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The building performance specification

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The building performance specification is an expanded brief that describes what the various spaces of the building will be expected to provide. The performance specification of the building may start off very general in its requirements and may become more detailed as the project develops. An example is given below.

Example building performance specification


  • This area should be large enough to greet and organise a group of 5 visitors at a single time
  • The entry needs to have a space for the side table that is 400mm x 1200mm - needs to be centred on a blank wall
  • A cupboard is required to accommodate visitors items as well as kids school bags and shoes
  • From this space you should not be able to see any other area of the house
  • A powder room should be located directly off this space


  • Lots of bench space, good lighting directly over work areas (sink, cook top, coffee making area)
  • Space for a window seat for homework time with the children
  • Space on bench for kids laptop
  • Large pantry that can house the existing fridge as well
  • Pot drawers everywhere with soft closers and lots of space to store appliances such as the bread machine etc.
  • An appliance cabinet to house jug, mugs, coffee and tea as well as toaster - the cabinet needs to have 2 double general purpose electrical outlets (GPOs).


  • Two sinks
  • Large mirrored wall so there is no fighting for mirror space a teeth cleaning time
  • Lots of storage
  • Large shower so kids can shower at the same time
  • One freestanding bath
  • One toilet suite
  • Tiles to the ceiling
  • Needs to be roomy and all in one open space

Powder room

This space needs to contain:

  • 1 toilet suite
  • 1 porcelain urinal
  • 1 hand basin

In addition this room needs to be visually and acoustically private.


  • Should be located directly off entry space and requires acoustic and visual privacy from the rest of the home
  • The office will require 3 lines for fax, phone, and internet
  • Must have excellent lighting
  • Space is required to house a computer desk with 1000mm layoff space either side of computer space and a separate layoff area that is 3000mm wide - an area for a small lounge is also needed

Main bedroom

  • The entrance to the main bedroom should be private from noisy areas such as the family room
  • The en-suite and walk-in robe should not face directly onto main area of the bedroom
  • The main space needs to accommodate a king size bed with 1200mm of circulation space on either side of the bed
  • There needs to be two areas of wall that can accommodate a dressing table and a large painting
  • Put a double gpo. in each corner of the room


  • Needs to be acoustically private from the bed space - insulate all surrounding walls and well ventilated
  • Area requires one pedestal basin, one toilet suite, one porcelain urinal, one heated towel rail, four mirror cabinets, frameless shower space, free standing bath
  • Dimmer on one light


  • Needs to be roomy enough to sort family washing into colour piles
  • A small drying space is required
  • This space needs to house a dryer and a washer and requires direct access to kitchen & external cloths hanging space - room needs to be naturally ventilated

Bedroom 2

  • Minimum area of 12 metres square
  • Space for a double bed with 1200mm circulation space on either side of the bed
  • Space for a small double lounge and tv.
  • Walk in robe
  • Bedroom 3/guest bedroom
  • Enough space for double bed
  • Small cupboard only required


  • To be acoustically cut off from family space and preferably located near main bedroom
  • Needs space for a tv., stereo unit, 2 x 2 seater lounges and needs to be cosy in winter - maybe an open fire
  • Requires easy access to kitchen

Family space

  • Needs to be open to kitchen with direct access to the main verandah and backyard and enough space for one three seater lounge and two one seater armchairs
  • There should be a large open area for Lego playing and wrestling with enough space for a large rug 2500mm x 4200mm
  • This space needs to have an easy clean floor
  • Lots of built-in storage required


  • Needs to house a dining table 1800 x 1800mm - allow 1000mm around table for chairs
  • A feature pendant lights need to be centred over the table space
  • This area needs to be close to the kitchen but can also be physically cut-off from family and kitchen areas

Entry porch

  • Needs to be protected from the weather and be 6000mm square in area - this space needs to be well lit


  • The space will house a 6 seater table and two sun lounges


  • A double carport is required that has security light on sensor

Related articles (9 steps of home design)

DIY Home Design (main page)

Step 1. The client brief

Step 2. Performance specification (this page)

Step 3. Schedule of areas

Step 4. Table of areas

Step 5. Bubble diagram

Step 6. Site data

Step 7. Site analysis

Step 8. Design diagrams

Step 9. Sketch designs