Design

The Design team consists of managers, architects, engineers, designers, CAD operators and administrative support personnel. The Design team is also responsible for space management and maintaining and updating campus drawings. Design projects are funded by the Campus, Research Foundation, State of New York and residential resources. 

The Design Team produces and manages a wide variety of large and small projects including the Engineering and Science Building, Health Services renovation, laboratory renovations and office renovations.  

Jesenko Muftic is the director of design.

As a State entity, the University is subject to a number of procedures and regulations. They are described below.

Design and Construction Activities on University Campuses

Existing Rules/Regulations

The Education Law of the State of New York requires that plans and specifications for any construction/renovation project having an impact upon the public's safety or valued greater than $20,000 be designed by or under the supervision of a New York State licensed architect/engineer who will affix his/her stamp to the documents. Likewise, any construction/renovation project that involves changes affecting structural safety must also be designed by or under the supervision of a New York State licensed architect/engineer and bear the stamp of that individual. The only exemption to this law are agricultural buildings and residential buildings less than 1500 square feet.

Under the Education Law (Section 376), the responsibility for construction or reconstruction within the State University is vested with the State University Construction Fund and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. Further, the State University of New York also has the authority to design and construct facilities. This authorization is provided in an agreement between the State University Construction Fund and the University dated December 23, 1987.

University Initiated Construction & Design Contracts

In order to provide a uniform approach to campus construction activities, SUNY Procedures Manual, Item 530.8- Construction Contract procedures have been issued. That document and accompanying guidelines governs those construction contracts over $50,000 which must be executed on behalf of the University by a System Administration official; and construction contracts less than $50,000 which are primarily administered by the campus physical plant administrator or other designated campus official(s). Note - contracts between $20,000. and $50,000. may be executed by the campus or by a SUNY System Administration official at the discretion of the campus. Additionally, a standardized design consultant contract, SUNY Procedures manual, Item 530.9, Consultant Service Agreements has been developed. The principal advantage of the Consultant Service Agreement is that it will be a "full service" agreement specifically identifying the responsibilities of the consultant and additionally provides a mechanism for the review and approval of change orders during the construction phase. Provision has also been made to allow for direct participation by Construction Fund staff, when appropriate, during the construction phase. Use of these agreements is a mandatory requirement for all future design and construction contracts initiated by the campuses.

Campus Responsibility for Construction Activity

The campus administration and by inference, the Physical Plant Administrative Office or similar office, has functional responsibility for initiating all design and construction contracts at the campus. It is absolutely essential that all plans, regardless of the source of funds, for modification of spaces on the campus be reviewed and approved by this entity. Clearly, planning is of the essence and appropriate time frames should be established to enable the scope of a particular project to be accommodated in a timely fashion.

The campus Physical Plant Administrator's Office is charged with the responsibility of shepherding a given construction project through the type of funding and contractual mechanism(s) delineated by the nature of the task (i.e., cost, safety to the public, structural, etc.). It is therefore incumbent upon both campus administrators and physical plant administrators to be familiar with the rules and regulations governing design and construction and the necessary procedures to be followed.

In summary, the physical plant entity on a campus should be the focal point for all modifications to the facilities regardless of funding source and scope of the project. Information should be shared as a general practice.

Classification of Construction Work

To clarify the various types of construction/modifications which are likely to take place on a campus, the following examples are noted:

  1. New Construction - Projects which involve the construction of totally new facilities or the addition to existing campus facilities. Examples of projects in this classification would be construction of storage buildings; additions to any existing buildings such as physical education buildings; dining halls; etc.;pavilions; temporary classroom buildings; child care facilities; new parking lots and roadways; new athletic facilities, etc. Requires SUNY System Administration Office for Capital Facilities approval regardless of the dollar value. Campus Physical Plant Departments would be directly involved, and be responsible for insuring code compliance.

  2. Remodeling - Generally where a given space is to be modified which involves no structural changes. This would typically apply to a situation where the modification deals with only interior non-load bearing walls, ceilings (non-asbestos), floor finishes (non-asbestos), etc. and might be best categorized as layout changes wherein none of the supporting electric or HVAC systems are affected. Exempt from SUNY System Administration Office for Capital Facilities approval unless contract ($50,000) limit is exceeded. (Note - Execution of contracts whose value is between $20,000. and $50,000 can be either by the campus or by a SUNY System Administration official at the discretion of the campus. However, approval from SUNY System Administration Counsel's Office is required for contracts whose value is between $20,000 and $50,000). Campus Physical Plant Departments would be directly involved, and be responsible for insuring code compliance.

  3. Rehabilitation - Generally where a given space is to be modified which involves structural changes. This would typically apply to a situation where the modification deals with interior load-bearing walls, exterior walls, floor height changes, etc., and would affect the supporting electric, plumbing or HVAC systems. Requires SUNY System Administration Office for Capital Facilities approval and obviously campus Physical Plant Department involvement who would be responsible for insuring code compliance, regardless of dollar value.

  4. Re-fixturing - Generally where a given space is to be modified by replacing existing non-structural fixtures with new ones as for example, display cases in a bookstore. If no changes are to be made to the supporting electric, plumbing or HVAC systems, this type of project would be exempt from SUNY System Administration approval. However, it is important that information be provided to the campus Physical Plant Department in advance to assure that all appropriate standards are met (ex. Fire retardant fabric for drapes, etc.).

  5. Equipment - Generally where a given piece of equipment is being replaced by another piece of equipment as for example, dining hall furniture. Approval from SUNY System Administration would not be required. If no special "hookups" or installation are necessary, the campus Physical Plant operation would usually not be involved. However, if there are special requirements, appropriate review and approval by campus Physical Plant Departments is required.

FUNDING MECHANISMS/AUTHORITY TO DESIGN/CONSTRUCT

As noted throughout these procedures, only the State University Construction Fund or the University through the Office of Capital Facilities and the Dormitory Authority have the legal right to enter into design and construction contracts on University facilities or property. Additionally, under certain limitations, this right has been vested in the campus Physical Plant Department or similar organizations within the University. Consequently, no other entity, regardless of funding source, may enter into these types of contracts.

Last Updated: 7/14/14