Policies

Design Professional Selection Policy

Purpose:

To set OPP policy for Architect and Engineer Selection for any new building, building addition, building alteration and infrastructure project.

Policy:

The policy for Architect and Engineer Selection is contained in Bylaws and Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees (BOT).  The authority for execution of the policy is delegated to the Office of Physical Plant as indicated in Policy AD38 which states “As delegated from the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University through the appropriate administrative officers, the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) is responsible for the maintenance and operations of all University-owned facilities at all University locations (including research centers and campuses). Also, the design and construction, directly or via contract, of all renovations and remodeling of existing University-owned structures, and for all new construction, is the responsibility of the OPP.”

Procedure:

The Architect and Engineer selection process is based on the cost of the project as shown below:

Factors:

Factors to be considered in selecting an Architect or Engineer include: the technical qualifications and experience of the firm's proposed design team, including any consultants; resources of the firm and any consultants; the quality of design provided as evidenced by completed projects; the evaluation of the firm given by prior clients; assessment of the firm’s ability to respond to Penn State’s planning and design philosophy; response time; and review of the firm's fee schedule.

Minor Construction (All facilities with a total project cost under $5,000,000 including: new buildings, additions, renovations and infrastructure projects):

The selection procedure is handled within OPP.

For projects with a total project cost of less than $1,000,000:

The Project Leader selects the firm from a short list of two or three professional firms.  The criteria for selection include the factors listed above, with emphasis on response time and fee for the project.  The Project Leader places a brief statement in the project file with the rationale for selecting the successful firm and notifies the Director of Design and Construction or the Director of Commonwealth Services as applicable and the University Architect.

For projects with a total project cost between $1,000,000 and $4,999,999:

A Selection Committee is established prior to the selection process.  This Committee is composed of the Project Leader, the University Architect and the User Group representative(s).

The Project Leader issues a Request for Proposals to a list of six to ten firms compiled by the Committee.  The Committee reviews and evaluates the responses and selects three firms to interview. 

A non-binding fee proposal is requested from the long-listed firms; fee is only considered if there appears to be a major discrepancy.

The firm selected is hired to do the design if a mutually satisfactory fee can be negotiated.  If not, the second-ranking firm is contacted, and so on.

Depending on the scope and prominence of the project, the Director of Design and Construction or the Director of Commonwealth Services, as applicable, the Director of Campus Planning and Design, and/or the Associate Vice-President for Physical Plant may participate in the screening and/or interview processes.  If they do not, the University Architect and the Project Leader provide them with a summary of the selection process and recommendation and secure their approval.

Major Construction (All facilities with a total project cost of $5,000,000 or above including: new buildings, additions, renovations and infrastructure projects):

The architect selection process for major construction projects consists of the following steps:  letter of interest, long list, short list, and interviews.

A Screening Committee is formed for each project consisting of the University Architect, the Director of Campus Planning and Design, the Project Leader, the Director of SALA, and two or three User Group representatives.

The University Architect posts a Letter-of-Interest to the OPP website describing the project and requesting of responding firms their general qualifications and a brief explanation of their understanding of the type of project being considered.  Submission requirements, selection process description and relevant dates are included.

The Screening Committee selects between eight and twelve firms from the respondents to the Letter-of-Interest.  A detailed RFP is then posted to the website identifying the long-listed firms and selection schedule.

The Screening Committee reviews the responses from the long-listed firms and typically selects three firms to be interviewed by the Subcommittee on Architect/Engineer Selection of the Board of Trustees, the Screening Committee, the Senior Vice-President for Finance and Business and the Associate Vice-President for Physical Plant.  Special circumstances may warrant that four or five firms be interviewed; the Associate Vice-President for Physical Plant and Senior Vice-President for Finance and Business will determine that need.

A non-binding fee proposal is requested from the long-listed firms; fee is only considered if there appears to be a major discrepancy.

The Subcommittee on Architect/Engineer Selection ranks the firms and recommends appointment of the top firm to the Committee on Finance and Physical Plant and the full Board of Trustees.  Pending successful fee negotiation, the firm is hired; otherwise, the second firm is contacted and so on.

Feasibility Studies:

A Selection Committee is established prior to the selection process.  This Committee is composed of the Project Leader, the University Architect and User Group representative(s).

