Answers to frequently asked questions are provided here. If you have a topic you’d like addressed, please write to us at info@nullfgiguidelines.org.

Questions about the Guidelines requirements

Q: How do I get answers to my questions about applying the Guidelines requirements?

A: You can submit a request for an advisory opinion from the contact page on the FGI website. First, though, please review the downloadable errata sheets and interpretation files for each edition to see if your question has been addressed there.

About the Health Guidelines Revision Committee

Q: What is the Health Guidelines Revision Committee (HGRC)?

A: The HGRC is the multidisciplinary group responsible for revising the Guidelines documents every four years. The Guidelines are consensus documents, and HGRC reviews and votes on every proposal and comment submitted during the Guidelines revision cycle. The HGRC also votes to accept or reject each new Guidelines document prior to publication.

Q: Who serves on the HGRC?

A: Composed of approximately 100 clinicians, administrators, architects, engineers, and representatives from authorities having jurisdiction, HGRC members are subject matter experts in health care design and practice.

Q: Are manufacturers represented on the HGRC?

A: No, to avoid possible conflicts of interest, manufacturers are not represented on the HGRC. However, vendor representatives do sometimes assist as subject matter experts on a particular topic. For example, at the beginning of the 2018 cycle, Hill-Rom hosted a workshop to help FGI determine the clearances necessary when treating patients of size.

Q: I’m interested in becoming a member of the HGRC; what do I do?

A: Individuals interested in serving on the HGRC or working with FGI as a subject matter expert should contact A. Christine Erickson, administrative assistant, at chris@nullfgiguidelines.org.

About the revision process

Q: How often are the Guidelines updated?

A: The Guidelines are revised every four years to keep pace with changes in clinical practices and technology and in approaches to provision of residential care.

Q: I want to suggest a change to the Guidelines. What can I do?

A: The public is invited to submit proposed changes to the text of each new edition of the Guidelines. The public proposal period for the 2022 edition is expected to begin in the summer of 2018. To be notified when the proposal period begins, please sign up for FGI updates on our website.

Q: When can I make a proposal and/or a comment?

A: At present, FGI is working to create a new proposal and comment system. We anticipate the proposal site will be launched to receive suggested changes to the 2018 edition during the summer of 2018. The comment site will open when the draft of the 2022 edition is released for public review.

Q: Who reviews the proposals and comments for changes?

A: The Health Guidelines Revision Committee (HGRC) reviews each and every proposal and comment that is received. They vote to accept, reject, or modify each proposed change. The changes are then incorporated into the draft of the next edition and shared with the public to encourage feedback on the proposed changes. The HGRC then reviews and votes on every comment received. Once those changes have been incorporated into the new edition, the HGRC votes to accept or reject the entire manuscript.

About the 2018 edition

Q: Why are there now three Guidelines documents?

A: The 2018 edition is composed of three standalone Guidelines documents, for hospitals; outpatient facilities; and residential health, care, and support facilities. The decision to separate the outpatient facility requirements from the hospital requirements was made to better address the particular needs of outpatient facilities. Given the trend toward providing more medical care and performing more procedures in outpatient settings, greater flexibility was needed in the design of these facilities to support the wide variety of services performed in them.

Q: I keep hearing about FGI’s Beyond Fundamentals? What is it?

A: With the release of the 2018 edition, FGI is providing information beyond its “minimum standards.” The Beyond Fundamentals library will support the content of the Guidelines for Design and Construction documents by expanding on the minimum design requirements published in the Guidelines. Among the Beyond Fundamental topics FGI is preparing for 2018 are:

  • Detailed discussions of some Guidelines requirements and how to apply them
  • Research and tools related to Guidelines requirements
  • Draft minimum requirements supported by research or other evidence
  • Emerging trends in practice that will change health care facility design

Formats for these offerings may include articles, white papers, checklists, videos, reports, and other media. FGI will add offerings to the Beyond Fundamentals library on a continual basis (as opposed to the static Guidelines documents, which are published every four years).

Q: Do I have to buy Beyond Fundamentals?

A: A Beyond Fundamentals subscription will be included with single-user licenses and site licenses purchased through MADCAD. An annual subscription for $25 is also available for those who buy the paperback version of the Guidelines or wish to subscribe without purchasing the Guidelines documents.

Q: I’m interested in submitting an idea for the Beyond Fundamentals library. Whom do I contact?

