NIH Design Requirements  

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The 2008 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Design Requirements Manual for Biomedical Laboratories and Animal Research Facilities (DRM), formerly called the NIH Design Policy and Guidelines, is the only detailed design requirements and guidance manual for biomedical research laboratory and animal research facilities in the U.S. Compliance to the DRM, which promulgates minimum performance design standards for NIH owned and leased new buildings and renovated facilities, ensures that those facilities will be of the highest quality to support Biomedical research.

The Division of Technical Resources (DTR) in the NIH Office of Research Facilities (ORF) is responsible for developing and maintaining the DRM. It is also responsible for reviewing and approving its content and organization. DTR pursue, research and test state-of-the-art and innovative technology that may be applicable to biomedical research facilities, and incorporating research results and lessons-learned from the design and construction of NIH’s unique biomedical research facilities into the DRM. The DRM is a dynamic document. Revisions are made as necessary. The Architect/Engineer (A/E) should refer to the revisions page before each use of the DRM to note any updates that have been made since the last use. The entire DRM will be revised on a three year cycle.

The DTR maintains state-of-the-art knowledge and develops new technologies to improve energy efficiency, maintenance and operations. ORF has conducted studies that are the basis for NIH’s Bio-Environmental Engineering Research Program. These studies have set numerous National and International Standards for Better Indoor Air Quality and Greater Energy Conservation. The following standard setting organizations have adopted the NIH research findings: American National Standard Institutes (ANSI), American Society of Heating and Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health, and the International Academy on Indoor Air Quality The results of these studies are incorporated in the 2008 DRM and new information will be added as it becomes available.

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