Skip to main content

This section outlines the procedures that are unique to capital projects at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These requirements supplement the planning procedures required by North Carolina’s Division of Administration, North Carolina State Construction Office, as outlined in the North Carolina State Construction Manual or NCSCO Manual.

The University has established a Campus Master Plan. Designers shall refer to this plan for specific information on the intended use and character of the buildings and other improvements on campus.

University as Client

Project planning and design for the University involves many persons within the University, the North Carolina State Construction Office, and other reviewing agencies. Nevertheless, the Designer should understand that the University is the project’s owner and client.

Project Manager

A Project Manager is assigned as the single University representative for each project. The Designer is required to work through the Project Manager, and must turn to this person for authoritative information on all matters and questions involving the University. The University representative is the sole point of contact for the Designer and all project correspondence and decisions shall be coordinated through this representative. The nature of that representative will shift according to the design phase, thus:

  1. The University’s Project Manager is the Designer’s contact person from the project’s advertisement through bidding. The Project Manager is an employee of the University’s Facilities Planning Department.
  2. After the construction contract is awarded, the Designer’s contact person becomes the Construction Manager, an employee of the University’s Department of Construction Management.

Designer’s Representative

The Designer shall designate an individual within the Designer’s firm who is directly responsible for the project, and who can be contacted directly on any matter pertaining to the project.

Payment Approval

Payments to Designer: The Designer shall submit invoices for approval to the University’s Project Manager through the Bidding Phase and to the Construction Manager through the Construction Phase.

Project Initiation

Upon the identification of a tentative facility need by a school, department, institute, or supportive function, Facilities Planning conducts an analysis of the new space and/or renovation requirements including examination of existing space, use, and condition. The Facilities Planning & Committee reviews the proposed project to insure that it is consistent with the goals, objectives, and priorities of the University. A project description and cost estimate is prepared (cost estimate is verified by the State Construction Office) and evaluated by the Facilities Planning & Committee and Chancellor with a decision to proceed or cancel the project.

A project budget is prepared and submitted and project priority established for funding authorization.

Site Selection Process

The Campus Master Plan for the University sets forth the parameters to be used in considering building sites and suggests areas on the campus that are appropriate for development. The site recommendation is reviewed for approval by the Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, the Chancellor, and the Board of Trustees.

Designer Selection

The University will place a notice for solicitation of design services on the web sites for the University of North Carolina and the State of North Carolina Interactive Purchasing System.

The University’s Project Manager will prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) of additional information about the project to forward to all Design Teams upon request. A Pre-proposal meeting shall be scheduled (contingent on project scope) and facilitated by the Project Manager at the project site in order for the design community to become familiar with the project intent, submittal protocols, and owner and end user needs prior to the RFP submittal date. The Pre-proposal meeting should occur 14 days after advertisement and before submittal date.

Upon receipt of letters of interest, a Pre-Selection Committee will convene to discuss the Design Team’s proposals. The Pre-selection Committee will select a short list of Design Teams to invite to campus for a tour and interview sessions. A Design Interview Committee will conduct the interviews. The Design Interview Committee will issue a recommendation, in priority order, for the selection of the Designer. This list is presented to the Chancellor’s Building and Grounds Committee who in turn issue a recommendation to the University’s Board of Trustees for final selection.

Upon final selection, the University’s Project Manager will notify the selected Designer and schedule the Initial Planning Conference.

Initial Planning Conference

The University’s Project Manager will schedule an initial planning conference with the Designer to discuss requirements for facilitating the Designer’s work. This conference is held as soon as possible after a Designer is selected for the project.

Site and Existing Conditions Information

The Designer should contact Engineering Information Systems and Energy Services to obtain latest information for construction. They will furnish utility drawings and record drawings for remodeling projects. The University cannot warrant the accuracy of this information. Given the complexity of the utility infrastructure and the importance of the landscape on UNC-Chapel Hill’s three campuses, it is critical that a surface and sub-surface feature conditions survey be completed by the schematic design phase. Review of the surface and sub-surface features survey by all University utilities is also critical.

Design Contract Negotiation

The University’s Project Manager will request the selected Designer to submit a preliminary design proposal and project schedule to the Project Manager for review.

Upon review and comment, the Project Manager sends the design proposal to the State Construction Office to review the design contract for approval. For projects under the budget limits noted in the SCO Manual, the Project Manger shall prepare the design contract Letter of Agreement. The document will be forwarded to the UNC General Administration for execution.


