Planning, Design & Construction
Mon - Fri
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Mon - Thu
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 12 pm
The Office of Planning, Design & Construction oversees capital facility development from the planning stage through construction and final occupancy. The Department is responsible for long range facility programming, space utilization, design documentation, facility capital project management, cost estimating, and cash flow forecasting.
Capital Project Planning
Fulfillment of the academic plan is accomplished by creating a physical environment conducive to the goals of the University. The academic goals of the University are the primary impetus to all campus planning. As the academic and enrollment plans evolve, it is possible to define the individual physical development projects that address the academic and support requirements of the institution. At Bryant University the President, supported by the Vice Presidents and their staffs, plan and envision the course of campus development. All proposed initiatives are prioritized in support of the strategic plan. These initiatives can address maintenance and repair needs, renovation to upgrade facilities to a higher standard, alteration to convert existing space to serve a change in function and new construction that supports the ongoing University Mission.
The first step in the planning process is the development of a program statement that is the written description of the proposed physical development plan. The development of the program should be led by a professionally qualified leader, often a Project Manager (PM) with the Campus Management Staff. The PM brings together members of the community selected by divisional Vice Presidents architects, engineers and qualified consultants to define the project objectives.
In large capital projects, the architect is often the first professional engaged in the process. The architect develops a conceptual plan to satisfy the intent of the program. Often, at this stage, an estimator or Construction Manager (CM) is engaged to develop cost ranges and preliminary construction schedule. These are presented to the President and his cabinet for assessment. Projects that fit the financial and program requirements of the institution are allowed to proceed to the various planning, documentation, and bid stages.
A project budget includes all of the costs pertaining to the completion of a project; it contains so-called hard construction costs and the soft costs for planning and miscellaneous fees and expenses. In the early stages of planning, estimates of these costs are provided by professional estimators or construction managers. Early pricing is often based upon comparison with recent projects on a cost-per-square-foot of area or a cost-per-occupant. As the plan becomes more detailed, such as at the end of the design development and subsequent construction documentation process, then more precise estimates can be developed. Accurate cost control through the design process helps to ensure that the project will emerge from the bidding process consistent with program and financial objectives.
Normally the planning process culminates in the completion of a thorough set of construction documents that are distributed to a pre-approved list of bidders. The bidders are invited to submit competitive bids on or before a specified time to the Director of Purchasing. However, when a CM is engaged by the University to manage the project, the CM receives all subcontractor bids and provides the University with an analysis and recommendation of which subcontractors should be engaged on behalf of the University.
For smaller projects of limited scope, budgeting can occasionally be done by a University PM who may use historical cost records, published cost data, or advice from trusted subcontractors to establish a reliable estimate.
(Minor Projects) An annual capital request process provides department budget managers with an opportunity to propose specific capital projects for the consideration by the President's Cabinet. A notice is issued by the Director of Capital Projects to Budget Managers who are asked to submit requests to their respective Vice Presidents. The Campus Management Staff often provides assistance in the preparing the cost estimates for these proposals. The Vice President selects projects to pass on to the entire Cabinet for review. Projects approved by the President and his Cabinet are passed on to the Board of Trustees for final approval.
Not all projects qualify as a Capital Project. The following policy establishes the criteria for what can and cannot be capitalized.Fixed Asset Capitalization Policy
Capital projects involving the campus infrastructure are usually managed by the Director of Capital Projects and the Project Management Staff. Early in the planning process, the Director assigns a PM to the project. The PM follows established procedures for acquiring the services of the design professionals and arranging for meetings with the University Review Committee. When the design is complete, the PM procures the project in accordance with established University Procurement Procedures. For major Capital Projects, a construction manager is often selected during the early stages of the design process. The selection of the CM is normally made by the Vice President for Business Affairs and the President through a comparison of three or more competitive proposals. For exigent projects when the overall project schedule does not allow for a competitive bid process, the CM can be selected by a negotiated bid providing fixed percentages of Fee and General Conditions.
