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Design Standards

The SCA Design Standards are intended to guide the design of new construction and existing building rehabilitation for New York City Public Schools. They are comprised of four major groups: Design Requirements, Standard Specifications, Standard Details, and Room Planning Standards. In addition to these major groups, other design standards include the NYC Green Schools Guide, procedural guidelines, and other information to be utilized by the Design community for working on New York City Public Schools.


  • Design Requirements
    The Design Requirements define the acceptable and expected design practice for SCA consultants and in-house Architects and Engineers, and are generally organized by discipline and building system. Each requirement under "Description/Design Approach" may meet or exceed applicable code requirement.

  • Details
    The Standard Details are to be used as an aid in creating Contract Documents and are based on the SCA Standard Specifications and Design Requirements. They are to be modified to suit actual project conditions.

  • Room Planning
    The Room Planning Standards provide the design basis for all spaces in New York City Schools, including all intended equipment and general locations of furnishing. They clearly delineate those items to be provided by the contractor and those by the Authority. They require modification based on actual room layout and size, and for existing rooms may end up being modified due to space and program constraints.

  • Specifications
    The Standard Specifications define the materials acceptable for use in New York City Public Schools, and are based on and complement the Design Requirements. For projects that have a system that is not included in the specification, the designer is to create the section based on the formatting. Deviations from the standards on capacity projects must be approved through the Deviations Committee.

  • Title Sheets
    All Drawings prepared for the SCA shall utilize the Standard Title Sheets to insure consistency in presentation for all projects. The Designer shall use the appropriate sheet size and border for the project, with 24½x 36½ (sht-d) being the preferred size.