- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Apr 2019
A concept is an abstract or initial idea that can form part of a plan or strategy. It is often described as a type of mental representation. In terms of construction, a concept is generally the initial idea for a project or development.
A concept design represents an initial response to a brief. Some designers will differentiate between 'concept design' and 'scheme design'. In this case, the 'concept' is the initial design idea, whereas the 'scheme' develops the concept, taking on board more functional and practical considerations. Most projects now combine these two steps into the single stage 'concept design', or 'concept'.
Mike Davies, founding partner of RSHP has written:
‘Concept design requires that the architect grapples with the real issues of form and bulk, scale and mass and the generic appearance of a building within its surrounding urban context, resolving and encapsulating the principles of the scheme. Concept design implies an idea, or range of ideas, a development approach, a guiding concept and a design intent. It resolves the issue of 'what' and 'how much' and begins to set the stage for understanding 'how'. Concept design explores the resolution of the brief, implied or set out in the feasibility and assessment stage. The conceptual approach places the quantum of development intelligently on the site.’
To read more, see Concept architectural design.
Concept drawings or sketches are drawings, often freehand, that are used by designers such as architects, engineers and interior designers as a quick and simple way of exploring initial ideas for designs. They are not intended to be accurate or definitive, merely a way of investigating and communicating design principles and aesthetic concepts.
For more information, see Concept drawing.
- Preferred foundation design.
- Frame system.
- Structural grid with column sizes.
- Primary and secondary beam sizes and spans.
- Schedules of floor loadings catering for dead and live loads.
- Weights and location of major plant and equipment.
- Energy targets.
- Insulation assumptions.
- Routes for the distribution of horizontal services runs including access provisions.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
More than just aesthetic and historic values and meanings.
An exciting and novel collaboration between the RIBA and the SPAB.
Republic of Ireland updates to planning and development.
The different types of pile foundation.
Achieving a net-zero carbon UK by 2050.
Responding to an invitation to tender.
Statutory instruments laid in Parliament to amend the Climate Change Act.
How will we pay for infrastructure post-Brexit after EIB has gone?
What can we look forward to in the next few decades?
How they work and why they have been so successful.
Weather louvres can combat the effects of climate change.