Last edited 16 Jun 2021

Vision in building design and construction


In very broad terms, the word ‘vision’ refers to one or more guiding principles for a concept, design, forward strategy, and so on. Defining a vision can help to inform decisions.

The word vision is often used in relation to a company or organisation, describing where it wants to be at some point in the future, perhaps in turns of turnover, environmental credentials, projects won, and so on. The vision describes the desired ‘state’ or ‘achievement’. Strategies then describe the steps that are to be taken in that direction.

A vision differs from a ‘mission’, which describes the individual goals that each member of an organisation should be working towards on a daily basis.

An organisation may develop a vision statement which is used to steer them along a strategic trajectory to a desired future state. This can be used internally as a motivational tool to help inspire and focus employees, and externally as a means of defining and enforcing a brand or ethos.

In construction, the client’s vision is usually described in the project brief, which is the final stage in the process of defining the client's requirements. Client champions may be designated to help establish, articulate and defend the client’s vision.

Designers may also refer to the vision for a building, describing its overarching design intent.

See also: Design vision.

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