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Procurement of Design and Construction Services

Policy Number: PSP-4300-03

Policy Title:  Procurement of Design and Construction Services

Vice Chancellor/Associate Chancellor: Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

Unit Responsible for Policy: Office of Planning, Sustainability, and Project Management

Effective Date: April 18, 2022

Contacts: Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Project Management

Policy Statement: UIC is committed to ensuring the physical campus environment is designed, constructed, and renovated in compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, and policies and in a way that enhances safety, quality, sustainability, and economy in construction.

The Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services (VCAS) is responsible for the procurement and delivery of all design, remodeling, and construction projects impacting UIC’s built environment. The VCAS may delegate responsibility for specific projects or capital programs to other departments or entities, such as the Office of Planning, Sustainability, and Project Management, Facilities Management, or Utilities and Energy Services.

Compliance with this policy is required for all construction-related projects, which comprise capital projects, non-capital projects, projects delivered by public-private partnerships (P3) or other delivery methods. Compliance is required for all UIC units, including the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and Campus Auxiliary Services, and for all university-owned properties at the Chicago and regional campuses. This policy does not apply to leased properties, except at the School of Law campus.

Procurement Thresholds

The University Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller (Comptroller) is the general fiscal (financial) officer of the Board of Trustees and has authority to approve, on behalf of the Board, all expenditures the Board makes for a general or specific appropriation. The Comptroller also has general authority to execute contracts for the Board across the University System. These authorizations are subject to certain conditions and requirements that provide for the delegation of these authorities to the three universities that comprise the System.

All UIC units will comply with these delegations of authority, which involve Small Purchase Limits, Job Order Contracting (JOC), and Capital Project Approval Thresholds. The VCAS may further identify and establish financial thresholds of responsibility, including which projects will be executed by in-house staff.

UIC Building Standards

The VCAS is responsible for approving and overseeing the development of the UIC Building Standards. These comprise a compilation of applicable building codes and UIC-adopted construction and renovation standards that are intended to enhance safety, quality, sustainability, and economy in construction. These standards will fully incorporate sustainability principles while being consistent with budget constraints and appropriate life cycle cost analyses. These standards must be followed on all projects utilizing typical delivery methods. Projects delivered via the P3 delivery method must seek written approval from the VCAS or delegate for any deviations from the standards.

The VCAS will appoint members to a UIC Building Standards Committee that will be responsible for establishing, publishing, maintaining, and administering the UIC Building Standards.

Use of Professional Architects and Engineers

  • Authority to Engage Professional Architects and Engineers: Only a designated UIC representative, such as the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Project Management or designee, shall engage and coordinate the services of Architects, Engineers or Land Surveyors, also known as Professional Services Consultants (PSC). PSCs will be selected using a Qualifications Based Selection process in compliance with the State of Illinois Architectural, Engineering, and Land Surveying Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) Act and University policies.
  • Employment and Use of Professional Architects and Engineers: All technical submissions (design drawings and specifications) for construction, alteration, repair, expansion, addition, or modification of facilities involving the practice of architecture, engineering or land surveying shall be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a licensed architect, professional engineer or professional land surveyor registered in the State of Illinois, in accordance with State of Illinois statutes. Final technical submissions that are prepared by external consultants and submitted to UIC staff for the purpose of filing or approval are required to bear the seal and signature of an architect or engineer as required by the Illinois Architecture Practice Act and Professional Engineering Practice Act.

    Projects require design by a licensed architect or registered engineer if they involve modifications to a building's walls, ceilings, structural system, electrical system, or mechanical system that require interpretation of fire or building codes. The UIC Fire Marshall, designated as the Authority Having Jurisdiction and UIC’s Building Code Official, will designate thresholds for and exceptions to this requirement. Those thresholds and exceptions will be approved by the VCAS and published for use in conjunction with this policy.

Administration of Construction-Related Projects

A Project Manager (PM) shall be assigned to each capital or non-capital project, including those procured through public-private partnerships (P3), and shall oversee all phases of the project, including planning, design, construction document preparation and construction administration as applicable. The VCAS or designee will assign project managers and a fee will be charged for these services. The PM will collaborate with all applicable UIC stakeholders to bring about a successful project. Prior to bidding or construction, and during predetermined phases of design, the PM will ensure that each project has been reviewed by stakeholders in compliance with all UIC and VCAS-approved design review policies and procedures to ensure design quality, constructability and economy in operations and maintenance. The PM will ensure the project is inspected by the responsible parties during the required phases, including but not limited to Substantial Completion, to ensure implementation of the project is occurring in alignment with the project design and UIC Building Standards. The PM shall coordinate project work with the work of other PM/contractors via a VCAS-approved contractor tracking system to appropriately coordinate the work of all contractors working in the same facility or space.

