skip to main content

Design & Construction Standards, Intent, Instructions, Deviations and Updates

Welcome to East Side Union High School District’s Design & Construction Standards web site.  
You are highly encouraged to read below.  If you have read these instructions, you may proceed to the Design & Construction Standards.


ESUHSD provides this information to establish design and construction consistency, operational efficiency and maintainability, while ensuring first class teaching and learning facilities. These standards represent the best value for expenditure and are aligned with the East Side High School District’s strategic goals.
  • Design Standards (DS) are directives and information for the design consultant.  Please incorporate the information provided into the construction specifications for the contractor. 
  • Construction Specifications (CS) are provided in some instances, where we’ve developed a document that we believe conveys the intent of the design standard.  The design consultant may need to customize the construction specification to the particular project being designed. 
  • File naming convention - Design Standards and/or Construction Specifications are coded to CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) MasterFormat 2014.  The file names communicate the document’s content as follows: 
CSI division section section title type (“DS” denotes Design Standard, “CS” denotes Construction Specification) version.number.YYYY.MMDD
example:  14 20 00 Elevators DS V.1.2014.0724

These Design Standards and Construction Specifications are intended to serve as a tool for design professionals, construction managers, planners, and other participants in capital construction efforts.  They clarify direction and streamline project execution.
  • They represent the District’s “strong preference” and should be applied, when possible, without compromising the creativity and/or ownership of the overall design.  Each design standard document includes direction on whether equivalent substitutes are acceptable.
  • They do not diminish or eliminate the standard of care owed by a consultant to ESUHSD or relieve, in any manner whatsoever, a consultant from any professional responsibility, duty or due diligence required toward the work.


The information within this document does not address every conceivable condition or owner decision point.  Rather, it attempts to provide solutions where experience has indicated that problems commonly arise or a standard is appropriate.
  • In the absence of a written design standard, the consultant will present options during the schematic design or design development phases to ESUHSD so that we can make an informed decision and provide design direction.
  • In cases where the consultant, end user or school administrator determines that the written design standard is not appropriate for the project, and wishes to deviate from the standards, they must seek approval prior to deviating from the written standard.
How decisions about deviations from design standards are reviewed
    • There are times when a space type is unique or rare to ESUHSD’s space inventory (e.g., an art gallery, a network operations center) and ESUHSD’s typical design standards will not provide adequate guidance on design aspects such as siting, sizing, fit up and finishes.  For example, the floor finish in an art gallery could be the site’s standard carpet but with a nonstandard border to raise the architectural specialness of the facility.
    • In those instances, the design decisions must be reviewed to a higher degree of scrutiny, usually by a larger number of interested parties.  The review and decision making process will vary by necessity depending on the nature of the facility, but generally will undergo a process that includes the following elements:
      • Review by Facilities Planning staff to understand justification for digression from existing design standards.  Have as many design standards as possible been incorporated into the proposed design in order to achieve the intent of design and construction consistency, operational efficiency and maintainability, ensuring first class teaching and learning facilities, bringing the best value for expenditure and alignment with the East Side High School District’s strategic goals?
      • Review by Planning, Maintenance and Technology staff to ensure that design variances will be compatible with existing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, telecommunications, structural, architectural, life safety, building automated controls, security, finish and furniture systems.
      • Review by Maintenance and Technology to confirm that design variances will be serviceable by in-house maintenance personnel or outsourced service vendors.
      • Review by site and district administration and governing board members, and possible other interested and affected entities.
      • On a case-by-case basis, when a design standard deviation is under consideration, the Facilities Department’s project/construction manager will establish and communicate a process and timeline for consideration and review.


These Standards are dynamic and are updated as needed to reflect ESUHSD’s needs.  The ESUHSD Design Standards and Construction Specifications Version Log is a complete listing of our current standards and specifications; please refer to it to ensure that you are working with the most current information.
For more information about these design standards and construction specifications, please contact Interim Director of Capital Planning & Design Julio Lucas at