Project Management


To provide project planning and management in a competitive and professional manner to deliver cost-effective County facilities.


Capital Construction and Capital Improvement Projects Management

The Project Management Program provides in-house project management for the Department of Administrative Services' capital construction and capital improvement projects. We also provide services to other agencies, at no cost, as staff is available. Our job is to assure that the design and construction of your project meets the quality requirements set by the County and your agency. In addition, we assist agencies to secure project management services through outside consultants when our own Facilities Project Managers are not available.

Space Planning Services

Through our Architectural and Engineering Partners we can provide quality design services to our customers to facilitate the efficient use of Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) owned and leased office space.

Architectural, Engineering, and Consultant Services

We have in-house Project Managers who manage remodeling and tenant improvements in BOCC owned buildings. They help preserve the architectural and design integrity, quality, building codes and regulations and usefulness of office space. We use our Architectural and Engineering Partners to provide this service. When we need specialized consultants, that selection responsibility is assigned to an in-house Facilities Project Manager to establish a uniform, centralized, and structured approach to evaluating and selecting related professional consultants for the projects in accordance with BOCC policy and Ohio Revised Code (ORC).

Construction Planning

Major renovations or improvements to building structures and systems are included in the Department's Capital Improvements and Major Construction Budget Requests.

Project planning is the first step in the facility development process. Construction project planning consists of:

  • Defining the desired outcome
  • Evaluating resources
  • Developing an action plan to ensure various elements of the project are properly coordinated.

The formulation of the construction project plan involves multiple people from different organizations. We will work with the agencies to identify who is going to be responsible for project implementation. This planning effort will pay dividends in terms of better project decisions, and "buy-in" to the plan that results from this participative approach. A successful plan will include responsibilities of the owner (BOCC), design professionals, contractor and subcontractors.

The Project Plan

  • Guide project execution
  • Document project planning assumptions
  • Document project planning decisions regarding alternatives chosen
  • Facilitate communication among stakeholders
  • Define key reviews as to content, extent and timing
  • Provide a baseline for progress measurement and project control

Documents/Records Retention

The Documents/Records section of the Project Management Division is responsible for maintaining a set of County real property records, the record drawings, the as-built floor plans for County buildings, the Construction Standards which apply to the buildings maintained by HCFD, and other records relating to County facilities.

Additional responsibilities include coordination of both the review of construction design documents for HCFD-managed projects and the review of projects managed by other County Departments.

Construction Estimates and Renovations


Capital Projects

Capital Projects are land, building, and support system projects which include remodeling to meet programmatic needs, building-code or equipment upgrades. Approval by the BOCC is necessary for the funding of Capital Projects. Capital Projects include two budget categories: Capital Improvement and Major Construction or Acquisition as defined below.

Capital Improvement Projects

  • Costs are paid from the General Fund as approved by the Department of Administrative Services
  • The complete project cost is less than $1,000,000. This includes land acquisition and project costs expected in future budget requests
  • It changes, adapts, or replaces the use or function of a facility or reconfigures an office or program workspace

Major Construction or Acquisition Projects

  • Costs are capitalized as required by the Department of Administrative Services as it applies to capitalization of fixed assets
  • The complete project cost exceeds $1,000,000. This includes land acquisition, planning funds for the construction or acquisition of a future facility, and project costs expected in future budget requests

Asset Protection

  • Asset protection activities such as maintenance, repairs, replacement, or adaptation generally are not Capital Project items. Asset protection is a Service and Supplies expenditure if the project keeps the facility operating without increasing its value or operating life. Asset protection projects may include inflation costs and the cost of current code and County Policy compliance. These projects may also reduce maintenance costs or increase efficiency.

Capital Project Request

Project Management coordinates the County's Capital Improvement Programs, long-range capital planning, and the capital budget and approval process. Capital requests can be made through the budget process or outside the budgeting period. All capital requests, except for agencies with independent authority, are coordinated through the Project Management Division.

The Six Phases of a Capital Project

1. Pre-Design
Pre-design is a team process conducted through the collaborative efforts of Project Management and design firms in consultation with the customer and stakeholders. This phase shapes the ideas into a well-defined project that is feasible, properly approved and well funded. Objectives:

  • Demonstrate project need and feasibility
  • Define programmatic requirements
  • Explore alternative facility solutions
  • Form a project team
  • Select a design firm if one is to be used
  • Produce a pre-design program
  • Establish project financing
  • Submit project for review by the County Administrator
  • Submit project for review and approval by the BOCC when required

2. Design
A final design is produced with feedback from both the customer and Project Management staff. The goal is to develop a design that meets the project's programmatic needs, is compliant with applicable standards, and is within budget. Objectives:

  • Establish a contract with a design firm
  • Hold project team meetings with the design firm
  • Determine the best method for contractor selection
  • Review the final design and cost estimates
  • Approve the design and budget

3. Development of Construction Documents
After design approval, detailed construction drawings and building equipment specifications are prepared, showing how the building or project is to be constructed. These documents provide contractors the level of detail needed to calculate construction costs and bid on the project. Unless design or programmatic issues surface, customer input and review is not required. Objectives:

  • Prepare construction documents
  • Begin planning for the construction period
  • Review construction documents
  • Prepare construction bid documents

4. Bid Process
Once construction bid documents are ready, they are released via a formal bid opening process. When the bids have been returned, they are reviewed and the project is awarded according to purchasing policies. Alternative contracting methods such as design build or construction manager and general contractor (CM/GM) follow a different procurement process. These types of projects require an exemption to the normal public purchasing process. Objectives:

