Design & Construction Process

Departmental requests for Planning and Project Management services are typically initiated by contacting the Office of Planning & Project Management.


Project Approvals:

Projects with a budget less than $4 million will be reviewed and approved by two committees:

  • The Project Review Committee (PRC) reviews the project for consistency with University financial policy and authorized capital budget, is chaired by the Facilities Director of Capital Project Accounting and is made up of voting members from the University Budget Office.
  • The Capital Program Management Group (CPMG) reviews project scope, schedule and budget. The committee is chaired by the Associate Vice President for Facilities, and its voting members include representatives of the University Officers and the Provost’s Office.

Projects with a budget greater than $4 million will be reviewed and approved by two governing bodies in addition to PRC and CPMG:

  • Officers’ Program Review (OPR) reviews the scope, schedule, and budget of new and existing projects at each phase. OPR is attended by the President of the University, the Provost, and other Officers of the University.
  • The Buildings & Grounds Committee of the Yale Corporation (B&G) reviews the scope, schedule, and budget of new and existing projects at each phase, and authorizes the advancement of each project to its next phase.

The capital project process takes place in the following phases:

Planning & Formulation

Planning activities include the master plan of the campus, space planning and programming of existing and new facilities, capital planning and capital budgeting. Guidance and support is provided to the Senior Administration regarding the physical development of the campus, strategic initiatives and improvements of campus buildings and space in support of the University’s mission.

Project Formulation is when the scope, schedule, and budget for a proposed project are identified. This process ensures that the project parameters meet the needs of the User, the appropriate funding source has been identified, and that the standards and objectives of the Administration are being achieved.

What to expect:

  • Requests are ‘triaged’ weekly and, if deemed appropriate, move forward with the assignment of a Planner.
  • The Planner meets with the User to develop the program for the space and prepares drawings (as needed), a preliminary budget, and a schedule for review and approval by the appropriate approval bodies.
  • Once approved, the information is summarized in a Formulation Response letter and sent to the Business Manager of the Department.

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Preliminary Design

Preliminary Design is the first phase of the design process. The Planner assigned to the project will coordinate a series of meetings with Users and the Design Team for information gathering.

What to expect:

  • User group will designate a Department Administrator to serve as a liaison between the department and the Planner. Click here for a list for Department Administrator Responsibilities.
  • Users communicate specific needs/requirements and the Design Team will do field investigation regarding the layout of the existing areas in question including building systems and their impact on the project.
  • The Design Team generates schemes based on information gathered from Users and their field investigation.
  • Schemes will be reviewed by all stakeholders and refined accordingly. This phase of the project defines the design parameters and the overall layout.
  • Any changes to the agreed upon and authorized scope, schedule, or budget of the project must be approved by the Planner and appropriate administrative bodies with all consequences understood and accepted by the project funding source.

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Design Development

Design Development takes the schemes agreed upon in Preliminary Design and develops it with more detail. This phase is the intense working out of all major design components of the project. There is often heavy User involvement to be sure that all needs are met by the design. All details are developed and defined and all key design decisions are made and agreed upon by the end of this phase of work.

What to expect:

  • The Planner will work with the Design Team during the Design Development phase to keep scope in line with the initial approval plus any changes incorporated during Preliminary Design.
  • The Design Team must get input from, and coordinate with, a number of different groups. These groups include Yale representatives from Facilities Operations, the Office of Environmental Health & Safety, the Yale Fire Marshal, Yale Telecom, Yale Security, Client Support, and in addition, the New Haven City Officials.
  • An estimate will be prepared at the end of the Design Development phase to verify that the project remains within budget.
  • Swing Space: Prior to construction start if the area of the project is occupied it is required to move occupants out to a temporary location. The temporary location or “swing space” must be identified early on in the design process so moves can be accomplished in a timely manner for construction to start as scheduled.
  • Equipment: By the start of Design Development all requirements concerning equipment will have been clearly established from the Preliminary Design Phase documentation of new and existing equipment. During Design Development the equipment schedule, which documents key requirements of all equipment, will be updated if necessary. Any changes must be timely to avoid delays in procurement.

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Construction Documents & Bidding

The Construction Documents phase takes the design as developed and finalized during Design Development and documents it for construction. Details are further refined as construction issues are addressed. The main emphasis of this phase of work is to verify that all the information is on the drawings and in the specifications so that the project can be bid for construction. There are less meetings typically in the Construction Document Phase that require the involvement of the users as the emphasis of the phase is documentation of the design decisions made in Design Development.

What to expect:

  • The Planner will begin to transition management of the project to a Project Manager within the Office of Facilities. The Project Manager will oversee implementation of the project from construction through occupancy.
  • The project will be bid to a Constructor, who will then provide a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) which must be reconciled with the project’s construction budget prior to beginning construction.
  • Early Demolition: Often as part of this phase of work demolition is carried out as a prerelease of Construction so that the Design Team can more clearly identify field conditions. This is true for most projects at Yale University as they are often renovations in older buildings that have seen many years of modifications that are not always apparent or documented. Early demolition identifies potential problems early so they can be addressed during the design phase of the project and not during the construction phase when changes are costly and impact schedule. In this way early demolition streamlines the construction process and makes the construction bids more competitive as bids are more accurate and generally lower with less contingency built in for unknowns.