  • Construction Management Agent: Projects with construction budgets over $5M and a high level of complexity or projects with construction budgets over $10M will be required to include a Construction Manager (CM) agent. The CM will provide pre-construction and construction administration services on behalf of the university. The VCAS must approve any deviations from this requirement.

Approval of Construction-Related Projects

All construction or remodeling of university facilities requires prior approval of the sponsoring unit’s dean, director, department head or designee and vice chancellor and shall be coordinated through the designated VCAS department. Departments or individuals are not authorized to perform remodeling or construction work unless, and only to the extent that, written authorization is given by the VCAS.

The university requires that, regardless of the source, funding in an amount equal to the total expected project budget must be obligated to the project before Board of Trustee’s (or delegate) approval.

The VCAS or a designee will establish a mechanism to secure obligations of funds in alignment with applicable UIC policies. Departments or individuals will be responsible for securing the necessary approvals and delegations required to obligate funds in alignment with applicable UIC policies or departmental procedures. Professional services or construction contracts will not be encumbered until the encumbrance amount is transferred to a dedicated plant account–exceptions must be approved by the VCAS. Projects will be closed out after completion of work and unspent funds returned to the unit in a timely manner.

Reason for Policy: Proper control of construction activities on the UIC campus is critical to ensure safety, quality, sustainability and economy in the construction and operation of the UIC Campus and associated facilities. This proper control is also necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, statutes, and policies.

Minority Impact Statement:  This policy does not have any disproportionate or unique impact on UIC’s minority students, staff, or faculty.

Who Should Read the Policy:  UIC faculty, staff, or other employees or representatives at the Chicago campus and its regional or other sites that are engaged in the planning, design and construction of new buildings, renovations, utilities, landscaping, or site work.


  • Capital Program: A collection of capital or non-capital projects defined by project type, location, funding, or procurement method.
  • Capital Project Approval Thresholds: The University of Illinois Business and Financial Policies and Procedures, Section 1.3.1 Approval of Financial Documents identifies the approval requirements for capital project budgets, professional services contracts and construction contracts.  It also refers to the University Office for Capital Programs and Real Estate Service’s (UOCPRES) website for delegated authorities below the Board of Trustees’ authority level. Those delegated authorities are identified in the UOCPRES Capital Delivery Process.
  • Construction-Related Project:  A construction-related project is an undertaking, regardless of fund source, that results in a creation, an alteration, or a connection to real property. Construction-related projects include the development of project scopes, budgets, schedules, and procurement of all construction related services for new buildings, additions/modifications to existing buildings, and associated backbone infrastructure. Professional consultant services related to these projects such as programming, conceptualization/feasibility studies, design, construction documentation, bidding, construction observation and warranty services are included in the definition of a construction-related project. Construction-related projects are grouped into Capital Projects or Non-Capital Projects based on financial thresholds.
    • Capital Project: A construction, remodeling, or renovation project with a total cost that exceeds the bid limit (currently $250,000) in the Illinois Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500/30-30). Projects above this financial threshold require competitive bidding across the five Divisions of work, including (1) General Work; (2) Plumbing Work (3) Heating, Piping, Refrigeration, and Temperature Control Work; (4) Ventilation and Air Distribution Work and (5) Electrical Work. UOCPRES establishes the policies and procedures for procuring these types of projects.
    • Non-Capital Project: A project below the financial threshold for which competitive bidding must occur across the five subdivisions of work. These projects can be executed locally at UIC by VCAS designated units using the JOC project delivery process, Small Purchase or Sole-Source.
  • Job Order ContractingA Job Order Contract (JOC) is a competitively bid, indefinite quantity contract. It includes a collection of detailed new construction, renovation and repair tasks and specifications with pre-established unit prices. The University of Illinois Business and Financial Policies and Procedures, Section 1.3.1 Approval of Financial Documents identifies the financial threshold for which JOC projects can be approved at UIC.
  • Real Property: Real property includes land, property directly attached to it, buildings and any improvements or fixtures integrated with or attached to other real property.
  • Small Purchase Limit: The Illinois Procurement Code has established small purchase limits/competitive solicitation thresholds for individual procurements of supplies, services, professional or artistic services, and procurement of construction. These thresholds are defined in the University of Illinois Business and Financial Policies and Procedures, Section 7.2.3 Purchases below the Small Purchase Limit (Small Purchases).

Procedures:; Project Delivery Overview

Related Laws, Regulations, Statutes, and Policies:

State and Federal Laws

University Policies

UIC Building Standards

Document History

Approval date: 4/15/2022
Approved as: New policy