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Functional brief

The functional brief is a written statement of the functions to be accommodated and the inter-relationships of these functions for a proposed capital project. It should describe the services to be provided, activities to be performed and clearly identify how the project meets the organisation’s objectives and policies. The health service / agency is responsible for preparing a functional brief, and where necessary may be assisted by a consultant.

The functional brief is prepared when a health service / agency has completed a master plan study, which has subsequently identified the need for a potential capital works project.

A functional brief needs to be prepared prior to commencement of a feasibility study. In some projects, (e.g. small or stand alone projects) the functional brief may follow immediately after the completion of a service plan. In such instances, the master plan process is often carried out concurrently with a feasibility study.

The functional brief is the basis from which the space and costing data is prepared and a feasibility study is completed. A functional brief often establishes a precedent for future capital works projects and as such is a key element in the successful outcome of capital works projects.

The document should contain sufficient detail to initiate the design process. It should establish the optimum solution to meet service requirements and outline the total scope of works to be undertaken.

A functional brief for a capital works project should contain the following information:

  • agency role statement
  • management and operational policies
  • type and level of services to be provided
  • existing and future service trends
  • staffing profile
  • project objective
  • project background (including master plan outcomes)
  • existing facilities
  • departmental functions associated with the project
  • departmental and functional relationships
  • accommodation requirements on a departmental or functional area basis
  • general design considerations
  • equipment needs
  • recurrent cost statement.

The health service / agency should liaise with the department regional office, relevant program areas and the Infrastructure Planning and Delivery branch when preparing a functional brief.