Architecture & Engineering

Building Montana



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Energy performance, design-build, and 20-25-309 MCA contracts are exempt from this selection process. This process does not include investigation or construction-related services that do not constitute the practice of architecture, engineering, or land surveying.

  1. Agency requests that A&E Division initiate a project and may request delegation as appropriate. A&E will review the proposed project for funding, spending authority, and programmatic needs.
  2. 18-8-204 MCA minimum criteria to be considered when selecting firms:
    1. Qualifications of professional personnel
    2. Location of firm
    3. Capability to meet time and budget
    4. Present and projected workload
    5. Related experience on similar projects
    6. Recent and current work for the agency
  3. 18-8-212 MCA Sole-source selection for projects in which the design fee is estimated not to exceed $50,000: Firms may be selected directly on an individual project basis without submission of 3 names to the DOA Director.
  4. 18-2-112 MCA Projects with an estimated design fee above $50,000 but project cost equal to or less than $2,500,000: A&E will provide to the Agency a list of firms on file and will participate in the short-listing effort. After discussions of the project with potential firms, the agency will select three firms based on project requirements and the minimum criteria above, and then shall submit those 3 firms to A&E for an appointment of one firm to be made by the Director of the Department of Administration.
  5. 18-2-112 MCA Projects with a budget more than $2,500,000*: To firms who have expressed interest in state work, A&E will publicly announce a Request for Qualifications at least quarterly. Responding firms will submit to A&E their qualifications on an Architect/Engineer Statement of Qualifications for Specific Projects form along with other appropriate supplemental information.
    1. A&E and the agency's selection committee will select the most qualified firms to be interviewed for the project. A&E will schedule interviews with those firms and send initial project information, scope of anticipated services, and interview format.
    2. After the interviews, the agency shall submit 3 firms to A&E for an appointment of one firm to be made by the Director of the Department of Administration.
  6. After a firm has been selected or appointed, the agency and A&E project manager will review the initial project information and anticipated scope of services with the selected consultant, request a fee for agreed services, and negotiate a contract. If an agreement cannot be reached, negotiations will be terminated, and the Director may appoint one of the remaining two recommended firms.
  7. Delegated projects will follow the same selection processes above and delegation will be granted after a firm is appointed. The agency will then negotiate a contract with the selected firm.

* This amount is slightly flexible. Straightforward projects marginally above this amount may receive consideration to revert to the process described in paragraph 4 while more complex smaller projects may follow the interview process.

Title 18, Chapter 2 MCA

Title 18, Chapter 8 MCA


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This document forms an integral part of the Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect/Engineer. It shall be used in addition to and in conjunction with the A&E Division Minimum Design Standards and the High-Performance Building Standards adopted by the Department of Administration in accordance with §17-7-213 MCA.


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Based on Section 17-7-201 MCA, and adopted under 17-7-213 MCA, the Department of Administration (through its Architecture & Engineering Division) establishes High-Performance Building Standards for the construction, renovation, and maintenance of public buildings in this state as well as all new state-leased buildings

These standards have been developed to improve the capacity of the state to design, build, and operate high-performance and resilient buildings. An integrated design process to optimize all major high-performance attributes, including but not limited to, energy performance, flexibility, durability, life-cycle performance, enhance indoor environmental quality and conserve natural resources is encouraged for all projects. (17-7-201(3) and 17-7-213(2.a)


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In accordance with §17-7-214 and §17-7-215 MCA, the Department of Administration (through its Architecture & Engineering Division) establishes the High-Performance Building Program for Operations & Maintenance of Existing Buildings (HPBP for O&M-EB). The voluntary HPBP for O&M-EB has been developed in collaboration with the Montana University System and other state agencies in order to improve the capacity of agencies to address operations, repairs, maintenance, and utility usage of existing state-owned facilities.
The overall goal of the HPBP for O&M-EB is to support existing state-owned buildings in meeting or exceeding operational standards that are cost-effective and enable progress toward sustainability in the following areas that form the basis of this HPBP:

  1. Optimizing energy performance
  2. Enhancing indoor environmental quality
  3. Conserving natural resources
  4. Improving productivity
  5. Reducing deferred maintenance backlogs
  6. Consistent/continual improvements to building functionality, durability, utilization, and maintenance


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Title 17-7-Part 2, Montana Codes Annotated (MCA) mandates construction of new buildings and major renovations for State-owned and new leased buildings to be built and operated based on sound environmental, economic, and fiscal decisions for design, construction, and operation. Specifically, it defines a “High-Performance Building" as one that integrates and optimizes all major high-performance building attributes, including but not limited to energy efficiency, durability, life-cycle performance, and occupant productivity. Buildings constructed under 17-7-213 MCA are required to be maintained and operated as high-performance buildings.

The Owner’s Basic Requirements (OBR) provide planning, design, construction, operations, restoration, and modernization criteria. The OBR apply to all 17-7-202 MCA projects administered by the Architecture & Engineering Division (A&E) and are optional for all other A&E-managed projects at the Project Manager’s discretion.

OBR are living documents and will be reviewed, updated, and made available on the same cycle as the latest adopted version of the High-Performance Building Standards (HPBS).

Agencies may contact the A&E Division for document interpretation and improvements. Recommended changes with supporting rationale should be sent to the A&E Administrator. OBR are effective upon issuance and are posted on the A&E website


  • June 2013: The Minimum Design Standards (MDS) adopted.
  • March 2015: MDS were edited in response to EO 12-2014 to promote use of Montana wood Products.
  • March 2019: Minimum Design Standards changed to Owner’s Basic Requirements with consolidation and updates throughout.