This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: Board of Governors
Original Approval Date: June 19, 2008
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: June 1, 2023
Office of Accountability: Vice-President: Finance and Administration
Administrative Responsibility: Facilities and Asset Management: Planning, Design and Construction
1.01 The objective of this policy is to support the development of Wilfrid Laurier University’s (the University's) Facilities by ensuring a best practice approach to physical planning, design, and construction.
1.02 This policy defines the terms for carrying out the Capital Planning Process including, prioritization of Capital Projects based on the Priorities set out in the Capital Plan for the University, availability of Funding Sources, creation of the framework within which individual Capital Projects can evolve, and establishment of the reporting and approval requirements for Capital Projects to the Board of Governors and other signing authorities as per Policy 5.7, Signing Authority.
2.01 Affiliated Organization: An organization or entity that has a formal relationship with the University including: (a) a federated or affiliated college under the Wilfrid Laurier University Act; (b) a constituent group of the University community representing students, employees or alumni; (c) users under a written agreement. These relationships are normally outlined through a written agreement or other formal documentation.
2.02 Annual Capital Budget: Planned expenditures to support Facilities and IT Capital Projects prioritized through this policy and IT capital planning process in a particular fiscal year.
3.03 Asset Management Plan: Is a tactical plan for managing the repair, maintenance and replacement of University Facilities to deliver the standard of service required by the University.
2.04 Campus Master Plan: Establishes a vision and framework to guide how and where the University campus will physically change in support of the University’s Strategic Plan, Academic Plan and Strategic Research Plan. A Campus Master Plan is developed for each of Laurier's campuses.
2.05 Capital Plan: An outcome of the University’s Academic Planning, Campus Master Planning and Capital Planning Processes that set out the Capital Projects which the University has assigned Priority for a specified period of time and that require a source of funding.
2.06 Capital Planning Process: The process by which Capital Projects are assessed, prioritized, approved and implemented. The Planning Process informs the Capital Plan and Annual Capital Budget.
2.07 Capital Project: A new building, a building alteration, an infrastructure investment, or space realignment that involves more than equipment or finishes renewal and is over and above the Facilities and Asset Management maintenance operating budget, e.g., space reorganization, expansion or conversion to new uses. Significant open space projects are also Capital Projects. Notwithstanding the inclusion of land or real property in the definition of a Capital Project for the purposes of the Capital Budgeting Policy, for the procedural purposes of the Capital Planning Policy, these items shall be excluded.
2.08 Capital Project Budget: Is inclusive of:
a) The Capital Project Cost, as defined in policy 4.14, for Facilities Capital Projects, and as defined by Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for IT Capital Projects; and
b) Planned Funding Sources.
2.09 Capital Project Cost: A cost that includes all construction, planning, design, project administration, furniture, audio visual, data communications, and other soft costs as well as contingencies for a Capital Project. This does not include operational costs such as, but not limited to, leasing and rental costs.
2.10 Delegated Executive Sponsor: A senior leader (Associate/Assistant Vice-President, Dean, Vice-President, Senior Executive Officer) at the University who endorses a Capital Project within their department, faculty or affiliated organization. This individual is not always the relevant signing authority for a Capital Project as per Policy 5.7, Signing Authority. They are responsible for being the strategic lead for the Capital Project which includes, but is not limited to, securing funding, seeking approval from the relevant signing authority, consulting with and receiving confirmation from stakeholders impacted by the Capital Project, and signing off on space use.
2.11 Facilities Renewal: Also referred to as deferred maintenance, is capital expenditures that are required to maintain University Facilities’ functionality over their useful life. The scope of most Capital Projects will include some Facilities Renewal.
2.12 Funding Sources: Actual or committed (including, but not limited to, fundraising pledges or targets, contributions from future years’ budgets) sources of funding to support a Capital Project.
2.13 Planning Principles: Planning and design directives that guide the University towards a systematic and comprehensive approach for evaluating design alternatives for University Facilities as identified in the Campus Master Plans.
2.14 Priority: The ranking of Capital Projects based on detailed assessment criteria that includes alignment with strategic Priorities of the University, compliance requirements, financial considerations, and funding strategies.
2.15 University Facility/Facilities: All buildings and grounds, owned, leased or operated by the University, including without limitation outdoor playing areas, parking, athletic and recreational fields and all University residences and housing.
3.01 This policy applies to all aspects of the Capital Planning Process for all of the University’s Facilities.
3.02 All aspects of the Capital Planning Process for the University must be in accordance with this policy, the Capital Budgeting Policy and other University policies.
4.01 The approach to Capital Planning is to invest in a comprehensive Campus Master Plan for each campus and to systematically establish Capital Plans that set out specific Capital Projects to be designed and built in such a way as to meet University Planning Principles as well as present and future needs of the University community.
