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Cornell University

Activities Requiring FPARs and Special Considerations for Studies


A FPAR is required for projects at facilities and locations under the Provost’s administration, as follows:

  • Any work, study, assessment, or design that creates a capital asset greater than $100,000 including:
    • Renovations; rehabilitations; restorations; demolition; new space creation; building infrastructure improvements or creation including networking, access control and security, and exterior infrastructure improvements or creation including utilities, grounds, sidewalks, roads, and other transportation infrastructure
    • Restoration projects that result from fire, flood, or other unexpected damage-inducing event that occur past the point of immediate site stabilization and might include additional hazardous materials testing, design, and construction activities.
      • Funding sources for such projects might include internal funds held in Risk Management as well as insurance payouts and Cornell contributions (unit or central).
    • Capital fit out of leased space when contracted through Cornell.
    • Feasibility, space, master planning, concept or other studies and assessments that are either greater than the FPAR threshold or that are between $10,000 and $100,000 in which a project is planned (see Special Considerations for Studies, below).
    • Programs that meet the threshold or have a substantial impact on facilities operations (e.g., energy conservation, fume hood reduction, etc.)
  • FPARs are not required for:
    • Projects with total costs less than $100,000
    • Projects that exceed $100,000 with all authorizations against the Painting IDIQ contract(s)
    • Service / Maintenance Contracts
    • Real estate acquisitions and leases
    • Information technology systems projects (approved by Systems PARs (SPARs))

A FPAR should be initiated at the first phase at which it is understood that total project costs will exceed the FPAR dollar threshold.


Some leniency regarding FPAR creation is provided for studies, especially when the future activity in time, scope or budget is undetermined.

Studies under $10,000 in cost do not require a FPAR.

All studies over $100,000 do require a FPAR.

For studies with cost between $10,000 and $99,999, a FPAR is required when a study will inform a project that is intended to occur and will likely exceed $100,000 in total project cost.

  • Note: This is typically FPAR-1 and future project activity would add onto this with FPAR-2.  Funds expended for studies are then capitalized for the overall project.

For studies with cost between $10,000 and $99,999, a FPAR may not be required if the study is used to inform a long-range plan (e.g., to forecast future budgeting, including fundraising) and/or the project is uncertain.   A Project Approval Coordination Committee (PAC) process determines whether a FPAR is required in these instances.  The evaluation discussion is intended to understand the unique aspects of most studies and reach common agreement regarding whether a FPAR is necessary documentation of the activity.

For a study that is a true feasibility (Do we need to do anything?  What should we do?) or that will inform longer-range plans and priorities, the PAC review and discussion process will be engaged as follows:

  • The Unit/College submits a Contract or Small Project Input (CSPI) with a project category of "Stand Alone Contract" with a project type of “Planning/Study” and the request will be reviewed at the end of the next Project Approval Coordination Committee (PAC) meeting, or
  • The Unit Facility Director / Project Advocate presents the need/business case at the end of the PAC meeting and then submits CSPI reflecting direction from that discussion. 

Considerations for the PAC may include:

  • Is this a maintenance study?
  • Is this an academic program/space change study? 
  • What is the study intended to inform?
  • What is the urgency and priority?
  • Will the study result in a capital project?  If so, is it already an understood need or is it emergent?

If a determination is made that a FPAR is required, the project category in e-Builder will be set to Capital Project if it was not submitted as such.

If the requirement to complete a FPAR is waived and work on the project subsequently advances, any future FPAR needs to include when the relevant study occurred, the cost, how it was funded and the account number to which the study was charged.  The total project cost in the future FPAR is the cost of the FPAR-related work (not including the cost of the study).

Capital Asset Requirement

  • If the requirement to complete a PAR was waived and work is advanced, any future PAR needs to include when the relevant study occurred, the cost, how it was funded and the account number.  The total project cost in the future PAR is the cost of the PAR-related work (not including the cost of the study).