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University at Buffalo Libraries

Standards, Specifications, Test Methods, & Building Codes: Selected Resources


The University at Buffalo Libraries have a selected collection of standards and specifications. This guide describes the standards collections in the Silverman Library [Capen], Lockwood Library, and the Architecture & Planning Library. Links to Internet sources of standards are included where available. The downtown Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (BECPL) and Erie Community College (ECC) North in Williamsville also have standards collections. For more information on these other local collections, call the BECPL Information Desk at 858-8900 or the ECC North Campus Library at 851-1273.

Searching for Standards

Standards are detailed instructions that explain how something is to be manufactured, managed, designed, or otherwise handled. Standards are usually written by an authoritative body, such as a professional organization, government agency, or manufacturer. The Institute for Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), for example, publishes electronic and electrical engineering-related standards.

To locate a standard, you should (ideally) know the following:

  • Acronym and name of the publishing organization
  • Standard number
  • Title of the standard
  • Date of the standard
  • Subject of the standard

To identify a standard on a particular topic (e.g., seatbelts) or to verify a standard's date or number, use the following publicly accessible database:

Other specialized indexes exist for military standards, federal standards, foreign national standards, etc. These indexes are identified and cited in the respective sections below. Links are provided to the web version of an index where one is available.

U.S. Industry Standards

U.S. industry standards in the ASL collections are listed alphabetically below by the acronym of the standards-issuing body.

AA - Aluminum Association

We have a few of the AA standards, listed below. Information about other aluminum industry standards is available from the Aluminum Association website.

  • Aluminum Standards and Data (Metric SI Edition, 2003)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TA480 .A6 A77
  • Aluminum Design Manual: Specifications & Guidelines for Aluminum Structures (7th ed., 2000)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference CollectionTA690 .A49

AASHTO - American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

We keep current with certain selected AASHTO standards and specifications, including those listed below.  Information about other AASHTO standards is available online from the AASHTO website.

  • Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (5th ed., 2004) (aka "The Green Book")
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference CollectionTE175 .P65
  • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices: For Street and Highways (2003 ed.)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TE228 .M36
    Also available online at:
  • Manual for Bridge Evaluation (2nd ed., 2011, with 2011 & 1013 interim revisions)
    Available online via our subscription to Knovel E-Books
  • LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (2012 ed.)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TG23 .A25 2012; also available online via our subscription to Knovel E-Books
  • LRFD Bridge Construction Specifications (3rd ed., with 2010 & 2011 interim revisions)
    Available online via our subscription to Knovel E-Books
  • Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges (17th edition, 2002)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference CollectionTG310 .A6
  • Guide Specifications for Seismic Isolation Design (3rd edition, 2010)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TG265 .A43
  • Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design (2nd ed., 2011; with 2012 & 2014 interim revisions)
    Available online via our subscription to Knovel E-Books
  • AASHTO/AWS D1.5-95 Bridge Welding Code (2002 edition)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TG315 .B75

ACI - American Concrete Institute

See the ACI website for additional information about ACI standards and standards-related activities.

  • ACI Manual of Concrete Practice (2009 edition)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TA439 .A64

    This multi-volume set (issued annually) contains all of the widely used ACI concrete and masonry code requirements, specifications, guides, and reports. The most recent edition we have, shelved in the Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection on the 2nd floor of Capen Hall, is the 2009 edition. Older editions are shelved in the Science & Engineering Book Collection on the 3rd floor under the same call number.

    Please Note:  Since ACI does not print the full text of every standard and guide annually, you may find only a single-page synopsis for the desired standard or guide in the most current edition of the ACI Manual of Concrete Practice. If you find such a synopsis page, you will need to go to the older editions on the 3rd floor and work your way back chronologically until you find the latest year that provides the full text.