4.02.01 The University will undertake a master planning review for University Facilities on a five (5) year cycle. The Planning Process will be chaired by the Assistant Vice-President: Facilities and Asset Management, and will involve community input from students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.
4.02.02 A Campus Master Plan will guide the University by establishing fundamental campus Planning Principles through stakeholder consultation.
4.02.03 A Campus Master Plan may designate certain sites as Priority space for specific University units, activities or Capital Projects. A Campus Master Plan may inform Prioritization and development of Capital Projects, but does not include approval of the Capital Projects or the Capital Project Budgets.
4.02.04 A Campus Master Plan normally addresses the type and quality of public spaces on each campus and locations for growth.
4.02.05 At the completion of each review process, the Board of Governors shall approve each Campus Master Plan.
4.03.01 The Board of Governors shall approve the Capital Plan, which is normally adopted for multi-year periods and is updated at minimum every five (5) years or as required, to reflect progress made and new or updated Priorities.
4.03.02 A Capital Plan is prepared and implemented by the Facilities and Asset Management department.
4.03.03 A Capital Plan will include all Capital Projects that are expected to be in the planning and/or implementation stage during the period of the Capital Plan. It will include an historical overview and current state of all campuses and locations. An outline of strategies guiding future capital development will be provided, including future development opportunities. A Capital Plan will also include planning forecasts, information on asset management and Prioritization.
4.04.01 The Facilities and Asset Management department will prepare a Capital Project Cost for each Capital Project. Capital Project Costs are developed throughout the life of a Capital Project and will be informed by conceptual design and/or engineering reports, schematic design, design development and other work completed by consultants brought onto the Capital Project.
4.04.02 An Initial Project Report will include a Capital Project Cost (estimate) informed by a feasibility study based on conceptual design and/or engineering reports. An Initial Project Report will be approved by the relevant signing authority in order to move the Capital Project to the schematic design phase.
4.04.03 A Project Planning Report will include a Capital Project Cost based on schematic design and design development. A Project Planning Report, alongside a Capital Project Funding Report, will be approved by the relevant signing authority in order for the Facilities and Asset Management department to initiate a Capital Project.
4.04.04 At the completion of a Capital Project, a Project Completion Report will be prepared by the Facilities and Asset Management department and will include the final Capital Project Cost. A Project Completion Report will be provided as information to the relevant signing authority.
4.05.01 The Board of Governors shall receive an annual briefing on Facilities Renewal for building systems and other infrastructure to identify Priority areas. The annual briefing on Facilities Renewal is a subset of the Capital Plan, Annual Capital Budget and Capital Planning Process.
4.05.02 Facilities Renewal is important to maintain a healthy, safe, sustainable and inspiring physical environment to support the academic mission of the University. It is an important consideration in the scope of all Capital Projects and in Annual Capital Budgets.
4.05.03 Facilities Renewal Priority Capital Projects are identified through discussions with the Facilities and Asset Management department and executed with internal funds allocated from the operating budget as well as Facilities Renewal Program (FRP) funds from the provincial government.
4.05.04 The multi-year Asset Management Plan (AMP) discusses existing conditions of the University’s Facilities and infrastructure, Facility maintenance practices, Facilities Renewal needs and their funding requirements. In addition, a Multi-Variable Prioritization (MVP) tool Prioritizes Facilities Renewal Capital Projects based on condition and criticality of the systems function. The multi-year AMP is an appendix to the Capital Plan.
4.05.05 A Facilities Renewal Plan is a subset of the Capital Project Priorities List and is prepared by the Facilities and Asset Management department. It outlines active, Priority Facilities Renewal Capital Projects to be considered for funding over a five (5) year period. A Facilities Renewal Plan will be prepared annually to align with the Capital Planning Process and to inform the Annual Capital Budget.
4.05.06 Every Capital Project includes some scope of Facilities Renewal and is a vital part of keeping University Facilities in good working order.
4.06.01 The Capital Plan should be developed and implemented within the context of the Planning Principles that express the University’s commitment to the orderly and responsible development and use of its Facilities. Such Planning Principles extend to the development of individual Capital Projects that are integral to the academic mission of the University.
4.06.02 All Capital Projects should stand as examples of quality design, incorporating an appropriate level of functionality and responsibility towards the environment.
4.06.03 Each Capital Project should follow the intent of the comprehensive Campus Master Plan of the University.
4.07.01 Capital Projects are initiated in response to a variety of needs and opportunities. These can include, but are not limited to, academic needs, space needs, legislative requirements, health and safety requirements, grant and partnership opportunities, protecting and retaining asset value and maintaining property quality levels.
4.07.02 The Capital Planning Process will be initiated annually at the beginning of the fall semester for assessment and prioritization, and to be considered for approval as part of the budget development cycle.
The process for implementing Capital Projects is informed by signing authority requirements as outlined in Policy 5.7, Signing Authority. For information on the Capital Project implementation process see the Procedures for Capital Planning.