A Design Statement is a useful tool for both you and your designers. It gives you a clear format and structure for understanding your designer’s process, and give designers a tool for clearly documenting their thoughts and processes.
For designers, the Design Statement provides an efficient way of showing how the design responds to the opportunities and constraints of the site, its neighbourhood and your Design Brief.
Soon after this stage starts, designers should prepare regular meetings in which they present different design options to you in a clear and illustrative way. Proposals might be only schematic but they need to explore different approaches to the design so you can choose a preferred option.
Presenting the site analysis is essential for you to understand the resulting alternatives, since a good design is site-specific and responds to the surrounding conditions. Using a Design Statement is a useful way to communicate the conclusions of this analysis.
Preferred Concept Design
After exploring the different options, you need to choose one Preferred Concept Design that will be signed off before progressing to Preliminary Design. A set of documents should be compiled to mark the completion of this stage, including:
- Design Statement - including a context analysis and design response
- analysis of applicable regulations
- relationship with context and neighbouring sites
- record of all the options explored - and what were the good and bad points with each design
- statement of how the preferred option meets your needs,
After selecting the concept that best responds to the brief and site, the Preliminary Design is developed which refines this initial concept. The document produced at this stage should contain:
- preliminary design drawing including plans, elevations and sections
- a 3D form
- specifications of main aspects
- design features that will help you meet objectives and targets around energy, water, comfort and health.
- thermal modelling
- a cost plan (a quantity surveyor may be engaged to produce this)
- a general programme setting a schedule for design, construction and handover stages, including all permissions required.