Over the past couple months, I've concentrated on design intent documents (DID) and how to enhance them. September focused on O&M metrics to help the design team think about operability and maintainability of systems in addition to required performance functionality. In this column, I want to move beyond the DID, which is by definition generic in nature and independent of the actual systems chosen by the design team to meet the DID requirements.
The design drawings and specifications are the most obvious product of a design team's attempt to define building systems that meet the requirements of the DID. Those should be sufficient to construct and startup the new systems, but they are typically not adequate by themselves to communicate "how" the systems are to be operated over time. We need to recognize that there will be system-specific O&M activities that need to be performed by the facilities management team in order to sustain all aspects of the DID requirements over the life of the building.