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Facilities Planning Services

NEW - Capital Project Request Form






Facilities, Planning and Construction

The Facilities Planning, Management and Construction Department provides architectural, engineering and design services for all renovations, new construction and re-designs of office, student and public buildings on campus.

Part of our daily activities include setting up budgets for construction projects and approval requests, assisting in the planning and design, and implementing code compliance, written specifications and ADA standardization. We coordinate construction activities and provide the University with a supervisory role in daily inspections, reports and job coordination. Our responsibilities also include campus beautification projects, road and parking lot improvements, site work, landscape improvements and space utilization.


Our development encompasses many factors but as a general rule focuses on the following items:

Preserve academic core – Future building plans will locate academic buildings in the hub of the campus, respecting and enhancing the working relationship between academic colleges and disciplines.

Facilities condition rating – Every effort will be made to improve all general and auxiliary facilities as described in the facility condition assessment report.

Preservation of existing buildings – Retain and enhance campus buildings that are deemed by the university to have architectural and historical significance.

Open, pedestrian friendly spaces – Encourage the development of green areas with more park-like settings enhancing the theme of a pedestrian-encouraged atmosphere. Ingredients of open space planning include a safe and secure environment, ADA accessibility, convenient perimeter parking, and appropriate campus signage.

Maximize facility utilization – utilize comparison standards of peer institutions and establish appropriate allocation of building spaces and to assist in identifying current space and existing use deficiencies: Secondary use of space to assist in identifying and incorporated into a future plan.

Future growth – provide facilities appropriate in size and acceptable in condition to meet the needs of the university for future enrollment growth.

Parking and Paving

Parking and paving projects are an important component of the Physical Plant. We update, reconfigure and build new parking lots and spaces for the faculty, staff and student population. Also, we provide sufficient parking access to support the vehicular volume generated by the University employment levels and enrollment goals. Our goal is to enhance and maintain a pedestrian-oriented and friendly campus.

Roads, Streets, Parking Lots and Structures

The University parking system contains 28 primary parking lots, multiple specialized parking lots and two parking structures for a total of 10,384 parking spaces. The campus also contains 5.2 miles of roads, 17.6 miles of curbs and 22.9 miles of sidewalks, providing access to all points on campus for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Space Utilization

One of the many tasks of the Physical Plant is to determine the requirements of departments when requesting to relocate to space on campus or when the University considers renovating a building, constructing a new facility or leasing a space off campus. For reasons of safety, security and University liability, building alterations or improvements to campus facilities must have prior approval and must comply with all local and State building codes which include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Fire Protection Association, Michigan Energy code, State of Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services, Bureau of Construction codes, BOCA Codes, and the Life Safety Code. Space assignments are made only after careful consideration of these factors. The Physical Plant's goals and objectives are to provide the most economical, viable, and efficient space based on the Department's program assessment and in conjunction with the Campus Master Plan and Strategic Initiatives.

Space utilization is an on going challenge, which involves creative adaptability without compromising University functions and use group operations. Greater technological advances and ever changing need for facility use functions have created the need by the Physical Plant staff to be adaptive and familiar with the campus programmatic functions. Our role is to create, move without disruption. There are formal processes created of space allocation. Space requirements in excess of the available portfolio will generate programs for new construction. Space requirements that are substantially less than the available portfolio imply decommissioning/adaptive re-use/demolition programs. We will provide staff support to this process.

Design Services

Design services are available from the Facilities Department to facilitate the design and construction of projects or to clarify a design concept in anticipation of a larger capital project. The following services are available:

• Predesign services to verify the client needs, project scope and concept.
• Feasibility and site analysis studies.
• Schedules and cost estimates.
• Reviews of code and safety issues to coordinate obtaining the permits required.
• Interpretation of University design guidelines.
• Architect and engineering identification and prequalification.
• Project management and coordination on small specialty design initiatives.
• Interface with the services provided by contractors in coordination with the Facilities Construction department.
• Move-in planning and coordination including interior design services.

The Design and Construction Process

Program statements

A program statement is to be completed whenever a user group contemplates changes in space, for which it is necessary to obtain prior approval of the concept before taking any further steps. Such concept approval is required before discussions take place regarding University commitments or raising funds for design work and/or architectural and engineering studies. After the user group receives preliminary approval from the appropriate director and/or vice president the request goes to the Physical Plant, Department of Facilities Planning Management and Construction for formal review. After formal review from the Department of Facilities Planning Management and Construction, the request is brought to the vice president for business and finance for final approval and the request develops from concept to actual project.

After a program is approved, additional approval steps will be required:

• To determine whether the need can be met within space already allocated.
• To certify the accuracy of the information and the programmatic need.
• To determine potential funding sources for any one-time costs involved and leasing costs (if applicable).
• To determine additional maintenance or service costs.

Program Statement Requirements

Please provide the following information:

• What functions or staff are not accommodated?
• In what way is the space now assigned for those functions or staff inadequate?
• What are the space requirements for the new space? (E.g. location, visibility, access, adjacencies?)
• Must the additional space be on campus?

Present Use of Space:

For purposes of fulfilling your request we need to collect an inventory of space currently in use. Attach a copy of the most recent space printout for your area.

• Review the space "use" of existing space and note any changes.
• Highlight the rooms that are being impacted by your request for space.