  • Solicit bids
  • Review returned bids
  • Award the project to the selected contractor

5. Construction
During the construction phase, Project Management acts as a clearinghouse for information on projects. We visit the construction site to ensure work is progressing on schedule and on budget. Objectives:

  • Assistance in obtaining building permits
  • Relocate building occupants, if needed
  • Conduct a pre-construction meeting
  • Give approval to begin construction
  • Monitor compliance with construction documents
  • Keep all stakeholders well-informed
  • Solve problems that may arise

6. Occupancy
As construction nears completion, we will assist clients with their move into the new or improved facility. We also coordinate commissioning of building systems, which involves testing and calibrating such building features as fire alarm and suppression system, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. Objectives:

  • Commission building systems
  • Coordinate client's move into the new space or facility
  • Close out project budget

Shared Responsibilities

We are committed to providing the highest quality service. To achieve this, we need your help. We ask you to take these responsibilities.

  • Decision making: You need to assign someone to the project team. This person should have high level decision making authority and access to all parties required to make final budget and program decisions.
  • Architect and contractor relationships: The Facilities Project Manager is the sole administrator for construction and improvement contracts. Please direct any questions or concerns regarding the performance or activities of contractors to the assigned Project Manager. No one else can give direction to contractors.
  • Construction disruptions and inconveniences: We take all prudent efforts to reduce or eliminate construction-related inconveniences to occupants and visitors, however some are unavoidable. We ask you to keep your staff informed of the reality that some inconveniences are inevitable.

Project Management Process

A project is initiated through the Capital Plan process, which is formally approved by the County Administrator. The request forms required define the purpose, goal and any known details of the project. This narrative is then developed into a "Program Statement" which is mutually established and approved by the project professionals and department members to establish detailed requirements. This information is then used to establish the project budget.

Design Process

Schematic Design
This is the initial drawing phase of the design process. Based upon the narrative established in the Program Statement, the architectural/engineering firm prepares a preliminary design of the project for review by the requestor and project manager. This preliminary design will attempt to address the location and size of the spaces, as well as the footprint of the total project. In small projects this phase may be included with the design development phase.

Design Development
The architectural/engineering firm works in this phase with the project manager and the requestor to fine tune the design and incorporate structural and engineered details for the building systems as well as the end user specific systems. Interior design work also begins developing at this stage, which includes the layout of furnishings, built in cabinetry, etc.

Construction Documents
This is the final stage of the design process. Construction documents are the designer's specifications for the contractor that will perform the construction work. These documents are very detailed and technical in nature and involve both drawings and specification manuals.

Design Review
Upon reaching 95% completion of the construction documents, a comprehensive review of design details is provided by all operational support departments internal to the County along with a cost estimate. The purpose of this review is to confirm that the project will be constructed of materials, systems and characteristics which comply with HCFD standards, operating procedures and maintenance requirements, and can be constructed within the approved budget.

Drawings, Revision and Finalization
Drawings are then revised as appropriate from the design review.

Document Preparation
Final construction documents are created in preparation for bidding the work.

Construction Process

All projects over $50,000.00 must be advertised and competitively bid. The Purchasing division of the Department of Administrative Services and the project manager will invite contractors to a pre-bid meeting on the job site and present the project in detail. Contractors will typically have 3 1/2 weeks to prepare and submit their bids. Contractors may, by going through HCFD, revisit the site during this phase and ask for clarification of the bid documents. Questions about the bidding process should be directed to the project manager.

Bid Approval
If department funded, after the Purchasing division and the project manager have reviewed the bids, the total project cost will be presented to the requestor for approval. Every effort is made to include all costs associated with the project. The requestor is responsible for developing and requesting project authorization for the full cost of the project.

Building Permit Application
Building permits must be taken out for most projects. The contractor will most often file the permit application and handle all interactions with the City of Cincinnati's or the other applicable local building department for small projects. On major projects, the architect/engineer will apply for permits at the time of bidding. Only preparatory work (site preparation, work trailer installation, etc.) can start before receipt of a building permit. Contractor picks up permit when ready. Contractor responsible for payment.

Write/Sign/Process Contract Documents
The Purchasing division will issue both a contract and a purchase order, which is a binding contract, with the contractor. No work will be started until a contract is executed and a purchase order is in place. The contract must be signed by the contractor, reviewed by the project manager and County Prosecutor, and signed by the Director of County Facilities and the County Administrator, depending on the contract amount. Following approval of the contract, a purchase order will be issued to the contractor, along with a contract.

The duration of construction varies with the scope of the work. During this work only contractors and project managers are allowed on the construction site, due to the legal liabilities of the contractors.

Punch List
When a construction project is approximately 95% complete, a list of deficiencies, called a "punch list", will be generated by the project manager. These items must be corrected prior to HCFD accepting the work as complete. The time allotted for correcting these deficiencies varies with the scope of the work.

Final Inspection & Occupancy Permit
All permitted projects must have a final inspection by the City of Cincinnati or local/state building department. When the building inspector is satisfied that the work is complete and in compliance with all applicable building codes, an occupancy permit will be issued. Under no circumstances may a space be occupied prior to receipt of an occupancy permit or a partial occupancy permit.

Occupancy is the date that HCFD accepts the project space from the contractor.

Project Closeout
At the completion of a project, the project manager must collect and compile all project documents for filing. These include all warranties, guarantees, waiver of liens, maintenance manuals, contract documents, permit drawings and specifications, as-built drawings, test reports, meeting minutes, change orders and partial payment requests.

5 Year Capital Plan