Table of Contents:  

Section 4-1: General Architecture

Section 4-1: General Architecture
4-1-00 Design Requirements
       10 Design Guidance (Reserve)
       20 Information 
       30 Design Document Requirements

4-1-00 Design Requirements
Excellence in design is a primary goal for all NIH design and construction projects.  A commitment to quality by the design and management team is necessary to achieve this goal. Quality architectural and interior design can have a direct impact on improving the facility operating efficiency, attractiveness, life cycle economics, and ultimately, the productivity of the facility users.  Design excellence does not add to project costs, but does require a balanced approach to design, which optimizes the functionality, aesthetics, quality and maintainability of facilities.
Designs should consider architectural compatibility with the NIH campus and NIH Master Plan objectives, functional requirements, economy of construction, energy conservation, interior and exterior details, and life cycle costs. Facility designs should address the needs of all users of the facility and enhance the lives of these users while providing the latest state-of-the art features to further the goals and objectives of the NIH throughout this century. For additional requirements specific to Research Laboratories and Animal Facilities see applicable Volumes of the Design Manual.
A. General Health and Safety: 
NIH, through DOHS, has developed a comprehensive occupational safety and health program to protect the safety and health of all employees. This includes the occupational work setting found in laboratories, animal handling activities, and mechanical support services.  Safety and health regulations and guidelines require the use of engineering controls for worker protection, wherever possible, to minimize the potential for occupational exposure to hazards in the workplace. To be most effective, engineering controls for protecting occupational safety and health shall be designed into facilities for both new construction and renovated space. This proactive approach can minimize numerous common health and safety concerns in laboratory facilities. Facilities shall be designed for ease of maintenance.  This is particularly important with regard to the specific containment devices (e.g., HEPA filter housings, HVAC systems, vacuum systems, autoclaves, etc.) designed for the facility.
These health and safety guidelines are to be incorporated, as appropriate, in facility specific construction documents by the A/E to ensure that health and safety protection is engineered into the design of any new or renovated facility and at the time of construction of the facilities.
While many of the requirements for health and safety engineering are incorporated in the DRM, it is impossible to cover all possible concerns. The A/E shall always consult with DOHS with regard to specific health and safety engineering requirements in the design of new construction and renovation projects.

