​​Represents a (potentially re-usable) component of business, IT, or architectural capability that can be combined with other building blocks to deliver architectures and solutions. Building blocks can be defined at various levels of detail, depending on what stage of architecture development has been reached. For instance, at an early stage, a building block can simply consist of a name or an outline description. Later on, a building block may be decomposed into multiple supporting building blocks and may be accompanied by a full specification.  Building blocks can relate to ‘‘architectures’’ or ‘‘solutions’’.​


Reference: Sub working groups Architecture, Services Catalogue LCRDM (Architecture entities)
Source: TOGAF 9.1 http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf9-doc/arch/​ 0.1 7/6/17​​

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Building blocks have generic characteristics as follows: 

A (RDM) building block is a package of (RDM) functionality defined to meet the business needs across an organization. ​

A building block has a type that corresponds to the TOGAF content metamodel (such as actor, business service, application, or data entity)

A building block has a defined boundary and is generally recognizable as "a thing" by domain experts.

A building block may interoperate with other, inter-dependent, building blocks.


A good building block has the following characteristics:

It considers implementation and usage, and evolves to exploit technology and standards.

It may be assembled from other building blocks.

It may be a subassembly of other building blocks.

Ideally a building block is re-usable and replaceable, and well specified.