What's in a Client's Brief?
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM15) are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects. These regulations place specific duties on clients and other duty holders.
Under CDM15, Designers and Contractors should be appointed at the earliest opportunity to help prepare and plan for a construction project. Experience has shown that, when designers and contractors are involved early in the project, everyone is better able to plan ahead and solve problems together to deliver a more successful project.
As a Client, one effective way of explaining what you want, as well as helping you to carry out your duties under CDM15, is to develop a Client’s Brief. As the Client, you will have requirements and expectations that will assist those designing, constructing or using the structure or building. Sharing these at an early stage can help shape how each duty holder approaches, plans and accommodates your requirements.
The Client’s Brief may take the form of verbal discussions or it could be a written document drafted by you, your appointed Principal Designer or by a designer or contractor after you have discussed your requirements with them. A clear brief is essential to the success of your project. It sets out key requirements, outlines your vision of the project and communicates your aims and aspirations.
As a Client, you have a significant role to play. Clients set standards and ensure work is carried out without risking the long-term health and safety of those on site.
What should the Client Brief include?
The brief should:
- describe the main function and operational requirements of the finished building or structure
- outline your motivation for initiating the project
- give your expectations during the project, including how health and safety risks should be managed
- explain the design direction you have in mind
- establish a single point of contact for any client queries or discussions during the project
- set a realistic timeframe and budget.
Whilst the initial client brief sets out your general requirements and expectations for the project, it is also important that it outlines your health and safety expectations.
We at Safety For Design assist our Clients with the advice and support to successfully deliver construction projects in either the Principal Designer role, as Principal Designer Assist services to other companies or, as Client CDM H&S Advisory services.