Project briefs and files

Project briefs

The board should prepare the first draft of the brief, and then you will develop it into a more detailed document. If you've already been working with the school, such as under a long-term contract, the board may ask you to develop and manage the brief from the start.

In developing the brief, the board will want to consult with interested parties who use the buildings and facilities. These parties may include staff, students, parents, and community organisations that use the building.

More about the board’s role in developing the project brief: developing a project brief for your project

By the end of the project, the brief will include:

  • a statement of the project’s purpose, objectives and audience
  • the project’s scope – the physical dimensions of the proposed building work, and initial designs and materials
  • a site and site works
  • a budget and budget controls, including prime cost and provisional sums, and the process for spending these sums
  • a project time frame on a Gantt chart that displays the project’s status, assignment of tasks and completion times
  • the people involved in the project and their roles
  • input from interested parties
  • any board delegations for the project
  • reporting lines and functional relationships
  • risks and issues to manage during the project
  • design and construction documentation
  • a process for how to manage changes in the project. 

The project brief will inform the procurement plans for the design and build, and will include:

Updating the project brief

After you add to the brief, send it to the board of trustees to:

  • approve
  • check that the project objectives are still being met.

Project files

Before engaging you, the board of trustees should have set up a project file to store all documentation about the project. Add documentation to this throughout the project.

The project file structure could include:

  • a contents page
  • a schedule of documents sent to others, such as the Ministry or consultants
  • relevant school information
  • reports
  • plans and designs
  • the local authority and consents
  • budgets
  • invoices and payment records
  • warranties and guarantees
  • correspondence including emails and discussions records
  • the board minutes including project stages
  • conflict of interest records.

Store the file in the same place and ensure it is signed in and out if it leaves the project office.

Return the file to the board of trustees when the project is completed. They must keep the project file for the life of the building.

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