A: Please send an e-mail to info@nullguidelines.org and provide a brief description of the topic for consideration, how it relates to the Guidelines, and the suggested format. We would be pleased to hear from you!

About the 2014 edition

Q: I am locked out of my purchased e-book for the 2014 Guidelines. What do I do?

A: The e-book staff at our distributor should be able to help. You can contact them at ahaebook@nullpbd.com.

Q: Is FGI’s Guidelines intended to cover only human health care or does it cover animal health care as well?

A: In the absence of other information, someone might choose to apply some relevant requirements to the design of veterinary hospitals, but that is not the intention.

About the 2010 edition

Q: Where can I get the PDF of the 2010 edition?

A: The PDF was part of the CD-ROM package that was produced for the 2010 Guidelines. All copies of the CD-ROM have been sold, so it is no longer available. However, site licenses and single-user licenses of the 2010 edition available for purchase at MADCAD will provide access to HTML and PDF copies of the 2010 edition.

Purchasing the Guidelines

Q: Where can I purchase the 2018 edition of the Guidelines for Design and Construction documents?

A: The 2018 edition of the Guidelines (available as a site license, single-user license, or paperback) are available for purchase at fgi.madcad.com.

Q: Where can I purchase earlier versions of the Guidelines?

A: Site licenses and single-user licenses of the 2010 and 2014 Guidelines are available at MADCAD. For print copies of the 2010 and 2014 Guidelines, visit the American Hospital Association online store at www.aha.org. Earlier editions of the Guidelines are available as downloadable PDFs under the “Guidelines” tab on the FGI website.

Q: Are discounts available?

A: Yes, a discount of 10% is available for students, faculty, and U.S. federal and state regulatory bodies. In addition, discounts are provided when purchasing Guidelines documents in quantity. For more information, visit fgi.MADCAD.com or the AHA Online Store.

FGI Newsletter

Q: Does FGI have a newsletter, and where can I find it?

A: Yes, FGI publishes a quarterly newsletter. The FGI Bulletin contains only information specific to the Guidelines content and revision process. To receive the FGI Bulletin, sign up for “FGI Updates” at the top of the FGI website homepage. To read past editions of the FGI Bulletin, click on the “News & Updates” tab on the website and select “FGI Bulletin” from the dropdown menu.

Q: Does FGI sell my contact information?

A: No, FGI does not and will not sell your contact information.


Q: What are the Guidelines?

A: The FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction documents are the health care design industry’s most widely recognized guidance for planning, designing, and constructing health and residential care facilities. The newest edition of the Guidelines documents was released in 2018. To learn more about the Guidelines, click the “About FGI” tab on the website and select “History of the Guidelines.”

Q: How can I stay up-to-date on Guidelines updates, addenda, and errata?

A: To receive information on the Guidelines, sign up for “FGI Updates” at the top of the FGI website homepage. This will put you on the list to receive the quarterly FGI Bulletin. If your organization does not allow receipt of messages from software such as MailChimp, you may need to put a reminder in your calendar to check back periodically to read the Bulletin on the FGI website.

Q: How do I find out what states have adopted the FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction?

A: FGI maintains a document that tracks adoption of the various editions of the Guidelines and is working to have an interactive map and table available on the FGI website in the near future. In the meantime, please write to info@nullfgiguidelines.org if you want to know about Guidelines use in a specific state.

Q: Where can I access Sound & Vibration: Guidelines for Health Care Facilities?

A: Read-only access for Sound & Vibration requires registration at https://fgireadonly.madcad.com/library/FGI-SoundVibration-2010/. You can purchase a copy from the publisher Springer.

Q: Is the Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities an enforceable document?

A: No, the Design Guide was neither written nor intended to be applied as a building code. The information in it  is advisory only and not part of the Guidelines for Design and Construction documents.

Q: Can I become a member of FGI?

A: No, FGI is not a membership organization. You can become a subscriber to a web-based version of the Guidelines through fgi.MADCAD.com or sign up to receive FGI updates, but FGI has no membership.

Q: Where can I find a read-only version of the Guidelines?

A: FGI provides limited access to a read-only copy of its Guidelines documents at https://fgireadonly.madcad.com. Please be aware that because this version has limited access, it is best suited for those who need access to the Guidelines only rarely or who want to review a document for purchasing it.

Q: How did the Guidelines begin?

A: The Guidelines began as a federal government document soon after World War II. You can read the complete history on this page of the FGI website: https://www.fgiguidelines.org/about-fgi/history-of-the-guidelines/.

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