Last edited 09 Jan 2017

Design freeze

The building design process resolves client requirements into a set of instructions for the construction of a building that satisfies those requirements. It is generally an iterative process in which the design becomes more detailed and more 'fixed' as the project progresses.

Very broadly, the later in the development of the project that changes occur, the greater the impacts on time, cost and quality.

At certain stages in the design process therefore, a package of information will be provided for the client to approve. Once this approval has been given, a change control procedure may be introduced to ensure that the approved information is not changed without the express permission of the client.

The CIOB Code of practice for project management 4th edition, suggests that the term 'design freeze' refers to:

Completion and client's final approval of the design and associated processes, i.e. no further changes are contemplated or accepted within the budget approved in the project brief.

See Change control for more information.

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