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FACILITY PLANNING

AND IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS


REVIEW REPORT

January 2002 – Final Draft

Prepared by:
Fred King, Former Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Construction,
University of Alaska, and Former Assistant Vice President for Capital Projects,
University of Washington
Eric Kruse, Vice President for University Services, University of Minnesota
Charles Sturtz, Vice President, Administrative Affairs, University of Maryland
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The External Review Team (the Team) for the facility planning and project
implementation processes at the University of Alaska has concluded its work and
presents the following summary of its recommendations. The full report presents the
findings, observations, and recommendations more comprehensively than this summation
of the five major topics considered.
1. A System for Capital Planning and Budgeting: To improve the connection between
strategic planning and capital budgeting, the Team recommends the development of a
consistent and comprehensive framework for campus master plan development and a
streamlining of project classifications into a multi-year, multi-phase capital budget.
2. A Project Agreement and Pre-Design Process: To improve discipline in the planning
and project development processes, the Team recommends implementation of an
early administrative agreement on the purpose of a project and strategies for project
funding and implementation and a pre-design process that will better assure project
delivery within defined scope and established budget.
3. Campus Staff Assessment: To build upon the capability of existing staff in the
planning and project development activity, the Team recommends the reconstitution
of the Facilities Council which would be composed of System Office leadership and
campus professional staff engaged in facilities work. This initiative should create a
new standard of practice to assure consistent processes and procedures across the
University of Alaska. These standards will give the UA capital development/
implementation program credibility and will be useful in determining whether
appropriate staffing exists at all levels of the organizational structures supporting
facilities management.
4. System Office and Board of Regents Oversight of the Capital Program: The Team
recommends strengthening the role of the System Office in coordinating the UA
capital program. We further recommend several administrative adjustments to
Regents policies for project review that will simplify and modify delegated authority
for minor projects and streamline Regents review of major projects.
5. Other Observations: Based on experiences nationally and at the campuses of the
External Review Team, the Team recommends greater attention be focused on
campus aesthetics and alternative contracting methods. Campus appearance is a
major factor in student selection decisions. The construction industry has made great
progress in recent years to create more flexible, efficient, and partnering relationships
to streamline project completion. Also, a review of the means for funding
management of the MAU’s capital program appears appropriate.
In conclusion, the Team believes its recommendations will strengthen the facility
planning and project implementation processes at the University of Alaska and provide a
better basis to demonstrate to the President, the Regents, the state government, and
campus officials that effective management of the project planning and delivery
processes is occurring throughout the System.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction Page 4

A System For Capital Planning And Budgeting Pages 5-10

Project Agreement and Pre-design Process Pages 11-18

Campus Staff Assessment Pages 19-24

System Office and Board of Regents Oversight of the Capital Program Pages 25-26

Other Observations Pages 27-29

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INTRODUCTION

The University of Alaska (UA) is at a pivotal time in the reevaluation of its current
programs and wishes to adopt methodologies that optimize decentralized operations
while pursuing best practices through appropriate administrative structure, project
development/implementation processes, and project oversight that is balanced between
the System Office and the individual campuses. The UA System, through the office of the
university president and the vice president for finance, seek to better understand the
effectiveness of the university’s capital planning, budgeting, and project execution
processes and practices, invited a panel of senior facility and financial program managers
from other major American universities to participate in a review of facility planning and
implementation processes at UA.

The External Review Team (the Team) consisted of:


• Fred King, Former Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Construction,
University of Alaska, and Former Assistant Vice President for Capital Projects,
University of Washington.
• Eric Kruse, Vice President for University Services, University of Minnesota.
• Charles Sturtz, Vice President, Administrative Affairs, University of Maryland.

The Team was asked to evaluate UA:


Capital Facility Planning and Programming processes
Capital Facility Budgeting processes
Methodologies used to fund the above described processes
Capital Facility Implementation/Execution processes
Methodologies used for tracking success or providing early warnings for items
needing management attention.
Resources available to provide input to the above processes.
Structures of existing University organizations, including the interrelationships
between the campuses and their relationship to the Office of the Vice President.

The review effort was conducted from Tuesday October 30, 2001 through Friday
November 2, 2001. The schedule included one day of review of the University of Alaska
System and University of Alaska Fairbanks campus in Fairbanks; one day at the
University of Alaska Anchorage campus; and one day at the University of Alaska
Southeast campus in Juneau.

This document constitutes the third draft report of the Team. The report includes a
reconnaissance of the “as is” conditions, recommendations for revisions to UA processes
and practices to ensure an acceptable level of success of its capital program under the
existing framework, and a discussion of what might be changed or added if everything
were to be aligned with “best practices”.

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I. A SYSTEM FOR CAPITAL PLANNING AND BUDGETING
The Team was amazed at the magnitude of the capital request for a single year versus the
historic average capital appropriation.
Recommendation
The University of Alaska should adopt a new approach to capital planning and budgeting
with the following features.
A. University Strategic Planning
The Board of Regents policy requires each campus to have in place a facilities master
plan. This document and process should be considered the front-end of all that follows in
terms of facility, land use, and project planning. The system-wide materials provided to
the Team note that each Major Academic Unit (MAU) will have a campus master plan
that identifies preferred land uses, circulation features, etc. The policy goes on to request
that master plans be revised in response to changed circumstances.
Each campus is in the process of revising its master plan. It is the opinion of the Team
that master plan development is fundamentally a process that typically is driven by an
institutional strategic plan and campus academic/service plans. Policies are developed
that deal first with providing sufficient facilities to achieve the academic/service plan of
the campus. This is followed by consideration of the suitability of use of existing
facilities to satisfy the programmatic needs. The third component addresses the condition
of existing facilities and their building systems. Therefore, a master plan helps predict
the investment required in a defined future number of years to satisfy these three
elements.
It is the conclusion of the Team that master planning system-wide could be more
effective were it conducted in a context of a system-wide strategic plan that included
assignment of system-wide initiatives to each campus, the presence of campus specific
academic/service plans that define programmatic direction for each campus, and a Board
of Regents approved multi-year (typically ten-year) enrollment plan for each campus.
These planning elements would provide the components essential to predicting
sufficiency and suitability components of the master plans; i.e., FTE faculty, FTE staff,
FTE students, etc. The HEGIS classification codes provide a convenient means of
tabulating space and they support the application of space allowances to the FTE
component. Such items lend a level of objectivity to the prediction of space needs that is
readily appreciated by policy officials. With the exception of UAS, the Team could not
identify that such fundamentals for master plan development were being used to guide
the campus work now underway. In subsequent discussions with provost Reichardt and
associate vice chancellor Schedler, the UAF campus master plan process appears to have
involvement of the academic community; including a faculty consultative committee.
The “UAF-2005 Strategic Plan” and “Academic Development Plan” appear to be
significant contributing elements to the development of the UAF Master Plan.
Unfortunately, this document was not available to the Team for review at the time of the
visit. The Team felt that the MAUs have considerable work to complete viable master
plans founded on appropriate system strategic goals.

