Design & Construction Standards

The University of Texas at Austin Design & 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 The University of Texas at 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.

The standards, comprised of both the Design Guidelines and the Technical Specifications, are intended as recommended guidelines. Therefore, the legal responsibility for design and document preparation continue to be the design professional’s responsibility; and the means, methods, techniques, and procedures remain the Contractor’s responsibility.

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 Project 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.

Currently, this manual is organized in a manner consistent with the Construction Specification Institute's MasterFormat - 1995 edition. Content is arranged in 28 Divisions (00 through 28), although we are currently moving to the MasterFormat – 2004 edition to include additional Divisions through 48. Updates will be seen as they are approved by the UT Austin Standards Governance Process.

Design and Construction Standards

Master Specifications & Design Guidelines by Division

Additional Design Guidelines and Standards

File Links Version No. Updates Made Rev. Date
All Supplemental Documents 11-2018 None 12/2017

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Versions of the Design and Construction Standards

As the Design and Construction Standards are updated, PMCS will begin to log the different version of the Standards by using version numbers. It is important to refer to the version that was active when your contract was executed. To find the correct version to adhere to, please use the following directions: How to find the correct standards version for your contract.

Please note that the version number is created by the month and year the version was posted (for example, if the version number is 9-2016, then the version was posted on September 1, 2016). The version numbers below are links to UT Box files containing all the divisions and documentation for that particular version to be viewed and/or downloaded.

DCS Sections Updated

Active Version Number Alerts List of Changes
12/1/2018 - Present 11-2018 None click here
11/1/2018 - 11/30/2018 10-2018 None click here
10/2/2018 - 10/31/2018 9-2018 None click here
9/1/2018 - 10/1/2018 8-2018 None  click here
7/1/2018 - 8/31/2018 6-2018 None click here
5/31/2018 - 6/30/2018 5-2018 None click here
3/31/2018 - 5/30/2018 3-2018 None click here
2/27/2018 - 3/30/2018 2-2018 None click here
12/21/2017 - 2/26/2018 12-2017 None click here
12/1/2017 - 12/21/2017 11-2017 None click here
10/31/2017 - 11/30/2017 10-2017 None click here
9/28/2017 - 10/30/2017 9-2017 None click here
8/31/2017 - 9/27/2017 8-2017 None click here
7/21/2017 - 8/31/2017 7-2017 View Alert click here
6/9/2017 - 7/20/2017 6-2017 None click here
4/01/2017 - 6/8/2017 4-2017 None click here
2/22/2017 - 3/31/2017 2-2017 View Alert click here
9/15/1998 - 2/22/2017 9-2016 None click here

To see a list of all the sections that were updated between versions click here.

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Campus Information for Professional Service Providers (PSPs) and Contractors

For PSPs - Architects/Engineers/Designers

Codes & Standards (View Codes & Standards)
Preliminary Phase Standard Exception Request
Design Phase Standard Exception Request
Construction Phase Standard Exception Request
Deliverable Information (View Deliverable Info)
Deliverable Guide documents
CAD Templates
Equipment Documentation
Campus Information (View Campus Info)
Campus Conditions
Pipe Testing Procedure
Energy Performance

For Contractors - Primary General Contractors and Subconsultants

Safety Resources
Coordination Procedures
Non-Routine Discharge Guidance
Equipment Documentation
Codes & Standards (View Codes & Standards)

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Archived Design and Construction Standards