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Alterations and Renovations of University Buildings

Policy Information

PDF version
Effective Date: 
October 21, 1998
Policy Number: 
Responsible Unit: 
Business Affairs

Purpose and Summary

This policy governing building alterations and renovations is necessary to ensure health and safety and the appropriate coordination of building systems. Projects started without proper review have had the following problems in the past:

  • Workers unknowingly disturbed asbestos materials, creating a hazard for building occupants.
  • Completed projects have had to be dismantled when discovered by the State Fire Marshal.
  • Unqualified electrical work resulted in breaker overloads and shock hazards to building occupants.
  • Building ventilation systems have been disturbed, making heating/cooling work poorly.
  • Student workers unknowingly tore out pneumatic control lines, necessitating repair by Facilities Management.
  • Self-installed security systems have auto-dialed to the University of Arizona Police Department with no information as to location.
  • Unauthorized contractor procurement resulted in illegal contract language and inadequate insurance.


All alterations and/or renovations of University buildings must comply with this policy to ensure project coordination and review, code compliance, and safety.


"Alteration" and "Renovation," for purposes of this policy, are defined as any work that modifies the permanently constructed facility. This includes adding, replacing, or relocating doors, walls, or windows; altering or penetrating corridors or ceilings; adding on to or dividing existing space; or working on any building utility system, including electrical, plumbing, ventilation, fire alarms, fire sprinklers, security systems, laboratory fume hoods, and telecommunications.


  1. Work in University buildings or on campus grounds may not be performed by departmental staff, students, or volunteers without prior written approval from the Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management. Approval will only be given for very simple projects that can be completed safely with minimal risk of injury.
  2. All work in University buildings must be coordinated by one of the following three units, depending on project scope: Facilities Management; Planning, Design and Construction; or Real Estate Administration.
  3. Contractor services must be arranged through applicable University procurement and contracting channels, regardless of the funding source for the work. Typically, projects costing less than $25,000 (labor only) will be completed by Facilities Management or by contractors authorized by Procurement and Contracting Services. Projects costing more than $25,000 (labor only) will typically be bid and coordinated by Planning, Design and Construction. Projects over $25,000 require approval of Real Estate Administration.
  4. All alteration and renovation projects, regardless of size, must be reviewed and obtain a permit issued by the Office of the State Fire Marshal and University Risk Management Services before construction may begin. The project coordinating unit (i.e., Facilities Management; Planning, Design and Construction; or Real Estate Administration) will prepare a project submittal for this purpose. Risk Management Services will receive submittals and coordinate approval from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

This policy is effective immediately and shall remain in effect, without exception. Non-approved projects that are initiated in violation of this policy will be corrected, if necessary, by Facilities Management, with all associated costs charged to the responsible unit. Noncompliance may result in disciplinary action.

Thank you for your cooperation to ensure proper management of University buildings and resources.

Revision History*

Nonsubstantive updates June 23, 2021

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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