Central Pool Classroom General Construction Standards


  • All electrical panels installed shall be three phase. Single phase panels are not allowed.
  • All breakers shall be bolt-on only. Plug-in breakers, twins, and minis are not permitted.
  • All electrical panels shall have ground bus isolation capabilities.
  • All panels shall have copper busses.
  • Receptacles supplying power to technology must be of the isolated ground type.
  • Additionally, receptacles supplying related pieces of a technology system within a room must be on the same phase.

Light Fixtures

  • All fluorescent light fixtures must be outfitted with electronic energy-saving ballast and T-5 lamps.
  • The standard fluorescent fixture is a 1x4 or 2x4. The fixture should be recessed or lay-in depending on the finished ceiling surface. In areas where it is necessary to preserve the historical architectural finishes of an existing ceiling, pendant-mounted lighting is permissible.
  • Incandescent lighting should be recessed in finished ceiling and controlled with dimmers.

Lighting Controls

  • For general classrooms, the fluorescent lighting is controlled by 3-way switching, with switches located at the room entrance and instructors area.
  • Dimmable incandescent and chalkboard-specific lighting are controlled by slide dimmers and switches located at the instructor's area.
  • Lighting in auditoria is controlled by a preset-type RS-232 controllable electronic dimming system.
  • Access to the master control panel is limited to reduce tampering. A multi-scene control station is located in the instructor's area. A single-scene control station for general fluorescent lighting is provided at each entry door.
  • For safety and energy conservation, motion detectors are provided. They are capable of lighting the room when someone enters and shutting off all lights after the room has been vacated.


The type of flooring used in auditoria and classrooms is generally specified by the architect based on aesthetic goals, projected use, maintenance requirements, and existing conditions. Listed below are several common types of acceptable flooring materials:

  • VCT
  • sheet vinyl
  • carpeting (minimum 28 oz.)

Wall Base

  • vinyl cove base
  • custom wood base

Wall Protection

  • vinyl wall guard/chair rail
  • wall coverings (wall surface below the wall guard/chair rail)
    • vinyl wall coverings
    • sheet goods


To reduce the maintenance cost of lay-in ceilings the following type of tile has been standardized to Armstrong Duratex Fine Fissured


The type of seating used in a classroom is dictated by the room dimensions, class size, projected use, safety standards and occupant comfort.

Standard Product Line: Kruger International (KI) Seating

  • non-upholstered plastic shell
  • laminated oversized tablet
  • Hammertone finish on frame


For additional information about University-wide construction standards, guidelines, and procedures, visit the Standards page on the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services web site.


Standards drafted by Don Calcagni and Peter Morgans, Office of Classroom and VPUL Facilities
Revised May 2009
Send comments to: pmorgans@upenn.edu