Design brief

design brief for a single-storey extension

When completing a design brief, the client needs to consider the following:

  • Who wants to do what in the house?
  • What spaces are required?
  • What spaces/facilities would be nice to have?How do the spaces link?
  • Privacy? Communication?
  • Materials, Quality, Textures, Colours
  • Overall ambitions for the project
  • Priorities
  • Limiting factors eg size, height, area, budget, time
  • Technical requirements
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Specific inclusions and exclusions
  • Preferences on the build
  • Durability, lifespan
  • MEP system


  • Preferred style and materials
  • Requirement for spaces to be open plan or enclosed
  • Specialist requirements for finishes, fixtures and fittings
  • Comfort conditions (radiant temperature, air temperature, natural and mechanical ventilation


  • Sound insulation and sound absorption requirements
  • Ability to operate parts of the building separately (for example an office, children’s areas or guest rooms)Provision of en-suite or shared bathrooms, dressing rooms and so on
  • Accessibility requirements for people with disabilities or impaired mobility
  • Access to and views of gardens and the surrounding landscape
  • Entry spaces and reception spaces
  • Fireplaces, wood burning stoves and so on
  • Hard v soft floor coverings
  • Security, intruder alarms, cctv, door and gate entry systems and post facilities
  • Audio visual, ICT, entertainment and other equipment requirements
  • Artificial lighting (general and feature) and controls


  • site surveys, digging trial pits before designing foundations.
  • Orientation in relation to the sun, prevailing winds and views.
  • Natural lighting.