Master plans, designing the correct solution and planning proactively for the future are all topics I discussed in previous blogs. One component that is often used in this process is the Basis of Design (BOD)*. Basis of Design serves to capture many aspects beyond what you might find in specifications or design drawings. The purpose of the BOD narrative is to document the reasoning and decisions made during the design phase of a project. Details included in the BOD may include requirements and standards the facility or organization must meet beyond those used to evaluate individual systems or installation quality. Elements of the BOD may include project purpose, phases, process, commissioning objectives, life cycle considerations, and generally what the organization is hoping to accomplish with whatever is described.
Capturing the underlining motivators and the “why” of the direction provided is very useful in creating the attitudes and atmosphere surrounding the project, and will allow an easier pivot to another solution if one becomes available. Evolution of technology and our utilization of it might lead to a more viable solution if we are looking through the lens of why we supported the solution or approach in the first place. It is also possible that the “why” might shift, and having a point of comparison will assist in adjustments to the solution if necessary.
While going through the process of building a Basis of Design consider including solutions that were initially eliminated as options, along with any problems you were not able to solve or objectives that were not fully realized; these might be possible later when other options become available. While the architecture of a complete Basis of Design can be extensive, keeping fundamental aspects in mind and documented throughout the process can lead to options and efficiencies.
Please let me know what your key consideration is when developing a Basis of Design.