The nature of the project determines the type of contract document used to define the scope and obligations of each party. As a rule, the University provides a modified version of a standard American Institute of Architects Document.
The University PM provides leadership to the project team and manages the overall project schedule and budget. She/he reviews the quality of the work and ensures that the project is constructed in accordance with the construction documents. She/he reviews payment requests; acts as University liaison to architects, engineers and consultants, and the Campus Community, and guides the project through the regulatory approval process. The PM ensures that accurate records are kept of project costs, shop drawings, operation and maintenance manuals, written guarantees, inspections and closeout documentation. Finally the PM procures furnishings and equipment and oversees the final punch list, certificate of occupancy, and training for the building maintenance staff.
Normally projects are bid competitively. Once plans and specifications are complete, the project is put out to bid. Contractors and subcontractors from Rhode Island and neighboring states are invited to fill a select list of bidders. The University has employed a variety of construction procurement methods, such as Lump Sum Bid, Fast Track, and Design Build but currently the most common method is Construction Management. In Construction Management projects, the construction manager divides the project into logical subcontract bid packages and invites multiple qualified subcontractors to submit bids for each package. Comparisons are made of the most attractive bids, and a scope review is conducted to ensure that the bidders have considered all elements of the required work. Once the CM has subcontracted a substantial amount of the project work on a particular project, he/she is normally asked to provide the University with a Guaranteed Maximum Price. This establishment of a GMP places the contractor in an “at risk” status, in that under the terms of the Contract the CM holds all the subcontracts and the only allowed changes to the contract cost will be through a properly executed Change Order.
In some cases, for example smaller projects, University PMs will perform the duties of CM and hire the subcontractors directly
Before a building is physically built, it is first constructed on paper. In order to insure the success of the building process, all of the materials, methods, spatial relationships, and functional outcomes must be described in great detail. The documentation takes the form of contracts, plans, written specifications, schedules, regulatory permits, product submittals, operation and maintenance manuals, test reports, photos. etc. For a particular building or project, the accumulated body of documentation is referred to as the project record. Much of this documentation that makes up a project record has value beyond the initial construction process. Maintenance operations for the life of the structure are dependent on accurate records of all elements of the completed project. These documents play an important part in the building commissioning process that sets the stage for the ongoing maintenance process. Accurate and accessible project documentation is particularly important to the cost-effective upkeep of the active mechanical and electrical systems and the modification and adaptation of these systems over the course of time.
At Bryant, the Project Manager (PM) assigned to a particular project is responsible for the assembly and care of the project record. At the outset of a project, the PM establishes a standardized filing format for all correspondence and documentation related to the project. The PM is responsible for the maintenance and distribution of documentation to all members of the project team within the University, from the inception of the project until project closeout. Following the project completion and closeout period, the original project record is transferred to a common archive for use by all members of the maintenance staff.
Major projects constructed after 2000 have included, as a standard requirement, that the architects and engineers must provide to the University an AutoCAD version of the project plans. These plans are to be included in the limited body of existing building plans that have been converted to the more durable and accessible digital format.
Regulatory compliance requires extensive record keeping. EPA, OSHA, Fire Department, and other regulators have statutory requirements for documentation to verify the quality of ongoing compliance activities. Records are kept on such issues as; Asbestos Remediation, Air Duct Cleaning, Boiler Inspections, CFC Refrigerant Control, Department of Transportation Manifests, Elevator Inspections, Underground Tank Testing, Oil Spill Prevention and Cleanup, Right to Know Communications, Fire Alarm Inspections, and OSHA Training Records, to name a few. Much of this information is stored in the Facilities archives, and individual files are maintained by various staff members of the operations staff.
The Campus Management Department maintains a technical library consisting of engineering and architectural reference books, product literature, cost-estimating information, and code and regulatory reference books. Much of the library is located in the archives room, and some of the reference materials circulate throughout the administrative offices.