4.1 General Approach
Every project will have unique characteristics and
requirements for submission and review. The general
This chapter provides structural design criteria for
submission requirements for each phase of project
buildings and for building systems constructed of
development are described in Appendix A: Submission
concrete, masonry, steel and wood. The design
requirements provided herein, or cited by reference,
are based on the International Building Code, and
industry and FEMA guidelines. Deviation from these
criteria, where a valid need exists or an alternative
solution is more desirable, may be accepted subject
to evaluation and approval by GSA.
Three characteristics distinguish GSA buildings from
buildings built for the private sector: longer life span,
changing occupancies, and the use of a life cycle cost
approach to determine overall project cost.
GSA generally owns and operates its buildings much
longer than private sector owners. Accordingly, a higher
level of durability and serviceability is required for all
systems. In terms of structural design, this has resulted
in more stringent requirements than those stipulated in
of this chapter is an example.
During the life span of a typical GSA building,
many minor and major alterations are necessary as the
missions of Government agencies and departments
change. The capability to accommodate alterations must
be incorporated into the building from the outset. In
some cases structural systems should be designed to
provide some leeway for increase in load concentrations
in the future. They should also be designed to facilitate
future alterations, e.g., the cutting of openings for new
vertical elements, such as piping, conduit and ductwork.
Security is an important consideration in structural
design. Refer to Chapter 8: Security Design for design
criteria related to this matter.
Martin Luther King Courthouse, Newark, NJ
Revised March 2005 PBS-P100