RIBA Plan of Work

Architects and other industry professionals need a common language to describe the stages of a construction project which is where the Royal Institute of British Architects [RIBA] Plan of Work comes in handy.

In this instance, I'll be discussing the RIBA Plan of Work in the context of domestic work and how we, at Darkin Architects, work to the Plan on all of our projects. For simplicity, I've summarised and I've negated the interactions of other consultants.

Stage 0: Strategic Definition

Our first meeting! What's the point? We get to the heart of what you're trying to achieve to inform your brief to ensure that what you ask for is what you get.

Stage 1: Preparation & Brief

Once we have your brief, we gather the info we need. This may just be measuring your home or site levels, but can also include other surveys or reports such as tree surveys, bat reports etc. This allows us to marry the current situation and what you want to finalise our brief.

Stage 2: Concept Design

Felt pens and pretty pictures! This is my favourite stage and the really fun bit, where we are truly creative and explore the possibilities.

Stage 3: Developed Design

For us, this is the stage where we formalise our doodles from Stage 2 and submit them for consideration in a planning application.

Stage 4: Technical Design

In essence, developing the Stage 3 drawings and information into an instruction manual that allows builders to price and build your project.

Stage 4.5: Mobilisation

This doesn't exist in the plan, but I've added it in. As the numbering implies, it's the bridge between Stage 4: Technical Design, and Stage 5: Construction. At this point, we would run a tendering process, prepare a construction contract and finalise health & safety arrangements with the builder.

Stage 5: Construction

During the build process, we administer a Construction Contract and inspect the site, checking the quality of the build and progress of the works.

Stage 6: Handover and Close Out

Once the build is complete, we make sure that it's finished as per the contract and conclude contract arrangements, ensuring that a small sum (usually 2.5% of the contract) is kept back for Stage 7.

Stage 7: In Use

If we've run a construction contract, we'll need to come back, typically a year after the completion to check any defects are rectified so that the builder can get the last of his money!

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