Ohio School Design Manual

The Ohio School Design Manual is a comprehensive set of standard guidelines for the design of school facilities. The manual was developed by OSFC staff, in cooperation with architects and nationally recognized educational planners.

The design manual sets necessary minimum standards of quality for the state’s educational facilities and provides a flexible set of guidelines to serve the diverse needs of local school communities and the children they serve. The design manual is updated annually.

The Ohio School Design Manual is available on CD at no charge by sending in this 
order form or by contacting OSFC at 614.466.6290.

Recent editions of the OSDM are also available for downloading by chapter. These files are large and may take awhile to load. Because of the file size, some chapters are divided into multiple parts in the online version.

Design Manual Vendor Meetings

The Ohio School Design Manual (OSDM) Update Committee has scheduled two meetings to allow manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers to present products, systems, and materials for consideration by the Committee for inclusion in the 2014 Ohio School Design Manual.
These meetings provide an opportunity for industry input to assure current best practices while establishing a uniform level of quality for products, systems and materials used in the construction of state funded public schools. Participants should be prepared to offer specific language revisions to the 2013 Ohio School Design Manual.
The Committee will meet on:
  • May 1, 2014
  • November 6, 2014
The meetings will begin at 8:00 am and last until 4:00 pm. The format will be 25 minute presentations every half hour throughout the day. The presentations must be scheduled in advance by contacting Eugene Chipiga at 614.466.2338 or eugene.chipiga@ofcc.ohio.gov.


More About the Ohio School Design Manual

The Ohio School Design Manual (OSDM) includes specifications for systems and materials, which are mentioned, with purpose, in a generic manner. The Ohio School Facilities Commission does not endorse products by trade name or source. Specifying methods include both: performance - a statement of required results with criteria for verifying compliance, but without unnecessary limitations on the methods for achieving required results; and reference standard - requirements set by authority, custom, or general consensus and are established as accepted criteria.
There was no attempt in the OSDM to establish these specifications based on propriety specifications that identify the desired products by manufacturer’s name, brand name, model numbers, type designation, or other unique characteristics. Materials and systems not mentioned in the OSDM, which meet or exceed the characteristics or performance of those stated will be considered, provided adequate information is submitted for approval to the Design Professional and the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
Local school districts hire the architect of their choice for each of these projects. Those architects make the final decision as to which manufacturers will be included in the list of approved manufacturers for every product needed. Representatives from manufacturing companies may wish to meet with the architectural firm to demonstrate the outstanding value of their products to school clients. The specifications staff then includes that manufacturer’s products in the list of acceptable sources.
Materials and systems not categorically mentioned in the Manual but which have the potential to be of good value to Ohio’s Schools can be incorporated into designs through the OSDM Variance Process. A Variance Request is prepared by the design professional using an on line Variance Web tool. Training is available to design professionals not familiar with this process. Variances are granted for specific projects and apply only to that specific building. When repetitive Variances are approved for a product or system, consideration is given by the Design Manual Update Committee to make a revision to the language of the OSDM to incorporate that system or material.