Design Build Services realigned to improve effectiveness

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Jim James and Hope Hammonds have shifted responsibilities in the Facilities Division to better match the current needs of the university with the resources and talents in the division.

The Architecture and Engineering Department (A&E), previously part of the Design Build Services Department, now will be under the direction of Jim James, the executive director of Facilities Planning and Design. James, a 1993 UAB graduate and registered architect, will manage the A&E staff of licensed architects and engineers and an interior designer in addition to his other responsibilities.

The Facilities Planning and Design Department manages the design of large capital projects, including the process of approval by the Board of Trustees. James has worked in UAB Facilities for more than 21 years. He oversaw the design of Heritage Hall, the Shelby Building, the Campus Recreation Center and the redesign of Wallace Tumor Institute among other projects.

“I’m excited at the opportunity to work with the A&E Department,” James says. “We will be looking for opportunities to add more value to our services and to enhance the quality of the interior environment for the campus community. The A&E Department also is responsible for the design and building-quality standards for the entire university, which is a big responsibility and has a significant impact on the quality and operations of the facilities.”

Hammonds, a 1989 UAB graduate, will oversee construction services for the campus in the newly renamed Building Alteration Services (formerly known as Design Build Services).

“Construction is where I came from,” Hammonds says. “This is going to enable me to focus on construction value and quality and schedule work with the estimators, construction superintendent and construction supervisors.”  

Hammonds has been a director in Facilities for 13 years. She was a project manager for a medical office building developer and the construction manager for the Gulfport School District in Mississippi before joining UAB.  

Projects completed under her direction at UAB include small quick-hit projects (lighting, flooring, painting, asbestos abatement, mildew remediation, outlet installation); various life-safety projects; patient-care renovations; laboratory renovations and recent classroom upgrades.   

Both A&E and Building Alteration Services will service projects that typically do not require approval by the Board of Trustees. These projects usually cost less than $750,000 but on occasion could be larger.  

The new structure of A&E and Building Alteration Services will be transparent to current customers. All project requests can be made through the Facilities website at

“After customers fill out a work order, they receive a confirmation e-mail back that will let them know who is handling their requests.” James says.

Many buildings on campus have building administrators whose job it is to submit work orders involving their respective buildings. It is important that potential customers verify their authority to submit a work order for a building or work area before filing a work request.