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The Construction Phase of the project involves the implementation of the project as it is described in the Contract Documents (construction drawings and specifications). The Project Manager initiates a contract with the Constructor based upon an agreed upon price for the work.

What to expect:

  • Budget

Budget impacts will be monitored throughout the Construction phase. Changes to the project construction cost (GMP) will be monitored by the Project Manager and must be reconciled with overall project budget prior to proceeding with any change. All changes must be approved by the Project Manager prior to execution.

  • Meetings

Meetings during this phase are geared to reviewing the construction progress and addressing any issues that come up during construction activities. A representative from the Department should be present at these meetings (typically the Business Manager). The meetings are usually every two weeks. The Construction Kick Off Meeting initiates the construction process. This meeting allows all members of the Design Team and Constructor to go over the basic ground rules for the construction phase and to work out the process for the particular project at hand.

  • Notifications

Before a construction project starts and throughout its implementation the Project Manager notifies the building’s occupants of the pending activities for their safety and to allow them to plan their work accordingly. Notification occurs as follows:

Initial Notification: During Design Development, a notification is distributed to all the adjacent users of pending construction. It is sent to the business managers of the departments that are located next to, below, or above the proposed project.

Construction Notification: As the construction start date approaches a notification is sent out that indicates the date of construction start and the duration of construction activities. The notice will indicate what to expect as far as noise, dust, etc. If there will be asbestos abatement activities it will be indicated on the notice and describe the precautions that will be taken.

Community Meetings: Prior to construction start, a community meeting will be scheduled. The intent of the meeting is to inform all building occupants in the vicinity of the proposed construction of potential construction impacts.

Two-Week Look Ahead: During the construction process the Constructor will submit a Two-Week Look Ahead prior to every two-week period to the Project Manager who will review it and forward it to those departments impacted by the project.

  • Shutdowns

During construction the Constructor will be required to shutdown certain utilities as connections to existing services are made. Most of these shutdowns will be local and only affect the area under construction. Some shutdowns will impact a larger area. All shutdowns will be part of the Two-Week Look Ahead so that affected users will be notified prior to the shutdown and can prepare accordingly (see Notifications, above). In addition, notices will be posted in all the affected areas prior to the shutdown.

  • Clearances

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEH&S) must to be contacted for radiation, biological, and chemical clearances. The Business Manager of the Department in which the project is based should initiate this process and deliver the space to the constructor with all clearances in place. Construction activity cannot commence until all clearances are in hand. The Project Manager will initiate a hazardous material survey through a request to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and, if asbestos or lead containing materials are discovered, will facilitate its removal.

  • Keying

The Department coordinates final keying. The Business Manger puts in a Work Request via the Project Manager to Facilities Operations for keying. The Business Manager will meet with the Facilities Operations locksmith to determine functions.

  • Signage

Signage is paid for out of the construction budget, coordinated and specified by the Architect, and installed by the Constructor. The Business Manager shall coordinate and order inserts for the modules in accordance with the Construction Site Sign Standard.

  • Substantial Completion

The date of Substantial Completion is an important date as it comes into play on many internal procedures relating to a construction project. All projects need a Certificate of Substantial Completion to document the date at which the project was ready for beneficial occupancy by Yale University. From the date of Substantial Completion, the Owner is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the completed project area. From this point forward any User concerns regarding the functioning or maintenance of the space should be addressed to Facilities Operations staff. The date of Substantial Completion also initiates the Warranty Period for all materials and equipment installed during construction. If there is a warrantee issue, Facilities Operations will contact the Project Manager and the Constructor to address it.

  • Telecom/Desktop Interface

The User Department initiates a Telephone Service Request (TSR) to Yale Telecom to authorize handsets be supplied, transfer established phone numbers to new locations and establish new phone numbers for a newly installed location. The Department is responsible for the costs associated with this TSR.

The occupant/user is responsible for contacting, coordinating, and working out all the details of data connectivity with Client Support at ITS directly.

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Construction Closeout

Construction Closeout is the time period from Substantial Completion until all punch list items have been addressed and are completed. The Constructor finishes all remaining items and completes all final invoices for the work.

What to expect:

  • Punchlist

On the date of Substantial Completion a Punch list is compiled by walking through the completed project to check for those outstanding items which are contractually owed and have not been completed. The user should attend the walk through with the Team to review the project and add items to the punchlist as necessary. It should be noted that at this time only those items which are contractually owed and have not been completed are to be put on the Punchlist. This is not an opportunity to add scope to the project.

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At the time of Substantial Completion, the City of New Haven will issue a Certificate of Occupancy, allowing the User Department to move back into the finished project space.

What to expect:

  • The Project Manager will work with a Facilities Move Coordinator and representatives from the User Department to coordinate move-in operations.
  • Warranty Period

The warranty period duration is typically one year after the date of Substantial Completion. During this time period if there are deficiencies in the project they should be reported to Facilities Operations staff who will determine if the issue is a warranty issue and contact the appropriate parties to follow up on the work.

  • Maintenance

All maintenance issues are addressed by Facilities Operations. If you have a concern, call the customer service center at (203) 432-6888. Click here for information about requesting services.

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