Engage Architect & Engineer (A&E)

For larger projects >$1 Million, the A&E firm is selected through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process managed by Capital Projects. Firms throughout the local area are invited to submit their qualifications for the project. The qualifications are reviewed and 3-5 firms are selected for a one hour interview.

The selection committee is comprised of Capital Project, Director, Senior PM, assigned PM, a representative from the Department/School and a representative from the Buildings & Grounds Board of Trustees.

Preliminary Design

The objectives of the Preliminary Design phase are the following:

  • To assist the Department/School in understanding how the Academic Program and the Architectural Program are melded together to form a two-dimensional design.
  • To illustrate possible solutions within the scope, schedule and budget of the project.

The content of this phase can include site plan, floor plans, general project description and a statement of probable construction cost. The team will not proceed into Design Development without written approval from the Department/School on scope, schedule and budget.

Design Development

The objective of the Design Development documents are to fix and describe the size and character of the entire Project and such other essentials as may be appropriate. The Design Development documents are prepared from the approved Preliminary Design studies and form the basis of the Contract Documents. The team will not proceed into Contract Documents without written approval from the Department/School on scope, schedule and budget.

The Design Development documents will include:

  • Site plan (if required) indicating general location and nature of site improvements
  • Plans, elevations, sections, schedules and notes as required to fix and describe the Project as to the architectural, structural and electro/mechanical systems
  • Outline specifications
  • Statement of probable construction cost

During the Design Development phase the PM will seek the full and constant collaboration of the Department/School and the A/E firm to verify that the scope, schedule and budget will be met. It is at this time when additional graphical material, i.e., exterior renderings, interior perspectives, etc., can be developed to further illustrate the project to potential donors.

Contract Documents

Upon the completion of Design Development phase, the plans for the new facility or remodel are complete, the scope is finalized, furniture/equipment specifications have been developed and the A/E is authorized to proceed with the Contract Documents. The objectives of the Contract Documents phase:

  • Set forth in detail the requirements for the construction of the entire Project.
  • Reconfirm the Project budget with a detailed statement of probable construction cost
  • Develop the Project’s specifications to include all review comments from Capital Projects and the Department/School.
  • The team will not proceed into the Bidding Phase without written approval from the Department/School on scope, schedule and budget.


During the Construction process the PM will continue to seek the full and constant collaboration of the Department/School to finalize the design process. It is during this phase that all the previous decisions become a reality. Equipment selection, furniture design/selection, colors, materials, etc., must be reaffirmed to ensure compatibility with the design intent. In addition to these decisions, others such as keying, moving from old to new space, inventory of existing furniture/equipment, phones, data, communication, etc. is also the responsibility of the Project’s team. Decisions at this stage of the Project’s life must be made timely to ensure the construction process is not delayed and further costs are not incurred.

Use & Occupancy

After all this time, and it could be four years or more since the Preliminary Phase began, the new facilities are ready for occupancy. The sheer volume of furniture, equipment and personal belongings to be moved is staggering. Labs may have to be set up, phones installed and other logistics need to be established by the Department/School and a person from the Department/School and a person from the Department/School must be assigned to monitor this activity and ensure a smooth transition. The PM will still serve as your primary contact when questions arise out of the move.

Project Evaluation

Every new building requires a certain amount of shake-down and de-bugging. The PM will be available for approximately one year beyond the completion of the building to help determine how to best respond to problems that arise. Issues with the electro/mechanical systems, construction aesthetics, maintenance and warranties should be discussed with the PM to ascertain the course of action to take for resolution of the situation.