About the NPBDG

The National Performance Based Design Guide establishes performance-based requirements to be used in the programming, design, and documentation of new buildings, major and minor alterations and work in historic structures of all kinds.

The information presented in the Guide is based on research and development supported by the Science & Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security and the Public Buildings Service of the General Services Administration.

Table of Contents


  1. Whole Building Performance
  2. Site
  3. Structural Engineering
  4. Enclosure
  5. Interior Systems
  6. Mechanical Engineering
  7. Lighting Design
  8. Electrical Engineering
  9. Fire Protection and Life Safety


The National Institute of Building Sciences (Institute) makes this National Performance Based Design Guide available to the public for its information and use as a general guide to identify various levels of building performance. The Guide is not a building code or standard and has not been subjected to a consensus review process. Neither the Institute nor the United States Government, their employees or agents, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility, that use of or compliance with this Guide or any part of it in the design, construction or operation of a particular building or building project will result in or assure any specific level or measure of performance or characteristic of that building or project or any component system of that building or project.

This Guide references a number of external guides, requirements, standards and codes produced by other public and private organizations. The Institute has not developed, adopted, published or tested those external sources and does not assume responsibility for their accuracy or efficacy to produce a specific result or performance with respect to any particular building or building project.