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Recommendation
To standardize master plan development system-wide, the System Office, with approval
by the Board of Regents, should create a consistent and comprehensive framework to be
used in campus master plan development. It is our belief that the interested internal and
external public and political communities can better appreciate the direction and rationale
for future growth and development of each campus if master planning is done in the
context discussed.

B. Using University Strategic Planning to Develop Capital Plans

The annual capital budget request of the university should flow in an orderly and
understandable way from broad university strategies and initiatives to the detailed
request. The entire planning process should be anchored in a Board of Regents adopted
University of Alaska Strategic Plan and Critical Initiatives serving as the foundation for
MAU academic/service plans. The MAU academic/service plans should in turn lead to
physical campus master plans identifying the facility initiatives necessary to implement
the academic/service plan for the campus. From the Campus Master Plan, a Multiple-
Year Capital Plan for each MAU should be developed. Projects should only be included
in the Multiple-Year Plan when the linkage to the MAU academic/service plan and in
turn the Regents Strategic Plan can be demonstrated as described in the “Project
Agreement and Pre-design” section below.

The Multiple-Year Capital Project Plan for each MAU would roll into a Multiple-Year
Capital Plan for the University of Alaska and from this plan each annual capital budget
request would evolve. As long as the University of Alaska works toward implementing a
university-wide strategic plan, the Team does not consider independent MAU capital
budget requests practical or appropriate.

Recommendation
The flow of planning and capital budgeting would therefore be:

UA Regent’s Statewide Strategic Plan and Critical Initiatives

MAU Academic Plans

Campus Master Plans

MAU Six Year Capital Plans

UA Six Year Capital Plan

UA One Year Capital Budget Request

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C. Multiple Year Capital Plan/Budget

An approved campus master plan provides policy sanction for future project planning.
The systematic efforts to satisfy facility sufficiency, suitability, and condition
requirements result in the formation of project plans.

Project planning includes project budgeting. The Board of Regents Policy on Facilities
appears to confine budgeting concerns to appropriation and expenditure requirements. It
is the Team’s observation that the current capital budgeting process is hampered by the
absence of a mandated multiple-year, multiple-phase approach to the development of
capital budgets. It is also the Team’s opinion that the annual capital budgets should be
developed in two groups: one for state funded projects and one for self funded projects.

It is typical for institutions to develop a multiple-year capital budget plan. Frequently,


institutions craft ten-year plans to coincide with their master plans and to organize the
ramp up of student and program fees necessary to support the longer-term development
of auxiliary facilities. The Board of Regents policy appears to sanction unlimited, almost
“blue-sky”, requests from each campus. Capital funding requests that appear to bear no
relationship to likely funding are used to spill projects over into out-years of the capital
budget. We believe this practice has limited value to the planning process which suggests
it is more opportunistic than thoughtful in nature and may, in fact, mislead policy
officials as to the actual degree of preparedness to undertake such plans. When the
elements of scope, cost, schedule, and likelihood of funding are thrown together in this
fashion, the current result appears to be an inefficient overall process of capital
budgeting.

Recommendation
The Board of Regents should revise its Policy on Facilities to establish a Six-Year Capital
Budget Plan that reflects the multiple phases of the project planning activity. The six-year
cycle includes the request year and five future years. The multi-phases reflect the
sequencing over time of the planning, design, and constructing activity to generate a
project.

This formal methodology for capital budgeting will demonstrate a commitment to logical,
financially responsible project planning. The multiple-year, multiple-phase scheme
allows thoughtful development of revenue streams for cash-based or debt-based
financing.

The Team is mindful of the university’s concerns about fee levels to support self-funded
or auxiliary capital projects. It is our observation that modern auxiliary facilities,
maintained in excellent condition are very important predictors for student enrollment. A
carefully planned capital budget allows multiple-year development of a fee base
necessary to support renewal and creation of auxiliary facilities that are essential to
attract and retain quality students. The fee base to support capital needs can be
independent of the philosophy related to full funding of operating costs of such facilities.

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When these project and budget planning recommendations are added to those we have
made, related to the project agreement and pre-design processes, the Team believes that
the university will be able to demonstrate to any interested public entity that it has in
place a best-in-class project development program.

D. Simplified Project Classifications

For planning and budgeting purposes, the university should limit itself to two
classifications of projects – (minor) campus projects and (major) capital projects. Within
each category multiple funding sources will likely exist.

Recommendation
(Minor) Campus Projects would generally include the current categories of facilities
renewal and replacement, deferred maintenance (which should be referred to as deferred
renewal1), code compliance projects, equipment renewal and replacement, acquisitions,
and minor departmental programmatic remodeling. Campus projects generally would
originate from inventories of campus facility conditions, which identify work required to
keep the facilities functioning as they were built to or from departmental requests. These
projects tend to be comparatively small, somewhat non-technical, and less risky, but are
essential to the effective use of a facility by the programs housed therein.

