Planning, Design & Construction is organized in 3 groups – Planning, Annual Capital Projects, and Major Capital Projects with a total of 18 employees and a myriad of consultants and contractors, overseeing 200+ projects a year averaging $140 million in spending.

Planning focuses on the University’s long-range planning, guiding campus development in a way that gives physical form to the University’s mission, vision, and programs through the effective use of human, environmental, and financial resources. The Design & Construction division provides the administrative, management, and professional services required to facilitate and accomplish new construction, renovations, and replacements of physical facilities and infrastructure. The Annual Capital Projects group oversees a wide-range of projects a year valued at less than $15 million dollars each. The Major Projects group is dedicated to high-profile major renovations and new construction projects greater than $15 million.


The planning phase includes data collection and analysis, an understanding of who will occupy what space, how the space is utilized, and document management. Document management involves project drawings, historic archived records of plans, and renovation work—basically, all documents related to a project.

Aside from documentation, the other side of planning is more interactive. The campus/facility planning role involves programming, working to understand how the space was used previously, the current status of the space, and what the future plan is for the space. Programming, the foundation for the design effort, is essential to informing design aesthetics.

Even after a project has been planned, sent off to construction, built and completed, planning is involved in data collection, with an inventory of each space being documented every three years. Data collection of floor plans is ongoing because many changes that occur do not result in renovations. Once gathered, this information is widely used throughout the University. Grant contract accounting uses information to track grant progress and overhead. Facilities Management & Operations uses it for energy management of buildings. Environmental Health & Safety collects floor plan data for its records. Information Services & Technology uses the data to map its networks.


In close consultation with University clients, a staff of professional space planners and designers develops programs and plans to meet the need. The associate director/designer works with two full-time designers, a full-time consultant, and a Co-op group of design students to source materials and put together rough plans to get an idea of the project’s budget and scope. Projects can be as small as renovating an office or classroom or as large as a new dormitory! Often, these large-scale projects require the expertise of outside consultants.

Unlike most of the University departments, summer is the busiest time for the Design group. From upgrading classrooms to planning out larger building projects, summer is the season to begin construction and coordinate moves.

After the schematic design, design development, and construction documents phases are complete, the department oversees the construction and execution of the plans.


Boston University is committed to providing modern and functional facilities for Boston University students, faculty, and staff. The Planning, Design & Construction department is responsible for managing the development and execution of new construction and the renovations of existing spaces across campus. Our team is dedicated to ensuring every structure on campus remains functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing.

The Associate Vice President of Planning, Design & Construction oversees Campus Planning, Major Capital Projects, and Annual Capital Projects.  Each year, the department manages about 200 construction projects. In addition, the department collaborates with University administrators to determine the feasibility and priority of countless capital projects in the conceptual stage.

Capital Planning

Long before a single brick is laid, Planning, Design & Construction provides historical insight and cost estimates to University administrators, while proposed renovations and new buildings are conceptualized. Through collaboration with the Office of the Provost, Office of the Senior Vice President for Operations, Office of the Budget, and colleagues within Campus Planning & Operations, members of Planning, Design & Construction participate in the University sub-SPACE Committee, which thoroughly reviews all capital projects and space changes before they are presented to the University SPACE Committee for final approval. The purpose is to ensure that all capital projects and space changes are logistically feasible, accurately estimated, and adhere to the University’s strategic plan.

Project Management

Planning, Design & Construction plays a key role in the planning, execution, and review of all new construction and renovation projects on all campuses. Prior to excavation or demolition of a space, the client is provided scope of work documents, cost estimates, and applicable regulation reviews for all proposed construction projects at the University. Responsibilities during an active project include: coordination of project schedule, costs, and fabrication to ensure minimal disruption to occupants, cost efficiency, and quality control. Following the completion of a project, Planning, Design & Construction is responsible for reviewing the completed project with project stakeholders and for providing updated operation and maintenance requirements to CPO’s Facilities Management & Operations department.