Project Life Cycle

A capital construction project must go through a complex process after the initial project request is received by Architects & Engineers.

project life cycle graphic

For a more detailed view of the steps required for a capital construction project, a download is available here.

Project Planning

Project Need Identification/Programming

Outlines the campus problem to be addressed by the project, requested project and initial project scope and prioritization. This outlines the statement of the problem and is conducted as part of the project intake process.

Funding and Approvals

Coordination of funding identification, funding transfer and capital planning approval process. Funding moments may happen throughout the process, but initial funding and approvals happens at the beginning of the project.

Design Consultant Agreements

Projects with design consultant fees over $100,000 will require a Request For Qualifications (RFQ). After a design consultant has been selected and an agreement executed, the Project Design phase can begin.

Project Design

Conceptual Design

The conceptual design phase may be done as part of the Project Need Identification Phase. This high-level design process determines project goals, scope, and program requirements.

Typical outcomes include formalized project problem statement, scope and conceptual cost estimate.

Preliminary Plans: Schematic Design Phase

Schematic design is the first phase for project design. In this phase, the design professional describes the project three-dimensionally, alternative design concepts are developed, and a final schematic design selected.

A preliminary cost estimate is developed and will be refined in the next phase.

Typical outcomes include building or renovation location, building and infrastructure illustrations/renderings, and preliminary floor plans.

Preliminary Plans: Design Development Phase

The design development phase goes into more detail than schematic design and outlines mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and architectural details.

During this phase, the design professional develops and refines plan arrangements, specific space accomodations, equipment and furnishings, building design, materials and colors, and building/infrastructure systems serving the project.

The preliminary cost estimate at this phase is refined based on the design plans and specifications of the project.

Typical outcomes include finalized design decisions that will be used to prepare the subsequent construction documents. Additionally, testing of the proposed design will occur against specific programmatic budget requirements, code requirements, and regulations.

Working Drawings/Construction Documents Phase

The working drawings/construction documents phase goes into even further detail than the design development phase and outlines construction details and material requirements.

During this phase, the design professional produces a set of drawings that includes all pertinent information required for a contractor to price and build the project. This is used in the bid phase.

Cost estimates are updated and budgets are validated based on the construction documents.

Typical outcomes include final documents to be used in construction.

Project Construction

Bid and Awards

After completion of the Construction Documents, the A&E Contracts group initiates the bid process in accordance with law and policy. The Project Manager creates a detailed bid package according to UCOP specifications. Code and regulations requires that this is publically advertised for a set period of time. Additional time is allocated for contractor site visits, requests for additional information and the publication of a bid package addendum.

After bids are received, the project is awarded to the lowest responsive bidder. Additional time is allocated for protests, and at the conclusion of that time the issue of selection is published.

This process can be lengthy, and many timelines are mandated. Detailed information about the UCOP bid process is available and may be helpful to understand for specific projects and their timelines.

Project Construction

Project Construction includes monitoring and inspection to ensure that the quality of construction is in accordance with the approved design. Scope changes are evaluated for impact on the approved budget and schedule. During this phase, move-in and occupancy plans are developed in consultation with facility users. The project is concluded when there is a successfully built and contracted project on campus.

Building Occupancy/Project Closeout

Building Occupancy/Project Closeout starts the typical one-year building warranty period during which incomplete construction items or construction defects requiring correction are identified by the University. The warranty period allows the University to check out building systems and correct any patent deficiencies while the contractor and architect are still operating under their respective contracts.