Building project

What is Design brief ?

A design brief is a document for a design project developed by designer or design team in consultation with the Client. The design brief defines the client’s goal and objectives.

It is important to draw up a full and clear programme before starting a serious study of proposed building, this will avoid troublesome misunderstandings, saves time and more econmical for both the Architect (Designer) and client. All necessary information required by the Architect (designer) should be extracted from the client by discussion and question.

5 important information in design brief:

The site

Information pertaining to the site in a design brief shall include;

  • The legal responsibilities concerning land,whether it is freehold or a leased land or there is need to call the services of a solicitor at this point.
  • Whether there are encumbrances or existence of easement or whether any conditions attached to the freehold or leasehold. it is advisable to examine the deeds.
  • The availability of public services or whether it will be provided privately.
  • Whether the site is complete or will be extended in future development.
  • The availability of acess, circulation, interaction,parking and other facilities.

The space requirments

It describes the accommodation; and the information required which include:

  • The definition of the functions of various buildings and inter-relationship.
  • The areas and relation of principal rooms or units that are supposed to serve the same general activity.
  • Height of rooms.
  • Natural or artificial light and ventilation.
  • Internal and external finishes.
  • The list of users and their activities.
  • Whether any section of the building are to be used seperately or at different times.
  • Whether the building is to be erected in one operation or by stages and possible future expansion.
  • The date of completion.

Individual space programme

It defines the exact amount of:

  • The room space in square metres ( m2)
  • Furniture and fixtures requirement for the activities.

Mechanical and electrical engineering services

It defines the:

  • Type of heating and fuel to be used, exposed or concealed.
  • Lifts
  • Refrigeration
  • Air-conditioning
  • Quantity of hot and cold water
  • Type of lighting installation (surface or conduit wiring)
  • Electrical power requirements.
  • Refuse disposal
  • Any special provisions.


Another important information required in design brief is the financial capability of the Client.it shall be carefully considerd because he need to meet up with financial obiligation to contractor’s and other consultants. Information on client’s finance include:

  • The amount of money available for the project
  • Whether the building is speculative or is for specific use
  • Whether the finance can give room to employ quantity surveyor, consultants and clerk of work.
  • The payment of professional fees.

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