Volume 2: Planning

Introduction and Summary

This volume of the Facilities Manual explains the process and procedures used to develop a capital project. Many factors determine whether a project proposal becomes a capital project. The factors include budget, growth, renewal, technological improvement, infrastructure, environmental impact, and life safety. There are also many different aspects of University planning academic, physical, and resource that are coordinated to assess priorities and justify projects.

Purpose of This Facilities Manual Volume

This volume of the University of California Facilities Manual includes policies and procedures for guiding the planning and development of a capital improvement project. Each Facility is encouraged to develop its own procedures manual that expands on and complements this volume.


Academic and enrollment planning are part of the University's total facilities planning program. Academic and enrollment plans are used to assess priorities and to help justify projects. Ideally, capital improvement projects are the result of comprehensive and coordinated Facility planning academic, physical, and resource that includes an analysis of the effectiveness of existing space. Each Facility is responsible for maintaining a balanced Capital Improvement Program that takes into consideration growth, renewal, improvement, infrastructure, environmental impact, and life safety.


Space planning is a process that coordinates academic programs with physical space over a specific period of time. The University's goal is to achieve the best use and organization of space to meet academic needs.

Staff in Facility capital planning offices prepare Facility-wide space plans. Space plan development is a continuous process and consists of a series of analyses, spreadsheets, reports, graphics, and other documents that are not necessarily compiled into a single document called a space plan. A Facility must determine its long-term space objectives regarding the location of programs and the ultimate use of buildings. The space plan considers which programs are expanding, which are downsizing, and which need to be consolidated.


A long-range development plan (LRDP) is a comprehensive plan that guides physical development such as the location of buildings, open space, circulation, and other land uses. An LRDP identifies the physical development needed to achieve academic goals and is an important reference document for the campus, University, and the general public.

Because a long-range development plan affects an area's physical environment, an evaluation of its impacts is required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This evaluation constitutes the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).


Ancillary area planning at a Facility includes precinct or area plans, inclusion areas, and off-site properties. Precinct or area plans are intermediate in scale, falling somewhere between Facility-wide plans and individual project plans. They divide a Facility into sub-areas and evaluate each area in more detail. Inclusion areas are parcels of land added to Facilities for income production or other forms of Facility support. These parcels are developed for a variety of uses such as for-sale housing, office buildings, and research and development. Each Facility may lease or own off-site properties that are adjacent to or far from the Facility. Planning responsibility for these properties depends on whether they are permanent, who funds the use of the properties, and which entity within the University has administrative responsibility for the properties.


All University projects are required to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The UC CEQA Handbook is a guide for preparing University environmental documents. It describes compliance with CEQA from a University perspective and is a companion volume to CEQA statutes and guidelines. The Handbook is updated as state law and University process, policy, and requirements change.

As environmental health and safety issues become more important in transactions dealing with land and building construction, Facility environmental health and safety (EH&S) offices have a broader role in project development. EH&S offices assist their Facilities in all aspects of project planning. With new construction projects, EH&S advises on industrial hygiene, laboratory safety, sanitation, radiation safety, hazardous waste, and environmental site assessment.

On most campuses, fire marshals are located within EH&S. Fire marshals interact with the State Fire Marshal's Office (SFM) to ensure compliance with all applicable codes and standards. Fire marshals assist planners, architects, and engineers by identifying alternative fire safety solutions to be discussed with the SFM.


Pre-design is the phase of work that occurs after some form of funding is available. Pre-design studies are an analysis of the problems to be solved by a project design. The pre-design phase may include a number of different studies site analysis, programming, special studies, construction costs, and value engineering.

A proposed project site is analyzed to understand the constraints the site will impose on the project and its design. Frequently, multiple sites are analyzed for a single project. This information is used both to guide project development and to evaluate a project's impacts on the environment.

Studies are conducted to evaluate existing project conditions. These studies include geotechnical reports, hydrology studies, land surveys (including boundaries, topography, and utilities), existing building analysis, and surveys of existing hazardous materials (environmental due diligence).

Programming defines the needs of the user. That includes defining a project's functional needs interior and exterior functional requirements, including space sizes, contents, activities and relationships. A project program serves not only as a basis for design and a source of information about a project, but frequently as a basis for seeking funding.

Special studies determine if the data gathered for the project program regarding the site are complete, clear, and free of contradictions. Special studies may be made during the Schematic Design Phase for non-state projects, or during the Detailed Planning Phase for state-funded projects.




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