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Basic Engineering Design

basic engineering

Today I got a very nice meeting about three upcoming projects in my company. One of them is Basic Engineering Design. The meeting was attended by several engineers from my company and the team from our client.

The Basic Engineering Design was follow-up of our previous meeting: pre-feasibility study. We had about one hour discussion about the topic and we faced one problem here: the possibility to change basic engineering direction. Some people debated about the topic and the rest of them wished to get decision faster. But for us, as chemical engineering consultants, we tried to think carefully but we hoped to move quickly.

I have a question, why we need basic engineering design and what its impact on the whole project? Most engineers in my company think this study seriously. There must be something important.

As far as I know basic engineering design is engineering activity after one project is considered feasible roughly. Sometimes our client asked us to conduct basic engineering design, estimate project cost, and put them into feasibility study. Therefore, basic engineering design can be completed simultaneously with bankable feasibility study.

Basic engineering design is a bonded document required for EPC contractor to conduct detail engineering. To help the EPC contractor to create detail engineering well, someone should create good basic engineering design too. Although it’s called basic, it is very important.

Step by Step of Engineering Design


I found a nice source to explain step-by-step engineering design process.

ASK. What is the problem? What are my constraints? What data is available? 

IMAGINE. What are some solutions? What is the bottleneck? What are advantages and disadvantages of each solution?

PLANDraw a diagram, make a list of materials.

CREATE. Build a design, create simulation

IMPROVEHow can I make design better. 

Basic Engineering Desing step involve identification of problems and its scope (ask), collection of basic design data, assembly and analysis of data (imagine), design (create), preparation of plans and specification, and review and approval of plan (improve).

What is the Product of Basic Engineering Design?

After we follow step-by-step of basic engineering design, we wish to get something and the results. The output of basic engineering design will be as followed:

  • Project design basis and process description
  • Process and utility flow diagram
  • Equipment list and equipment process data sheet
  • Piping and instrumentation diagram
  • Process instrumentation philosophy and logic diagram
  • Plant layout


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