Design and Construction Standards

About the Design and Construction Standards

The University of Texas at Austin Design and Construction Standards have been prepared by the university to guide and assist architects, engineers, other design professionals, contractors, and university staff (herein referred to as Professional) in understanding the preferences of UT Austin in the development, maintenance, repair and replacement of its facilities and assets. The information contained herein applies to all university owned assets to include the Main Campus (CAM), J.J. “Jake” Pickle Research Center (PRC), Marine Science Institute (MSI), McDonald Observatory (MCD), Winedale, Lost Pines Biological Research Center, Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL), and any other UT Austin-owned facilities and assets.

All buildings and other projects for the university shall be designed as quality institutional facilities with components specified to provide maximum life-cycle usefulness. The university establishes the total project budget, including the maximum funds available for construction. The Professional is charged to monitor program requirements and cost estimates to assure that the project is designed within available funding, and that it does not deviate from the quality standards established in this manual. These standards represent the intent of the university to address the following primary criteria while providing optimal life cycle cost benefit to the university:

  • Safety
  • Reliability
  • Maintainability
  • Efficiency
  • Sustainability

The intent of these standards is not to limit creative solutions. The university will consider requests for substitutions or variances in order to provide the best benefit to the University and will typically require a life cycle cost analysis to be completed as part of the substitution or variance process as provided in the Standards Exception Request process. When these standards refer to a single manufacturer, it is not intended to exclude all other alternatives for all projects, unless specifically stated.

These standards are organized in a manner consistent with the Construction Specification Institute's MasterFormat - 2016 edition. Content includes Division 00 - Division 33. Updates will be seen as they are approved by the UT Austin Standards Governance Process.

Document Types in the Design and Construction Standards

Design Criteria - The Design Criteria documents provide performance requirements for a system or space to be followed by the designer (architect, engineer, landscape architect, contractor for small projects, etc.), which are organized by discipline, CSI Division, or building system. Design Criteria typically identify broad instruction that cannot be captured in a specification. For example, the electrical room should not be accessed through a restroom or private lockable space.

Technical Specification - The Technical Specifications identify performance requirements for systems or products to be incorporated into the project specifications by the designer, which are organized by CSI MasterFormat 2016 specification numbers. For example, cooling coils shall have a maximum 8 fins per inch.

Supplemental Standards - The Supplemental Standards are various documents, such as standard operating procedures, checklists, and regulatory forms that identify requirements which the designer and contractor shall follow throughout the course of their work. The Supplemental Standards contain information applicable to multiple CSI Divisions and are linked in the relevant Division pages. For example, Non-Routine Discharge Guidance identifies the steps a contractor should follow prior to discharging water from fire suppression pipes, domestic water pipes, chilled water and steam pipes irrigation pipes, or any other piping into the sanitary sewer systems. These documents are considered enforceable standards.

Campus Information for Professional Service Providers (PSPs) and Contractors

For Contractors - Primary General Contractors and Subconsultants

Coordination Procedures