||In almost all engineering design contexts, design standards are used to specify performance requirements Design standards, or codes ofaccepted practice, have traditionally existed only in textual form. The complexity of the information expressed within a standard, and the fact that related information is usually scattered over many differentsections of a standard, makes standards hard to understand, prone to errors of omission during usage, and subject to multiple interpretations. This problem is compounded by the fact that standards are also subject to change as research leads to improved understanding of behavior. This paper first discusses the current approaches for developing andusing a design standard and then identifies several components that are needed to provide effective computer-based assistance to standards authoring, promulgation and evaluation. Next, the issues that must be addressed in providing these computer-aided standards processing components are discussed. As these issues are raised, an object-oriented approach to addressing these issues is also discussed.