The Team also recommends that the University review its project approval/
implementation processes to establish a more efficient, expedited procedure for
authorizing and constructing the “campus projects” component of its capital budgets.
Phased funding of campus projects should be discouraged as much as possible from a
project delivery efficiency standpoint. If a project is phased funded, future phases of
funding should be the top priority before any other new projects are initiated.

(Major) Capital Projects would be new facilities and major renewal, renovation, and
remodeling projects. “Major” in this context could mean projects over a certain dollar
value such as $1,000,000 requiring a more rigorous development and taking a lengthier
course through the university’s capital planning process. Major capital projects originate
to implement university strategic and campus academic/service plans, and are framed by
the master plan policies.

1
“Renewal” is the replacement or reconstruction of a building component when it has lived through its useful life.
Useful life is fairly predictable for the various components of a building. “Maintenance” is the servicing of a building
component to ensure that it functions effectively during its useful life. Renewal is normally considered a capital
investment while maintenance is viewed as an operating budget activity. When maintenance is deferred, the useful life
of a component is measurably shortened. Most building aging and deterioration problems result from deferred renewal
rather than deferred maintenance. The connotation of each is different with the hint of management neglect implied in
deferred maintenance while deferred renewal implies inadequate capital funding for the facilities.

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E. Capital Budget Development

The Statewide Office issues the Capital Budget Request Guidelines. MAUs submit a
prioritized draft budget request according to criteria established in the system-wide
guidelines. A group of MAU and Statewide administrators synthesize a University of
Alaska Draft Capital Budget Request prioritized for the full university for approval by the
Board of Regents and eventual submittal to the state and legislature. The guidelines are
fairly clear and seem to be well understood by the MAU facilities staffs that prepare local
capital budget requests. The Team heard, however, that line staff at the UAF and UAA
did not understand the final statewide project prioritization, i.e.: there was no explanation
by the statewide office of the rational that led to the movement of some MAU projects up
or down in the final list of priorities or that placed one MAU’s project higher than an
equivalent project from another MAU. Staff have a high personal investment in
budgeting success, and if another MAU or state-wide office perceives the relative
readiness of a project or relative responsiveness to state needs differently, they need to
hear that and why.

Recommendation
The Team believes that this lack of understanding and resulting frustration was caused by
poor communication primarily between the System Office and the MAUs after the
changes were made; poor communication within the MAUs on the outcome and its
importance to the whole university; and to a lesser extent by the MAUs false sense of
how their projects fared relative to the Regents prioritization criteria – readiness of a
project, relative responsiveness to state need, etc. This should be corrected (fairly easily)
in future budget cycles.

F. Capital Project Funding

(Major) Capital Projects should be funded in a progressive series of requests that allow
development in an orderly way within the constraints of limited state funds. Funding for a
project, which has been in the Six-Year Plan and has risen to a high UA priority, should
be requested in three steps beginning three years before construction should start.

• First Year: Request funding for Pre-design (1% of the expected budget).
• Second Year: Request funding for design of the project including Schematic
Design, Design Development, and Construction Documents (7%+/- of the
expected budget).
• Third (and Final) Year: Request funding to bid and construct the project.

Some institutions have a fourth step in which funding for furnishings and equipment are
delayed until the construction is about half completed. This approach requires a stable
and dependable political environment that may not exist in Alaska at this time.

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Steps in the Life of a Major Project

Step Activity Approved by Year


1 Project proposal is developed by campus Chancellor 1
2 Project Agreement prepared System Administration 1
3 Project inserted in UA Six Year Plan Board of Regents 1
4 Funding for Pre-design requested in capital budget Board of Regents 1
5 Pre-design funding appropriated Legislature 2
6 Pre-design study conducted System/Campus/Consultant 2
7 Pre-design presented to BOR System Admin./Campus 2
8 BOR issues Project Approval Board of Regents 2
9 Funding for Design requested in capital budget Board of Regents 2
10 Design funding appropriated Legislature 3
11 Project designed Campus/System/BOR 3
12 Construction funding requested in capital budget Board of Regents 3
13 Construction funding appropriated Legislature 4
14 Project bid and construction starts Campus 4

NOTE: Major projects will work their way up the priorities established in the Six-Year Capital
Plan. Pre-design funding for a particular project should not be requested until construction
funding can be reasonably expected two years later.

(Minor) Campus Projects should, ideally, be asked for in an annual lump sum request for
the university that will allow the UA and its units to prioritize projects on the (Minor)
Campus Project lists to best serve the immediate needs of the campuses. Phasing of these
projects should be minimized as it adds to cost and lessens efficiency. If the political
climate will not allow lump sum requests for these relatively minor and low risk projects,
the pre-request prioritization that has occurred in the past may need to continue.

We recognize the volatile, reactive, and micromanagement nature of Alaska’s state and
legislative capital budgeting process and expect that the university may be troubled by
these proposals. We understand that such careful planning may not be particularly
compatible with current legislative practices. Adopting an orderly, long-range approach
to capital planning and budgeting is essential to thoughtful management of the university.
It may also lead to a more enlightened legislative approach to capital appropriations.

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II. PROJECT AGREEMENT AND PRE-DESIGN PROCESS

The Team sensed concern that projects were not well defined from a programmatic,
financial, or physical improvement perspective, and agreement between a campus and the
System-wide Office may not exist as to what a project is to accomplish. The apparent
lack of scope definition, realistic cost estimate, and schedule prior to inclusion in a capital
request is a concern. The likely outcome, once funded, is a project where the preliminary
scope seems to wander depending upon budget availability.

Recommendation
The Team strongly recommends the use of a two-step process that results in a project
agreement and pre-design: this will provide discipline to the planning and budgeting
process and to ensure that projects stay focused on their original intent and remain
achievable within university means.

