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ORF Home > Technical Resources > Facility Policies & Guidelines

Facility Policies & Guidelines

There are a number of policies and rules related to occupancy, maintenance, and operations of NIH facilities.  These policies and rules go through a strict approval process overseen by the ORF Division of Technical Resources (DTR).  Links below lead to summaries of policies followed by links to the actual complete policy.


NIH Facilities Development Manual

Section 3-13 Adobe Icon PDF (1.1MB) 508

Piped Medical Gas and Vacuum System Management Policy (September 2010)

The purpose of this section is to define the roles and responsibilities of Office of Research Facilities (ORF) and the administration of the Clinical Center (CC) in managing the design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, and testing of all new and existing piped medical gas and vacuum systems (MGV) in the hospital environment.

Section 3-15 Adobe Icon PDF (51KB) 508
Potable Water Policy

The purpose of this section is to define Office of Research Facilities’ (ORF’s) policy on availability of potable water.

word documentNIH Facilities Development Manual Section 3 17 Contractor Single Point of Entry Policy.docx

The purpose of this Chapter is to define Office of Research Facilities’ (ORF’s) policy on Clinical center (CCC) Contractor Single Point of Entry Policy (SPEP)

NIH Policy Manual

NIH Policy Manual

NIH Policy Manual 

NIH Policy Manual is comprised of individual Chapters for the purpose of establishing NIH-wide policy in a central, easy to find location for the NIH community. For questions, contact the Division of Management Support, OMA on 301-496-4606.

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 1210 exit disclaimer Utilization of Administrative Space (July 2014)

The purpose of this Manual Chapter is to maintain administrative space within the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) targeted Utilization Rates (URs) to facilitate optimal use, recapture and re-assign space when viable within the NIH community as needed. This policy also allows NIH to respond effectively to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Real Property Asset Management Plan (RAMP) reporting requirements to reduce URs exceeding the targeted rate. The policy will be used for facilities in which the predominant use is administrative. The policy is applicable to all NIH campuses, throughout the National Capital Region (NCR) and beyond the NCR, and to all leased facilities. This policy excludes office space in laboratory facilities.

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 1211 exit disclaimer Naming Rooms in NIH Owned Facilities (March 2017)

The purpose of this chapter is to provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy and procedures for the naming of rooms in NIH buildings.  This policy does not cover the naming of buildings, which is under the authority of Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 1215 exit disclaimer Relinquishing Use of NIH Owned and Leased Space (August 2016)

This Manual Chapter provides the policy, procedures, and organizational responsibilities to ensure timely and safe turnover of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) owned and leased space to the Office of Research Facilities Development and Operations (ORFDO) when use is temporarily or permanently no longer required. This Manual Chapter does not apply to Bio-safety Level 3 (BSL-3) and higher level laboratories.

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 1361 exit disclaimer Corridor Utilization (October 2013)

This Manual Chapter outlines proper uses of these spaces in order to accommodate the movement of people and egress from these locations. This policy does not apply to main building entrances/lobbies or atriums of any building. The intent of this policy is to ensure that corridors provide for: (1) a readily apparent, safe and adequate means by which building occupants may exit a building in the event of a fire or other emergency; (2) adequate access and use by emergency personnel; (3) the safe movement of people during normal daily use of the building; and (4) the safe transportation of goods and materials.

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 1370 exit disclaimer Fire Protection and Life Safety Building Permit Process (August 2013)

This Manual Chapter ensures all NIH facilities are designed and constructed in compliance with the International Building Code (IBC), the National Fire Codes, the NIH Design Requirements Manual, and other nationally recognized codes and standards (e.g., The Joint Commission standards for the accreditation of the NIH hospital), as required by 40 U.S.C. Section 3312, "Compliance with Nationally Recognized Codes."

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 1381 exit disclaimer Physical Security Project Requirements for NIH Owned and Leased Facilities (July 2014)

This Manual Chapter ensures that all owned or leased NIH facilities are designed, constructed, and/or renovated are in compliance with all applicable federal physical security requirements. This chapter serves as the basis for the NIH Physical Security Project Requirements for NIH Owned and Leased Facilities and establishes the authority of the Division of Physical Security Management (DPSM) as one of the NIH organizations responsible for safeguarding the NIH community against terrorism, criminal activity, and potential or actual threats by individuals or groups.

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 26101-16 exit disclaimer Management of Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers to Promote Energy Efficiency in Cold Storage for Biomedical Research (July 2016)

This new chapter to promote energy efficiency in cold storage for biomedical research establishes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy for the selection, inventory, placement, and maintenance of ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers; and establishes procedures for the inspection of NIH facilities to ensure compliance with this policy.

NIH Policy Manual Chapter 26307-31 exit disclaimer IC Equipment & Building Damage Compensation Policy (March 2013)

This chapter establishes policies and procedures to equitably govern compensation in the event that scientific equipment and/or National Institutes of Health buildings or building systems are damaged during a natural force majeure event or as a result of negligence by the Office of Research Facilities Development and Operations (ORFDO) or an Institute or Center (IC).

Safety Policies 

Contractor Safety Policy Adobe Icon - PDF (107KB) 508

The purpose of this contractor safety policy is to alert contractors to their responsibilities when working on NIH property and to reduce the possibility of personal injury, property damage and liability losses. (November 2012)

Facility Polices

Revised Criteria for Building 31 Occupancy (January 2000).

Forced Moves Policy exit disclaimer
Space and funding compensation for forced moves (April 2021).
Lease Management and Oversight Process (LeMOP) exit disclaimer
Appendix 1 of NIH Policy Manual 26101-18—Acquisition of Real Property by NIH Direct Lease or through the General Services Administration (GSA). (February 2013)
Defines when new or renovated space is considered ready to occupy and defines a period during which changes cannot be made.
The Occupancy Policy became effective (February 2002), and item 4 (the change Moratorium) was amended on (January 2004).

Defines circumstances under which NIH will collect rent. (May 2002)

Space Loan Policy exit disclaimer
Defines process covering temporary loans of space. (June 2005)

 Adobe Acrobat (PDF)- PDF (181KB) 508
Revision to the Space Justification Document (SJD) process used by IC's to request space. (March 2005)

Prescribed steps for preventing/remediating mold growth in the event of water infiltration.

Policy for Development, Review & Approval of NIH Program of Requirements (POR) Adobe Acrobat (PDF)- PDF (283KB) 508
Defines the scope and cost of a project. (June 2006)

Post Occupancy Evaluation Policy exit disclaimer
Defines ORF requirements with regard to performing post occupancy evaluations on new, renovated, and existing facilities. (February 2006)
Tent Erection Policy Adobe Acrobat (PDF) - PDF (140KB) 508
Defines NIH policy governing the installation of tents and other light-weight temporary structures on the Bethesda campus. (February 2006)

Utility Shutdown Policy Adobe Acrobat (PDF) - PDF (212KB) 508
Defines the utility shutdown procedures for Emergency Shutdowns (unscheduled) and Formal Shutdowns (scheduled). (July 2009)

This page was last updated on Jun 11, 2021