Facilities Design Requirements


Columbia University is committed to creating and maintaining facilities that are of the highest quality and value. From our strong commitment to working with minority-, women-, and/or locally-owned (MWL) business enterprises to our development of durable, cost-effective, and environmentally-sustainable campuses, we maintain our basic philosophy of delivering excellence in all that we do. The following Columbia University Facilities Design Requirements are for use by Columbia University Facilities' design professionals and contractors to support the construction and renovation of new and existing buildings on the University's Morningside, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Baker Athletics Complex and Nevis Laboratories campuses. All projects must meet these requirements. Please review the detailed information below.    

Responsibilities of the Design Consultants, Contractors, and Construction Managers

It is incumbent on all design consultants contracted by the University to become familiar with all published DESIGN REQUIREMENTS including any amendments or revisions. Any questions about, or noted conflicts between the DESIGN REQUIREMENTS and the project's stated goals or applicable code requirements must be brought to the University's Project Management Team immediately and in writing.

The University will consider innovative and cost-effective alternates to the DESIGN REQUIREMENTS during the course of the project. Any proposed alternates, however, must be presented formally to, and be approved in writing by, the University's Project Management Team before being incorporated into any design documents.

All design consultants, subconsultants, contractors, subcontractors and construction managers engaged by the University are fully responsible and liable for their designs and construction regardless of the extent to which the requirements are referenced in the project, and regardless of any approvals or acceptance of the submitted design or construction documents by the University or its personnel.

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Responsibilities of the University's Project Management Team

At the start of each project, the University's Project Manager will provide access to all sections of the DESIGN REQUIREMENTS to the contracted design consultants, contractors or construction managers as appropriate.

The Project Manager, in consultation with other members of the Project Team and relevant University Stakeholders, will identify sections of the DESIGN REQUIREMENTS which may not be applicable or where alternates may be considered.

In addition, the Project Manager will respond in writing to any questions about, or noted conflicts between the DESIGN REQUIREMENTS and the project's goals or applicable code requirements.

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Facilities Design Requirements by Divisions

The FACILITIES DESIGN REQUIREMENTS are based on the 2014 MasterFormat and all downloadable documents are in a pdf format.

These requirements are organized in the following divisions (click on links to pdfs):


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Helpful Links

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Feedback and Recommendations

Your feedback and recommendations are encouraged and should be submitted in writing for our review and consideration via email at [email protected].

The FACILITIES DESIGN REQUIREMENTS committee will meet and review submitted feedback bi-annually and will amend the design requirements as appropriate.


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