- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 23 Oct 2020
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.
- 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
- Briefing documents.
- Concept architectural design checklist.
- Construction reports.
- Design and its visual elements.
- Design intent.
- Design methodology.
- Design principles.
- Feasibility studies.
- Needs analysis.
- Statement of need.
Featured articles and news
BSRIA explores US share of 2020 VRF market.
New fire safety requirement comes into force.
Different types of bridges are meant to move.
A logical approach to handling the internal voice of self doubt.
First fashionable in the US, decorative metal has become globally desirable.
Helping communities preserve and enhance historic environments.
Creating comfortable climates despite extreme temperatures.
Study examines how adjustable arrangements can succeed.
Government announces plans to improve accessibility.
Resource addresses pandemic-related NEC4 contract issues.
Incorporating EDI into the provision of fair access.
Government announces global innovation strategy.