- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 Jun 2018
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, packages of information are provided for client approval, and once this approval has been given, a change control procedure is introduced to ensure that the approved information is not changed without the express permission of the client. This is referred to as a 'design freeze'.
|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.|
A design freeze may be applied to the entire project, or to a specific aspect of it. There may also be an interim stage referred to as a 'design chill' or 'part freeze'. During this stage, all aspects of the design may continue to evolve, but change controls are placed on any changes to issued design documents. Interim changes may still occur within particular aspects of the works, and when finalised and formally reviewed, they may be incorporated into the design.
Parts of a design can be chilled whilst permitting other aspects to continue to develop; for example, the civil aspects may be chilled, allowing M&E design to continue in the full knowledge that there will be no change to the structure.
For more information see: Design freeze: a quality perspective.
Change controls may be introduced:
- At the end of the concept design stage if the project is tendered at this stage (for example on a design and build project).
- At the end of the concept design stage when the project brief (and employer's information requirements) might be frozen.
- During the detailed design stage when the detailed design, technical design and specification are finalised.
- During the tender stage when the tender documentation has been prepared.
- When the contractor is appointed and any further changes may qualify as variations.
For more information see: Change control.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Under the Party Wall Act a property owner has the legal right to do works that might otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
BSRIA examine the 'unpredictable' 2018 global air conditioning market.
ICE publish new report calling for new sector-wide body to help avert structural failures.
The rainbow JCB will be making a welcome return to the London Build Expo on 23 and 24 October at Olympia.
An introductory article to external works - all activities carried out to the external environment of a building project.
With the clock ticking, RIBA say that a 'no deal Brexit' will be "disastrous" for the architecture profession.
The focus is generally on the lime binder, but the aggregate is actually the most significant element.
The importance of communication, collaboration and simplicity when planning construction projects.
New working group is set up to consider options for raising standards across the property agent sector.
BSRIA provide a top 10 list of recent legislation and guidance affecting buildings.