A Project Agreement is the defining of the academic or service program to be delivered


along with funding and implementation strategies for the project. This concept is
perceived by the Team to be such a deficiency in the University of Alaska process and so
important that it will be described in great detail.

Pre-design is a process for defining a capital project in detail, prior to initiating actual
design work. We did not observe this discipline in place at the MAUs. Project Agreement
and Pre-design investigation and documentation facilitates informed decision making by
answering the following basic questions about each project:

• What programmatic (academic, research or service) needs will it serve?


• How do those needs relate to the University of Alaska’s institutional strategic
priorities, the role the campus plays in delivering that need, and campus
academic/service plans?
• What options exist for facility improvements to accommodate the programmatic
needs?
• How much will it cost to build and to operate?
• What is the schedule for funding and implementation?

The result is a document that thoroughly describes the proposed project and provides a
common understanding by all participants, avoiding uncertainty about program
requirements, costs, timing, and expected outcomes.

Preparation of a pre-design study is a collaborative effort of the campus leadership, the


college/service unit that is proposing the project, the faculty and staff who will use the
facility, the campus Facilities Management staff, and the University of Alaska’s System
Office. Professional consultants may be hired to assist in this effort.

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A. Purposes

Pre-design documentation provides information that:


• Informs decision-makers about the programmatic needs, the relationship of those
needs to the capacities defined by either facilities available or the target
population of the campus, facility requirements, and cost implications of a
proposed project.
• Serves as the basis for the Request for Proposals for a design professional of
record or a design/build team.
• Guides the design professional of record or design/build team throughout the
design phases of the project.
• Supports the university’s capital budget request.

B. Criteria

A “major” pre-design effort addresses all applicable items listed in the pre-design content
outline below and would be required for projects that are greater than $1,000,000. The
University of Alaska System Office should be responsible for the preparation of pre-
design studies for projects of this type. As the Team indicated above, preparation of a
pre-design study must be a collaborative effort. Professional consultants may be hired to
assist in this effort.

A “minor” pre-design effort to establish the scope, budget, schedule, and financing plan
is required for campus improvement projects between $100,000 and $1,000,000. These
projects would generally include building and infrastructure renewal projects, code
compliance projects, programmatic remodeling, etc. The preparation of these pre-design
studies is the responsibility of the campus Facilities Management groups in collaboration
with other appropriate groups.

C. Approvals

Administrative approval occurs at two points in the pre-design process.

A. A Project Agreement, which is approval of the academic or service program to be


delivered and strategies for funding and implementing the project, is required
prior to the evaluation of potential facility solutions. The administration’s
approvals of the program are documented by the signatures of the dean or
department head proposing the project, the Provost or appropriate vice chancellor,
the Chancellor, and the President. A copy of the Project Agreement may be
presented to the Board of Regents for information on projects over $1 million.
There should be no need for presidential approval of projects less than $1 million
so long as they are consistent with a previously approved (by the President)
capital plan or capital request.

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B. Approval of the pre-design report, which documents the programmatic needs, the
relationship of those needs to the capacities as defined by either facilities
available or the target population/roles at the campus, facility requirements, costs,
schedule, financing, design guidelines, and other issues related to the proposed
project, occurs at the completion of the pre-design process. The signatures of the
dean or department head proposing the project, the Provost or the appropriate vice
chancellor, the Chancellor, the designated System official with appropriate
facilities expertise, and the President document approval of the pre-design report.
The Pre-design report, including the Design Guidelines, will be presented to the
Board of Regents for Project Approval action.

D. Content

The content and organization of a pre-design documentation for capital projects is


outlined below. Pre-design documentation provides detailed project information to the
University System and Campus administration before any project is included in the
annual capital budget.

Not all sections of this outline apply to all projects. A “major” pre-design is required
for all projects of more than $1,000,000, while for a “minor” project, only the sections
that are relevant to a particular project need to be addressed. The “minor” pre-design
documentation may be limited projects of less than $1 million and thus very brief, while
the content for a “major” capital project may be extensive. The “minor” pre-design needs
to touch on the (*) topics in a briefer manner and may include information in the other
areas as appropriate.

1. Statement of Need (*)


Brief description of the:
• Historical background
• Mission and objectives
• Instructional, research, public service, and continuing education functions
• Statutory requirements and/or other mandates driving the program
• Relationship to the University’s strategic plan and campus academic plan
• Relationship to the target population and role of the campus
• Current facility deficiencies/inadequacies
• Planning/decision-making process for determining programmatic needs
• Expected outcomes from the capital project

2. Program Analysis
Description of current and projected:
• Personnel (faculty and staff, percentage of appointment)
• Enrollment
• Credit hours and weekly contact hours for academic courses
• Research activities
Results of the space planning audit

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Description of the functional requirements of users:
• Program activities to be accommodated
• Physical and functional requirements
• Special equipment needed
• Applicable standards
Identification and evaluation of alternatives for addressing needs:
• Space reallocation
• Remodeling
• New construction
Preliminary architectural/engineering program
Identification of relocation/swing/surge space needs

3. Program Business/Financial Analysis


Documentation of current year and two-year projected revenue and expenses:
• Non-sponsored revenues and expenses
• Sponsored research revenue and expenses
• Tuition generated by the program
• Other revenues and expenses
Fundraising feasibility statement from University Foundation or college
Board of Regents approval of fundraising campaign

4. Site Analysis
Identification and evaluation of alternative sites:
• Master Plan policies and principles
• Physical and functional opportunities/constraints
• Development cost implications
Identification of infrastructure needs for recommended site:
• Utility infrastructure
• Technology infrastructure
• Access and circulation (pedestrian, service, bicycles)
• Parking (handicapped, official/service vehicle, vendor, contract, bicycle)
Preliminary development requirements

