Carnegie Mellon
Facilities Management Services /
Campus Design & Facility Development

Carnegie Mellon University Design & Construction Guidelines


Important Links:
Design/Construction Standards
Facilities Management Services Home Page
Campus Design & Facility Development Home Page


About the Standards:

The Design & Construction standards presented here are intended to assist architects, engineers, other design professionals, and contractors in understanding the University's preferences in the development, and renovation of its facilities. These standards are intended to be used as guidelines and NOT SPECIFICATIONS, therefore, the legal responsibility for project document preparation shall continue to reside with the Design Professional.

Please Note:
These Design and Construction Standards are for use by Carnegie Mellon University, its consultants and contractors and remain the property of Carnegie Mellon University at all times.

Viewing the standards will require Adobe Acrobat reader which is available at

To access the Guidelines, click here DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS.








By contract with the university, Design Consultants apply university Design and Construction Standards to their work on university projects. 

If Design Consultants identify circumstances in which, in their professional opinion, either the university or their internal customers or their projects themselves would be better served by waiving the application of any aspect of the Design and Construction Standards, they must seek  formal approvals to continue with design services that do not apply certain of those Design and Construction Standards to their work.

To obtain such waivers, Design Consultants are asked to put their requests in writing addressed to their university Project Manager (PM) assigned to their projects.  PMs submit these written applications for waivers to the Director of Design in the university’s Campus Design and Facilities Development (CDFD) organization, or to the University Engineer in the university’s Facilities Management Services (FMS) organization, or to both (depending on the nature of each proposed waiver) for review and response.  Copies of waiver requests also go to the Associate Vice Provost (Associate VP) for CDFD, to the PM’s supervisor (the Director of Construction for CD&FD), and to Customer Representatives (CRs) for the projects involved.

The Director of Design in the University's CD&FD organization or University Engineer or both approve or reject waiver applications in writing and transmit them to the PM, with copies to the Design Consultant, to the Associate VP for CD&FD, to the supervisor and to the CR.  Design Consultants or CRs may appeal rulings on waiver applications to the Associate VP.

The Associate VP reviews appeals of proposed waivers and either approves or denies them, with advice from the PMs and the supervisor, and from other interested parties not directly involved in the appeal.  Associate VP decisions are put in writing and transmitted to the appellant (Design Consultant or CR), with copies to the other interested party and to the University Architect/Engineer, to the PM, and to the supervisor.

Waiver requests provide useful insights into the effect of the Design Guidelines.  Over time, they may prompt confirmations of, or changes to, the Design Guidelines.