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Building Standards

The standards, guidelines and manuals contained in this site are intended to assist the new building and major renovation planning process. These resources are to be used in addition to applicable municipal, provincial, federal and industry standards and regulations. These standards shall be reviewed and adhered to by consultants, engineers and architects of record undertaking work on behalf of the University. External resources will provide project-specific documentation and building specifications based on local building code, applicable standards and engineering analyses.

These building standards represent minimum technical requirements that provide a minimum level of quality assurance for the university. Where and when it is deemed appropriate, the project budget permits and with the review and formal authorization of the university, architects, engineers and consultants of record can exceed the minimum posted standards and recommend changes and amendments to the posted university building standards.

The University building standards are organized in accordance with the Master Specification Master Format Divisions, 2004 edition.

The University's building standards, guidelines and manuals are regularly developed by various subject matter experts (SMEs) from Facilities Services, University Information Technology (UIT), Health, Safety & Employee Well-being, Human Resources, and Security Services, Department of Community Safety.

The Office of the Vice President Finance and Administration (VP FA), and the Office of the Assistant Vice President, Facilities Services coordinate the collection of information and drafting of standards and guidelines, and where necessary develop new standards, guidelines and manuals. Draft standards and guidelines are submitted to university SMEs for peer review. Once reviewed, the draft building standards are finalized by the AVP's Facilities Services Executive Management Team for final consideration. For draft standards that are not Information Technology related, once this final review is completed the draft building standards and guidelines are officially authorized by the AVP Facilities Services and are then posted on the University's building standards web site.

The Official York University building standards, guidelines and manuals are iterative and evolving documents that are maintained by Facilities Services in conjunction with other contributing university departments (including but not limited to: UIT, Security Services, and Health, Safety & Employee Well Being).

Proposed new building standards and updates to existing university Building Standards, Guidelines and Manuals are submitted to the AVP Facilities Services Executive Management Team for review and updated as needed.

All York University, Facilities Services departments and units, UIT, Health, Safety & Employee Well Being collectively have the responsibility for enforcing the official university building standards for all new construction and renovations.

Information technology standards and guidelines are developed by UIT SMEs and reviewed and authorized by the Director, ICT Infrastructure & Information Security Officer. Office of the Chief Information Officer, University Information Technology (UIT)

Architects, Engineers and Consultants of record are required to comply with all posted York University building standards, manuals and guidelines  throughout all phases of project design and development. 

Deviations, amendments or variances from a posted university standards, guidelines or manuals must be submitted in writing with a rationale to the Director,  Planning and Renovations, Facilities Services who will review the request with the relevant university SMEs

Building Standards, technical and functional guidelines and manuals apply to all projects involving University-owned facilities, and infrastructure. This includes academic, and administrative buildings and student housing operated by the university. York's standards, guidelines and manuals also apply to university infrastructure, parking lots and grounds. These Standards, guidelines and manuals must be applied to all new construction and renovations regardless of project value. The Standards, guidelines and manuals apply to on going maintenance as well as major renovations and new construction.

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