Customer Stories

University of California, San Diego Controls Capital Project Costs and Risks

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 4 800.580.9322 | University of California, San Diego Helping one of the Nation's Top 10 Public Universities Control Capital Project Costs and Risks BACKGROUND University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is ranked 37th among the top universities in the United States and 8th among public universities according to the 2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings. The university is constantly striving to provide its 28,000 students with the best learning environment. In keeping with this mission, the university often has as many as 20 major projects underway, ranging from interior improvements and modernization to new construction. In fact, UCSD spends over $1.6 billion annually to renovate existing buildings and infrastructure and construct new facilities. Funding comes from a number of sources including State funding and private donations. CHALLENGES: CONTRACTOR-FOCUSED TOOLS The UCSD Facilities Design & Construction Department is responsible for managing facility construction and renovation, and utility infrastructure projects through various types of funding sources and budget requirements and facilitated through different project delivery methods. Facility budgets are subject to review by the Office of the President of the University of California. The amount of contingency determined for each project and included in the proposed budget is set according to requirements dictated by the source of a project's funding. "Generally speaking, the contingency we budget is between 5-10 percent of the hard cost of construction," notes Joel King, Assistant Vice Chancellor/Campus Architect within the Facilities Design & Construction Department for UCSD. The facilities team had relied on a contractor-based project management system, which was used in concert with Microsoft Excel, to manage projects from design to completion. "It was constructed primarily for contractors," says King. "The design of the software application is suited to their specific needs, in terms of logging and tracking the progression of development. We realized that our mission as an owner is a little different than a contractor." The old project management system was also inefficient and problematic when it came to ensuring compliance with state regulations. "You could make a change without getting approval and without the fund source actually being augmented and then get into trouble. What that caused us to do was a lot of manual checks and balances," says King. "A project manager could change his budget and no one would know. When the bills came in, we wouldn't be able to pay them until the account was reconciled." The system also didn't provide the capability to organize information in such a way that it was readily accessible in real-time. "There was a disconnect in trying to look back and see all the different funding sources and payouts on a project prior to e-Builder," reflects King. "It was really difficult for us." CASE STUDY HIGHER EDUCATION

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Customer Stories - University of California, San Diego Controls Capital Project Costs and Risks