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Associate Vice President, Design Management

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: New York City metropolitan area
  • Client: Institution - Higher Education
  • Search ID: 19-0101-08

Helbling is representing a repeat client, a prominent New York City university in conducting an executive search to secure an Associate Vice President, Design Management (AVP). The AVP has responsibility to ensure the integrity and accuracy of all cost, schedule, and program information related to his/her projects, and oversees projects with budgets totaling approximately $500M to $1B. They will lead a team consisting of executive directors, and project managers and interns, and oversees consultant teams. They will manage relationships with architects, specialty consultants, and public agencies involved in project approvals.

Position Summary

  • Oversight of the design process and management for all capital projects from inception, including programming and conceptual design, through the design and construction administrative phases. In particular, expected to have full administrative control for the design management of all projects on campus.  Provide oversight of the design and leadership over the architectural consultants and other design firms associated with the project. In conjunction with AVP for Project Management, ensure that the project is built on-time, within budget, and to the highest quality standards. Represent the university’s interests with outside governmental agencies, tenants, and community groups as directed by the Vice President.
  • As a key steward and design authority of the executive team, lead and drive the progress, preparation, and review of design documentation in conjunction with the Associate Vice President of Project Management. Direct, oversee, and provide support and coordination throughout all phases of schematic design, design development, construction documents, and construction administration of major and minor capital projects. Lead the selection of external architects, ensuring the integrity of the selection process, and that the firms are solicited from a diverse and comprehensive pool. Maintain profiles on the expertise, quality, and performance of external architecture firms, to inform future selection decisions.
  • Play a leadership role in the planning for major capital projects, including the selection of external architects. Help to further develop, maintain, and put into practice the campus master plan; and to collaborate with colleagues across campus as a steward for best practices in design and planning services. Will be an important source of advice to university leadership, providing expertise, counsel, and oversight regarding campus planning, programming, landscape and architectural design, strategic sustainability and energy planning, and major capital projects.
  • Oversee approved design scope ensuring that schedules are accurate and met; costs are within approved budgets; all changes are reflected in revised budgets; and quality control standards are established and met. Integrate into design compliance accessibility requirements mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by understanding the requirements of ADA.  Develop and maintain design standards and communicates them to design consultants and others performing work on campus.   
  • Oversee and support the sustainable design standards and goals set for the project; support BIM (building information modeling) goals and other state-of-the-art programs. Promote and participate in the development of environmental and sustainability initiatives, including employing sustainable principles such as those of the U. S. Green Building Council and guidelines set forth by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. May represent the Vice President on special committee and special projects as assigned.  
  • Provide leadership, coaching, and guidance to department associates for professional growth and development.
  • Bachelor’s degree required preferably in Architecture, Engineering, or Construction Management. Advanced degree preferred. 
  • Minimum of ten (10) years’ related experience required in fields such as design and construction, and/or project management experience in the construction of large and complex institutional and/or commercial projects with a developer, construction manager, general contractor, or similar firm.   
  • Professional license as a Registered Architect and LEED accreditation is desired.
  • Demonstrated track record of leading teams to deliver design, programming, and planning excellence. 
  • Strong design experience is preferred in the design of science and laboratory buildings, and academic buildings. 
  • Experience developing and/or maintaining design master plans, integrating programmatic design requirements that may include exterior architecture, interior design, roadways, and other design planning required. 
  • Ability to analyze and evaluate existing and proposed architectural designs, master plans, and physical planning studies for aesthetic and technical cogency. 
  • Experience in contract negotiations, architect agreements, and all other related documentation. 
  • Successful track record in meeting budgets, schedules, and high quality standards. 
  • Resourceful, creative, and strong problem solver with solid leadership and team building skills. 
  • Strong administrative and cost control skills, able to communicate both verbally and written at all levels. 
  • Ability to communicate with the university community, public, external partners, and others regarding planning, design, and issues. 
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills and proven ability to work in a client-service environment. 
  • Team player who can fit into a professional team. 
  • High level of integrity and work ethic. 
  • Demonstrated judgment and discretion in working with confidential materials.  

Search Consultant: Lee Grandovic

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