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Engineering Standards

A guide to using the standards available at UTSA

What is a standard?

Simply put, standards make things work properly; by conforming to agreed upon specifications for products, services and systems, engineers and designers can ensure quality, safety and efficiency. Further, standards are instrumental in facilitating international trade and streamlining manufacturing processes.

Standards, codes, specifications, and technical regulations

A standard is a document that specifies the characteristics of a product, process or service, such as dimensions, safety aspects, and performance requirements.

Code refers to laws or regulations that specify minimum standards to protect public safety and health such as codes for construction of buildings. Voluntary standards are incorporated into building codes

Specifications are a set of conditions and requirements of precise and limited application that provide a detailed description of a procedure, process, material, product, or service for use primarily in procurement and manufacturing. Standards may be referenced or included in specifications.

Technical regulations are mandatory government requirements that define the characteristics and/or the performance requirements of a product, service or process.

Tips for finding standards

  • Users must register for a free account to use IHS/IHS Engineering Workbench
  • Do not include dates when searching in Document Number
  • Do not search for general terms such as "construction standards"
    • Search by document title or number
    • If you don't have document title or number, use specific keywords that you would expect to appear in the title, for example "fire resistance"
  • Standard revisions and drafts are typically only available to members of the standard working group prior to publication.
  • If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail Matt Hayward