Project Process Overview




Project Process Overview


The goal of the planning phase is to define the project’s scope and establish a preliminary budget. This phase typically includes evaluation of current and expected space needs, process and equipment requirements, and preliminary design discussions. After we’ve evaluated the project, we develop a scope of work on which an initial budget is created.

At a minimum, the planning phase will involve a team consisting of end-users, HWCOE Facilities Operations, and HWCOE Laboratory Safety. Additionally, the team may collaborate with EH&S, Facilities Services, and PD&C to provide direction during planning. If required, the planning team will also include a professional architect or engineer.

A successful planning phase is key to an on-time and under-budget project. The end-user will need to provide detailed information regarding the requirements of their proposed space. Staff from HWCOE Facilities Operations and HWCOE Laboratory Safety will assist the end-user with developing their requirements during the planning process.

To start a successful planning phase, we ask that each end-user complete the Equipment/Facilities Planning Form. This form will assist you in understanding and being able to describe your space layout, equipment, furniture, and utility requirements.


The design phase immediately follows the planning phase and includes the final project design and development of construction documents. For smaller projects, this will typically involve developing review, that are then updated into final construction documents. Most of these projects are completed in-house by HWCOE Facilities Operations. With larger projects, that involve a professional design team, the design process may be divided into multiple phases that could include schematic design, design development, and construction documents.

During the design phase, we define specific requirements of the project. We work with the end-user to design final lab layout, equipment placement, utility locations, and begin selecting colors and styles of finishes, furniture, and fixtures.

For most projects, the end-user will work with Facilities Operations and Laboratory Safety to complete drawings that can be submitted to EH&S for permit applications. The end-user will review initial drawings and provide feedback/scope changes for final documents that will be used for quoting and construction. Once the design for the project has been completed, Facilities Operations will submit the final drawings to Facilities Services for standards review and to EH&S for permit review. Facilities Services reviews drawings to verify that our project meets all UF construction standards. EH&S reviews drawings to verify that our projects comply with all University, local, state, and federal building and life safety codes.

After design is completed, our Project Management team will begin working with contractors to develop quotes for construction. Once all quotes have been received, we will create a budget for approval from the end-user and funding department. Once purchase orders have been issued and submitted to contractors, our team will work with contractors and vendors to create a timeline for construction completion.

For more complex projects involving a professional design team, the lead architect or engineer will work with HWCOE Facilities Operations and PD&C on review and permit submittals. Throughout the design process, there will be several opportunities for the end-user to provide comments and feedback. Additionally, more complex projects will involve a professional construction manager (CM). The CM is often part of the design process, providing input on design practicality and cost. The CM will use the final documents to develop a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of construction.

During the design process, HWCOE Facilities Operations will evaluate a project to identify certain thresholds. These thresholds, once met, require additional services or procedures. Key thresholds include:

  • Construction budget $50,000 or greater will require signed and sealed plans from a professional architect or engineer to receive a permit.
  • Extensive laboratory exhaust design, such as installation of chemical fume hoods, will require a professional engineer for design.
  • If a professional engineer or architect is hired for a project, a project manager from UF Planning, Design, and Construction will be assigned. The HWCOE Facilities Operations Team will stay involved and act as your primary point-of-contact.
  • If the project construction budget will exceed $200,000, hiring a Construction Management firm will be required. The CM will manage all sub-contractors throughout the construction process.


During the construction phase, the project is completed to the quality level and design outlined in the construction documents.  For projects with a construction budget below $200,000, the HWCOE Facilities Operations department will act as construction manager.  Our goal is to complete the project within the scope, budget, and schedule outlined by the design team.  Our staff will select and manage all project subcontractors.  We will coordinate among contractors, vendors, and end-user for the purchase, delivery, and installation of equipment and furniture.  For projects over $200,000, UF policy requires that the College hire a Construction Management firm for the construction phase of the project.  HWCOE Facilities Operations will act as the College’s representative, working closely with the CM throughout construction to ensure that all goals are achieved. 

Throughout construction, HWCOE Facilities Operations will coordinate inspections required by both EH&S and Facilities Services staff. These inspections certify that we have completed our work to meet building codes and UF construction standards.  Occupancy and use of a project space can only occur after construction has been completed enough for EH&S to issue a certificate of occupancy.

Towards the end of this phase, HWCOE Facilities Operations, the end-user, design team, and CM will assemble a project “punch list”.  This list identifies all items that need to be corrected or completed. Once a project has been completed enough for occupancy, the project becomes substantially completed and enters the post-occupancy phase.


Once a project has been completed and the end-user has occupied the project space, the project now enters the post-occupancy phase. The amount of time a project is in Post-Occupancy depends on the extent and complexity of the work completed. Some projects will be in Post-Occupancy for a few weeks, while others may remain there for at least a year. During this phase, the Facilities Operations staff will reach out to end-users to confirm their new space functions as required. We will inquire about the full extent of the project scope and confirm that all mechanical systems and equipment are functioning properly, all furniture and casework is adequate, and you are satisfied with the room finishes such as paint and flooring. We will also work with the end-users, contractors, and vendors to rectify any outstanding issues, including repairs covered by warranty.