Architectural Design Brief – The Checklist
What is an architectural design brief?
The architectural design brief forms the very beginning of the design process. It is a project management document containing crucial project information with set outcomes that need to be achieved upon completion. It can provide an overall plan for the project and also be a useful reference document when tracking progress and efficiency. The brief is relevant in both educational and professional settings.
Student projects are often based around a real life project, with an imaginary client often included. A live project usually exists in order to fulfil the needs of a client, which then forms the grounding for a project brief. Typically the client’s requirements will be drafted in a document called the Strategic Brief. The architect will then need to develop a response to this in a key document called the Project Brief. It will often contain information about the project, stakeholders and deliverables alongside constraints such as the estimated time and costs required for completion.
Now it is important to note that depending on the level of involvement the client wants the architect to have, the chosen architect(s) may be in charge of putting either one or both of the client requirements and project briefs together. A thorough and informative design brief is therefore an imperative part of the design process. It is an essential point of reference not only for the architect, but for all people involved in the design and implementation of the project.
The more information we can gain from the client in the early stages of design, the more effective our decision making and problem solving process will be.
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Types of Design Brief
How the Brief Evolves
Helping Your Client Develop a Brief
Often clients, particularly domestic, may find it daunting to compile a design brief and as such it is important that we, the professionals, guide our clients to give us the information we need.
We have put together two checklists/questionnaires (which are certainly not exhaustive) to go through with your clients to help you get the information you need from your client in order to inform your design and fulfil your clients requirements. These lists will take you to the technical design stage where you will have a new set of questions and a new brief that will have to be developed.
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Above are just a few of the things that need to be considered when developing the initial architectural brief. It is key to really take the time to understand the requirements of your client and the site in order to develop solid design solutions for your project. If you think there are any questions/points missing, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below to let us know your ideas. Thanks!