GVSU Approach to Design & Construction...
GVSU Facilities Planning Goals
Consistent with that of the University as a whole, the mission of GVSU Facilities Planning is to provide a quality environment that supports teaching, learning and community service at Grand Valley State University. In carrying out its mission, GVSU Facilities Planning is dedicated to the following goals:
To support high quality undergraduate and graduate education by developing exceptional facilities in which University faculty and students can effectively concentrate on teaching, learning, scholarship and service.
To enhance the image, atmosphere and environment of the University community by combining aesthetic form with practical function.
To foster relationships of trust and positive experience between the University and its contractors and professional service providers by successfully completing projects under reasonable and fair contracts and documents.
To prudently and effectively manage the University financial resources with which it is entrusted by creating innovative and efficient structures within the budgets and timelines allotted.
GVSU Contract Philosophy
For decades, various construction industry interest groups have provided "standard form" contracts. Those documents are usually and understandably biased in favor of the groups which produce them. In order to provide a more balanced alternative, GVSU has undertaken a program to prepare a suite of interrelated and integrated contracts, consistent with the following premises:
The University, as the source of all project funds, has the right to choose the most appropriate contract language to best serve the interests of all parties.
Project contract documents should have certain common provisions applicable to the entities providing the core requirements of design and construction, and should be as easily understandable and as clerically easy to use as possible.
Contract language should clearly specify the nature, type and scope of services, and the performance obligations expected, of project professionals and contractors.
Risk and responsibility should be allocated to the party best able to control the risk and to act responsibly in a particular situation.
Parties contracting with GVSU are entitled to fair compensation and profit commensurate with their contractual obligations.
GVSU Contract Organization
GVSU's construction contract documents are pided into two major series:
- CONTRACTS FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
- CONTRACTS FOR CONSTRUCTION SERVICES
Within each series, documents are pided into suites comprised of various chapters, and each chapter is further subpided into articles organized by specific subjects.
Chapter 1 contains project-specific, fill-in-the-blank details and defines the Who, Where, When, Why and, in general, the What of a given project. This chapter is expected to change in detail for each project.
Chapter 2 states specifically What is required of the party contracting with GVSU. This chapter cannot be modified, but additions or deletions required by a specific project may, if necessary, be made in an appendix at the end of the chapter.
Chapter 3 states How each contracting party, including GVSU, is expected to perform, and what will happen if a party does not do so. Chapter 3 is very similar for both series of contracts. This chapter cannot be modified, so that GVSU and those with whom it contracts will always know what is required with respect to the subjects covered, irrespective of the type of project or entity involved.
GVSU Contract Experience
GVSU has a long history of successful relationships with a large number of contractors and professional service firms, and has won numerous awards for the fine work they have performed. For the most part, GVSU’s experience has been positive; however, prior to utilization of its own CONTRACTS FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES and CONTRACTS FOR CONSTRUCTION, the University occasionally encountered problems. For example:
Non-Compliance with ADA Standards
Public counters higher, and protrude into corridor further, than permitted
Entry doors without minimum required clearances
Non-Compliance with GVSU Standards
Incorrect hardware, mounting, piping valves and shut-off valves
Non-standard paint manufacturer(s)
Non-Compliance with Applicable Codes
Improper fire exiting - exceeding 20 foot maximum dead-end corridors
Improper fire-rated protection on building structural elements
Inadequate fire sprinkling coverage for glass elevator enclosures and bulkheads
Omission of required fire dampers
Inadequate Investigation of Existing Building/ Site Conditions
Overlooked electrical panels, fire protection devices and existing site utilities
Mismatched new building finish floor elevation to finish site grade elevations
Lack of coordination between new storm sewer and existing electrical duct bank
Fundamental Design Errors
Omission of overflow condensate switches to fan coil units
Omission of gas piping in laundry rooms and generator
Omission of motor starters for recirculation pumps
Omission of waste container locations required by building operations
Omission of changes noted by the University during the document review process
While these errors and omissions were eventually corrected, they should never have occurred, and resolution was more difficult due to the various contract documents being used. GVSU believes similar problems can be reduced if not eliminated, and prompt and fair resolution facilitated, by consistant use of its standard contracts for Professional and Construction Services.
Note: GVSU contract documents were drafted under the advice of the office of Plunkett Cooney Attorneys & Counselors at Law - Bridgewater Place - 333 Bridge Street NW, Suite 530 - Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Page last modified June 6, 2012