Capital Planning Process

The responsibility for oversight and management of the Capital Planning Process is with the Planning, Design and Construction (PDC) units of Facilities Planning and Management. The following is an annotated list of the components involved in the Capital Planning Process:

Pre-Planning (Determine the need)

  • Project Initiation - The need for a project is determined and approval of the Capital Projects Advisory Committee (CPAC) is sought.
  • Analysis and Alternatives - PDC studies alternatives to solve the project needs. The alternatives may include reassignment of space, remodeling, an addition to an existing building, a new building, or a combination of all.

Pre-Planning details

Design (Design a solution)

  • Design Professional Selection - The selection of the design professional who will lead the design team of designers, engineers, and specialized consultants is an important steps in the process. It is important to select an individual, individuals, or firms with the experience, creativity, and technical ability for the project to ensure success. The selection committee is made up of representatives of the user group(s) and university administration with guidance from the project manager and PDC.
  • Building Program - The building program is a document consisting of written and graphical representations of the needs of the project. It is approved by all those involved in the project and is the basis for the architect's design. It is the yardstick by which the design is measured.
  • Construction Delivery Method - Choosing the appropriate method of constructing the project occurs early in the process. Although the most common method used is when a design is developed, construction documents (drawing and specifications) are made, and a firm price bid is taken from qualified contractors; several other methods and variations are considered to best suit the needs of the project.
  • Project Design - The project design is a synthesis of all of the needs of the project (functional, aesthetic, financial, time, and political), into a building that is greater than the sum of its parts. The design professional takes the information contained in the building program and creates design alternatives for evaluation by the planning committee. Once an acceptable design has been achieved, the design professional further develops it into documents from which the building can be constructed. The planning committee reviews the progress of the work to ensure the final documents are consistent with the building program requirements.

Design details


  • Bidding and Award - When the construction documents are completed, they are made available and distributed to interested construction contractors who prepare and submit bids for construction of the project. The contractor submitting the lowest bid is awarded a contract to build the building assuming the bid is within the established project budget.
  • Construction - Construction is monitored by the construction manager and the design professional to ensure compliance with the construction documents. Changes to the design during this phase are sometimes unavoidable, but every attempt should be made to limit them to those that are essential to success of the finished project.
  • Close Out - When the construction is substantially complete, the design professional and construction manager review the project to make a "punch-list" of items that are left to complete. This is usually the point when the occupants can begin moving into the building. The contractor has a specified period of time to complete the "punch-list" items and a portion of the contract amount is withheld until these are completed.

Construction details


The construction manager coordinates the move-in of the occupants ensuring that the movers are scheduled, phones are transferred, custodial and maintenance services begin, and all other details are taken care of. When portions of the building must be occupied before the entire building is completed, the construction manager coordinates the move-in with the work of the contractor to ensure minimal disruption of activities of both parties.

Occupancy details

Project Management Fees

A project management fee is included in the project budget for all capital projects managed by the Planning, Design, and Construction units of Facilities Planning and Management to cover the costs associated with administering and managing a project at Iowa State University.

Project Management Fee details