A Request For Proposal (aka RFP) is a detailed specification of what a customer requires a contractor to complete. This RFP is typically contains the following sections:
Within each section there are multiple RFP points which consist of a detailed description of the requirement and a minimum requirement. At any Space Settlement Design Competition, it is a good idea to ensure that students have met the minimum requirements before tackling some of the more challenging details of the requirements. An example of an RFP point can be seen below (taken from ISSDC 2020 RFP, Human Factors and Safety, Argonom)
Argonom will provide facilities for services that residents could expect in a comfortable modern community environment (e.g., medical, parks and recreation, access to fine food and entertainment), variety and quantity of consumables and other supplies, and public areas designed with open space and long lines of sight. Show how the community changes as new residents arrive. Minimum requirement: map(s) and/or illustrations depicting overall community design at several population phases, including locations of amenities/services, with a distance scale.
Read the RFP! – The RFP is a very detailed document which states exactly what the customer wants but because of the way the RFP is written, some requirements may be open to interpretation. It is very common that students come up with creative solutions and they spend hours developing them. However, when they review the solutions or present them to the Foundation Society, they have instead designed something that does not answer the RFP! A good practice is to read and re-read the RFP to understand what the customer is asking you to do. The better you can understand what your customer wants, the better your proposal will be
Communication is key – When you first read the RFP, it is instinctive to assign sections to their corresponding departments (e.g. Structural Design work on the Structural Design requirements). The more you read the RFP, the more you will see that so many of the requirements require collaboration between the departments. To do this successfully requires effective communication between the departments which is much easier said than done!