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03 Basis of Design

Why: Purpose

 The basis of design documents how the architect and engineers plan to address the owner's project requirements.  For example, the OPR may require a certain chilled water system efficiency for high peformance.  As a basis of design, the engineer may select a primary-only, variable volume chilled water system with water cooled centrifugal chillers. 
Based on the definition of engineering, commissioning authorities are required to be licensed engineers by law in most states .  This is essential when verifying the basis of design meets the technical requirements of the owner's project requirements.

What: Included Information

 The architect and engineers will describe the basis for their design.  Typically, this will be in plain english paragraph form with schematic diagrams and sample calculations included as needed for clarity.  General equipment manufacturers and model numbers may be also be included if needed to address specific owner's project requirements.
The basis of design will need to be detailed enough to allow the comissioning agent to verify it against the OPR.  As the actual engineering design progresses the basis of design can be updated with deviations or changes which will need to be verified against the OPR. 

When: Project Phase/ Task Timing

The basis of design will follow the development and approval of the owner's project requirements but will precede actual engineering design and construction document development.  The BOD  will be updated as needed throughout the design process to match changes or deviations once they have been reviewed against the owner's project requirements. 

How: Development Sources

  • Owner's project requirements
  • Engineering calculations
  • Engineering standards
  • Equipment selection catalogs/ programs 

Who: Team Members Involved

  • Architect/ Engineering Team (development)
  • Commissioning Agent (review)
  • Equipment Vendors