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Office of Research Facilities

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Office of Research Facilities 



About ORF
Supporting NIH priorities with a comprehensive facilities program                                     

Architecture, engineering, and construction contracting; real property purchase and lease activities.

Constructing and renovating NIH space

Environmental Protection
Protecting human health and the NIH environment

Planning & Space Management
Planning for future development of NIH

Division of Technical Resources
Setting worldwide standards for biomedical facilities

Project Resources
Project-related materials developed by ICs for sharing.

Property Management
Maintaining and operating NIH space nationwide

Quick Links



Technical Resources                

  • Facilities Policies & Guidelines
  • Facilities Development Manual PDF file
  • HHS Facilities Program Manuals​
  • The 2016 NIH Design Requirements Manual (DRM) establishes policy, design requirements, standards and technical criteria for use in planning, programming, and designing NIH owned, leased, operated, and funded buildings and facilities. The DRM is the only detailed design requirements and guidance manual of its kind. The information compiled within the 2016 DRM is the result of technical studies that have set numerous national and international standards, lessons learned and ever-advancing architectural and engineering technologies used in the design and construction of NIH facilities. The Division of Technical Resources (DTR) is responsible for maintaining and updating the DRM.
    In order to ensure the most current, relevant, and comprehensive manual, DTR continuously researches and tests state-of-the-art and innovative technologies. DTR has gathered data from these studies as well as from numerous years of specialized experience and an accumulation of lessons-learned. This has led to data-driven decision making and best practices for the design and construction of NIH’s facilities. The results of these studies are incorporated into the 2016 DRM and new information will be added as it becomes available
  • The New Desk Guide PDF fileis now available to make the DRM more accessible and easier to use.
    DRM "News To Use" Issues  raise technical awareness regarding state-of-the-art innovation and the importance of attention to detail in designing highly complex biomedical facilities. The concise one page monthly articles condense important technical criteria in the Design Requirements Manual (DRM) and place emphasis on flexible design, safety and health of the occupants, security, and protection of the environment. Each article guides the reader to the appropriate section of the DRM for additional topic detail.

  • The printed 2022 NIH Waste Disposal Guide PDF file                           
  • NIH Mercury-Free Campaign

 Training                          ​

IACET Authorized Provider Division of Technical Resources (DTR) is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  (DTR) complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, (DTR) is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

News Features

News Features

NIH Launches Virtual Tour

 The National Institutes of Health is excited to share the launch of the new NIH Virtual Tour! This dynamic, interactive tour showcases the depth and breadth of NIH's important work turning discovery into health. The tour features 20 in-depth virtual tour stops on the NIH Bethesda campus. Visitors can select the full tour to experience the breadth of NIH's work or choose special tour tracks, one designed specifically for patients and caregivers interested in NIH clinical trials and one designed for researchers and others to explore opportunities to work, collaborate, or train with us. Each stop features interviews with NIH senior leaders, administrators, and scientists who share information about their work. Additionally, the tour's interactive map allows users to learn more about buildings, services and campus-wide amenities like parking, shuttle information, cafeterias and cafes, restrooms, lactation rooms, and more. All aspects of the tour are fully accessible for all visitors.

 Through the NIH Virtual Tour, visitors from all over the world can experience NIH and learn more about who we are, what we do, and our impact on health. Please see for yourself and take the NIH Virtual Tour.  ​



For a building emergency, 24/7 call 301-435-8000
For all other requests follow procedures on Maintenance Service Requests webpage

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    Every effort has been made to ensure that the information available on our website is accessible to all. If you use special adaptive equipment to access the Web and encounter problems when using our site, please let us know. Email: ORF Response and we will provide the information to you in an alternate format. It would be helpful if you can be as specific as possible when describing the information you seek. 



This page was last updated on Jun 17, 2024