The Designer submits a proposed Project Development Schedule to the University’s Project Manager for approval. This schedule will incorporate the end-of-phase milestone dates stipulated in the Design Contract. In addition, this schedule will show:

  1. The start dates and duration of each major design phase
  2. The duration and completion dates of each design review period, which are required to maintain the project schedule
  3. The project duration and completion dates and other project-related activities, such as funding decisions, surveys, sub-surface investigations, and zoning approvals
  4. The estimated duration of the construction contract award process and the construction process The Project Development Schedule is updated and resubmitted with each end-of-phase submittal described below.

Project Development Phases and Budget

The Designer is expected to conduct project design and coordination meetings to verify the project program and review the design as it develops. The Designer is expected to take minutes of all meetings and distribute them to all participants through the Project Manager.

The Designer is required to make submittals of design documents at the conclusion of each design phase to the State Construction Office, the University Facilities Planning Department and any other pertinent review agency. The requirements for each project development phase are outlined in Chapter 300 of the SCO Manual.

The Designer shall confer with the University’s Project Manager, the future occupants, and the owner representatives at the beginning of the schematic design phase to review the program and establish the project requirements.

Existing Conditions

The University attempts to provide accurate, as-built drawings for the use of the Designer. However, due to the age of many of the University’s buildings and the many renovations some buildings have endured, as-built drawings are not always available. It is the responsibility of the Designer to notify the Project Manager when any information regarding the existing conditions of a project is inaccurate or inadequate.

Site Utilities Information

Additional information is available on the conditions of existing structures, maintenance items that need to be addressed, and hazardous materials in existing structures. This information should not be considered complete or accurate. The Designer is responsible to review record documents of existing facilities to determine all utility and subsurface tie-ins to adjacent buildings, or building being renovated, including storm and foundation drains, and to determine all utilities located within the project limits, including areas impacted by work of the project. Project impact limits include improvements may be off the main project site, but are part of the project, such as utility extensions, driveways, and roadways.

Geotechnical Information

As part of the Designer’s services to the University, the Designer shall recommend a qualified, licensed geotechnical services firm that will provide all project required geotechnical information for the project. The geotechnical consultant shall contract directly with the University, but still be obligated to coordinate its services with the lead designer.

Schematic Design Submittal

The Schematic Design Submittal to the University consists of a minimum of seven (7) complete sets of documents, plus an electronic file in PDF format or as determined by the Project Manager. The University will review the documents for completion prior to submission to State Construction Office.

In addition to the requirements outlined in the North Carolina State Construction Manual, these documents should include the following information:

  1. Proposed walk and bikeways, disability, vehicular, fire and service access shown on site plans
  2. Net square feet for each space and comparison to program
  3. A LEED Checklist
  4. A Conceptual Landscape Plan
  5. A Tree Protection Plan (at this stage the plan may be interpreted as an evaluation of the impact to the existing landscape)
  6. An initial inventory of valuable and reusable building materials available for reuse in this project, other projects, in general or to be recycled
  7. Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) document, as facilitated by the University’s commissioning (Cx) agent
  8. A Stormwater Concept Plan (See the University’s Stormwater Design Guidelines for specifc components, which include an existing conditions analysis, an estimate of proposed
    impervious cover, and estimated size and location of proposed stormwater infrastructure and best management practices.)
  9. A preliminary energy model that evaluates orientation, day lighting opportunities, and HVAC strategies
Based on the approved schematic submittal, the Designer shall prepare the design development documents.

Design Development Submittal

The Design Development Submittal to the University consists of a minimum of five (5) complete sets of documents, plus an electronic file in pdf format or as determined by the Project Manager. The University will review the documents for completion prior to submission to State Construction Office. In addition to the requirements outlined in the SCO Manual, these documents are to include the following:

  1. Site and space planning information for waste and recycling collection
  2. Equipment and furniture layouts for all rooms
  3. Note: If the architectural contract includes the moveable equipment portion of the work, the Designer shall provide the moveable furniture and equipment layouts. If the moveable
    equipment is not in the contract, the Designer will provide floor plans to the University.
  4. Outline specification for the Energy Management Control System
  5. An updated Owner’s Project Requirement (OPR) document and a Basis of Design document with input from each designer
  6. An updated project development schedule
  7. Stormwater Management report (See the University’s Stormwater Design Guidelines for specific components.)
  8. An updated LEED checklist including supporting documentation for projected energy and water savings
  9. A fully developed energy model including all files required to allow UNC to rerun the energy model
  10. Site Utility Plans

Prior to the Construction Document submittal, submit a response to the substantive Design Development Review Comments in Dr. Checks.