5. Environmental/Code/Hazardous Material Analysis (*)


Identification and evaluation of existing environmental conditions
Review of existing building conditions and summary of required code
improvements
Identification of extraordinary or atypical code requirements
Description of special occupant safety requirements

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6. Project Cost Analysis (*)
Assumptions upon which estimates are based
Costs of comparable projects
Cost Analysis for budget determination purposes should be provided from two
sources:
• architectural/engineering cost consultant, and
• general contractor
Cost estimates for recommended alternative
• Construction costs
• Relocation and swing/surge space costs
• Other project (non-construction) costs
Projected cash flow for funding (based on project schedule)
Current year and projected annual facility operating costs
Annual capital depreciation
Documentation of cost information
Cost management strategies

7. Project Delivery Method (*)


Determination of what project delivery method will be utilized for this specific
project:
• Design-Bid-Build
• Design-Build
• Construction Management
• Job Order Contracting
• Other

8. Project Schedule (*)


Implementation schedule:
• Design Professional or Design-Build Team Selection
• Design
• Bidding
• Construction
• Occupancy
Funding sequence

9. Community/Neighborhood Impact Assessment


Community/neighborhood issues
Alternatives considered
Neighborhood impacts and proposed mitigation:
• Traffic/transportation/parking
• Pedestrian access and circulation
• Architectural/open space integration
• Noise and air pollution

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10. Gender Equity Impact Assessment (intercollegiate athletics projects only)
Statement regarding impact of project on University’s Title IX compliance
requirements

11. Diagrams/Concept Plans


Conceptual diagrams and drawings of potential/recommended solutions in
sufficient detail to illustrate critical functional relationships, test the adequacy of
the space allocation, and provide a basis for preliminary cost planning.

12. Design Guidelines


Master Plan Guidelines
Site Guidelines
Architectural Design Guidelines

E. Design Guidelines

As the name implies, pre-design precedes project design. During “major” pre-design,
only conceptual diagrams and sketches of potential/recommended solutions are prepared
in sufficient detail to illustrate critical functional relationships, test the adequacy of the
space allocation, and provide a basis for preliminary cost planning. However, guidelines
that provide direction for the design of a proposed project are an important component of
the pre-design document.

In the University of Minnesota and University of Washington systems, design guidelines


are prepared by the university architect and identify critical campus, site, and building
design issues that must be addressed during the design phase of the project. These
guidelines are discussed with the system and campus administration and presented to the
Board of Regents to ensure that they have an opportunity to provide input on the project
design prior to initiating the design process. In the University of Maryland system, pre-
design activity occurs as a component in the preparation of a Program Statement.

The Team recommends that the Design Guidelines be prepared under the authority of and
approved by the designated system official with appropriate facilities experience.

The Design Guidelines template consists of the following items:

1. Master Plan Guidelines


The Master Plan Guidelines provide broad “campus contextual” directives for the
project and includes the Master Plan Policies and Principles which must be
addressed including any variances from the Master Plan.

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These guidelines typically address the following:
• Efficient utilization of land and facilities,
• Image/architectural character,
• Open space/landscape
• Circulation

2. Site Guidelines
The Site Guidelines provide “project specific” directives for the site on which the
project will occur. These guidelines typically address the following:
• Orientation/focus
• Setbacks/landscape treatment
• Access/circulation (including serviceability and usability of the same)
• Service requirements

3. Architectural Design Guidelines (Exterior and Interior)


The Architectural Design Guidelines are also “project specific” and provide
directives for the exterior and interior design of the building. These guidelines
typically address the following:
• Architectural style
• Building facades
• Building structural system
• Building fenestration’s (exterior openings)
• Roof system(s)
• Detail and ornamentation
• Interior elements
• Building systems
• Environmental issues

As the project moves to implementation, the design professional of record or the design-
build team develops schematic plans for the project based upon the pre-design
information and the design guidelines contained therein. A reconciliation report should be
submitted at each phase of design comparing scope, schedule, and budget of pre-design
to schematic design, schematic design to design development, and design development to
construction documents. Schematic plans, including a variance/reconciliation report for
the project at its current stage versus when last seen by the Regents, are reviewed and
approved by the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents Policies.

A major capital project should have a fully executed pre-design before it is included in
the UA Annual Capital Budget. If funding practices preclude this recommendation, the
pre-design phase should be the first phase of a project in the multi-year capital budget.

A “major” pre-design, from our experience, usually costs less than 1% of the project
budget and is a recommended expenditure to ensure realistic budget requests to the
legislature and executable projects.

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III. CAMPUS STAFF ASSESSMENT

We had the opportunity to spend many hours with the leaders of the campus facilities
services organizations along with other staff specifically from the design and construction
service groups. It was very clear to us that the people we came in contact with were proud
to be a part of the University of Alaska and very dedicated to what they do. These staffs
want to do a good job to help their campus be successful. At the campus level the staffs
appear to work in a very respectful and collegial manner. At the same time we were
concerned with what appeared to be a level of competition and inconsistency between the
campuses that may not be healthy. Although the current Facilities Council reportedly has
been working to achieve greater consistency throughout the discussions with campus
staff, it was apparent to the Team that similar elements of the capital project activity were
conducted differently from campus to campus. This is not unusual among institutions that
operate as independent colleges and universities. It is somewhat surprising to find these
behaviors within a system governance structure where it is important to convey a
message of consistency when operating under the direction of a Board of Regents. These
inconsistencies seemed to range from the specific means to develop a project definition
(predesign); to the selection of professional service contractors or job order contractors;
to the degrees of latitude the Facilities Services organization have for project
management; to the character of project management information systems, and
presentations to the Board of Regents, etc. It became obvious to us that the campus staffs
were loyal and dedicated to their campus needs, not necessarily the University of Alaska
System or a consistent University of Alaska manner of doing business.

