Skip to main content

Cornell University

When is a PAR required...

GUIDELINES TO DETERMINE IF A
FACILITIES PROJECT
REQUIRES A PROJECT APPROVAL REQUEST (PAR)

A PAR is required for facility projects as follows:

  1. Any project that creates a capital asset greater than the PAR dollar threshold (including facility renovations and rehabilitations; new space creation; sidewalks, roads and other transportation infrastructure; and grounds improvements).
  2. All space studies, facility assessments, master planning studies, concept studies, feasibility studies, maintenance, design, construction, and demolition projects (or any combination of these) that meet the PAR dollar threshold.  Rule of thumb:  If the project requires a contract through the Facilities Contracts unit or a Request for Facilities Services and it meets the PAR dollar threshold, then the project needs at least one PAR.
  3. Programs that meet the PAR dollar threshold if they have a substantial impact on facilities operations, e.g., energy conservation initiatives, fume hood reduction.

The PAR should be initiated at the first phase at which it is understood that total project costs will exceed the PAR dollar threshold, unless the phase is a feasibility or concept study costing under $10,000.  PAR’s seeking authorization for construction should be based on actual bid numbers and not cost estimates.

Aggregated costs must meet the PAR threshold. 

  • Fixed equipment should be included in aggregated costs.  Fixed equipment includes any equipment that is affixed to and integral to a structure that cannot be removed without damage to the structure.
  • If the PAR cost threshold is met by aggregated costs (including soft costs such as project management, design services, contingency, etc.) and a PAR is required, then the costs of movable equipment and furniture should be included in the PAR budget.

When determining if costs meet the PAR threshold, aggregated costs do not include the following:

  • Movable equipment
  • Furniture
  • Unit labor, that is, labor supplied by the unit benefitting most directly from the project; labor shall be included if it is provided as a service function of the University (e.g., facility shops, project management services, etc.).

The PAR is not meant to address:

  1. Real estate acquisitions or leases.  Real estate acquisitions and leases have their own approval process and format.  The costs of leasehold improvements need be included in the lease approval documentation.
  2. Service contracts.