A methodical approach to formulating the client user input to a design brief for health building

Brigden, Raymond J. (1984) A methodical approach to formulating the client user input to a design brief for health building. Doctoral thesis, Polytechnic of North London.


This work involved a world wide search of literature on design briefing in general and briefing for health buildings in particular. A critical review of the literature has revealed that methods used currently to formulate client user requirements for a brief are varied and haphazard, despite the generally held importance of the brief.This apparent deficiency it is argued, often results in misunderstanding of the real user requirements by not providing adequate organisational data upon which an economical design can be based.

Seven well documented methods of preparing design briefs are examined in depth and considered inadequate for general use. The work proposes a new method which offers a structured approach, enabling the user input to the brief to be organised in such a way as to encourage a more thorough consideration of particular requirements. The new approach helps to identify the implications of selecting specific design options and expedites agreement of the design brief, thereby making better use of project team members time and ensuring an accurate and logical way of recording decisions.

The work demonstrates the initial development of the proposed new briefing method which was tested in six field trials. The resultant briefs provided the design teams with well considered intelligible user requirement data. Although for trial purposes the documentation concentrates on briefing data for health centres and hospital departments, the work concludes by proposing in outline how the systematic approach could be applied eventually to whole hospital planning decisions.

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