizes — to match your project’s specifications.

Mailboxes for private delivery also have the option of using a combination lock (only available for private delivery) or a standard lock and key (USPS compliant).
What do I need to know about planning for packages?

Adequate space for packages is crucial today. Growth in shipping volume has increased dramatically over the past few years — a trend that will continue into the future.

And for college and university students, package management is even more important because not only are parents shipping precious items forgotten at home, but students are also taking advantage of greater purchasing power afforded by their first credit card offers and the ease of ordering textbooks and other supplies online.

“We definitely get more packages now with many students shopping online,” Lander said.

Not all schools use built-in package lockers. For those that do, we recommend having one package locker for every six mailboxes — a ratio that will help ensure delivery needs are met now and into the future.
Congratulations! You’re now an ace in university mailbox installations!

If you want to earn some extra credit, check out some of our other resources:

Unsure about renovation rules? Check out our blog, which details what to do with an outdated system, and lets you know when you need to update your specs!

Speaking of specs…Get the latest and greatest by downloading our BIM product library. Never specify old or outdated equipment again!

Make way for care packages! Learn why planning for package management now and in the future is the biggest issue in designing mailbox installations today.

Ready to get designing? Visit our online mailbox configurator to design a mailbox installation that fits your project’s needs.