Free Architecture Design Brief (Example)

Fully editable with custom branding and pre-written services. Send and get read receipts.

Free Architecture Design Brief (Example)

Fully editable with custom branding and pre-written services. Send and get read receipts.


/5 - votes
Downloaded times
Use template
Legally vetted
Track opens & views

First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.
First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.

Free Architecture Design Brief (Example)

Fully editable with custom branding and pre-written services. Send and get read receipts.

Free Architecture Design Brief (Example)

Fully editable with custom branding and pre-written services. Send and get read receipts.

Bonsai has helped create 1,023,928 documents and counting.

Trusted by 500,000+
business owners

Date: March 8th 2023



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.

This Contract is between Client (the "Client") and Acme LLC, a California limited liability company (the "Coach").

The Contract is dated January 23, 2023.


1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Coach to develop a coaching relationship between the Client and Coach in order to cultivate the Client's personal, professional, or business goals and create a plan to achieve those goals through stimulating and creative interactions with the ultimate result of maximizing the Client's personal or professional potential.

1.2 Schedule. The Coach will begin work on February 1, 2023 and will continue until the work is completed. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Coach at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 4, Term and Termination.

The Coach and Client will meet by video conference, 4 days per month for 2 hours.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Coach an hourly rate of $150. Of this, the Client will pay the Coach $500.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Coach's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Coach will invoice the Client in accordance with the milestones in Section 1.3. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Coach will not be available by telephone, or email in between scheduled sessions.


- A coaching relationship is a partnership between two or more individuals or entities, like a teacher-student or coach-athlete relationship. Both the Client and Coach must uphold their obligations for the relationship to be successful.

- The Coach agrees to maintain the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

- The Client acknowledges and agrees that coaching is a comprehensive process that may explore different areas of the Client's life, including work, finances, health, and relationships.

- The Client is responsible for implementing the insights and techniques learned from the Coach.


3.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

3.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

3.3 Coach Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Coach promises that it owns the work product, that the Coach is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Coach uses employees or subcontractors, the Coach also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Coach giving the Coach any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Coach's background IP and work product.

3.4 Coach Will Comply With Laws. The Coach promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

3.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Coach promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights, that the Coach has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Coach has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

3.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Coach with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights.


This Contract is ongoing until it expires or the work is completed. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 9.4. The Coach must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice unless the notice says otherwise.

If either party ends this Contract before the Contract automatically ends, the Client will pay the Contractor for the work done up until when the Contract ends. The following sections don't end even after the Contract ends: 3 (Representations); 6 (Confidential Information); 7 (Limitation of Liability); 8 (Indemnity); and 9 (General).


The Client is hiring the Coach as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Coach will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.

- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Coach is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.

- The Client will not provide the Coach with any training.

- The Client and the Coach do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.

- The Coach cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.

- The Coach is not entitled to the Client's benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).

- The Coach is responsible for its own taxes.

- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Coach or any of the Coach's employees or subcontractors.


6.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Coach must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

6.2 The Client's Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Coach may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Coach promises to treat this information as if it is the Coach's own confidential information. The Coach may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Coach use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Coach cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Coach written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Coach may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Coach must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Coach promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Coach written permission first. The Coach must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Coach's responsibilities only stop if the Coach can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Coach came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Coach came across it, but not because of anything the Coach did or didn't do; (iii) the Coach already knew the information when the Coach came across it and the Coach didn't have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Coach with the information without requiring that the Coach keep it a secret; or (v) the Coach created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

6.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It's possible the Client and the Coach each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Coach each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Coach is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.


Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.


8.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Coach or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Coach did, then the Coach may promise to come to the Client's defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

8.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Coach agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Coach has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Coach of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Coach of the promises it is making in Section 3 (Representations).

8.3 Coach Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Coach (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.


9.1 Assignment​. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Coach. Neither the Client nor the Coach can assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the other's written permission.

