Subject:           Physical Plant

Policy:              Construction Activities Policy

Revised:           October, 2009

Origin Date:     1985

Review Date:    February 2015

Sponsor:          Facilities Services Advisory Committee

Introduction and Purpose:

All MSU facilities are owned by the State of Montana and MSU. The facilities operations departments; Facilities Planning, Design & Construction (FPDC) and Facilities Services (FS) are charged with operating, maintaining and preserving the value of MSU's physical facilities for the benefit of the State and MSU, which includes assuring that all construction activities are accomplished in accordance with State Statutes, Administrative Rules, Legislative or Regents Authorizations, Regent's Policies, University Policies, University Design Guidelines, University Construction Standards, building codes, seismic codes, electrical/mechanical codes, ADA Guidelines, Environmental Health and Safety Regulations, Department of Labor Regulations, Insurance Requirements, Collective Bargaining Agreements, and are performed in an efficient and cost effective manner etc.


Construction Activities means but is not necessarily limited to, new construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, remodeling, and any other physical changes, such as painting, flooring and window coverings; including installations of equipment, appurtenances and furnishings that require installation, modification, structural considerations, or extension of building services or building systems, by convention, guideline or code; involving buildings, grounds, infrastructure elements, real property or parts thereof.


In order to responsibly execute the above charge, all construction activities, regardless of the source of funds, shall be administered by either Facilities Services (FS) for maintenance and small scale projects or by Facilities Planning Design & Construction (FPDC) for large scale projects, projects which require design services, contract management, and projects designed and/or constructed by private consultants and contractors employed by the University. All construction contracts shall be issued and administered by FPDC (or the State Architecture & Engineering Division, through FPDC, as appropriate), and all construction activities shall be performed under the administrative oversight of FPDC or FS.


A.  Contacts
Contact the FS Work Control Center Estimator to initiate any kind of maintenance or small scale construction activity or with any questions relating to construction activities or the application of this policy.

Contact the FPDC University Architect to initiate any large scale project or projects requiring design services or with any questions relating to construction activities or the application of this policy.

Contact the Information Technology Center to initiate communications systems, equipment or communications wiring projects or with any related questions.

 B.  Special Sanctions:
This policy is not intended to interfere with or inhibit student, research or academic fabrication projects that do not fall within the definition of construction activities as noted above. The University recognizes that certain departments do have the need, and right, to have their technicians perform carpentry work, metal work, electronics and related tasks, strictly associated with fabrication and repair of non-building equipment used for research and educational purposes in various labs and galleries. Such work is sanctioned as long as the work does not alter University facilities, nor violate the scope of work of any Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). However, any attachment to the building or any installation, modification or extension of building services or building systems, necessitated by convention, guideline or code, shall be performed as a construction activity under the administrative oversight of FS or FPDC.
In addition, MSU supports University-approved student building-like construction projects, which may include carpentry and other construction activities noted above, provided such projects are initiated under the direct guidance and administrative oversight of FS or FPDC, which may include negotiating a one-time dispensation from a specific CBA provision.

C.    Communications Systems, Equipment and Wiring:
MSU owns its complete telephone system, including PBX equipment, communications wiring and PBX software. The Information Technology Center (ITC) is responsible for the management of this system.  All changes, additions, or deletions to this system require the prior approval of ITC. ITC will make all purchases of communications systems, equipment and wiring in accordance with MSU's "Procurement Policy and Procedures."
In addition, MSU owns its complete wired and wireless telecommunications system, including cabling for data, voice, security, video, etc. ITC is responsible for the management of this system. Any extension of this cabling infrastructure will require prior review and approval by both ITC and FS or FPDC, and will be subject to inspection/approval after installation. The attachment of any device to the cabling infrastructure must conform to the Standards for Network Connectivity at Montana State University ( The connection of devices to one anotherin a laboratory setting is covered by these provisions only if one or more of the devices is connected or will be connected to the MSU telecommunications system, or if their interconnection would violate building codes or involve Unauthorized Construction Work as discussed herein.
In many cases, building codes and/or university standards require that telecommunication cabling in finished areas of a building be enclosed in a specified raceway.  The installation of a raceway must be done by, or through, FS or FPDC as stated previously in this policy. Access to concealed building spaces, including but not limited to chases, mechanical spaces, elevator shafts, telecommunication rooms and spaces, ductwork, custodial spaces, spaces above suspended ceilings, behind baseboards and trim, etc., for any purpose (wiring or otherwise) is expressly prohibited without prior approval from FS or FPDC.
Installation of telecommunication wiring may be done by qualified personnel of departments, when such installation has been reviewed and specifically authorized by FS or FPDC and ITC prior to the installation and when not in conflict with CBAs, the AMP Netconnect Warranty Program, or other applicable requirements. Installations that have not been reviewed and approved by FS and FPDC and ITC prior to installation represent Unauthorized Construction Work and are subject to all the corrective actions noted herein.

Internal Control:

Except for the special sanctions noted previously, any such activity that is not initiated through a facilities operations department following the policy outlined herein will be considered Unauthorized Construction Work. Unauthorized Construction Work often violates statutes, standards, policies, regulations and codes, and often results in hazardous situations during execution or in the future. In the event that Unauthorized Construction Work is discovered, the following actions may be taken:

A.     Representatives from the facilities operations departments/ITC and/or Personnel and Payroll Services will inspect the work to determine whether there has been a violation of this policy and/or any CBA provision. If it is determined that a CBA provision has been violated, the department that implemented the Unauthorized Construction Work shall participate in settlement negotiations with FS and the applicable bargaining unit, if requested by FS, and shall bear the full costs of any negotiated settlement.

B.     As necessary, the appropriate facilities operations department(s)/ITC will inspect the project for quality of craftsmanship, standards of materials, and compliance with codes and other policy and regulatory requirements. In the event that any craftsmanship or materials are determined to be sub-standard, or the project is not in compliance with applicable codes, etc., the appropriate facilities operations department(s)/ITC will make all necessary corrections. The costs of such activities will be charged to the department responsible for the Unauthorized Construction Work.

C.     If, for any reason, the unauthorized work must be removed, the appropriate facilities operations department(s)/ITC will proceed with that action and the resulting cost will be charged to the department responsible for the Unauthorized Construction Work.

D.     If a record must be made of any such work and building drawings must be revised to reflect same, the appropriate facilities operations department’s)/ITC will do so and the cost for such records will be charged to the department responsible for the Unauthorized Construction Work.

[Reviewed February 15, 2012]