Building Project Procedures Manual

Real Estate & Facilities

Chapter 4: Facilities Programming: Step by Step Procedures

The most important part of a project is getting started correctly, and it is through the project program process that the campus has the opportunity to start a project in a manner that best assures success. It is through the programming activities that the campus' user group(s) has an opportunity to discuss objectives, resolve issues, acquaint divergent groups with the needs of others, coordinate with the entire campus constituency in regard to the purpose and nature of the project. Establishment of a realistic budget is a critical element of the program. The costs and priorities must refine and define the program in order to ensure a successful project. Preparation of the project program is the responsibility of the sponsoring campus.

The basis for the design of each capital improvement project is the project program, a document that: 1) includes appropriate data to justify the project; 2) identifies the scope and cost of the project in a manner consistent with the justified needs and takes into account any critical scheduling or phasing requirements. The level of required detail varies greatly with the size and type of project. The need for a program is important to establish scope and budget, regardless of funding source.

The first component of the program document is the justification data that is used to document the need for the project and will subsequently generate the level, detail, and magnitude (i.e., scope) of the project. The justification should include sufficient detail to describe the need for the project in terms of the academic program(s) that will be served, identify the current physical deficits that are constraining the academic program(s), and describe the type of new academic programs or enhanced programmatic features that the project will serve. Also, indicate the number of students currently served in the subject academic program(s) and the number expected to be served upon conclusion of the project; other data that supports the need for the project may be included as appropriate. (For construction projects of non-academic space, contact the Board of Regents Facilities Office for programmatic guidance.) This section of the project program should clearly identify the building or portion of a building that will be renovated, if a modernization project is anticipated, or clearly identify the site intended for the construction of a new building. Any particular siting issues that require consideration should be identified. New construction should be consistent with the campus' Facility Master Plan. In summary, this part of the project program should clearly identify the nature, purpose, and intent of the project.

The second part of the project program identifies the Ascope@ of the project. For large or otherwise complex projects, a professional architect or other technical consultant frequently prepares this part of the project program. The purpose of this documentation is to interpret in a technical manner the project's purpose as previously identified in the justification documentation.

The project scope establishes the size of the project in terms of the number and types of spaces that will be included in a new building or created as the result of a building renovation. All information should be precise and specific and identify the anticipated user of each assignable space. The project scope should also identify any special features required in the project that may be required to allow the intended academic program activities (e.g., isolated foundation and slab required for specialized laboratory equipment). The project scope should also specify other particular features required as part of the building project, such as loading dock access, particular cabling requirements, independent or stand-by air-conditioning required for computer rooms, and other similar features that need to be incorporated within the design documents. The project scope will identify the overall size of the project in terms of gross square feet (gsf) and assignable square feet (asf) and must include a cost estimate and project budget. Dependent on the size of the project, an independent cost verification exercise may be appropriate.

Prior to beginning a project program, careful review of the Board of Regents "Preplanning Guidelines" is necessary. Contact the BOR Facilities Office if you are not familiar with this document. Refer to the Board of Regents "Guidelines for Building Programming," Appendix 4 A, for content and format. The project program (complete justification and scope sections) will be given to the project design firm as the basis for completing the construction documents. The final design drawings must be consistent with the project detail included as the project's scope.

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