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Director, Project Planning, Design, and Construction – Carleton University


Situated on unseeded Algonquin territory beside the historic Rideau Canal, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, and founded in 1942 as a part-time institution for the men and women who supported Canada’s war effort, Carleton University is closely tied to the needs of the capital. Computer science students participate in paid co-op placements at leading technology companies in the city. Many Carleton students work as political aides and pages on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill. “Carleton’s stimulating interdisciplinary programs create graduates uniquely qualified for brilliant jobs in the knowledge economy—satisfying jobs that help solve the problems of the future in a changing world”.

Carleton was the first university in Canada to establish a graduate degree in public administration and it is also home to the country’s oldest four-year journalism program. It continues to expand offerings and update its infrastructure. A new Health Science Building with state-of-the art laboratories and animal facility has just been completed. The library has been completely updated, and current renovations include steps to reduce energy consumption on campus, as well as the creation of the Institute for Advanced Research and Innovation in Smart Environments (ARISE) to focus on applied research in clean technology, health technology and information and communication technology. Construction of a new business school is underway, and many more exciting projects are planned in the coming years.

Carleton University, Canada’s capital university is situated on a beautiful campus bordered by the sparkling Rideau River and Canal, Carleton is just at few minutes from the heart of our nation’s government and enjoys easy access to the many organizations, associations and businesses which thrive in Ottawa. Many of Ontario’s leading high-tech companies surround the campus where cutting-edge research joins with highly innovative teaching to solve real-life problems. Members of a dynamic, research-intensive university, Carleton’s faculty and staff provide a superior learning experience for students who hail from every province and from over 100 countries around the world.

With operating and ancillary budgets of over $560 million, close to 30,000 students and 2,200 faculty and staff, Carleton University is situated on 62 hectares just south of Ottawa’s city centre. Five kilometres of underground tunnels conveniently link the many of University’s 37 buildings.


The Director, Project Planning, Design, and Construction is accountable for the implementation of capital projects at the University.  The incumbent’s objective is to coordinate and implement capital and renovation projects, through the processes outlined in the approved Capital Planning Process Policy, and recognized project management techniques.

The Director ensures that all planning principles are adhered to, in order to ensure that the development of the University’s physical assets are guided by a best practices approach to facility and infrastructure planning, design and construction.

The Director must ensure projects are prioritized, that Campus development will maintain architectural and visual coherence, that sustainable practices are incorporated in to the design and construction of new projects, that structures, open space and areas of historic significance are preserved and enhanced, and all buildings should be identifiable as University facilities and contribute to the quality and coherence of the campus.

The Director advises the Assistant Vice-President (Facilities Management and Planning) on matters related to renovation/alteration construction, new building construction, conditions of existing buildings, and feasibility studies for campus planning and construction.  The Director works closely with all members of FMP in the development of new capital projects and works cross functionally across the university with the various users and committees involved in the development of major capital projects.


Dimensions – Construction Services Unit:

  • Capital Construction and Renovation budget: Approximately $20-60 million annually
  • Average cost per construction project: $300,000
  • Deferred Maintenance Projects: 14 million $ per year
  • Number of staff: 7
  • Payroll: $500,000
  • Annual number of projects: 100-180
  • Total value of projects managed: $50 million


Organizational Structure

The Director, Capital Renewal and Construction is one of six (6) positions reporting to the Assistant Vice-President (Facilities Management and Planning), the others being Director, Operations & Maintenance; Director, Administrative Services; Director, Space Management and Capital Planning; Director, Environmental Health and Safety; Director, Energy and Sustainability Services; and Administrative Assistant. The Project Planning, Design, and Construction Unit includes:

Senior Project Manager (1)

Responsible for the management of large construction projects with a focus on new facility projects and/or major upgrades.

Project Manager (1)

Responsible for the management of smaller construction projects with a focus on facility projects and/or major upgrades.

Project Coordinators (4)

Responsible for the design, construction management, and cost estimation, including all architectural, mechanical, electrical, furniture and landscaping elements for approximately 40 construction projects for each Project Coordinator per year.

Project Administrator (1)

Responsible for the creation, coordination and administration of a standardized project filing system for Construction Services and the provision of clerical support related to the preparation and processing of construction contracts and project management.

Contract Project Managers (7)



The Director, Project Planning, Design, and Construction is responsible for all capital construction and renovation work on the University Campus including estimating, design and project management.  The Director shall ensure that the design is consistent with the highest of academic aspirations and meets the sustainability and energy targets and requirements as outlined by the University.

The incumbent is responsible for the development and management of people and budgets in an effort to achieve the planning, design and construction objectives of the department and the university.  These efforts involve managing the work done by staff, consultants, contractors and suppliers. This oversight requires excellent leadership, communication, negotiation, documentation and management skills.  While policies, procedures, guidelines, regulations and codes exist to guide day-to-day operations, the incumbent must interpret the policies and procedures, apply and enforce the regulations and codes.  Regulations and codes the Director is required to interpret, apply and enforce include local, provincial and federal regulations, CSA and project management standards and all codes that regulate construction including health and safety regulations.

