Design & Construction Information
Design & Construction is a section of Facilities Planning, Design & Construction.
Paying for Design Services
Design & Construction personnel work on a "designated" basis, that is, all work by Design & Construction personnel must be charged out. Design & Construction personnel may, at their discretion and on a very limited basis, participate in preliminary project discussions and provide pre-design budgetary estimates without charging for those services.
Cost of Design Services
FPDC staff will try to give you an accurate but conservative estimate for our services based on the scope you furnish, but an estimate is still just an estimate, not a maximum price. Our actual charges will vary as the scope of the project varies. If we believe that our charges for design and construction services are going to exceed the current estimate, we will revise the estimate, so you can take the additional cost into consideration.
The workload for FPDC varies greatly during the year, being greatest in the months preceding summer and Christmas breaks. With a limited staff, we schedule our work to try and level our workload. We add projects to our schedule on a first-come first-serve basis with consideration given to the appropriate designer for your project. After we have an approved estimate and the "plant fund" set up, we will schedule your project.
Even at our best, an oversight, or what you may consider to be an error or an omission will occur in design, drawings, and specifications. Architects work to a "reasonable level of care and skill". Our architects and technicians are skilled people. A reasonable level of care is accomplished by spending a reasonable amount of time on design, documentation, review, and administration. Design & Construction personnel function similarly to private sector design services. FPDC does not indemnify against design oversights - cost impacts are borne by the project funding source.
Our quality control consists of review of the design, drawings, and specifications by peer, the university architect, and by you the client. Effective reviews take time and we hope you not only allow us, but encourage us to take the time.
Budgetary and Construction Estimates
An estimate is just an estimate. The first estimates provided by FPDC are usually "budgetary" estimates done at a pre-design stage of the project. The purpose of this estimate is to give you a "ballpark" idea as to whether or not you wish to proceed with your project. As part of the project service we also may provide a "construction estimate" during the course of design.
Our estimates include a "contingency", usually 15% of the estimated construction cost, added as part of the project cost. The purpose of the contingency is to provide your budget with the ability to absorb the "change orders" resulting from unforeseen construction conditions, design oversights, and things that you may add or change. The purpose of the contingency is not to absorb higher than estimated construction bids. If the construction bids exceed the estimated construction cost, we will discuss options with you to assist in your decision as to how to proceed.
Your project will be built by either a private contractor or MSU's Campus Maintenance crews. In either case the role of Design & Construction is to administer the "contract". An FPDC project manager will be the contact for all parties during the various stages of the project delivery process. If you have any questions, comments, or want something changed or added, please contact the project manager. If you don't know who that is, call the university architect at 994-5040. Only the project manager may authorize change under a contract. Your conversation with a contractor may be taken by the contractor as authorization for change, therefore incurring the cost to the contract, so we encourage you to "talk" to the contractor through the project manager.
Expect construction to hold some surprises. We see them on each project, so please help us to work through them in a rational and deliberate manner.
I hope this information answers some of your questions and helps you set realistic expectations. If at any point, you still have questions or think we are not doing our job as well as you would like, please let us know. You may reach me at 994-5040.