AISC - American Institute of Steel Construction

Selected AISC standards are available for free from the AISC wesbite.  These include the following:

ASCE - American Society of Civil Engineers

  • We have most current ASCE standards in print. These are shelved either in the Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection on the 2nd  floor of Capen or in the circulating book collection on the 3rd floor. To locate them in the UB Libraries' collections, use the listing on the ASCE standards webpage to get the full title and then search by the title in the UB Libraries Catalog to get the library ocation and call number information.

ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers

We do not collect ASME standards.  We do have older editions of the Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code - see below.

  • ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (older editions only: 1962, 1965-1966, 1974, 1980)
    SCI/ENGR Book Collection TJ290 .A7

    The most recent complete print edition in our collections is the 1980 edition. Please Note: The downtown Buffalo & Erie County Public Library may own or have access to more current complete editions of the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code.

    Detailed information on ASME codes and standards is available from the ASME website.

ASTM - American Society for Testing & Materials

  • Annual Book of ASTM Standards (2014 & 2008 edition are kept in reference)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TA401 .A64

    Volume 1 of this multi-volume work is the index for the set and contains both a subject and alphanumeric listing of all of the standards included in the collection. The ASTM website also provides access to an online catalog that can be searched by keyword or standard number to help you identify relevant standards in this printed set. The 2008 edition, shelved in the Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection on the 2nd floor of Capen, is the most recent set we have. Older editions are shelved in the SCI/ENGR Book Collection on the 3rd floor of Capen under the same call number.

AWS - American Welding Society

The standard listed below is the only AWS standard we keep up-to-date in Reference. We do have older versions of a limited number of AWS standards in our circulating collections; to locate these, search by title or standard number in the UB Libraries Catalog. For information on AWS codes and standards which we do not collect, consult the AWS website.

  • AWS/AAHSTO D1.5-95 Bridge Welding Code (1995 edition)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TG315 .B75

IEEE - Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers

  • IEEE Standards (Current) - Members of the UB community have access to the full text of current IEEE standards via our subscription to IEEE Xplore. Once connected, select "Standards" from the left-hand search menu.
  • IEEE 802 Standards - Through its Get IEEE 802 program, IEEE makes IEEE 802 standards available to the public for free in PDF formats.  These standards relate to local and metropolitan area networks.  New standards are included in the program six months after they have been published.  Drafts are not part of the program. To read about the program, go to  To download the standards, go to
  • National Electrical Safety Code - The full text of the NESC 2012 edition is available to UB staff, faculty, and students via IEEE Xplore.  Once connected, from under Browse, select Standards, and then in the keyword search box type in "National Electrical Safety Code" or try directly linking via .
  • AIEE Standards (1923-1962; incomplete) - Historical standards developed by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the forerunner of IEEE, are kept in storage in the UB Libraries Annex (call number TK275 .A63). For information on how to retrieve these materials, see the UB Libraries Annex Services web page.
  • The IEEE Standards website provides information about IEEE's standards and standard-related activities.

NFPA - National Fire Protection Association

  • National Electrical Code (2014)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TK223 .N27

    The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the nationally accepted guide to the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment. We have a standing order to this title.  The 2014 edition is the most current version. Older editions (incomplete, 1978-2011) are shelved in the SCI/ENGR Book Collection on the 3rd floor under the same call number.

    For information on all of the codes and standards published by the NFPA, see the NFPA website.

NISO - National Information Standards Organization

  • Standards
    Lockwood Library, Call Number:  Z665 .A7-[standard number]

    NISO develops (often in association with ANSI, the American National Standards Institute) technical standards used by information services, libraries, and publishing. These standards are shelved either in the Lockwood Library Reference Collection or the Lockwood Book Collection under the call number given above. Check the UB Libraries Catalog for the location of the particular standard you need. The NISO website provides detailed information about its standards and standard development process.

SAE - Society of Automotive Engineers

We are not currently subscribing to SAE standards.  The last edition of the SAE Handbook (which contains the "J" standards; but not the "AMS" or "AS" standards) that we have is the 2010 edition.