9.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

9.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Coach must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

9.4. Noticies.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party's address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

9.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that's the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

9.6 Signatures. The Client and the Coach must sign this document using Bonsai's e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

9.7 Governing Law. The validity, interpretation, construction and performance of this document shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America.

9.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties' final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.
Table of contents

What is an Architecture Design Brief?

An architecture design brief outlines the specifics of the architectural project, such as building typology, design stages, budget requirements, and particular design features. It’s the first building block in the architectural design process.

Consider a design brief as the ultimate guiding source for architects and their teams. It’s essentially a project management proposal–it summarizes the client’s requirements, spells out the desired outcomes and how they’ll be reached. 

With a well-crafted and detailed architectural design brief, you can deliver exactly what your client is after. It gives you a blueprint to strategize all the work and timelines. 

Plus, it’s a vital tool to show your prospects how intricately you’ve planned the project and its various stages–a stage on which to flex your architectural muscles.

As important as an architect’s design brief is, it’s not easy to write. You’ll need to spend hours studying the client's requirements before finally wrapping it up into a project brief. Instead of going through this process for every project that comes your way, use a design brief template, ease the heavy-lifting, and go into more detail into those areas that need it instead.  

Note: Sign up to Bonsai for free and access this template along with hundreds of others for proposals, contracts, invoices, and more. 

What to Include in the Architecture Design Brief?

A clear and concise design brief outlining all the information required is key for kickstarting a new project. It tells your clients how clearly you’ve understood their vision, giving them the confidence to trust you with their project. 

In addition, it also helps you establish priorities as the project progresses and lays down the roadmap for meeting all goals. 

While there’s no standard format for an architectural brief, a handful of elements are common across most briefs. Let’s look at these elements in detail. 

Business overview

Before all else, your design brief should start by introducing your business. Talk about your brand—offer insights about your key selling points, crucial differentiators, and core values. Spotlight your experience as an architect and let the client know who they’re talking to. 

While this section of your project brief focuses primarily on your business, you can also give a brief overview of the client and their contact details along with their primary requirement. This helps frame you as the solution to their architectural issues.

Key objectives

After you’ve caught the client’s attention, it’s time to set the tone for your design brief by listing down the key objectives. This section essentially answers the question: what does your client want?  

Write a mission statement for your project that summarizes what your client expects from this development plan. 

The mission statement should answer several questions about the project:

  • What’s the building’s function?
  • What needs will this building fulfill? 
  • What’s the main goal of this building?
  • What will be the aesthetics of this building?
  • Will the project follow norms for energy efficiency?

Discuss these questions with your prospects to fully understand and optimize the design and construction process. That way, the entire process is informed by the client’s wants and needs–making for a successful build.

Building typology and size

Once you have all the answers from the section above, how exactly do you piece it together into design briefs? That’s exactly what this next section is about. 

To understand the building typology, first consider the kind of structure you’re designing. Is it a residential building, commercial, institutional, or something else? 

Determining the type of building is a great place to start the design process. You can take reference and source ideas from similar structures to the one you’re designing.

After you’ve figured out the typology for your new project, shift your focus to size. Review the size of the site you’re working with in terms of:

  • Gross Internal Area (GIA): everything, including wall thickness
  • Net Internal Area (NIA): everything, excluding wall thickness

Finalizing these details will show your client you’ve done all the work before pitching your design. It also helps ensure that you know what you’re talking about, and understand how your architectural skills match up with the design project at hand.

Lifestyle and use

Now, a key consideration for architects–how will the spaces you’re developing be used? Discuss the everyday use of the site with your prospect and think of how your design and development can optimize the experience. 

Before jumping to the actual design, an architect’s job is to get a better understanding of what the building—with its indoor and outdoor spaces—is all about. As an architect, you’re not only considering how the building looks, but also how it feels and fits the user needs.

You have to chat with your client before drafting this section and incorporate background information about the building’s purpose. For example, if building a home, you could consider finding out their likes and dislikes:

  • Describe your daily lifestyle. How does this space align with your lifestyle?
  • Who will be utilizing this space—present or future generations?
  • What are your favorite examples of great architecture? 
  • What significance does this site hold? 
  • What are your preferred room layouts and indoor spaces?

