University Planning Office

Strategic Facilities Planning for Capital Projects

Identifying, budgeting, documenting, justifying, and prioritizing built environment needs.
The Strategic Facilities Plan identifies the type, quantity and location of spaces needed by the department or college and contains three main components; 1) an in-depth analysis of existing facilities, 2) understanding of program growth, projected student volumes, research aspirations and 3) developing an achievable and affordable plan to meet the college’s current and future facility needs, with an outcome of achieving academic initiatives and supporting the mission and goals of the University. The plan seeks solutions between the current situations and analyzed needs. Facilities plans support SUCCESSFUL implementation of capital projects and programs.

PCD provides each Academic Department with a short- and long-range facilities plan that:

  • Identifies both short- and long-term goals for facilities
  • Projects a 10-year facilities model according to the department’s current Academic Plan (Departments are strongly encouraged to complete an Academic Plan, in consultation with the Provost’s Office, prior to requesting a Facilities Plan)
  • Provides comprehensive facility and space evaluations
  • Integrates and implements the Master Plan Update 2009
  • Identifies departmental and program facilities/space needs
  • Assesses feasibility of development options
  • Assesses costs of development options in collaboration with the Office of Capital Projects
  • Assists with funding and resource planning; facilitates reviews with leadership
  • Provides scope and timeline for capital projects
  • Outlines project implementation plans
  • Inserts approved capital project plans into UNM’s Capital Outlay
  • Facilitates prioritization; provides project implementation plans

Request a facilities plan

Project Scope Document (for independent projects)


PCD works with the college to develop a realistic capital project scope that meets the department’s needs.  The scope defines preliminary building requirements, uses, and cost estimates.

  • Based upon the Strategic Facilities Plan for the department, the next step is to focus on the prioritized project that leadership, departments and others choose to move forward through the capital project planning process.
  • Before an architect is selected or a more detailed “programming” document is developed, information is collected, analyzed, decisions made, and a scope defined on complex projects.  This is a “pre-design” document.
  • The project planning process consists of key components, similar to the Strategic Facilities Plan, but specific to a particular project. 

Needs Assessment

      • Justification for a project begins with identifying the need for a targeted area of concern.  This may be as a result of the Strategic Facilities Plan, which would contain many of the assessment information and issues to be solved for a department or area.  Needs emerge from increased student volumes, safety and code violations, research grant funding, new programs, change in pedagogy, poor quality and adequacy of space, etc.
      • A full Needs Assessment includes the relevant academic programs, research and/or class listings specific to the targeted area of concern, assessment of existing space/building conditions, utilization of current spaces, and projected volumes as validated from the Provost office, or projected research grant needs. 
      • From the variances in these factors, potential solutions are developed, with multiple options outlined.  This provides a decision making document at the Director, Dean, or
      • Space reuse and/or new space options are listed by space type, size and total net assignable square feet. A cost model, developed in collaboration with the Office of Capital Projects is included.
      • The deliverable includes:
          • Program goals and project objectives
          • Justification for project, program requirements
          • Selected option with costs (general scope of work, space listings, space , sizes, totals)
          • Proposed site, with adjacency needs outlined
          • Infrastructure requirements
          • Preliminary order of magnitude project cost
          • Preliminary operating costs – infrastructure.
          • Preliminary program budget needs, i.e., personnel  and operating needs
          • Potential sustainability ideas. (Green Screen)

      Feasibility Study

        • Sometimes projects only require the answer to “will it fit”, “what can I do to make this work”, “how much does this cost”, and/or a similar inquiry.  PCD then does a Feasibility Study to help answer these questions for simpler projects.
        • Information is gathered on existing space conditions, space utilization, and current faculty/staff, student or program needs. 
        • PCD analyzes this data and proposes alternatives to address the immediate needs.
        • The alternatives are described with appropriate graphs and narratives.  It includes the pros and cons of each alternative, the size, cost and location.
        • Costs are as inclusive as possible, with infrastructure improvements, IT needs, furniture and equipment needs, as well as any space reconfiguration costs.
        • The deliverable includes:
          • Project goals and objectives
          • Space lists with space type, size (based on Space Guidelines), totals
          • Alternatives with pros and cons
          • Recommendation
        • Example of Feasibility Study
        • Request a Feasibility Study

      Grant Development Assistance

      PCD assists grant applicants in preparing development plans to fulfill grant application requirements. The applicant’s space needs are scoped and documented both for the grant proposal and for further implementation upon award. Documents are prepared for design consideration according to the grant RFA and for accuracy in cost estimating and budgeting.