Considerations in Creating a Design Brief

Considerations in Creating a Design Brief 

By: Lana Natalia Kier 

Whether it be a renovation of your current office, migration into a new space, or an expansion to another floor, creating a comprehensive design brief will not only help you solidify your fit-out plans but would also provide a much clearer checklist for all your space requirements. 
 
Apart from the usual employee headcount and the ideal number of meeting rooms in the office, here are some important considerations when creating your design brief: 

  1. Company Ethos – How do you want to be perceived? 

No two companies are the same. Even if they are from the same industry, their work style, mission and vision, and employee demographics could be entirely different. Your office design should reflect who you are as a company, and this goes beyond just choosing the paint on your walls.  

The design of your office reflects your company identity to visitors and reaffirms your culture to your employees. It is crucial to include your company ethos in your design brief to make sure that your branding and vision will be translated into your space. An office is an extension of your company’s collaterals for clients and visitors. Find a designer who will veer away from trends and instead design an office that embodies who you are as a company. 

  1. Project Goals  

Is this a renovation to add more seats? Are you consolidating different business units into one space? Are you moving out from a shared office to finally have a space of your own? Or maybe you want an office that promotes employee wellness, but you are sure how to go about this?  

It is important to circle back to why you are upgrading or renovating in the first place. This should be clear to your designer for them to create a space that meets these goals. If you are not sure about the how’s of the project, this is where an experienced designer comes in. 

  1. Building Restrictions

Before leasing a space, tenants must always check the building’s restrictions. You may find the perfect space in the best location only to find out that the office size is not ideal for your employee headcount. Taking on one whole floor? Ask if you can include the space allotted for common areas in your fit out-plan. Planning to have your own toilet and shower? Not all buildings allow or have provisions for this. 

You can discuss your building/space options with your designer to find out the best fit before signing a lease. 

  1. Adjacencies and Workflow 

An effective floor layout should help your employees work smarter, not just harder. Understanding which teams often collaborate and which teams handle confidential documents would allow your design team to create an efficient layout that would eliminate unnecessary divisions and allow certain teams to have the privacy they require. Your designer should also ensure that teams have easy access to equipment and facilities that they regularly use. 

  1. How your employees work 

Not all employees work the same way. While some employees thrive in an open place workplace, others find it too difficult to concentrate. It is recommended to provide different spaces for focused work, collaborative discussions, and places to unwind. Offices can be divided into spaces that will serve distinct functions depending on their location, furniture used, and design. An office should have dedicated spaces where they can focus, discuss, collaborate, learn, and socialize.  

Clients can also open a discussion with select employees to get feedback on their team’s work style and what facilities would allow them to work more effectively. 

  1. Budget 

One of the first things clients ask us is, how much would it cost to fit out an office? Our answer is… it depends. Factors that could affect the cost would be: 

  • Layout
  • Design
  • Materials
  • Fixtures, Furniture, & Equipment

Your designer can guide you on how to achieve the office of your dreams at the right budget. Depending on your fit-out and design brief, your contractor can do an estimated cost for the project based on your discussion. 

  1. Timeline 

Although we encourage our clients to engage their designers and contractors as early as possible, we understand that this is not always possible. For clients dealing with tight timelines, we try to manage their expectations that their options may be limited due to the availability of materials, furniture, and equipment. 

  1. What doesn’t work and what don’t you like 

Oftentimes clients are unsure about what they want in a space but they are sure about what they don’t want. List down your pain points in your current office. What about it doesn’t work with your work style. What areas are unused and what is insufficient. Giving your designer this list will make the design process quicker and minimize revisions. 

A design brief is a crucial requirement for any fit-out and construction project. It will serve as a guide and scope for the specifications and inclusions of the project. Professional contractors work closely with the client to achieve their vision and goals for the space. 
 
Need professional help in transforming your office space? Contact our team to learn what we can do for your business. Contact Lana Kier at (+63) 917-864-1415 or send an email to projects@t1projectservices.com today. 

T1 welcomes the newest head of the Design & Build Team, Ara Lao

As a seasoned engineer in the industry, Ara is excited to lead a team of skilled architects and engineers as the new head of T1’s Design and Build department. Focusing on corporate and commercial fit outs, Ara is looking forward to working with a team of like-minded and passionate people.

Joining T1 has been a very positive experience so far for Ara. Guided by her vision and goal to complete and deliver projects through a more design driven, economical and sustainable approach, she and her team want to add value for their clients by promoting T1’s capabilities and standards.

