​​Design Brief

This document should provide a clear description of the project in a way that should be understood by everyone that is likely to use it. It should elaborate on the objectives set in the Vision Statement and the requirements captured in the Outline Brief, and should include considerations regarding the following:
  • Lifestyle needs: Preferences in terms of location, commuting and access to amenities.
  • Context: What kind of relationship is wanted with neighbours and the street?
  • Land: Characteristics of the desired site, such as orientation, resources or planning constraints. If you already have a site or are subdividing land, specific site limitations and possibilities should be included.
  • Form and style: How the house will look, preferred materials or finishes, the type and quantity of spaces needed and desired layout. This includes the inside–outside relationship and the kind of outdoor spaces wanted.
  • Spatial needs: Detailed information, where appropriate, in terms of quality and quantity.
  • User requirements: Both for present and future users.
  • Future use: Adaptation to changing needs in terms of accessibility, durability of materials, technology and marketability.
  • Sustainability considerations: Objectives and targets that reflect your priorities around areas such as energy, water, comfort and health, lifecycle costs. At this stage, design strategies and technologies such as the type of glazing or the need for solar panels should not be included in the brief. Although these features will help you achieve your objectives, they are not objectives themselves.​
    • Design: Shape, orientation, glazing percentages.
    • Systems: Water usage and disposal, energy ​generation, heating and cooling alternatives, lighting, monitoring systems.
    • Materials: Recycled or responsibly sourced resources, non-toxic coatings, efficient glazing and insulation.
  • Rating and certification: If you are aiming for a certification or rating such as Homestar or Passive House the desired standard should be included. See 'approaches to sustainabilityin the Sustainability hub for more information on the most relevant tools for the New Zealand context. ​
  • Procurement decisions: Summary of main points in the Procurement Plan (documented in the Plan stage, Section 2 of this guide) and an indication of the design processes to be used (e.g., integrated design approach).
Outline Budget
At this stage of the project you should have a clear idea of how much you can spend on the design and construction of the new house. After talking to the bank, a professional designer and completing research you should be aware of the costs that the project will incur, including those that might have been missed at the beginning (e.g. development contributions​).

In addition to the cost of design and construction, your budget should also include objectives around lifecycle costs which take into account the operating and maintenance costs of your home. ​

An Outline Budget should document rough estimates of how much can be spent during each of the subsequent stages of the process. ​
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