The National Institutes of Health (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. It 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.
The DRM aligns the NIH facilities program with the Office of Research Facilities’ (ORF) mission of “Supporting NIH priorities by providing safe, secure, sound, healthy, and attractive facilities.” Additionally, the DRM aligns the ORF with a national imperative to be good stewards of America’s real property assets. We extend our sincerest thanks to all the dedicated individuals who helped to make the DRM a reality.
Under Construction: DRM update in progress
The last major DRM update was issued in 2016, and subsequent focused revisions have kept it current. DTR is now undertaking a comprehensive update of the DRM to reflect industry developments, best practices, and lessons learned. The update will be published chapter-by-chapter through 2023 as chapters are completed to release the information as quickly as possible. Updated chapters will replace the current DRM chapters as they are published.
We look forward to supporting NIH and the
international community as a reliable resource for best practices in biomedical
facility design. If you have any questions about the process or the timeline,
please contact the Standards and Policies Branch by emailing email@example.com.
To automatically receive the latest DRM Revisions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and put Revisions in the subject line.
For all technical inquiries, comments and suggestions, please email the Office of Research Facilities, Division of Technical Resources at email@example.com.
PDF (21MB) 508
Revision 1.5: 03.26.2020
The Desk Guide is now available to make the DRM more accessible and easier to use.
Note on the use of the Desk Guide:
The full, unabridged DRM remains the guiding document and primary source for policies, requirements, and guidance for all stakeholders and decision makers involved in the planning, construction and operation of NIH facilities. The Desk Guide is intended to be ancillary to the DRM, serving as a navigation aide and providing an overview of DRM contents. The Desk Guide must be used in conjunction with the DRM, and not as a standalone document.