“T1’s ‘goal of conceptualizing tailor-fitted projects to our client’s specific requirement’ is exciting and inspiring for me. I want to lead the team well and raise more awareness about the company’s standards, the expertise of each team member, and the quality of service we consistently deliver,” she expressed. “I joined T1 because I can see myself growing with great mentors guiding me, impressive team members, and a company vision that is inspiring in the industry.”

With her impressive resume, skills, and knowledge acquired through her years of delivering projects, Ara shared that her values and ideals are aligned with the company. “I always strive to find the best solutions for my clients. Having been in the construction industry for 11 years, I know the ins and outs of each stage – whether it be project management, design, quantity surveying, or construction. I know what goes into making projects a success for our clients.”

Ara shared that the knowledge and experience she has gathered through the years are what helped her relate to her teammates and bring out the best in them.

“My leadership style is focused in bringing out the strengths and adapting to the weaknesses of my team members. As a leader, I want to mentor them so that one day they too can be leaders in their field.”

“The team has given me a very warm welcome. Working with them and seeing the passion that they have for what they do tells me our team wants to “get the job done and done well!”

How T1 Women are changing the construction business

T1 Project Management’s attitude towards Women in Construction ensures a progressive mindset in the industry. T1 is a firm ally and supporter of eliminating gender inequality in the workplace, as women make up 48% of the team. T1’s women inspire and serve as role models in encouraging Filipinas to see that construction is not “a man’s world.”

Confidence and Empowerment

“I feel empowered because being a female professional in what was a traditionally male-dominated industry gives me a sense of satisfaction and strength that no matter where I am, I can always say that I made it,” Jessa Marie Cabajug, Data Controller, shared.

Kat Sarayba, T1’s Assistant Manager for Design, challenged herself to be confident and happy in her career. “It honestly took me some time to build confidence. All-in-all though, I do really enjoy the career path I chose and the industry I’m in. At the end of the day, I think that matters most.”

“I feel empowered to be living in an age where you can find women excelling in previously male-dominated industries. Proving that women belong in the boardroom, on construction sites, in I.T. – in whatever career they choose,” Lana Kier, the company’s Business Development Manager added.

In the Philippines, the idea of women working in the construction industry is becoming normalized. More and more fit-out companies, contractors, design and architectural firms are made up of highly skilled and driven women employees who work on-site and behind the scenes. While the construction industry is moving in the right direction, women share that there is still a need to address the challenges in eradicating stereotypes.

T1’s Interior Designer Rose Ruelan shared, “Especially in the field of architecture, some underestimate us, that we know less about technicalities, and focus more on the aesthetics. Though women access the same education and training available to men, so we deserve to be respected as equal.”

Working Together

Women in the construction industry take on many challenges as individuals as an opportunity to excel and mark milestones in their career and in their field. Cyrelle Brillante, one of T1’s Project Managers, focuses on communication and coordination. She said, “working in harmony with the rest of the team creates a much better environment, especially in construction.”

Though it may seem difficult at first, every challenge can be overcome. Angel Falquerabao T1s Business Assistant shares, “After overcoming all the things that I thought I couldn’t do, I realized it wasn’t as daunting as I imagined it would be.”

Richelle Reyes another of T1’s Project Managers added, “I realized that in order to change the pace, you have to be amenable to endure what is beyond your comfort zone. Embrace what you are passionate about, even if it’s not what the norm dictates.”

A Cultivating Space for Women

T1 is a progressive design, construction and project management company in the Philippines. By providing equal opportunities for men and women and hiring based on skills, talents, and dedication, the company creates a safe space where gender-based prejudice and discrimination do not exist, whilst building the most dynamic, professional and skilled team in the market.

“I feel extremely lucky just to be a part of a strong, determined, passionate, flexible, and talented team, gender is not even a consideration,” Jen Panganiban, the company’s Business Manager expressed. “I think what I feel is very much similar to all of my hard-working colleagues regardless of the gender.”

The business landscape, no matter what industry, is ripe for a change. It takes movers and visionaries to ensure the development and evolution of these fields will continue. As proven by every successful leader, it is important to foster a working environment that allows for equality and celebrates competence beyond the discussion of gender.

Join the T1 team and be a leader in the industry. For job vacancies, visit https://t1projectmanagement.com/careers or send us an email at info@tone.management.