Based upon the approved design development submittal, the Designer shall prepare construction documents and other materials required for the receipt of bids on the project. The Designer will prepare these documents as described in the North Carolina State Construction Manual Section 205.

The University fully supports and encourages minority business participation in campus projects. The Designer shall make every effort to ensure that the latest requirements from the State Construction Office are followed during the preparation of documents for bidding.

The Designer and the University are responsible for determining the fees applicable to the project. The Designer and the University shall agree upon what fees are paid by the University, and what fees are listed in the specification for payment by the construction contract.

Construction Documents Submittal

The Construction Document Submittal to the University consists of a minimum of five (5) complete sets of documents, plus an electronic file in pdf format or as determined by the Project Manager. The University will review the documents for completion prior to submission to State Construction Office. In addition to the requirements outlined in the North Carolina State Construction Manual, these documents are to include the following:

  1. Drawings containing:
    1. Stormwater management plans and details
    2. Tree protection plan
    3. Erosion Control plans
    4. Annual water and sewage volume
    5. Annual usage volume of non-potable water. Detailed plan sheets showing outdoor service enclosure(s) including screen wall details, electrical requirements, lighting
      drainage, a note listing the buildings that the site(s) are intended to serve
    6. Plans showing clearly marked locations of the walkway recycling sites and installation details
    7. Clearly marked locations of all indoor recycling locations -AND- detail sheets showing the plans for any recycling cabinets to be built by the project
    8. Drawings are to have noted the locations of all items which Contractor is to salvage
  2. A utility Load Summary Sheet identifying estimated utility loads
  3. A Statement of Special Inspections that lists all required inspections and identifies the Special Inspector
  4. An updated Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) and Basis of Design documents
  5. Recycling and waste management requirements
  6. An updated LEED checklist, including supporting documentation for projected energy and water savings
  7. Integrated functional testing protocols and equipment testing checklist
  8. Sequence of operations for HVAC controls
  9. Updated Stormwater Management Report (See: University’s Stormwater Design Guidelines for specific components)
  10. Utility plans and profiles of all utilities up to the building perimeter
  11. An updated energy model including all files required to allow UNC to rerun the energy model
  12. Maintaining services and access to buildings during construction:
    1. Staging plans and site drawings should include plans for access to the building (if occupied) and adjacent buildings such that deliveries and recycling/waste collection services can be maintained
    2. Demo plans shall note the requirement of contacting Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling to remove indoor containers and dumpsters as the project phasing affects
      different areas

    The Designer is responsible for procuring the most current version of the State of North Carolina’s General Conditions. Copies may be found at the State Construction Office’s website.

  13. UNC-CH General Requirements
    The Designer is responsible for procuring the most current version of the University’s General Requirements and incorporating them into the contract documents. The Project Manager will provide a copy upon request.
  14. Design Response
    The University uses an online Design Review and Checking System called “Dr Checks”, administered by ProjNet, for logging and tracking design review comments throughout the entire design process. The Project Manager will provide instructions for accessing and using the Dr. Checks system.The designer shall provide responses on Dr. Checks to review comments generated by University personnel following the initial submittal for the schematic design phase, the design development phase and the construction document phase.
  15. Final Movable Fixture, Furniture & Equipment (FFE) Inventory
    The project shall provide the final Moveable Fixture, Furniture & Equipment Inventory which includes detailed info and quantities on fixture, furniture and equipment (Brand, year, etc.), whose equipment it is, who will be getting it, and how it will be transferred, delivered, or moved.
  16. A fully developed energy model including all files required to allow UNC to rerun the energy model
The Designer’s bidding phase responsibilities, related to advertising for bids, opening of bids, disposition of bids, and award of the construction contract(s), are outlined in the SCO Manual. They shall conform to the applicable North Carolina General Statutes.

Prerequisites to Advertisement for Bids

The Designer is to furnish two sets of revised copies of the construction documents to the University’s Project Manager. The Designer shall provide additional sets, as required by the SCO Manual, to the State Construction Office and other regulatory agencies having jurisdiction. Upon final approval of the construction documents, the Designer provides the University with a minimum of five (5) copies of the “As-Bid” construction documents. The Designer is to establish the date for receipt of bids in consultation with the University’s Project Manager and the State Construction Office. The Project Manager is responsible for notifying the University’s Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) office.

The Designer is to review the information and links to web sites listed at the HUB office regarding the University’s commitment to recruit and select minority businesses for participation in University construction contracts.

Designers are encouraged to advertise in newspapers that satisfy the requirements of the North Carolina Construction Manual for HUB.

Bid Date

The Designer must coordinate with the Project Manager in setting the date and time of the bid opening.

