"What's the temperature range on your cooling water?" I asked. A shrug was his reply. "What's the water quality for your boilers?" was my second question. This prompted another shrug. I got the answers I needed from his vendors but was embarrassed for him, even if he wasn't.
My young client needed a basic engineering data document (BEDD). It should have been in the first document he handed me. A BEDD should be developed during the initial design of a plant and updated periodically during commissioning, construction and operation of the plant. In short, a BEDD establishes the ground rules.
Don't confuse a BEDD with basic engineering data (BED), which is specific to a particular project, although it should excerpt parts of the BEDD.