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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

Project phases

Depending on the size and scope of a project, there are different phases it must undergo, starting with an idea, or concept, and ending in construction. The timeline varies in each phase depending on the complexity of the project. To see the current phase of specific major projects on campus, visit the Construction section. For detailed descriptions of processes within each phase, visit the Capital Project Delivery Procedures site.

Planning/Design phase

At Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, every construction project begins with an idea – whether it is a sidewalk repair or a new bridge. First, someone identifies a probable need. From there, the idea is either studied to determine if there is truly a need, or it is given to an estimator for a calculation on the cost of the idea. If approved, the idea is then sent to the planning stage.
There are four types of projects:

  • Major: Projects that cost $1 million or more and must be presented to the MSU Board of Trustees for approval in a three-step process
  • Minor: Projects that cost from $250,000 to $1 million
  • Purchase orders: Projects that cost up to $250,000
  • Project requests: Projects that are constructed using IPF Building Services trades professionals

Once approved, the project is designed. Depending on complexity and the size of the project, IPF architects and engineers will either complete the design or hire a consultant for assistance.

Schematic Design (SD) phase

  • The project program (what a building is for and how it will be used) is defined and evaluated
  • Sizes of spaces (rooms) and space adjacencies are defined
  • The project budget is evaluated and refined
  • Mechanical, electrical and structural systems are determined
  • The building look and style are defined
  • The building location and position, its orientation, pedestrian and vehicular access, parking, utility services and landscape are defined

Design Development (DD) phase

  • The spaces defined in schematic design are further refined
  • Final room sizes and configurations are determined
  • Material, finishes and color selections are made
  • The project budget is further evaluated and finalized
  • The detailed image or picture of the building is finalized
  • Mechanical, electrical and structural systems are refined and finalized
  • The site components are refined and finalized

Construction Documents (CD) phase

  • The drawings and specifications (construction documents) are created to define size and quantity spaces and to enable the project to be constructed
  • All of the details necessary to construct the project are created
  • Specifications are written to define manufacturer and quality of all of the products used to construct the project
  • Codes are reviewed to make certain project conforms
  • Construction documents are reviewed by IPF to verify conformance with MSU standards for construction

Bidding phase

At this point, the project is sent out for the bidding process. The bidding contractors are evaluated and the project usually is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.

Construction phase

Once a contractor is hired, IPF’s construction department oversees the project through completion. Project representatives make sure the project is on track and the crews are following the proper procedures.

There could be approximately 200 to 300 projects underway at any time. MSU strives to build on past practices through its construction standards, which are updated on an ongoing basis. As new practices are developed, those strategies will be added to the standards for construction in order to increase the body of knowledge.