The Director is responsible for updating, revising or developing new procedures as well as establishing and implementing new management systems and procedures to support and manage project planning, design and construction.

The incumbent must act independently to make design decisions based on sound knowledge, experience, expertise and judgment.  The incumbent has the responsibility and accountability for all day-to-day decisions within approved budgets.  Negotiations and discussions with contractors and internal clients regarding renovation and construction projects require tact, diplomacy and discretion.  Errors in judgment can carry through and effect to a large degree the cost and operation of the university.  The incumbent must possess the ability to identify and prevent as well as solve problems, often under pressure, budget restraints and time constraints such as in emergency situations.

The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that the units are adequately staffed to meet operational requirements.  The incumbent develops job descriptions, interviews and hires new employees and/or contracted services in consultation with the Assistant Vice-President (Facilities Management and Planning), defines duties and overall unit objectives, and efficiently and effectively allocates staff to various projects and assignments. The incumbent provides direction and performance feedback to staff, monitors leave, approves overtime, disciplines employees as required, which could ultimately escalate to a recommendation for dismissal.

The incumbent would be expected to deal with senior finance staff members concerning budget issues as well as ancillary managers

Internal contact is with Vice-Presidents, Deans, Assistant Vice-Presidents and Directors of various departments, faculty, staff, and students however it will be necessary at various times to strike working groups with the specific objective to explore the independent needs and interactions between faculties, divisions and units in advance of establishing Project Committees for new capital projects.

External contact is with consultants, contractors, suppliers, etc. in the industry for the purpose of selecting required expertise, to discuss and exchange information with respect to project management issues.  External contacts are also maintained with the City of Ottawa and utility companies regarding construction requirements and permits and with other Universities to gather and exchange information.


  1. Manages, in consultation with clients:
    • The definition of the project requirements
    • Type and character of construction required to meet the requirements
    • Material and equipment requirements
    • Collection and analysis of engineering data, compilation of field investigation data including surveys and material testing.
  2. Manages the preparation of the description and definition of the scope of work including:
    • The parameters of time, space, design and cost, which relate to the project, for evaluation of the Assistant Vice-President (Facilities Management and Planning) in order to obtain approval for implementation;
    • Analyzing the location, preliminary sketches and specifications;
    • Creating flow diagrams, schedules, costing breakdowns;
    • Reviewing documentation related to the impact of federal, provincial and municipal requirements.
  3. Maintains the project accounting procedures and cost controls, which are audited by the Director, Administrative Services on all phases of the project, including:
    • Management, planning and design costs;
    • Disbursement, purchases, construction, inspection and commissioning costs;
    • Reviews all payments being charged to the projects, i.e. fees, progress billing, purchase orders, etc.
  4. Manages a detailed project schedule for control of all project-related activities such as design, procurement and delivery of materials and equipment, construction, inspection and commissioning stages.
  5. Establishes and manages project organization including the staff and resources required to implement the project, which is specifically structured to the size, complexity and scope of the construction and/or renovation projects.
  6. Manages the preparation of detailed designs, budget estimates, specifications, construction drawings and specifications.
  7. Manages the tendering and construction process for all assigned construction and renovation projects within the University.
  8. Responsible for the design, specification, tender and procurement of the furniture and furnishing for all capital programs.
  9. Manages the close-out process of projects including the completion of deficiencies, substantial completion process, maintenance, and operating information, training of maintenance staff.




  • Bachelor’s Degree in Planning, Construction Management, or a related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum of 7-10 years’ progressive project management experience on construction projects. This experience must include discerning program needs from user input to develop programming and planning documents, guiding and managing the design process, developing and managing project budgets, overseeing multi-million-dollar construction projects involving a diversity of construction systems, and field observation of construction.
  • Extensive training, experience, knowledge and expertise in the construction industry, a thorough understanding of planning, architecture, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering principals, costing and construction law, as well as the capability to manage all aspects of a construction project in order to solve complex and difficult problems which occur frequently.
  • Solid experience at managing large teams of managers, professionals as well as contractors and specialists
  • Construction industry experience with institutions of higher education is preferred.
  • Ability and interest in keeping abreast of new developments on research and teaching facilities and construction techniques in order to accommodate new technologies.


  • Possess a significant degree of judgment and initiative related to the process of decision-making with the confidence to make and execute these decisions in all areas of design and construction.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, interpersonal, negotiation and listening skills.
  • Focused on results, quality and customer service, with strong abilities in planning at the strategic and tactical levels, budgeting, documentation and follow-up.
  • A team player, the incumbent is also autonomous, creative, collaborative and supportive, believes in participation and sharing of information.
  • Trusting and respectful.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
A015119 (AWDT-578152) Director, Project Planning, Design, and Construction – Carleton University - ON - Ottawa (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.