Architect/Engineer Partnership Program


The mission of the Architect/Engineer Partnership Program (A/EPP) is to build and enhance the University of Washington’s working partnerships with architectural and engineering firms (A/Es) providing design services.


The goals of the Architect/Engineer Partnership Program include the following:

  • Relationships:  Improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and goodwill of the working relationships between the University and the architectural and engineering design community.
  • Participation:  Encourage broad participation on the University’s projects from the design community, especially from firms owned by minorities and women (MWBEs), small firms, and firms that have not historically provided design services to the University.
  • Success:  Enhance the success of A/E firms working at the UW so that they meet their business and professional objectives, and enjoy their overall experience of working with and for the University.
  • Quality:  Improve the quality and effectiveness of design services delivered to the University. 
  • Transparency:  Cultivate transparency in all of the processes and procedures of the University’s Capital Projects Office, including A/E selection, delivery of services, contracts, and fee negotiation.

Programs and Initiatives

The following programs and initiatives support the mission and goals of the A/EPP:

  1. Building Networks:  A/EPP sponsors various networking events to facilitate the development of relationships and business contacts for A/Es.  These events help open up potential opportunities of providing design service on University projects, either as a prime consultant or a sub-consultant.  An A/E Networking Event on November 30, 2007 was an opportunity for A/Es (primarily MWBE firms) to meet and present their qualifications to representatives from UW and Washington State Department of General Administration.   The September 16, 2008 Prime-Sub A/E Networking Event was an opportunity for subconsultants (primarily MWBE firms) to meet the prime consultants that work for UW and several other public agencies.
  2. Listening to the Design Community:  The A/EPP has developed a report entitled “Building Partnerships With the Design Community” that was the result of interviews conducted with 19 firms who provide A/E services to the University.  The interviews focused on what the A/Es felt could be done to improve the working relationship between the firm and the University.  The report also  includes suggestions and recommendations for improving the effectiveness of UW-A/E partnerships.
  3. Highlighting A/E Firms for University Staff:  Articles featuring MWBE A/Es are published in CPOutlook to help introduce these firms to the staff of the University’s Capital Projects Office (CPO).  CPOutlook is a web-based newsletter whose primary audience is CPO staff and CPO partners within the UW. (CPOutlook 'Profiles' Archive)
  4. Introductory Meetings - An Inside Look at the UW:  The Program Manager of the A/EPP conducts meetings with A/Es who are interested in pursuing design work at the UW.   A/Es are provided with background information on how the University advertises for business opportunities, selects consultants, evaluates qualifications and uses the roster of A/E qualifications. These meetings help promote the University’s commitment to maintaining a fair and transparent selection process for A/Es, and to encourage firms to pursue business opportunities on the University’s projects.
  5. Orientation Meetings - Assistance for Consultants Under Contract:  The A/EPP provides orientation meetings for firms doing work at UW for the first time.  Discussion topics include: invoicing procedures; document review process;   UW and project team organization; contracts; specifications; and other topics to help make the transition to work at UW as smooth as possible.  
  6. Tracking the Numbers:  The A/EPP tracks MWBE participation for both prime consultants and subconsultants to help show the progress of the University’s outreach efforts.
  7. RCF, Outreach with Other Agencies – On March 30, 2010, the UW along with eight other major public agencies hosted the region’s largest business opportunity outreach and networking event. The Regional Contracting Forum (RCF) has a primary focus on outreach to Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE), and Disadvantaged Businesses Enterprises (DBE – a federal designation) but it is open to all businesses. It covers all procurement areas including Architects – Engineers (A/Es) and subconsultants; construction contractors and subcontractors; as well as goods and services vendors. To learn more, read these CPOutlook articles from March and April 2010.
  8. SPP – Improving UW/CPO Access to the Design Community – On June 1, 2010, UW/CPO began using the Shared Procurement Portal (SPP) as its Roster of Architectural and Engineering (A/E) services for the selection of A/E consultants for projects below $4M in project value (projects valued over $4M are advertised and selections are made from the submittals of qualifications). This service will allow UW/CPO to easily evaluate the credentials of many A/E firms at the same time including firms who have not worked for UW/CPO previously. To view the announcement, click:  To learn more about this transition, see the May 20, 2010 article in the Daily Journal of Commerce or the July 2010 article in the CPOutlook.
  9. Resources for Businesses – UW/CPO works closely with the UW’s Business Diversity Program (UW/BDP) to maintain a list of resources available to small and MWBE businesses. To access that resource list click on
  10. Diversity Recognition Award – UW/CPO partnered with Diversity Roundtable (DRT) of the Seattle American Institute of Architects (AIA Seattle) in applying for and receiving the AIA National’s Diversity Recognition Award.
    See the CPOutlook article
    See the Application and Organizational Background application

In the News

AIA Seattle Architect (American Institute of Architects)

Daily Journal of Commerce

University Week



Diversity Recognition

Contact Us
Firms interested pursuing work at the UW are encouraged to contact:

Douglas W. Jennings AIA
A/EPP Manager
(206) 221-4219



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