User Guide Contents -3-

Benefits: Why Document Design Intent?

Buildings often fail to perform in practice as expected during design. In the case of energy-efficiency, actual savings often fall short of predictions. A building design process devoid of quantitative feedback does not detect or correct problems. One cause of this is the lack of a consistent method for documenting and communicating information about intended performance.

A facility’s design intent is expressed as a set of qualitative Objectives that are developed into focused Strategies and then into quantitative Metrics. A Design Intent Document is intended to capture and preserve this information across the building’s life-cycle, helping to ensure that:
  • Participants in the project are able to clearly document their desired performance objectives during initial planning phases.
  • Evaluations of proposed design options are better supported and the resulting decisions (including rejection of preliminary recommendations) are better documented for sharing among design team members.
  • Assessment of design changes during construction and operations and maintenance (O&M) is improved.
  • The commissioning process is more comprehensive and cost-effective when supported by access to clearly specified performance targets.
  • O&M evaluation of the day-to-day performance of systems and the early detection and diagnosis of maintenance problems are enhanced through performance benchmarking.
  • Performance contracting and measurement and verification is supported in a structured and proactive manner.
  • Post-occupancy evaluation is more easily performed.