  • SAE Handbook (2010 edition)
    Silverman Multimedia Audio Visual Collection CD 5341

    This multi-volume handbook was discontinued by SAE. The last edition we have is the 2010 edition on CD, which contains the full text of all SAE automotive "J" (Ground Vehicle) standards current as of that date. You can ask for it at the Silverman Library Circulation Desk on the 1st floor of Capen Hall by the CD number given above. Older, print edition are shelved in the SCI/ENGR Book Collection on the 3rd floor under the call number TL159 .S62.

    The SAE Standards web page provides information on other SAE standards including the "AS" (Aerospace Standards) series and the "AMS" (Aerospace Material Specifications) series. These can be be searched by topic and downloaded from the SAE website for a fee.

TEMA - Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association

  • Standards of the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (8th edition, 1999)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TJ263 .T8
  • Information about TEMA standards is also available on the TEMA website.

UL - Underwriters Laboratories

We do not collect Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. However, the downtown Buffalo & Erie County Public Library may own or have access to some of these standards.

The Underwriters Laboratories website offers access to the UL Catalog of Standards, which provides a numerical as well as an alphabetical listing by keyword of its published and proposed standards. You can purchase UL standards online at

ANSI Standards

We do not in general collect standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). We do, however, have in our collections a limited number of ANSI-approved standards, including those listed above developed by other organizations such as IEEE that have been adopted/approved by ANSI.

The downtown Buffalo & Erie County Public Library may own or have access to ANSI and ANSI-approved standards. In addition, the Erie Community College North Campus Library has a selected collection of current and historical ANSI and ANSI-approved standards. We encourage you to call BECPL or ECC North to determine which ANSI standards they have in their collections.

ANSI Online provides access to information about ANSI and national and international standards-related activities.

Test Methods for Environmental/Biological/Chemical Analyses

  • Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (16th ed., 1998)
    Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection QD75 .A8
  • Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (22nd ed., 2012)
    American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, and Water Pollution Control Federation
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection QD142 .A5
  • Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Wastes: Physical/Chemical Methods (SW-846)
    United States Environmental Protection Agency
    Available online via EPA's website

Please Note: A listing of EPA test methods is available on the EPA Test Methods Index web page, which also has links to the full-text of selected test methods available on the Internet.

Building Codes

Note: For information on which codes have been adopted in specific jurisdictions, consult

  • National Building Code of Canada (12th ed., 2005, 2 vols.; please note that we do not have the current 2010 edition)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Book Collection TH226 .N37

In addition, below are several building code information resources of interest to those at UB designing and evaluating structures to resist seismic events:

Federal Standards, Specifications, & Test Methods

The Index of Federal Specifications, Standards and Commercial Item Descriptions is available at the General Services Adminstration (GSA) website along with information on how to obtain copies.

U.S. Military Standards & Specifications

We do not have military standards and specifications in our collections; you can the full text online however via the Department of Defense's Acquisition Streamlining and Standardization Information System (ASSIST).

Other U.S. Government Agency Standards

NIST - National Institute of Standards & Technology:  Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)

  • We have the Federal Information Processing Standards in print in Lockwood Library Government Documents Collection C 13.52: [standard number], but these are also available online at:

OSHA - Occupational Safety & Health Administration:  Regulations & Standards

Canadian Standards

Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) Standards

  • Standards, test methods, and and specifications published by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) are housed in Lockwood Library's Government Documents Collection under the call number:  CAN P-29/ [standard number]. For an index to this collection, use either the CGSB Catalogue, which is shelved in the Canadian Government Depository Collection in Lockwood Library under the call number CAN P27/year or the online database at The print index lists current standards, test methods, and specifications by standard number as well as by subject. Cross references for any Canadian standard that has dual designation with other standards, including ASTM, ISO, and ANSI, are included.

For more information on Canadian standards, see the website of the Canadian Standards Association.

