Construction, modernization, major alteration and renovation, A&R

10.1 General

The chapter uses the following definitions:

  • Construction. Construction of a new building, structure or facility, including the installation of fixed equipment, which provides space not presently available. It excludes the purchase of land and ancillary improvement, for example parking lots, roads, or fencing. The construction of shell space is not allowable as a construction activity since shell space does not provide usable space for research activities.
  • Modernization. Alteration, renovation, remodeling, improvement, expansion or repair of, or completion of shell space in an existing building (whether for storage or human occupancy) necessary to make the building suitable for use for the purposes of a particular program. Modernization is distinct from construction in that it leaves the existing structure in place. This can range from updating flooring to replacing everything except for the existing mainframe and foundations. When the primary purpose of the award is to modernize biomedical research facilities, the grant cannot support the conduct of any research.
Alteration and Renovation (A&R) activities are considered as modernization activities and are typically supported under research grants where the primary purpose of the grant is other than construction or modernization. The determination of whether proposed A&R is major, or minor is made by the NIH Program Official. Major A&R is an unallowable activity or cost under foreign grants and foreign components in domestic grants.

To issue awards with the primary purpose of construction or modernization, an ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. must have specific statutory authority allowing construction or modernization. Even if NIH has this authority, a recipient may not incur costs for any of these activities unless NIH specifically authorizes such costs.

NIH generally requests applications, and makes awards, for construction or modernization under grants or cooperative agreements specifically for that purpose. The recipient retains the primary responsibility for the project, including all phases of design and construction. When needed, under cooperative agreements, there is substantial scientific/programmatic staff involvement during the performance of the activity, which may include providing technical assistance in designing, constructing, and commissioning the facility and coordinating collaboration with other ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. funded construction activities.

In addition, an applicant/recipient may propose to undertake an A&R project(s) under a grant whose primary purpose is other than construction or modernization. NIH characterizes these A&R projects as "minor" or "major," depending on the type of activity proposed (see definitions above). If a post-award change would result in an A&R project that meets the definition of construction or Major A&R the recipient must notify the GMO in order for the ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. to determine whether it is construction and whether the ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. has the necessary statutory authority. The requirements that apply to minor A&R projects are addressed in IIA. Minor A&R projects are not required to satisfy all of the requirements of this chapter. Major A&R projects are subject to the requirements of this chapter as indicated.

Except where indicated, the requirements in this chapter apply to NIH grant-supported construction or modernization in lieu of the requirements in IIA. For major A&R projects, this chapter applies to the A&R activity only and IIA pertains to the other grant-supported activities under the same award, if any. However, there may be areas of overlap (e.g., a post-award change that causes a minor A&R project to become a major A&R project). See Exhibit 11 for a summary of the requirements specified in this chapter and their potential applicability to construction, modernization, or major A&R.

This chapter addresses all aspects of grant-supported construction, modernization, and major A&R from application through closeout. Due to the size and complexity of these activities, this chapter describes in detail requirements and recipient responsibilities related to procurement of construction services (see Procurement Requirements for Construction Services below). Applicants and recipients also should refer to the construction grant program regulations (42 CFR 52b), which, by their terms, apply to construction and modernization grants as well as major A&R under a research grant mechanism; applicable administrative regulations; and program guidelines. Questions concerning construction or modernization grants or major A&R requirements or policies should be directed to the GMO or other official designated in the NoANotice of Award: The official, legally binding document, signed (or the electronic equivalent of signature) by a Grants Management Officer that: (1) notifies the recipient of the award of a grant; (2) contains or references all the terms and conditions of the grant and Federal funding limits and obligations; and, (3) provides the documentary basis for recording the obligation of Federal funds in the NIH accounting system..