and atmosphere should it offer? Are work spaces shared or not? For a school project, the conceptual description may explain whether the school is seeking a solution with traditional classrooms or a newer concept with lots of openness and a diversity of learning spaces. These are design issues, but they are also closely related to the culture and activities of an organization, and the client should therefore have a vision for them. ScopeAs well as fairly abstract objectives, concepts and ambitions, the strategic brief should provide the design team with practical information about the size and scope of the project. It should, at the very least, give an indication of the total space requirement and an overview of the projects main functions and/or the required number of functional units (e.g. the number of workstations, classrooms, patient rooms, seats). Ideally, this scope indication is linked to a budget or initial cost estimate. Such figures cannot be other than ballpark estimates because there is no design yet, but it will prove beneficial to spend time doing a thorough cost calculation exercise to ensure that the projects size and ambitions are in line with the available budget. SiteIf the buildings site is known, the strategic brief should give a general overview of the sites conditions and constraints. In most cases, the chosen location will come with regulatory guidelines concerning the footprint and height of the building and the number of parking spaces that can be realized. There may also be aesthetic guidelines, ecological issues or archaeological finds that impose certain restrictions on the project. The strategic brief should explain these constraints and outline any relevant external guidelines, such as municipal plans for the area. Furthermore, the strategic brief should explain the clients general ideas on how the building should relate to its surroundings in terms of expression, logistics and public facilities (see page 83). Open issuesBecause the strategic brief is written at a very early stage of a project, it is likely that not all relevant information will be available or definite. That does not need to be a problem as long as the brief clearly highlights what is missing or in need of further research or approval. For example, it may not yet be clear whether an office building should be designed to accommodate 400 or 600 employees because of uncertainty about the companys growth perspectives. It is preferable that the client take decisions on such matters before the brief is communicated to the design team, but if that is not possible, it should at least be clear that this is an issue that requires further analysis and decision-making before moving on to the next design phase.