Last edited 27 Feb 2018

Client requirements

Client requirements for a building project are the stated vision, mission and objectives for what they wish the project to achieve.

The client’s requirements are first explored by identifying a business need which might result in a building project, with a preliminary internal team selected to assess whether there is justification for the project. Once the broad requirements are defined, various options can then be considered.

The client prepares a statement of need, which is a first attempt to describe the possible requirements of the project. This may or may not result in the need for a project, and even if a project is necessary, it may not require a new building.

While specific client requirements will vary depending on the particular project and the business of the client, broadly they may include:

  • The overall context for the project.
  • Functional requirements.
  • Spatial requirements.
  • Accommodation or property requirements.
  • Flexibility and future uses.
  • Quality expectations (e.g. achievement of a particular energy rating).
  • Minimising long term building running costs.
  • Image, use of local materials, use of landscape.
  • Delivery of the project on time and on budget.

The strategic brief describes the client's requirements in sufficient detail to allow the appointment of consultants. It is then developed further with the benefit of comments made by the consultants during the appointment process to allow feasibility studies to be carried out.

This is followed by the project brief, which is the final stage in the process of defining the client's requirements for the development of a built asset, and is the key document upon which the design will be based.

It is important on all projects that there are designated champions, who are responsible for articulating the client’s vision and requirements for the project.

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