1.1 Purpose of the Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service

The Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service establishes design standards and criteria for new buildings, major and minor alterations, and work in historic structures for the Public Buildings Service (PBS) of the General Services Administration (GSA). This document applies to all new facilities or alterations of GSA owned, or lease construction with Government Option to Purchase (See Section 1.3) buildings. It is recommended that the Facilities Standards apply to significant build-tosuit lease buildings. This document contains policy and technical criteria to be used in the programming, design, and documentation of GSA buildings. It is intended to be a building standard; it is not a textbook, handbook, training manual or substitute for the technical competence expected of a design or construction professional.

The Facilities Standards shall be used in conjunction with the specific building program for each project, which delineates all project information, such as number and sizes of building spaces, and requirements for mechanical, electrical and other operating systems. It is imperative that each building be designed so that all components comprise an integrated solution, so that operation of the facility, energy usage and other criteria may be maximized.

Since the Facilities Standards contain general criteria, there may sometimes be conflicts between the Facilities Standards and specific project requirements. The Office of the Chief Architect, Public Buildings Service, General Services Administration,Washington, DC 20405, (202) 501-1888, may be contacted for clarification of any particular requirement.

The provisions of this document are not intended to prohibit the use of alternative systems, methods, or devices not specifically prescribed by this document, provided GSA has approved such alternatives. All technical documentation shall be submitted to the GSA Project Manager. The technical documentation submitted shall demonstrate that the proposed alternative design is at least equivalent or superior to the prescribed requirements in this document with regard to quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, and safety. It is not to be considered a waiver or deletion of a requirement, but shall be recognized as being equivalent protection and in compliance with the technical requirements of this document. The alternative system, method, or device shall be approved when the GSA technical design professional determines that the proposed alternative design is deemed equivalent or superior to the intent of the prescribed requirements of this document for the intended purpose.

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