A. Facilities Council

The University of Maryland functions within a system governance structure. Within the
University of Maryland System, the eleven campuses and three research centers work
with the System Office staff in a loosely configured structure called the “Facilities
Moguls”. The System leads this staff work under the supervision of the Vice Chancellor
for Administration and Finance. The Facilities Moguls provide advice to the campus Vice
President for Administration and Finance through the Vice Chancellor. The purpose of
this group of facilities professionals is to serve as a review group for proposed new
policies, procedures, and new design/construction processes; as a clearinghouse for best
practices related to maintenance activity; as a training forum for new staff; as a place to
meet with state agency staff and vent issues that arise between the System and the
campuses. The group serves as a self-help mechanism that raises the level of competency
throughout the System. In short, the group serves to establish a consistent standard of
practice among the institutions so that institution and system officers, Regents, and State
officials perceive that the project delivery program is effectively and consistently
administered. Different institutions may use different procurement or construction
methodologies for similar projects but when a given methodology is used, it is done so
consistently across the System. The System Office manages the meetings and the agenda.
All participants have an opportunity to request an agenda item for the infrequent
meetings of the group.

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The University of Minnesota is a little different in this aspect. Staff of the Design and
Construction Services (DCS) department who are part of the Minneapolis/St. Paul
campus Facilities Management organization have, through the Vice President of
University Services, overall system responsibility for the planning, design, and
implementation of all major capital improvement projects. The DCS staff works in
conjunction with coordinate campus facilities and program staffs to deliver capital
improvement projects.

Recommendation
The President of the University of Alaska System should direct the Vice President for
Finance to formalize and re-empower the “Facilities Council” to serve as a forum to
gather the facilities leadership from the three campuses to focus on making project
delivery and facilities services more coherent activities throughout the System. The
System Office would be responsible for facilitating the Council, involving the Facilities
Services department leader from each MAU. The Facilities Council charge should be to
develop the University of Alaska’s methodology for doing facilities management,
including planning, design, and construction business in a consistent manner. The
Council should establish common terms, forms, processes, procedures, and practices that
they are committed to and will ensure that their staffs follow. The areas that we suggest
they address include:

1. Establish Project Definitions, Criteria, Funding Sources, Etc.


Definitions, criteria, funding sources, etc. must be established for (minor) campus and
(major) capital projects.

2. Establish Project Agreement Process


For both (minor) campus projects and (major) capital projects the academic or service
program to be delivered along with strategies for funding and implementation of the
project.

3. Establish Pre-design Process


What information is required? What constitutes a “good” pre-design? Create two
levels of planning – (minor) campus projects and (major) capital projects. A pre-
design process is included in this report, but we feel that it should be used as a
starting point, not a final formula for how things must be done. The University of
Alaska staff needs to establish their own pre-design process to ensure buy-in. There is
nothing worse than giving a staff something to work with that they may not believe
in.

4. Establish Consistent Space Planning Standards


There are several industry groups and state governments with space standards that can
be used, again as a starting point. The space planning standard must be established in
consultation with academic and service staff leadership to ensure buy-in from the end
user.

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5. Establish Consistent Selection Processes & Procedures for Design Professionals,
Design-Builders, General contractors, etc.

6. Establish Design and Construction Standards


Begin by reviewing what is currently in place. Ask local industry experts along with
campus maintenance and operations staff to create the University of Alaska
expectations. A process to assess variances from standards must be established and
included as a part of the design and construction standards document.

7. Establish the University of Alaska Project Delivery Process


The project delivery process must encompass the project from the point of conception
through occupancy. This must include roles and responsibilities, accountabilities,
expectations, and the internal consultation/review/approval process.

8. Define project delivery methods available for major projects:


• Design-bid-build
• Design-build
• Construction management
• Etcetera

9. Establish “Job Order Contracting”


Establish how “job order contracting” is going to be done on the (minor) campus
projects to achieve greater throughput. This is an important concept since
approximately 80%-90% of the projects in total number equates to 10%-20% of the
capital dollars. Being able to push the smaller projects through as quickly, efficiently,
and effectively as possible is important to ensure staff does not get bogged down with
them and can concentrate on the major projects where risk is greater.

10. Assess Staff Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities/Identify Training Needs/Opportunities


The training records that were provided to us did not seem to indicate extensive on-
going professional development of the design and construction services staff. We feel
that on-going professional development is critical to the success of this staff.

11. Investigate Project Management/Reporting Software


Software should aid in the entire project delivery process, project tracking and
reporting.

12. Establish expectations as to how the Board of Regents material is to be prepared, and
presentations to be given.

13. Establish New Business Practices Manual


Bring everything together in a new business practices manual for University of
Alaska Design and Construction Services, effective for all work on all campuses.

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14. Establish Non-Project Facility Matters
Determine non-project facility matters to be addressed by the Facility Council, such
as, maintenance planning and scheduling software, staff training, etc.

It is important that the System Office and the campus facilities leaders work on the
Facilities Council issues together. This will require a significant commitment from all for
this to be successful. It is our opinion that in a System governance structure, the Facilities
Council will strengthen the credibility of work done by the professional in-house staff.

It is the opinion of the Team that “project peer review” as it is currently done is not an
appropriate use of this Council. That activity, if desired, is more appropriately conducted
through external review panels. That said, there is considerable value for the system and
each campus to learn from each other as to how they are approaching and managing
projects, preparing material for a presentation to the Board of Regents, etc. Project
Review is discussed later in this report.

B. Organizational Structure

The campuses facilities design and construction staffs have done an admirable job with
what they have been provided in resources over the last decade or more. Their experience
and expertise generally matches the capital improvement work that has been completed in
that time. We question whether they have been sufficiently exposed to the type and
complexity of projects the President is considering in the future. Experience cannot only
be measured by the number of projects or budget dollar value alone; complexity and
project type are also important measures that have to be taken into account when
predicting future success.

