This policy applies to the planning and development of all capital projects within the UW System.


The purpose of this policy is to establish principles to guide decision-making at UW System institutions regarding the physical planning and development of campuses and the stewardship of the physical assets governed or controlled by the Board of Regents.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the Board of Regents that the following principles shall guide the physical planning and development of UW System institutions and stewardship of physical assets controlled by the Board of Regents.

A. Physical Planning and Development

1. Physical development that is planned using an integrated planning model that incorporates programmatic concerns, physical concerns, and financial realities.

2. Involvement of stakeholders that provides a meaningful role for students when student funding and fees are involved.

3. Physical development that is planned within the context of UW System, institutional, and State of Wisconsin planning guidelines, policies, and funding parameters.

4. Cooperative planning with the city and county in which the institution is located.

5. Campus physical environments that promote optimal accessibility for people with disabilities.

6. Comprehensive campus master plans that are periodically updated and address:

a) Space needs;

b) Image, identity, and aesthetics;

c) Multimodal transportation access and circulation;

d) Parking;

e) Open space;

f) Building sites;

g) Infrastructure and utilities;

h) Sustainability;

i) Implementation; and

j) Health and safety.

Physical development is planned in accordance with the campus master plan.

7. Planning that includes student enrollment, faculty, and staff projections; applicable space allocation and utilization benchmarks; evidence-based decision-making; and best planning practices.

8. Responsiveness to the needs of a diverse student body and the delivery of programs and services that meet those needs.

9. Planning for optimal adaptability and ease of long-term maintenance.

10. Sustainable design that will:

a) Optimize use of existing facilities and right-size/minimize new construction;

b) Use energy, water, and materials wisely and efficiently;

c) Protect the health and well-being of building occupants;

d) Promote decarbonization of infrastructure and buildings through energy and materials choices;

e) Design buildings ready for extremes of changing climate; and

f) Provide opportunities for sustainability education, research, and operations.

11. Accurate and defensible project programs, budgets, and schedules developed prior to enumeration.

B. Stewardship of Physical Assets

Appropriate stewardship of physical assets should include:

1. An institutional commitment to assure sufficient resources, their optimal use, and adequate expertise to care for physical assets.

2. An accurate and current geographic information system (GIS) for all Board of Regents-owned land using a common UW System-wide format and minimum level of detail.

3. A comprehensive building space management function, an accurate and current space inventory, and a comprehensive space use plan specific to each institution.

4. An accurate and current record of the physical condition and maintenance needs of all facilities.

5. Proper maintenance of all existing facilities to protect and extend the life of existing investments and ensure that facilities are usable for their intended purposes, including ongoing energy management and retro commissioning of campus and building energy systems when applicable.

6. Provision of the staff, staff training, ongoing maintenance and periodic commissioning required to maintain the function and performance of sustainable systems and features, with particular attention to campus and building energy systems.

7. A commitment to Wisconsin’s heritage through preservation of historic buildings and other cultural resources.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

UW System institutions shall adhere to the principles contained in this policy when developing and maintaining facilities and other physical assets owned or controlled by the Board of Regents.

The UW System Office of Capital Planning and Budget shall provide assistance to UW System institutions with respect to the implementation of this policy.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws



History: Res. 7868, adopted 03/05/1999, created Regent Policy Document 99-1; Res. 8431, adopted 09/07/2001, amended Regent Policy Document 99-1 (subsequently renumbered 19-15). Res. 10127, adopted 10/05/2012, modified UW System Physical Development Principles and Physical Asset Stewardship Goals. Res. 10619, adopted 12/11/2015, amended and renamed Regent Policy Document 19-15, “Physical Development Principles.”  Res. 12031, adopted 06/09/2023, amended Regent Policy Document 19-15.