Frequently Asked Questions

Facilities Construction & Renovation orchestrates the project process to meet the goals and requirements of users, the Yale School of Medicine, and outside regulators within a framework of consistent quality, cost and schedule control. PM intermediates among YSM stakeholders - departments, administration, building services, fire marshal, environmental health and safety; outside entities - regulatory agencies, New Haven Building and Fire Departments; design professionals - architects and engineers; constructors; vendors; occupants of buildings; and the University.
To initiate a project you should contact Facilities Construction & Renovation at 432-8407 and provide a description of the work you seek to do and the location. The project will be triaged and forwarded to a member of the Facilities Construction & Renovation staff so it can be formulated. Formulation consists of your meeting with a staff member to clarify and document the scope of your proposed project. An agreed upon plan is drawn up that describes the work of the project. The schedule and budget required to implement the project will be determined and a formal formulation response will be sent to you outlining the scope, schedule and budget. If you desire to implement the project and funding is identified the project will go in the queue for implementation.
Projects at YSM tend be expensive because they: are small and complex with design and construction management costs spread over a narrow base; require a high concentration of labor intense construction - power, ventilation, plumbing, telecommunications; are densely planned to maximize space use; are built in older buildings with challenging infrastructure; must respond to many regulatory requirements; require institutional quality long-life components; and are often built in operating buildings that require working around ongoing research or clinical activities.
In order to complete a successful project (one which fully meets the needs of the user at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time frame) the appropriate time for design and construction must be available.
DESIGN: There must be careful planning to ensure the project scope is accounted for and documented for accurate bidding. The design must be in compliance with Federal and State standards and codes as well as Yale University and Medical School standards. The design must interface with existing building systems and not disrupt adjacent occupants. This careful planning requires a reasonable amount of time to avoid mistakes and increased costs. Adequate documentation avoids mistakes and misunderstandings in the field.
BIDDING AND CONSTRUCTION: Accurate competitive pricing requires 3 to 4 weeks to allow for competitive bidding. In addition, it is required that all the construction contracts be in place prior to work being performed. Once bid, the construction process often involves many steps not always readily apparent to the outside observer. For example, much mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment often have a long lead times that must be worked into the schedule Many components require shop drawings to be produced and approved prior to fabrication. Work must occur in a logical and efficient sequence. This sequence is well thought out and orchestrated to move as quickly as possible but the work cannot happen all at once. In addition, the Medical School presents particular challenges as most of the work is built in occupied buildings. Construction must take place around ongoing research or clinical activities. This can translate into less than efficient schedules and much off hour work.
All capital projects are required to be approved by the Yale University approval body, Capital Project Management Group. The approval is for a specified scope, schedule and budget. (Scope encompasses the extent of activity required in the project.) Since the project scope is one of the parameters of the project that is approved, we are not at liberty to alter the scope beyond what is stated in the approval for the project.
Experience strongly shows that seemingly straightforward, simple projects almost always involve many issues with wider impact and implications than apparent. Such matters as building codes, fire safety codes, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, radiation safety, asbestos and lead abatement, dust control, impact on building systems and occupants, and design considerations require knowledge and procedures best provided by experienced professionals.