Prepare a handy list of such questions to get a detailed understanding of lifestyle preferences for your projects. This provides a solid foundation on which to build moving forward.

Sustainability and other requisites

The future is green, and as an architect you’re leading the pack when it comes to building with sustainability in mind. It’s best to hammer out the ideas for a green design in the early stages of the project. This will give you time to think of a more accurate project cost without any last-minute additions to the budget. 

Eco-friendly houses come in many forms–present a number of possible approaches. Whether it’s limited to particular rooms and indoor spaces or expanded across outside spaces, explain all your plans for making the build sustainable, healthy, and happy for our planet. 

Construction process and timeline 

Architects need patience and perseverance as much as they require strategic thinking and design skills. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your client's building. 

Clients can get too eager to see their new space and tempted by quick fixes. Give them an accurate estimate as to  how long it should take to complete the project at the very beginning. 

Invest some extra time in thinking realistically about the expected timescale for projects. 

This way, you can offer your prospects two crucial pieces of information:

  1. Project duration: to tell them the length of completing the entire development process
  2. Key milestones: to enable them to see your progress at important stages

Avoid the temptation to provide optimistic timelines to keen clients–this probably isn’t your first rodeo. Architectural projects can run into issues left, right, and center–make sure you leave some wiggle room with timings.

Pricing of your architectural brief

Architectural projects come in all shapes and sizes–some are highly emotional whereas others are purely for profit. Take this into consideration when drafting your pricing plan.

While budget discussions happen verbally before the project begins, make sure to itemize costs for clarity. 

Don’t forget to factor in:

  • Interior designer: if the client would like your team to design their entire space
  • Emergency situations: if any unexpected issues obstructs the process
  • VAT: to incorporate the taxes necessary for construction activities 

Remember, an Architect is never involved with just design; they’re also in charge of the development process. Create a realistic quote that takes the entire process into account–from the paper on which you draw your designs to the extra people you’ll need along the way.

Bonsai top tip: Prepare better for the future and simplify your payment process with Bonsai’s clear and rapid invoice templates for architects

How to Write an Architecture Design Brief

The first step to writing a winning architectural brief is a meaningful discussion with your client to collect relevant information on their projects. Then comes the real job of converting all these insights into a personalized brief that ticks all their boxes. 

Studying their goals and budget will help you narrow down your design focus to a perfect solution for them. Present this solution in as extensive detail as possible—showing the effort you’ve put into creating this brief. 

Highlight the reasoning behind your ideas in every section and give them ample reasons to trust you with their space. Consider including previous work you’ve completed alongside client testimonials to highlight your stellar track record.

Once you’ve created an informed design brief, the final step is to proofread. Mistakes are easily made, and you want to make sure your design brief is perfect when it reaches the client. A final once-over is a must.

Creating an Architecture Design Brief is Simple with Bonsai 

Working as an architect comes with a unique set of challenges; don’t let design briefs be one of them. With Bonsai’s expertly created architect design brief templates, you can offload the tedious task of drafting briefs from scratch. 

Creating a design brief is simple with Bonsai. Just follow these steps:

  1. Sign up to Bonsai for free
  2. Pick the template that best fits your need
  3. Customize it to create a bespoke brief for every project

Win more clients with Bonsai’s beautiful brief templates and save yourself the struggle of starting fresh every time. Find hundreds of templates for invoices, contracts, proposals, and more all under one roof, in just a few clicks. 

Architecture Design Brief FAQs

What should an architectural design brief include?

An architectural design brief typically includes:

  • Business overview
  • Key objectives
  • Building typology and size
  • Lifestyle and use
  • Sustainability and other requisites
  • Timelines
  • Pricing

Consider it the roadmap to creating your clients ideal build. 

What is the purpose of the design brief?

A design brief acts as a reference for both the client and the architect when developing a building. It elaborates on the desired results and describes all the considerations impacting the design, such as lifestyle, use, budget, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.