Last edited 02 Nov 2022

Project brief for design and construction



[edit] What is a project brief?

The project brief is the final stage in the process of defining the client's requirements for the development of a built asset such as a building. It follows the preparation of a number of earlier, less detailed briefing documents:

The project brief will evolve through the project brief stage and the concept design stage with the benefit of information gained from consultations with the client and other stakeholders and ongoing design development.

[edit] How is a project brief prepared?

Preparation of the project brief is likely to be coordinated by the lead consultant.

As well as gathering information about physical requirements, the briefing process should:

It may be developed based upon:

[edit] What should be in the project brief

The nature of the project brief will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, but it may include:

[edit] A description of the client

[edit] Site information

[edit] Spatial requirements

[edit] Technical requirements

[edit] Component requirements

[edit] Project requirements and other issues

The project brief will become increasingly detailed throughout the project brief and concept design stages, and may ultimately include very specific information such as room data information for each room.

The project brief should be frozen at the end of the concept design stage and change control procedures introduced to prevent further changes without appropriate justification and authorisation.

[edit] How should information be presented in a project brief?

The project brief is likely to be presented as a report, or a series of reports (perhaps with separate detailed sections for schedules of accommodation and so on). This should be easy to understand, and may include diagrams to explain relationships between requirements, proximities of accommodation and so on.

However, where possible, detailed information and requirements should be scheduled in a database or spreadsheet format that will be easy to expand and will make it easy to use to test whether design proposals that are prepared satisfy the requirements of the brief.

On projects that adopt building information modelling (BIM), the employer's information requirements (EIR) may be considered a parallel document to the project brief. Whereas, the project brief sets out the requirements for the physical built asset, the employers information requirements define the information the employer needs to procure to enable them to develop and operate the built asset.

For more information, see Employer's information requirements.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings


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Getting the brief right is vital. Get it wrong and the project will never recover.

Great article.

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