Yale renews its design standards, adding guidelines for fall

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Concrete foundation of the new Economics Building facing west, August 2021, photo by Ronnie Rysz

The Office of Facilities’ design standards now include counsel for reducing embodied carbon in concrete use at Yale. The new concrete standard complements the University’s commitment to zero carbon emissions by 2050. In addition, the fall update includes new guidelines for controlled environment rooms along with modifications to the standards for toilet compartments in restrooms.

  • Yale’s new concrete standard introduces low carbon concrete use for campus building projects. Cement, an ingredient in concrete, is estimated to be responsible for seven percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Using low carbon concrete reduces greenhouse gas emissions through blended cements and supplementary cementitious materials (SCM).
  • Yale’s special construction standards include new requirements for controlled room environments, which describe the delivery, installation, and testing parameters for prefabricated room components and systems. This guidance replaces section 01 88 13 Special Construction Performance Requirements.
  • Yale’s specialties standards include updated requirements for toilet compartments within restrooms. Partitions are now required to be six feet, eight inches above finished floors for greater user privacy, and based on a review of recent projects, partitions are no longer required to be ceiling mounted. In the revised standard, toilet compartments shall be floor mounted and overhead braced with slim profile posts and concealed hardware.

In addition, the following standards were removed from Facilities’ library: (1) 01 01 0 Scope of Work, (2) 01 35 1 Special Procedures for Historic Treatment, (3) 01 42 0 References. The contents from item (2) were incorporated into the standards introduction, which is updated to reflect the changes above.

All of the University’s new and updated standard divisions and contractor guidelines can be found online.

Many thanks to all the colleagues who contributed their time and thoughts for this release. Cross-departmental collaboration continues to improve Facilities’ projects and operations.

Please keep your suggestions coming for the next cycle. Feedback will inform the development of new requirements. Look out for these advanced standards in the next quarter, or if you would like a preview, inquire with the Design Standards Committee.

Top image: Concrete foundation of the new Economics Building facing west, August 2021, photo by Ronnie Rysz