Other Foreign National Standards

While we do not collect the standards of other countries apart from the Canadian standards mentioned above, below we list and link to the online standards catalogs of some of the major industrial countries.

  • Deutches Institut fur Normung (DIN) Standards
    The publishing company Beuth Verlag in Berlin provides access to the catalog of DIN standards.
  • Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS)
    The JIS Committee Home Page provides information on the development and marketing of Japanese national standards.
  • British Standards (BS)
    The British Standards Institution website provides access to information about British Standards.

European Standards

The UB Libraries do not collect the standards of the following agencies. For referral purposes, below we list the major European standards-issuing organizations with links to their respective websites.

CENELEC- European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization

  • CENELEC is one of three European standardization bodies that together make up Europe's standardization system. Each of the three is responsible for the preparation and distribution of voluntary industry standards in specific areas, with some inevitable overlap. The area of focus for CENELEC is any equipment that uses electricity, ranging from household appliances to electricity generators. For more information, see CENELEC's website at

ETSI - European International Standards Institute

  • ETSI is responsible for the standardization of telecommunications, information technology, and broadcasting products and services. More information is available on the organization's website at

CEN - European Committee for Standardization

  • CEN is responsible for standards in all other fields not covered by CENELEC or ESTI. Its primary areas of activity include food, biotechnology, chemistry, mechanical engineering, energy, environment, construction, information technology, packaging, and consumer goods and services. For more information on CEN activities and publications, consult the CEN website at

International Standards

The Arts & Sciences Libraries do not in general collect international standards. For referral purposes, below we list the major international standards-issuing organizations with links to their respective websites.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

  • ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 130 countries, one from each country. ANSI is the United States' representative to ISO. ISO's mission is to promote the development of standardization and related activities worldwide with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services. ISO publishes and distributes the ISO 9000 and 14000 standards. The ISO 9000 series is used worldwide as an international standard for quality assurance and quality control. The ISO 14000 series applies to environmental management systems. In this country, the ISO 9000 and 14000 series have been issued by the American Society for Quality Control . We do not have these standards in our collections. However, the downtown Buffalo & Erie County Public Library may own or have access to these standards.

    For more information on ISO standards, see ISO Online, which provides access to an online catalog of ISO standards that can be searched by title word and standard number. Ordering information is also provided. ISO standards can also be ordered through ANSI.

IEC - International Electrotechnical Commission

ITU - International Telecommunications Union

  • The ITU is an international organization within which governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services, including the coordination, development, regulation and standardization of telecommunications worldwide. We do not collect ITU standards. For more information on ITU activities and publications, consult the ITU website, which provides access to a catalog of standards and other publications.

Guides to Equivalent Standards

We have a number of reference books to aid you in identifying equivalent standards. For help in using these guides, please consult a Reference Librarian.

  • World Industrial Standards Speedy Finder (1983)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TA368 .K34
    Groups related standards from the US, UK, Japan, France, and West Germany. Standards are listed by country's standard number and by product name.
  • ASM Worldwide Guide to Equivalent Irons and Steels (3rd ed., 1993)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TA466 .W67

  • Handbook of Comparative World Steel Standards (1996)
    Silverman Library [Capen] Reference Collection TA401 .A18 No. DS67
    An aid to identifying and comparing steel standards from the US, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, and Canada.

Commercial Sources for Standards

Many standards, both national and international, can be purchased directly from ANSI (see above) or you can make use of a number of commercial services that sell standards.

  • IHS Standards Store - Global/IHS is a commercial clearinghouse for current and historical engineering specifications, standards, and technical documents from hundreds of standards-developing organizations worldwide, including ISO and JIS, for example. Through the company's Website, you can search the company's database of available standards by standard number or title keyword and order standards online.
  • Thomson's Techstreet - Standards information and catalogs for many of the various standards-issuing organizations are available at this site. Standards may be ordered online.