Contractors: design, standards, forms, guidelines and manuals

These design standards, forms, guidelines and signage manuals must be used by consultants and contractors for design, documentation and construction of buildings, facilities,, services and infrastructure owned, occupied and/or managed by the University of Sydney.

All planners, project managers, consultants, contractors, subcontractors, tenants, managing agents and University staff must conform to requirements in these documents when designing, constructing, operating or maintaining existing and proposed University buildings and facilities.

The documents set out the University of Sydney's minimum requirements for the design, construction and maintenance of buildings, facilities, spaces, services and infrastructure. They aim to deliver a built environment:

  • that has high quality, is fit-for-purpose and made from durable good-quality materials
  • that is functional, reliable and serviceable
  • that is flexible and accommodates growth and change
  • that is sustainable and constructed from environmentally preferable materials
  • that is energy and resource efficient
  • provides for safety and security
  • has minimum life-cycle costs, including capital, operating and maintenance costs.

Applicable requirements documented in Workplace Health and Safety legislation, Disability Discrimination legislation, State Environmental Planning legislation, Commonwealth and State legislation, National Construction Codes (NCC), the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian and New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) are the minimum and mandatory compliance requirements.

Where any ambiguity exists between these documents and the aforementioned mandatory requirements then:
a. the highest performance requirements must apply
b. applicable requirements must follow this order of precedence:

  1. Workplace Health and Safety legislation
  2. Disability Discrimination legislation
  3. State Environmental Planning and Assessment legislation
  4. All other Commonwealth and State legislation
  5. NCC and BCA
  6. AS/NZS
  7. This standard and other University standards

University of Sydney Design Standards

These Design Standards must be incorporated into contract documentation. They must be referred to by the revision number and issue date listed on the cover of each of the documents.

All requests for technical clarification on any information contained in a standard must be made in writing to the issuer of the standard, as shown on its cover page.

  1. Documentation standards (PDF 1.3MB)
  2. Mechanical Services (PDF 550KB)
  3. Building Management and Control Systems (PDF 1.45 MB)
  4. Communications Cabling Standard (PDF 19.8MB)
  5. Electrical Services (PDF 607KB)
  6. Lighting Services (PDF 668KB)
  7. Security Services (PDF, 1.29MB)
  8. Vertical Transportation Standard (PDF 1.5MB)
  9. Essential Fire Safety Measures (PDF 600KB)
  10. Hydraulic Services (PDF 543KB)
  11. Roofing and Guttering (PDF 2.34MB)
  12. Landscape (PDF 3.7MB)
  13. Advanced Utilities Monitoring System (PDF 448KB)
  14. Excavation (PDF 559KB)
  15. Sustainability Standard (PDF 169KB)
  16. Sustainability Framework (XLSX 11MB)
  17. Building and Architecture Standard (PDF 645KB)
  18. DDA and Access Standard (PDF 1.8MB)
  19. Solar PV Standard
  20. Wingara Mura Design Principles (PDF 2.6MB)


The following forms may be referenced in Design Standards and must be used by project managers, consultants, contractors, subcontractors, tenants and managing agents.

Sustainability Standard Submission Templates


These guidelines will be revised and issued as University Design Standards in due course. Please check with the relevant Project Manager for clarification on the current version of these documents and their applicability.

  • Asset Barcode Register
  • Asset Codes
  • Asset Registration
  • Asset Registration Template
  • Building Design Guidelines
  • Grounds Design Guidelines

Signage manual

Signage across the University must conform to the following.

  • The Internal Signage Manual (PDF 8.2MB) provides guidance on our standard approach to the use of information and wayfinding signs on campus. The manual provides integrated and accessible information through consistent typography, graphics, sign types, and placement. All internal signage is designed to be modular, flexible, and cohesive in form and graphic standards. The manual also requires the design of signs to be compliant to integrate with external signage.
  • The External Signage Manual (PDF 4.1MB)
    documents external information and directional signage for the Camperdown and Darlington campuses. The document sets out design parameters, types and locations of signs, the entire system and hierarchy of signage, sign schedules, graphic standards, and construction drawings.
  • The Interpretive sign guidelines (PDF 672KB) is a framework for the provision of signage which details the history, identity and other interpretative information relating to a place, site, function or event that occurred in the general location of the sign.