Last edited 14 Sep 2020

Concept architectural design checklist

Concept architectural design (as opposed to concept structural design or concept services design) should take the development of the design to a level where it is sufficient to make a detailed planning application.

This might include:

  • An analysis of the local context (physical, social, economic and planning).
  • The location:
  1. Adjoining roads and buildings.
  2. Access to the site.
  3. Visibility splays.
  4. Landscape.
  • The site:
  1. Boundary treatment and the relationship of the development with its boundaries and existing buildings.
  2. Public rights of way.
  3. The position of trees.
  4. Landscape.
  5. Car parking.
  6. The relationship between buildings and spaces around them.
  7. Accessibility of the site
  8. The impact of the layout on energy consumption and comfort.
  9. Crime prevention measures.
  1. The height, width, length and orientation of buildings and their relationship to the local context and the human scale.
  2. Entrances and facades (including the proportion of glazing).
  3. The appearance of the buildings.
  4. Their distribution across the site.
  5. Accessibility to and between them.
  6. Their relationship to uses surrounding the site.
  7. Their flexibility.
  8. Lighting.
  9. Texture, contrast, tone and lighting in relation to accessibility.
  10. Access for emergency services.
  1. Description of hard and soft landscaping.
  2. Its relationship to the local context.
  • Sustainability:
  1. Measures for the minimisation of energy consumption.
  2. Low-carbon and renewable energy sources.
  3. Adaptability to climate change.
  4. The use of materials and their potential for re-use and recycling.
  5. Waste handling (see site waste management plan).
  • Identification of long lead-time and non standard items.

See also, detailed descriptions of the concept design stage available in the free work plans on the Designing Buildings Wiki home page.

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