Policy Guides

Below are a series of guidebooks that address a range of planning related issues for Federal facilities compiled in one location for easy reference.

Site Security Design Guide

The Site Security Design Guide establishes the principles, explores the various elements, and lays out the process that security professionals, designers, and project and facility managers should follow in designing site security at any Federal project, be it large or small, at an existing facility or one not yet built.

The collaborative, multidisciplinary approach reflected in this Guide sets the standard for GSA, by defining a security philosophy that supports successful public building projects into the future. This Guide is intended to serve as an instructional supplement to applicable project specific security design criteria.

Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces

Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces is a valuable tool for Federal and non-Federal public building property managers seeking to evaluate and improve their lobbies, atriums, plazas, courtyards, and other public spaces.

Written and designed by Project for Public Spaces and GSA, the book is both a hands-on resource with on-site exercises and a handy reference tool full of ideas and inspiration. It comprises four major sections:

Site Selection Guide

Critical decisions made at the very beginning of every capital development project have major consequences for the overall success of the project. The site selection decision has a dramatic impact on almost every facet of the design and construction process. The site affects the organization; massing; functionality; sustainability; operational and economic efficiency; security; and last, but certainly not least, the aesthetic qualities of the building. This guide [PDF - 2 MB] presents framework to assist the project team with site selection. It addresses issues of both process and principle and is an extension of our quest to ensure that Federal buildings are inviting, productive, efficient and safe places to conduct government business.

Project Planning Guide

The Project Planning Guide was written to assist all of those who develop GSA's Capital Program in evaluating, developing, and implementing Federal facilities projects. For GSA staff about to embark on a Feasibility Study or Program Development Study (PDS), this Guide provides a comparison of the Pre-Planning, Feasibility Study, and PDS phases in terms of level of analysis, required deliverables, and supporting studies. In addition, it provides typical timelines and durations for each study to assist with the development of the Work Plan. Summary sheets and checklists for key steps are also included.

PBS Facility Standards (P100)

The P100 establishes design standards and criteria for new buildings, major and minor alteration projects, and preservation work on historic structures. The 400-page document contains technical criteria for architecture and engineering firms to follow during programming, design, and documentation of GSA facilities. The P100 represents the current and proven practice of designing facilities to meet GSA’s commitments, maximize the efficiency of business processes, and comply with the requirements of Federal law.

Whole Building Design Guide

The Whole Building Design Guide is a web-based portal hosted by the National Institute of Building Science intended to provide government and industry practitioners with one-stop access to up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria and technology from a 'whole building' perspective. Development of the WBDG is a collaborative effort among federal agencies, private sector companies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

Last Reviewed: 2020-11-23