The celebrated architect Mies van der Rohe once said: An architect of ability should be able to tell a client what he wants. Most of the time a client never knows what he wants. Not many clients will agree with these patronizing wordsnor, for that matter, will many architects. Yet, there is some truth in Miess statement in the sense that clients often have difficulty expressing what they want. Especially at the start of a project, clients may only have a hazy or limited notion of their needs and ambitions. They may sort of know what they wantmore space, for example, or a high quality building. Such vagueness is understandable, especially with first-time clients, but it is not good enough to guide major construction projects. If a client is not clear about his or her needs, the design team cannot be expected to deliver a fitting solution. As software engineers like to say: garbage in, garbage out. Or, more positively: it takes good input to create good output.The purpose of this book is to help construction clients in identifying and expressing their needs and ambitions in a productive way. Therein we take the view that clients should focus on what the building should do or deliver to them, rather than specifying the design itself, which is the responsibility of the design team. Questions to be addressed are: What are the objectives for the project? Why is a new building or a renovation needed? What problem does it need to solve? What is the intended use of the building? And what are the clients needs concerning specific quality issues such as architectural expression, security, flexibility and sustainability? Briefing (referred to as architectural programming in the US) is the process of answering these questions. It is the process of uncovering, eliciting and capturing the clients needs and ambitions, and communicating these to the design team. The prime purpose is to provide the design team with the information, instructions and inspiration they need to design a successful building. An additional aim is to make clients more competent in their role as clients. Writing a brief pushes them to gather their thoughts and think more clearly and coherently about what they want from the project. It is a process that can make clients more articulate and better aware of their needs, which in turn will give them greater grip on the project.The concrete outcome of a briefing process is a brief (referred to as an architectural program in the US). A brief is a document, or series of documents, that records the clients ambitions and requirements in a systematic way. It often plays an important formal role in the project. If disputes arise over the quality of the design, the client can point to the brief and the quality standards that have been agreed. In its turn, the design team can fall back on the brief if the client is delaying and frustrating the design 7