If the future capital budget that we reviewed is accurate, then again, the 80/20 or 90/10
theory should continue to hold true. By that we mean that the current staff will be able to
handle 80%-90% of the number of projects, However, the 10%-20% of the capital
resources that account for 80% to 90% of the capital budget will be at risk. This can be
improved by having the Facility Council address the issues identified above. It will make
the staff more efficient and effective. But, the couple of large, complex projects will
probably be difficult for the current staff to plan, control, and oversee without more
resources and experienced staff. This does not mean current staff cannot handle or learn
to handle these projects as such; they simply need more resources to free them from
existing assignments and assistance getting through a few.

Recommendation
With existing workloads, the staffing vacancies that exist with the design and
construction groups of the facilities organizations represent serious deficiencies. The
Team recommends that the university conduct an assessment of these vacancies within
the context of campus facilities organizational structures and university staffing policies.
The issues that need to be resolved include:
• Are the campus facilities groups organized in the most effective and efficient
manner based upon their current and future projected workloads?

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• Are the campus facilities groups staffed with the personnel that have the desired
expertise, skills, abilities, and credentials to serve their campuses and the System
effectively?
• How can the campus facilities groups more effectively share the expertise that is
on this staff?

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This assessment should establish staff workload and productivity expectations along with
identifying the experience, skills, abilities, and professional credentials needed for a
successful project delivery group.

The structure where each campus serves as a “service center” for several of the
geographically remote sites nearest to them seems to work well. The staffing workload
assessment must ensure that this concept is supported appropriately.

This assessment must be done cooperatively between the System Office and the campus
staffs. The outcome may not be to staff each campus individually with the myriad of skill
sets needed, but to have staff from some campuses assist other campuses or to add staff to
the System Office to serve all campuses. The skill set most obviously missing throughout
the system is that of planning and architecture, which is why there is a predisposition
towards a University Architect/Planner who would be part of the System Office.

The Human Resources function of the University of Alaska must also be included in this
assessment process to ensure job descriptions and requirements are appropriate. For
example, we were told that as a requirement to be a project manager one must be a
registered engineer. While having registered engineers on staff is clearly desirable, this
requirement seems to be excessive for a project manager. A construction management
background is many times more important for a person in the project manager position.
Further, if the requirement is inconsistently applied an inequity across campuses will
exist. Additionally, Human Resources must evaluate the compensation available to
appropriate staff in these positions. It was pointed out to us several times that recruiting
staff has been difficult because University of Alaska salaries are not competitive with the
rest of the Alaska market. This issue also requires investigation as a potential staff
retention issue.

Finally, if the capital program is going to be expanded both financially and with
increased complexity, appropriate resources must be identified and committed to it to
ensure its success. With regard to the large, complex projects that the institution will be
pursuing in the near future, we recommend that the existing staff be supplemented with
people experienced in the planning, design management, construction administration,
start up, and operation of the sophisticated high tech facilities that are being considered.
This should be used as an opportunity to train and develop your existing staff. This needs
to be started by completing a project agreement and “major” pre-design document for the
UAF and UAA science projects, and then working through the entire project delivery
process for these two major projects. Additionally, due to the complexity of these two
projects, the Team believes that a formal commissioning agent should be retained for the
UAF and UAA Science Projects. A commissioning agent can provide a peer review of
the electrical and mechanical systems design, control start-up and acceptance testing,
assist with operational staff training, etc.

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C. Project Review

Recently UA has experimented with a “peer review” process for schematic design
documents for major projects. The purpose of this peer review, as we understand it, is to
assure the President and the Board of Regents that the design meets certain criteria for
performance and quality to permit Board of Regent approval for the project to proceed to
the next step.

These review sessions may expose the MAUs to the thoughts of the other campuses,
reveal how each campus is approaching a project, and provide an opportunity for others
to validate the presenting MAUs perception of appropriate content and adequacy, but the
term “peer review” is being misused in this context.

Our discussions with MAU facilities staff indicate several problems with this process:
• The criteria for evaluation are not established and the purpose for the review is
not well understood.
• The skill and knowledge of the review teams assembled from MAU staff is
inadequate and the breadth of professional background of those involved is
incomplete, and
• MAU staff find the effort a serious tax on already stressed schedules and are
unable to give the effort the time it needs and deserves to be meaningful.

Members of the Team use peer review regularly. In our experience, however, “peer
review” refers to a review of the architectural design team’s work by their peers – other,
respected architects, space planners, engineers, etc. who can challenge the design team to
a high quality solution using leading edge techniques and technologies.

If the purpose of peer review is for the administration to be able to assure the Board of
Regents that the design is professional and appropriate we suggest the review should
ascertain that the Schematic Design:
• Fulfills the programmatic expectations of the project as defined in the project
agreement
• Is consistent with the agreed to pre-design document information
• Is functionally well conceived
• Is technologically appropriate
• Is affordable to build, operate, and maintain
• Is aesthetically appropriate for the campus and university

From our experience these are the issues regents are most concerned about when asked to
approve a capital project.

Recommendation
UA needs to establish (via the Facilities Council) criteria and methodologies to have peer
reviews completed on appropriate projects.

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IV. SYSTEM OFFICE AND BOARD OF REGENTS OVERSIGHT OF THE
CAPITAL PROGRAM

The Statewide Office presents capital program issues to the Board of Regents for review
and approval. Currently the Board of Regents reviews, in one way or another, all projects
costing over $750,000 with full board approval of projects over $2,500,000 at two points
in the development of the project. Project approval is granted before a consultant is hired
to begin any work on the physical project itself (some exceptions may be permitted) and
schematic design approval is granted before a project is allowed to complete design,
bidding, and construction.

This report contains a number of recommendations, which if implemented, will make UA


management of its capital program more dependable. The Team suggests that the Board
of Regents could make the time it devotes to the capital program more effective and
useful with a few minor changes to its procedures.

