What is the missing piece after the design contract has been awarded and the basis of design is kicking off the design phase of the project? From my design experience, the first step in the action plan is to understand the owner’s building program, which should address project timeline and construction cost. Also, you must ask if O&M will have a role in this project and the soft cost (e.g., furnishing, consulting fees).
Armed with this knowledge, the owner’s project requirement (OPR) can be drafted next. Integral with this should be the HVAC design engineer completing an HVAC System Analysis and Selection (refer to 2016 ASHRAE Handbook — HVAC Systems and Equipment and 2015 Handbook— HVAC Applications). This analysis and proposed selection(s) should be completed, although I’m sure this process gets passed over and the design engineer simply jumps to the solution, and quite often the solution doesn’t result in a sit-down with the owner, owner representation/project manager, and/or the O&M manager. Omitting this step in the OPR results in the design team moving on to the basis of design (BofD) and begins the conceptual phase of the design.