On a separate sheet, list each impacted room and provide the following information.

a) Room number
b) Occupant(s) of the room and job category (for space allocation purposes)
c) Administrative head (e.g. director, program coordinator, supervisor)
d) Professional administration (e.g. analyst, counselor, special assistant)
e) Clerical (e.g. secretary, clerical assistant, receptionist)
f) Student assistant(s)
g) Other

The following factors must be considered in your program statement for all spaces to be used by the University:

Capital Asset Management Plan

• Adequate electrical service
• Heating/ventilation
• Air conditioning
• Voice (telephone)
• Data (cat 6e wiring)
• Flooring – carpet is clean and intact or tile floor is intact.
• Walls – Paint is intact; each wall is just one color, and no major breaks in substrate.
• Ceiling – tile is intact or hard ceiling is painted; lighting fixtures are intact.
• Window coverings – blinds are intact and working.
• Standby generator requirements
• Lighting – Control/room darkening
• Sound transmission

Operational Effectiveness

• How does the space flow
• Which areas need to be contiguous
• Improve/define interaction with Faculty, staff and students/community
• Flexibility and future growth
• Adequate space for program tasks

Building code compliance

• Electrical
• Fire

General issues

• Hazardous material abatement required?
• What modifications are allowed?
• What new code issues would modifications trigger? Would we be required to remove them after end of lease?
• Restroom – functional/accessibility
• Elevators
• Create a sense of entry
• Visitor requirements
• Desired move time (calendar)
• Move time (Length of move)

Telecom availability

• Suitable for both voice and data
• Adequate switching and capacity
• Upgradeable
• Wireless technology/Data technology

Human issues

• Image
• Air quality
• Hours building is open
• Distance from other Departments
• Interaction with other Departments
• Parking and transportation
• Hours available? Same as building?
• Neighbors? Who? Appropriate?
• Security; personal and property
• Accessibility

Legal Issues

• Restrictions on use or access
• Review by campus attorney (as applicable) 
• Review by university risk manager (as applicable)

Financial Issues

• Base rent (as applicable)
• Escalation clause (as applicable)
• Common area expenses
• Insurance requirements
• Utilities 
• Services included e.g. custodial and security
• Who pays for modifications
• Who pays for maintenance

These phases are common to all construction and remodeling projects; however, in smaller projects the phases often become less formal, involve fewer individuals, and may have a short schedule of only a few months. Large projects, on the other hand, may take years from the time they are envisioned by a school or department to the time "move-in" takes place

Selection of the Design Professionals
Design professional are generally firms offering both architectural design and engineering services, however, occasionally design firms consult with engineering firms to form a design team. Design and Construction invites design firms (or teams) who have the necessary qualifications and experience to submit a proposal for the project's design services. Proposals are reviewed by the Facilities Planning Committee and interviews are scheduled with the highest ranking firms or "short list." The interviews consist of a formal presentation by each of the proposed team members, illustrating their expertise in the relevant areas, followed by questions from the Facilities Planning Committee members. The Facilities Planning Committee then selects the firm it deems most suitable to meet the task and recommends their selection to the Administration for approval.

Schematic Design

The first step by the design team is referred to as the "schematic design" phase, in which the object is the development of simple diagrammatic documents delineating room sizes and relationships, single line diagrams of all building systems, preliminary elevations studies of the building exterior, and if applicable, drawings of special interior spaces. The design firm uses the program of requirements, university standards, the schedule and the construction budget, as well as any applicable grant requirements, as the basis for their design. The schematic design will be reviewed during frequent meeting with the building committee and design and construction. At the conclusion of this design phase the architect will submit drawings, project narrative, and an estimate of construction cost for review and approval by the Facilities Department and appropriate University units. Provost's office, Information Technology Center, and the Office of Health and Safety.

Design Development

The approved schematic design is then further developed into definitive plans and elevations by the design team. Colors, patterns, materials, lighting fixtures and special equipment and building elements are selected and reviewed with the Facilities Department. For complex laboratory projects, detailed laboratory plans identifying all services; casework and equipment are also developed. Detailed floor plans, sections, elevations, and an outline specification defining materials, finishes and systems, as well as an updated construction cost estimate are submitted for review and approval by the Facilities Department and appropriate University units, including the Provost's office, Information Technology, Risk Management, and the Office of Health and Safety.

Construction Documents

The approved definitive design documents are developed into comprehensive construction drawings and specifications used to secure a building permit, to competitively bid the work among qualified contractors and ultimately as the basis for the construction of the project. The construction documents are submitted when 30%,50%,75% and 100% complete (just prior to bidding) for review and approval by the Facilities Department and appropriate University units. After a thorough review of all the bids, interviews with the low bidders, and a review of the schedules proposed by contractors, a contractor is selected by Design and Construction.


The Design and Construction project manager coordinates the work, monitors costs and scheduling and reviews the construction work performed by the Contractor. The project manager will also keep the designated Facilities Department and the user's representative informed of the progress of the project. Building tours must be arranged in advance with the project manager due to safety and liability requirements. No one is allowed in the construction area without prior authorization.

Any user-requested changes to the project must be directed in writing to the construction project manager. The revision will be evaluated and priced by the contractor. After a review of the costs and an evaluation of the impact on the project schedule, the user will be asked to identify a funding source for the requested change. No changes to the agreed-upon project scope will be implemented without corresponding documentation and funding.

Design Guidelines

These are formal guidelines in the form of design standards, policies, and practices given to architects and engineers on materials, equipment, furnishings, etc., to be used in new construction and renovation projects. Factors influencing the specification of “campus standard” specifications may include preferred vendors or special pricing arrangements, life cycle costs, standardization of equipment to reduce maintenance costs, energy consumption guidelines, operational considerations, and campus aesthetics.

Campus Concept Plan

The following campus elements are addressed for a five-to-ten-year planning horizon:

1. Land use and site planning
2. Design guidelines
3. Vehicular/pedestrian circulation and parking
4. Infrastructure

Together, these elements set clear directions for the future development of facilities. Periodically, and preferably annually, the campus master plan should be updated to reflect current conditions.