You wouldn’t embark on a cross-country road trip without a map. In the building commissioning world, the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) document is just like a map — one that allows the commissioning team to seamlessly navigate each phase of the commissioning process. However, this crucial piece of documentation is often overlooked, reverse-engineered from a previous design or even non-existent.
The OPR, along with the Basis of Design (BoD), are critical documents prepared at project outset to ensure that a building operates just as the owner intended. The OPR details both the functional and operational requirements of a building as well as the expectations of how a completed project will be used by all occupants, operations management staff included. In some cases, an owner or architect may recognize the need for commissioning in their building, but developing a set of requirements feels impractical, whether for lack of technical knowledge or other reasons. At HRCx, our commissioning team works directly with the owner, from project inception, to help them better understand the intricacies of their building systems and its associated needs. This is done through the use of a detailed questionnaire, interview and a cross-functional review with various project stakeholders. In developing the OPR, the entire project team establishes a framework outlining design process pros and cons, thereby avoiding costly errors during the design and construction phases.
Once completed, the OPR includes project goals, a description of how the building or space will be utilized, measurable performance criteria, cost considerations, benchmarks, success criteria and supporting information. As the basis for all commissioning work for the project, the OPR is best developed in the pre-design phase, as dictated by ASHRAE and LEED standards. All accompanying documentation, including drawings, specifications, submittals and test plans, is carefully evaluated against the OPR to ensure a successful project.
For commissioning experts, the OPR is king. Without preparing a clear and unambiguous OPR at the beginning of each project, navigation becomes onerous and problematic and the potential for error is significantly increased. As such, the OPR is the single most important piece of documentation in the commissioning process for both the commissioning authority and the owner.
There from “concept to completion™,” HRCx is committed to ensuring the successful delivery of every project, armed with the all-important OPR as our map.