Leveraging an Owner's Project Requirements (OPR) Documents to Support Facility Managers

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About this session:

An Owner’s Project Requirement (OPR) document is often given little attention in construction and ignored on projects without sustainability programs. Even when required by sustainability programs, such as LEED, the document is usually not wielded powerfully. The OPR is commonly swept aside as design narratives, drawings, and specifications are issued. Having used OPRs effectively on projects, the presenters intend to share how use of an OPR helps all parties involved in construction of a project and the facility managers maintaining the final product.

The first objective is to define the OPR and differences to Owner standards or specifications. An OPR should serve as a “north star” for the project. It is an open-ended, custom document that establishes the Owner’s expectations. An effective OPR helps the project team set successful targets and avoid missed expectations. The document is not exhaustive and the expertise of consultants and contractors is still required to complete the project. This document should include the facilities group’s requirements and other topics like these: - Project goals or benchmarks - Future expansion plans - Target EUIs or decarbonization efforts - Expected budget/schedule - Design and construction team activities - Commissioning agent involvement Compare this with standards and specifications. Owner standards are lengthy sets of boundaries for all projects and generally focus on design criteria. Specifications govern the construction, documentation, products, and installation of a project. However, specifications are very granular and lack the project’s “big picture”, goals, and team interactions that can be held in the OPR. We believe an OPR brings value beyond standards and specifications through its broader scope, succinct nature, and customized content. So how should a project’s OPR document be created? Effective OPRs begin with the Owner. Various stakeholders within the Owner’s organization should be part of the initial OPR effort. The project’s PM, facilities/engineering personnel, and user groups all bring useful perspectives to this “north star” document. As consultants and contractors onboard, they should review the current OPR and provide feedback. Early programming, system selections, or cost reduction efforts may influence the OPR too. It is important to maintain an updated OPR so the team is still heading toward the same target. Starting an OPR from scratch is a daunting task. We recommend taking time to build one or more OPR templates with some pre-filled information. Owners can draw expertise from their current projects to build these OPR templates. At this point, the panel will cover several slides of questions or prompts used in our project OPRs. We will also reference the questionnaire takeaway which will have topics and questions prompts to start an OPR. Then, our presenters will cover the process and milestones we target for our OPRs. - Establish a template OPR with some information pre-filled long before a project is initiated. - When a project has been approved, immediately build the OPR using the template and provide it to the project team during the pre-design phase. - Review the OPR against the design documents midway and at the end of the design phase. Update the design documents or OPR as necessary to align. - Adjust the OPR if value engineering activities require it. - Cement the final OPR. - Owner, design team, contractors, and commissioning agent verify the OPR is met through the remainder of the project’s construction and turnover. - Using lessons learned from the project, adjust the OPR template for the next project. Lastly, the presenters will provide a high-level questionnaire to attendees of main topics to consider in their OPRs.

Start Time:

3/21/2023 1:00:00 PM

End Time:

3/21/2023 2:00:00 PM

1. Establish the purpose and scope of an Owner's Project Requirements (OPR) document.
2. Compare the differences between an OPR, Owner standards, and Owner specifications.
3. Demonstrate the process of completing an OPR and how facility managers can impact new projects successfully.
4. Identify the milestones for creating, implementing, and maintaining an OPR on a project.

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1 hour


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