This process guide provides guidance for the initial life cycles of major capital improvement projects, from pre-project planning through initial operational occupancy of the completed facility to the users and operating maintenance staff, including creation and demobilization of the project team and procurement and closeout of all contracts.
The typical CIP project is authorized, controlled and delivered throughout five primary phases: pre-project planning, project definition, design, construction and warranty.
Pre-Project Planning Phase
The initial phase of a project is known as the Pre-Project Planning Phase. During this phase, potential project requirements and funding are explored by UT Austin stakeholders and Campus Construction to identify the need for the project, including economic and feasibility studies. In general, this phase includes:
- Assisting UT Austin stakeholders through project justification, a Statement of Need, and the Board of Regents’ (BOR) CIP approval process, including adherence to the UT System Capital Expenditure policy.
- Assisting the Office of Campus Planning with the development of project formation studies, framework plans, and strategic plans for UT Austin colleges, schools, research units and auxiliaries.
- Managing, documenting, and approving the Owner’s Project Requirements.
- Establishing project administration and control policies, procedures, and systems.
Project Definition Phase
Once the project becomes “real,” the Project Definition Phase further defines the project budget, scope, and schedule, which are typically set by the approval of the Facility Program. Campus Construction assists, manages and coordinates UT Austin stakeholders’ efforts through The University of Texas System Capital Improvement Program (CIP) approval process. This is typically accomplished prior to proceeding with the Design Phase of the project and marks the Board of Regents’ first project approval. In general, this phase includes:
- Procuring a design professional and contractors.
- Procuring geotechnical engineer, surveyor, and other third-party consultants.
- Reviewing site selection issues, including procurement of a Category 1A land title survey and discussions of potential easement issues at the selected site(s).
- Managing the start of the Basis of Design (BOD) process.
- Developing and approving the Facility Program (including Security Planning and Design). The Pre-Project Planning and Project Definition Phases are decision-intensive, while the Design and Construction Phases are production-intensive, all of which measure quality through “conformance to requirements.”
- Initiating, managing, documenting and approving Schematic Design documents.
- Coordinating submission of all necessary documents to the Board of Regents for addition of the project to the CIP.
After the Project Definition Phase indicates that the project is sufficiently defined and meets UT Austin’s requirements, the project moves into the Design Phase. During this phase, the Board of Regents gives its second (and typically final) project approval to proceed with completion of construction documents and into the Construction Phase. In general, this phase includes:
- Initiating, managing, documenting and approving Design Development and Construction Documents.
- Managing final project approval from the Board of Regents and/or UT Austin President.
- Coordinating and assisting UT Austin with notifications to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).
- Managing all other design phase approvals.
When construction documents are complete (either as a whole or in stages), the project enters the Construction Phase. In general, this phase includes:
- Managing and inspecting the construction of the project through kick-off meetings, periodic project meetings, inspections, commissioning, overall monitoring and reporting, and final acceptance.
- Coordinating the scheduling, training, acceptance and operation of the facility with UT Austin and user representatives.
- Occupancy of the facility by users and maintenance by the UT Austin’s operations staff.
The Construction Phase completed with the issuance of a Substantial Completion Certificate. Campus Construction then monitors (and manages, as necessary) the one-year warranty with UT Austin and user representatives.