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!”

The Big Move: T1 welcomes Gabriela Merino as Pre-Construction Head

Discovering new frontiers is not unknown territory to Gabriela Merino. After completing her studies in Spain, she brought her architectural expertise to Southeast Asia in search of exciting projects and opportunities.

“I love traveling and I enjoy working and living in multicultural environments and facing new challenges every day,” she shared.

Gabriela made her way around the world by collecting inspiration from different cultures and creating her professional portfolio. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and already greatly experienced in high-end Hospitality, Residential, and large-scale Retail projects, Gabriela is now widening her skillset to Commercial, Corporate and Industrial requirements also.

Taking the Big Step

Gabriela later joined T1 Project Management after finding its diverse project portfolio and variety of services offered as a new learning opportunity and a challenge. She liked that the individuals she works with get to take on different roles and they all learn through their collaboration.

“I am inspired by the leadership of the company formed by a group of talented entrepreneurs that are full of motivation and knowledge,” she added when asked about the company’s leaders. While Gabriela loved their passion for always seeking new ways to develop themselves and their business, she finds greater satisfaction in the sense of belongingness from being surrounded by a supportive and encouraging team.

Pre-Construction as the bigger challenge

Now stepping into the role of being the T1 Project Management Head of Pre-Construction, she wanted to put much emphasis on its crucial role in the industry. “Pre-Construction is the time to thoroughly assess and plan to identify and mitigate risks associated with constructing a project.” Gabriela stated. “They say you finish a project the way you start it, so we want to start each and every project well.”

Programme and Budget are the two most important areas in the Pre-Construction planning stage. Gabriela noted that planning the timeline and pining down the cost of each project component should be accurately addressed for successful project delivery.

Gabriela’s overarching vision is to keep the team growing and to build on each other’s strengths. Gabriela wants to ensure that the team “reaches its full potential by providing a complete range of premium project management services and innovative solutions to our valued clients.”

UnionBank partners with T1 to inspire, innovate amid COVID-19

The UnionBank of the Philippines strengthens its position as a leader in technology and banking in the country. Inspired by their commitment to bringing excellence and honing talent, the Aboitiz-led company has successfully inaugurated The UnionBank Innovation Campus, the first in the Philippines.

Designed to be the organization’s bedrock for the creation and incubation of solutions for banking, financial technology, and other industries, the one-hectare facility held its digital groundbreaking ceremony last May 26, Wednesday.

“We’re excited for the campus because it’s a dream come true for the entire organization and it’s also a testament to the commitment of management and the board of directors to innovation as a major strategic thrust,” UnionBank president Edwin Bautista said during the virtual groundbreaking ceremony. “This is also consistent with the Aboitiz group’s focus on innovation as a pillar for growth moving forward,” he added.

T1 was tapped to collaborate and partner with UnionBank as the official project management and quantity surveying firm. With the shared vision of pushing forward development, sustainability, and innovation, the Philippines’ leading project services company was successful in delivering excellent results in time for the groundbreaking ceremony.

According to UnionBank, this innovation campus is expected to be completed by the middle or third quarter of next year. It will also operate as a hub for blockchain, artificial intelligence and other new technologies that will revolutionize the Filipino’s way of life.

“Working with UnionBank was a pleasure and a boost for T1. “We are very proud to be a part of this milestone. T1 aims to collaborate with companies who stand for positive change and innovation in development in all sectors, not just construction. Working with UnionBank is inspiring,” Ivan Deinla, Senior Project Manager expressed.

Bautista added that this innovation campus is a testament and affirmation for the Filipinos who are going through a hard time because of the pandemic. He expressed that companies like UnionBank continue to invest and vet for a brighter future for the Philippines. Despite the current lockdown restrictions, Bautista said the bank was starting to build the campus for the future when it would be safe again to interact with more people in the new normal.