Pre-bid conferences

Pre-bid conferences are arranged at the convenience of the Designer and the University’s Project Manager.

Preferred alternate meeting must be scheduled at the same timeframe of pre-bid meeting.

Bid Openings

It is the Designer’s or – for a project with a Construction Manager at risk (CM-R) – the CM-R’s responsibility to accept and open bids.

Certified Bid Tabulation

It is the Designer’s or for a project with a CM-R – the CM-R’s responsibility to provide Certified Bid Tabulation to the University within 48 hours after the bid opening, together with MBE appendices required under the “Guidelines for Recruitment and Selection of Minority Businesses for Participation in State Construction Contracts” to the University’s Design Manager. The Design Manager will forward these documents to the State Construction Office.

The construction phase for the project begins when the Designer receives a fully executed copy of the construction contract(s).

The Designer’s responsibilities during the construction phase are outlined in Sections 205 and 206 of the SCO Manual.

Capital Project Close-out Procedure and Record Document Requirements

The Designer shall provide the following project services toward completion of the project. These requirements are in addition to the deliverable requirements described in the North Carolina – State Construction Manual (NC-SCM). Final payment will not be approved until all deliverables are received in good order. All items are expected to be delivered within sixty days of project acceptance. See the Capital Project Close-out Procedure and Record Document Requirements.

The Designer is to make submittals and presentations, and to participate in presentations and review conferences at various stages of the project planning process.
During the design process, the Designer will make presentations to various groups charged with reviewing and approving the proposed project’s design. These groups include:

The University department(s) that will use and maintain the building (users)

This includes the eventual building occupants as well as a range of owner representatives.

The Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee

The Designer’s presentations to the Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee occur as early as possible in the design development phase, and typically require:

  1. Site Plan
  2. Simple scale model showing the site and vicinity of the project (except for renovation projects)
  3. Building floor plans
  4. Exterior elevations
  5. Sketch or rendering

The Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee meets once a month to review all new construction projects and renovations in which the exterior of the building is affected. Three (3) presentations to the committee are required:

  1. Site Selection
  2. Preliminary Building Design (Schematic Design)
  3. Final Building Design (Design Development)

The Designer will prepare a PowerPoint presentation on the University standard format for review by the UNC Project Manager two weeks before the scheduled meeting. The UNC Project Manager will make the final presentation. The Designer should attend this meeting to address any questions from the committee.

The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees meets bi-monthly on the last Wednesday to review all new construction projects and major additions. Presentations to the Board of Trustees are made by the University Architect after the corresponding presentation has been made to the Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Design Review Committee

The Designer and the Designer’s primary consultants will attend a minimum of three (3) conferences devoted to Review by the University’s Design Review Committee. These reviews begin early in the design process and continue until the committee approves the site design, building footprint and building massing on the site.

Various departments and committees within the University including departments in the Facilities and Energy Services Divisions review designs during end-of-phase reviews, which are coordinated by the University’s Project Manager. The Designer does not proceed to the next phase of design before receiving written approval of the previous phase from the University’s Project Manager.

UNC Committees include:

Disability Advisory Design Review subcommittee

This subcommittee meets once a month to review all new construction or renovation projects for conformance with the accessible guidelines within this document. This committee reviews the documents during the schematic and design development phases. On some projects, a review during the construction document phase may be requested. The designer is not required to attend. The Facilities Planning Project Manager will present the project. Facilities Planning Department has a professional on staff, as a representative of this committee, who reviews all projects at all phases for accessibility compliance.

The University’s Project Manager is to take meeting notes and distribute to all attendees, the designer and user.

Pedestrian Safety Committee

This committee meets once a month to review pedestrian circulation issues as they relate to major vehicular thoroughfares on campus for all construction and renovation projects. Facilities Planning Department has a landscape architect on staff, as a representative of this committee, who reviews all projects at each phase for compliance and who presents these projects to the committee.

The Designer will record the content of all conferences, and will, within seven days, provide a memorandum containing a complete summary of the decisions and actions, which affect the project. This memorandum will be submitted to the University’s Project Manager, who will distribute copies to all conference attendees.

Regulatory Reviews:

Jordan Lake Rules

As a State entity, the University is required to meet the requirements of 15A NCAC 02B .0271 Jordan Water Supply Nutrient Strategy: Stormwater Requirements for State and Federal Entities. The University is responsible to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality for these requirements. For individual development sites, the University’s Stormwater Engineer and the Environment, Health and Safety Department will review the plans for compliance. Details can be found in the Stormwater Design Guidelines.