The Project Leader issues a Request for Proposals that includes a non-binding fee proposal to a list of four to eight firms compiled by the Committee.  The Committee reviews and evaluates the responses and determines whether interviews are necessary.  If so, it selects three firms to interview; otherwise, it makes a direct selection from the proposals.  The firm selected is hired to do the design if a mutually satisfactory fee can  be negotiated.  If not, the second-ranking firm is contacted, and so on.

The University Architect and the Project Leader will provide the Director of Design and Construction or the Director of Commonwealth Services, as applicable, the Director of Campus Planning and Design, and the Associate Vice-President for Physical Plant with a summary of the selection process and result.

Firms commissioned to perform feasibility studies are clearly informed that when the project advances to the design phase, they will have to compete in an open selection process and will get no special consideration.

Information contained in the feasibility study will be shared as deemed appropriate (partially or in total) with all firms submitting for the design of that project.

Use the following Architect and Engineer Selection Chart for quick reference:

Amount Method Selector Approver
Under $1,000,000 Short List PL N/A (Notify UA, Director, D&C or CS)
$1,000,000 to $4,999,999 Long List, Short List, Interview PL, UA, UG* Director, D&C or CS Director, CP&D*, AVP*
$5,000,000 & above Letter of Interest, Long List, Short List, Interview BOT AE Selection Sub-Committee BOT
Feasibility Studies Long List, Short List, Interview PL, UA, UG N/A (Notify Director, D&C or CS, Director CP&D, AVP)

*May participate in the screening and/or interview processes.

Submission Materials for Board of Trustees Approval

Purpose:

To set OPP policy to provide guidelines for preparation of project design materials requiring Board of Trustees (BOT) review and approval.  Projects requiring BOT approval are described in the OPP's Design Approval Policy.

Policy and Procedure:

  1. Projects presented to the BOT are divided in two categories:  minor projects with a total project cost of between $1,000,000 and $4,999,999, and major projects with a total project cost of $5,000,000 or more.  Minor projects are presented to the Board of Trustees for information only.  A written explanation of the project describing the scope and cost estimate will be required, as well as supporting graphic materials such as site plan, elevations, etc. 
  2. Major projects are presented to the BOT for final plan approval.  A site plan, floor plans, and a photorealistic, full-color rendering from the design consultant are required.  Elevations and/or sections may be required if needed to fully explain the project.  The design consultant does not attend the presentation.
  3. CP&D will prepare general location maps, campus maps, aerial photographs, site photographs, etc., to complement the design consultant’s submitted material.
  4. The BOT meets five times each year in February, May, July, September, and November.  CP&D keeps a schedule of projected meeting dates.
  5. All submitted material should arrive at OPP four weeks prior to the actual meeting date if they are major projects, and one week prior to the agenda closing date if they are minor projects.  A firm due date will be established by the Design Resources Coordinator for each submission.  The Project Leader (PM or PC) will confirm the date.
  6. Minor projects are presented via handouts.  Major projects are presented via Powerpoint presentation, as prepared by the Design Resources Coordinator. 
  7. The design consultant will complete the data sheet and the Design Resources Coordinator will confirm information, especially costs and square footages, with the OPP Project Leader (PM or PC).
  8. Design consultant will submit digital versions of site plan, floor plans, and rendering to the Design Resources Coordinator for Powerpoint presentation preparation.  PDF files are acceptable. All solid walls should be solid-hatched.  Site plans should show the roof outline and roof plan of the proposed structure.
  9. Do include a graphic scale and a north arrow with each item.
  10. Orient the site plan and floor plans to correspond with the accepted map north for each campus.  For instance, the "standard" location map for The Hershey Medical Center is oriented with north to the top of the sheet.  For University Park, the standard map orientation is with College Avenue parallel to the bottom of the sheet, with true north being approximately 45° to the upper right.  All site plan and floor plans should be oriented accordingly.
  11. All significant spaces should be labeled on a separate CAD layer.  If PDF is submitted, two versions, one with labels, and one without, will be required.  Depending on the complexity of the project, a meeting with the design consultant may be required to review floor plans with the Design Resources Coordinator.
  12. Please do not show "exotic" cars or people on the perspective.  Perspectives should be photorealistic The colors used in renderings should accurately represent the true color of the materials.
  13. Keep all drawings clean and simple. 
  14. Show only work which exists or that will be part of the scope of work for the project.  Do not show proposed walkways, roads, parking, or landscape which will not be part of the project.