(Major) Capital Projects (over $5,000,000):


To strengthen the concept of a Six-Year UA Capital Plan the review team recommends
one additional Board of Regents review and approval step:

A. Project Agreement (which is the first step of the pre-design process) containing
program/service information required by Board of Regents Policy (BOR
P05.12.05) be presented to the Board of Regents before the project is entered on
the University of Alaska’s Six-year Capital Plan.

B. A Pre-design Study should be required on all Major Capital Projects and will
become the first step in a three year phased funding request for the project. If the
project has changed in a significant way from that described in the Project
Agreement, re-approval by the BOR should precede a budget request for a Pre-
design Study. The Board of Regents will approve the completed Pre-design
Study, including Design Guidelines in the form of a Project Approval.

C. Schematic Design Approval will address the issues outlined above. Several of the
review items listed in P05.12.04C are unreasonably technical for a regent to
devote time to understanding. The administration should make sure that the
project has been subject to careful professional scrutiny and found to be realistic
and appropriate and give such assurances to the Board of Regents.

(Mid-Range) Capital Projects ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000)


Depending on the nature, complexity and potential for risk, these mid sized projects
could be treated like a Major Capital Project as described above, or as a Campus Project
as described following.

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(Minor) Campus Projects (Under $1,000,000)
Applying the 90/10 rule mentioned earlier and recognizing improved project planning
and implementation process in the system, BOR efforts to review and approve small,
lower risk projects should be kept to a minimum. We suggest that the Board of Regents
consider delegating all review and approval authority for projects under $1,000,000 to the
President or his designee.

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V. OTHER OBSERVATIONS

A. Campus Aesthetics

The Team observed an attitude toward design quality that caused some concern. As
previously noted neither UAF nor UAA have an architect currently on their facilities
staff. Further, neither campus has any procedures in place to review design work of A/E
consultants to ensure top quality design consistent with an established aesthetic for the
campus, giving the impression that architects are trusted by facilities staff to produce the
right design for the project with little guidance or professional design oversight/review.
As a result, building designs are the product of a series of architectural firms each with
their own sense of style and aesthetics. Although sometimes the building designs are
good within themselves, they fail to contribute to a sense of campus design continuity
and unity

It is well recognized in higher education that the appearance of a campus is a major factor
in student decisions to attend a particular institution. There appeared to the review team
to be a lack of recognition of this important recruiting tool in the UA system.

There are several approaches to ensuring high quality, coordinated campus design
employed by universities:

• An external architectural design advisory committee of guest nationally or


regionally recognized architects, landscape architects and planners. (The
University of Washington uses this technique.)
• An internal design advisory committee of staff and specialist from the university
community. (The University of Maryland uses this method.)
• An internal design advisory committee consisting of facilities staff who are design
professionals (The University of Minnesota uses this method.) (The University of
Alaska employed this method in the 1980s during a period when the statewide
Office of Facilities Planning and Construction had several architects and planners
in MAU branch offices).
• A Campus Architect/Planner who is a senior staff member.
• A contracted campus architectural advisor.

Recommendation
The Vice President for Finance should charge the reconstituted Facilities Council to bring
forward options and a recommendation as to how UA will ensure greater attention to
design quality at the major campuses.

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B. Alternative Contracting Methods

All three MAUs take a fairly conservative and traditional approach to public works
procurement. This is commonly viewed by the MAUs as resulting in a reluctance of the
System Office to support processes not understood by non-construction staff. At the
System level this perception results from the MAUs’ failure to invest time in developing
industry support for such changes. Each claims that it lacks the staff flexibility to take on
any more efforts. The Team believes such efforts will reap substantial improvement in
university practices and success. Nationally, considerable change has occurred in public
approaches to contracting for design and construction during the last decade. The
traditional design/bid/build method is considered by most to be inefficient, inflexible,
adversarial and contentious. Approaches used by review team members’ schools to
streamline projects and reduce risk are:

• Design/Build
• General Contractor/Construction Manager (agency)
• Construction Manager at risk
• Job Order Contracting (UAA is successfully using this technique for small
campus projects)
• Contractor Prequalification

The Team members could elaborate on the nature and details of these approaches if
requested. Most of them are safer, some are faster and all are less likely to end up in
litigation than the traditional low-bid method. The review team believes these techniques
are all available to the university under Alaska law. Most are used extensively by your
neighbors to the south – Washington and Oregon. While legally allowed, there may be
significant political liabilities if industry resistance is not managed by the UA. Under the
current University of Alaska structure we see little flexibility in staff time or the
inclination to address this need.

Recommendation
The Facilities Council and specifically the designated UA System official with
appropriate facilities experience need to take leadership in working with the AGC, the
AIA and other industry stakeholders to prepare the way for the university to take
advantage of the benefits of these alternatives to low-bid/high-risk contracting.
Concurrently, top facilities officials at each campus should join in a coordinated
information/communication effort.

C. Funding Capital Program and Project Management

The Team was unable to conduct a detailed examination of the manner in which capital
planning, master planning, and capital budget development activities and project
management are funded. There is some evidence, however, that the funding methods and
amounts deserve closer examination. We heard from various sources the following:

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• There are inadequate funds to pay competitive salaries for current and new
professional staff.
• The amount charged to capital projects for internal management and overhead
burden is high and is viewed critically by project beneficiaries. The antidotal
information we were given seems to support the idea that current charges against
projects are higher than might be seen elsewhere.
• Activities which could be charged to operating budgets or general university
funding are charged to projects. In other institutions master planning, capital
planning, capital budget development activities are not normally charged as part
of a project surcharge.
• Approaches to funding capital program management differ between the MAUs

Recommendation
The UA should conduct or commission a study of capital program management funding
practices. The study should develop uniform practices, determine which charges against
projects should be based on direct expenses and which on pre established fees, ensure
that current charges are appropriate, and identify which program and project management
activities could be streamlined to reduce or reallocate management costs.

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