The Designer is responsible for submitting documents and soliciting review comments at each phase of the process to appropriate outside agencies and keeping the Project Manager apprised of the progress and content of all reviews.

Project Permitting

For University projects, permitting typically includes both local and state agencies. The permitting requirements for a specific project will be determined by Facilities Planning during the pre-design phase of each project. Buildings on campus are subject to Town zoning and require the appropriate permit (Town’s Land Use Management Ordinance). The designer should confirm which zoning district applies and which permit(s) is (are) required. The Facilities Planning Project Manager submits the permit with information supplied by the designer, at the end of the Design Development phase of the design process. Typically, for buildings within the OI-4 zoning district (main campus) or U-1 zoning district (Carolina North), a Site Development Permit is the only Town zoning application required. Site Development Permit applications to the Town of Chapel Hill are not complete for the purposes of review or approval without final approval from OWASA.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) or Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is required of all new buildings or significant additions. The Facilities Planning Project Manager, submits the EA/FONSI with information supplied by the designer, at the end of the Design Development phase of the design process.

Responsibilities for preparing the various permit applications and other submittals required by the local, state or federal agencies having jurisdiction over aspects of the project are as follows:

  1. The University’s Project Manager shall coordinate, prepare, and file on behalf of the University the submittals required by:
    1. The Town of Chapel Hill, and the Town of Carrboro, on all matters
    2. The North Carolina Department of Administration, to demonstrate compliance with the Environmental Policy Act
    3. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), for encroachment agreements, driveways, and traffic control
    4. The North Carolina Division of Water Quality, for utilization of reclaimed water
    5. Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) for water, reclaimed water, and sewer extensions and connections
    6. Any work in area of streams or environmental areas will require appropriate environmental permits
  2. The Designer will provide the background and technical materials necessary to support these submittals. Materials include, but not limited to:
    1. Site Development Permit Summary Sheets
    2. Stormwater management plan including storm water calculations
    3. Erosion and Sediment control plan
    4. Traffic control plan
    5. Exterior lighting plan
  3. The Designer shall attend public hearings related to these submittals, as required.
  4. The Designer will file all other applicable permit applications, plans, specifications, and other documents required by any local, state or federal agencies having jurisdiction over any part of the project. Including NCDOT (See Section 203 of the SCO Manual.)
Construction Manager-at-Risk and Construction Manager-as-Agent are the preferred contracting methods for large capital projects.

It is the policy of the University to select Construction Manager-at-Risk for State capital improvement projects as defined in G.S. 143-128.1 and G.S. 143-128.2 on project specific criteria.

Construction Manager-at-Risk has been authorized as an approved Construction procurement method. The State Law may be accessed in its entirety at and searching for ‘Senate Bill 914/S.L. 2001-496’. Consideration of the Construction Manager at Risk construction procurement method is encouraged for projects costing $5 million or more. The Construction Manager undertakes to act as the Owner’s fiduciary and to furnish professional construction management services during the design and construction phases of the project.

Construction Manager-at-Risk (or as Agent)

Once Facilities Planning has chosen the Construction Manager Delivery method, the University will advertise and select a Construction Manager during the initial stages of the project’s design. The Construction Manager will be contracted to provide Pre-Construction Services, and thus will attend regularly scheduled meetings with the Project Designer and other consultants to advise on matters relating to site use, improvements, selection of materials, building methods, construction details, building systems and equipment, and construction phasing and sequencing. The Construction Manager will work closely with the University’s Commissioning Coordinator to plan and schedule staff training and equipment testing.

Guaranteed Maximum Price

Shortly after the submission of the construction documents to the State Construction Office for final review, the Construction Manager will develop and provide to the Owner a Guaranteed Maximum Price, which will include all construction costs, and all other projected costs including the Construction Manager’s fees, the Guaranteed Maximum Price contingency and General Conditions Allowance. The Guaranteed Maximum Price will set out each anticipated trade contract amount, the Construction Manager’s fixed fee, General Conditions reimbursable costs items including on-site field staff, and all project-related costs.

Construction Phase Services

During the Construction Phase, the Construction Manager will provide services as required to effect the complete construction of the Project and to maintain the established Guaranteed Maximum Price of the Project.

Single/Prime Contract

The single contract is the most commonly used contract type. Plans and specifications are prepared by the design professional and become part of the bidding documents. A single contractor is then selected by the University to perform the work. The standard Long Form, Short Form, and Brief Form construction documents have been prepared for those cases where a single contract is awarded. Samples of construction documents developed for CM@Risk/Agent and Single Prime contracts are available from the State Construction Website.