6. Design and documentation

The office fitout design-and-documentation process is collaborative and consultative and involves achieving a balanced outcome which: 

  • minimises compromise
  • maximises opportunities for improvement.

Each stage requires interaction between client and consultant and a continual review of priorities and value management options. 

This design and documentation process involves the stages of: 

  1. schematic design 
  2. developed design 
  3. contract documentation. 

Each stage involves feedback, revision and optimisation. Client approval is required for the consultant to proceed to the next stage. Information transfer, decision-making and approvals need to be efficient and timely. A structured communication framework should be established to acquire and distribute information among end users, the agency's project team and the consultants. 

At the completion of the developed design stage, the design will reflect the brief and any additional requirements or changes identified during the design process. Client approval of the developed design triggers a 'design freeze' at this point in the project program, after which no design additions or changes can be introduced without compromising the project program and/or resulting in additional costs. 

Technical project approvals must also be considered during the design-and-documentation process. A request for interim technical assessment and project approval under the approval process for government office accommodation projects should be submitted as soon as the project's scope and estimated cost are established. Final technical project approval is required when the project's fixed cost is known and before construction starts. The approval process for government office accommodation projects is described in ‘7.0 Approval processes’. 

The Department of Housing and Public Works can provide advice in relation to selection of fitout consultants and offers procurement, fitout design, documentation and project management services.