4-1-10 Design Guidance
A. Functional Design: 
Floor plans should be simple and functional so as not to restrict flexibility. Permanent plan elements, such as mechanical shafts, stairways, and reinforced concrete vaults should be located to minimize their impact on functional use areas or future expansion of critical areas. 
A.1 Design Modules: 
Modular design should be considered where appropriate. The building module used must consider the fire protection requirements which require that each level be subdivided into smoke zones as per the requirements of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards 101. 
A.2 Building Circulation: 
Adequate circulation space should be provided at points of traffic congestion.  Architectural features should emphasize overall circulation patterns and major entrances to departments. Circulation throughout the building should be efficient and direct without being restrictive.  Clearly defined horizontal and vertical circulation routes for people, equipment, supplies, research animals, waste disposal and maintenance and repair activities are needed to ensure security and safety. Service corridor circulation, ghost corridor circulation between laboratories, and primary circulation patterns between department functions, laboratories, offices and animal or lab support spaces shall be clearly addressed early in the design process. The location of stairways and transition ramps shall be studied at connections between buildings with different floor-to-floor heights. Circulation should be made more efficient by:
• Avoiding confusing hallway systems and the extension of through corridors from department to department.
• Avoiding horseshoe shapes in major corridor systems that require excessive walking distances.
• Minimizing the use of single loaded corridors.
• Eliminating major corridors through elevator lobbies or through other areas that tend to concentrate circulating personnel.
• Locating vertical transportation element(s) so that they are easily visible from major entrances.
A.3 Future Expansion Considerations:
Expansion of expensive existing scientific functions can often be coupled with relocation of lower cost functions.  Placing scientific functions on outside walls with adjacent site space available for expansion also adds future flexibility.  Corridor patterns can enhance circulation and flexibility.  Adequate access to general circulation is needed for each department to facilitate visitor, patient, staff, and material traffic. Open plans, where feasible, allow easy scientific functional change. Floor plans that encircle a scientific function with permanent corridors, stairs, mechanical rooms, or other building elements difficult to relocate should be avoided.
Functional elements should be grouped in accordance with the following objectives.  Where difficulties arise in the mutual accommodation of both of the following objectives, the objective stated below shall be given priority.
• Elements should be combined on the basis of functional adjacency requirements to facilitate better functional flow and reduced operating and staff costs.
• Elements with similar electrical, mechanical, and structural requirements should be combined to facilitate savings in construction costs.
Consistent with proper functional adjacency planning, soft functional areas (areas having minimal amounts of plumbing, special finishes, special mechanical features, and special power demands) should be placed between hard functional areas (areas having appreciable plumbing, special finishes, special mechanical features, and special power demands) to permit future growth of the hard functional areas by relocation of the less costly soft functional areas.
Column free functional areas should be ensured where possible while minimizing the use of transfer beams. A consistent column grid shall be provided in multistory facilities. Furthermore, it is recommended that columns be oversized and strengthen to accommodate additional floors. Electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and other support systems should be designed to permit modifications in support of scientific and medical functional changes with the least life cycle cost and least disruption to the overall operations.  Utility areas shall be located to ensure cost effective connections to site utilities and efficient distribution to functional areas. To enhance and improve utility distribution, stack similar utility areas vertically in multistory facilities to the greatest extent possible.  Provide adequate space for all required code safety clearances as well as for maintenance and repair operations within utility spaces. Additional information relative to utility requirements is contained in the Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical and Communications Sections of the Design Manual.
B. Building Massing:
Consideration should be given to the visual impact of any new structure, especially to a new addition on an existing building, and to the massing effect on surrounding views.
C. Area Allowances:
The following calculations are for the purposes of design and construction and not to determine real estate space allocations for the purposes of charging rent.
C.1 Gross Building Area: 
The gross building area includes the total area of all floors, including basements, mezzanines, penthouses, mechanical and electrical spaces, and enclosed loading docks.  Gross area is measured from the exterior surfaces of all enclosing walls except where the exterior wall surface overhangs the exterior window surface by 300 mm or more.  In this case, the gross area is measured from a point one-half the distance between the exterior plane of the window glazing and the outermost plane of the wall.  Shaft type elements such as atriums, stairs, unenclosed floor openings, elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, lifts, mechanical and electrical shafts are included in the gross area for one floor only.
The gross building area exceeds the net area by a grossing factor.  A range is given for these factors, depending on design choices for internal circulation patterns, interior partitions, utility distribution and mechanical equipment configurations. 
Research Laboratories:  A grossing factor of 1.54 to 2.00 is typical for research laboratories.
Animal Research Facilities:  A grossing factor of 2.00 to 2.20 is typical for animal facilities.
Multiply the net floor area by the grossing factor to establish the projected gross building area. This gross area must be verified when actual plans are developed.
C.2 Net Floor Area: 
The net area of a space is measured from the interior surface of the walls that enclose the space.  Exterior walls, interior partitions, columns, structural members, projections that lie within the walls of a room, and internal circulation within the space are excluded from the net floor area. 
D. Integration of Building Systems (IBS) Design:
Integration of Building Systems (IBS) concepts shall be applied to the design of all new biomedical and vivarium facilities and when warranted, to the design of other facility types based on size or complexity. IBS design involves the coordinated design of all elements of a building, integrating the functional, architectural, accessible, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire protection, energy, telecommunications and other features into a unified whole. All design elements are recognized as essential to a successful facility design and as such, are to be treated simultaneously and with equal weight. The primary objective of an integrated design approach is to achieve a building with optimum functionality, flexibility, adaptability, appearance and maintainability.  Inherent in IBS design for biomedical and vivarium facilities are the principles that maintenance traffic and maintenance activities are minimized within functional areas through the careful location of equipment rooms and utility services.  Equally important is the assurance of proper installation and maintainability of primary and distribution equipment through careful consideration and coordination of envelope space requirements. Utility system space planning must occur simultaneously with overall site and facility functional planning. 

4-1-30 Design Document Requirements
A. Architectural Plans (Design Development and Contract Documents)
Floor plans, sections, elevations, reflected ceiling plans, wall sections, roof plan, parapet or edge details, roof penetration details, interior elevations, finish schedules, door elevations, door schedule, door (jamb, head and thrush) details, window elevations, window schedule, window (jamb, head, and sill) details, equipment and casework layout, equipment and casework schedules, miscellaneous details, and cover sheet requirements shall be provided. 
B. Specifications (Outline and Detail Performance Specifications)
Outline specifications shall be developed at the design development stage and detail performance specifications shall be developed at the contract document stage.
C. Cost Estimates (Systems and Quantity Takeoff Estimates)
Systems cost estimates shall be developed at design development stage and quantity take-off estimates shall be developed at the contract document stage. 

This page was last updated on May 23, 2013