There’s a lot involved when it comes to construction of a new building. With many different tasks and processes, it’s important for a construction project to be organised in a structured and time-efficient way. Fortunately, the RIBA Stages provide the answer to this challenge.

We conduct all aspects of our work in line with the RIBA Plan of Work 2020, which has become a well-established reference point when it comes to running a construction project. The Plan of Work is made up of eight work stages that each address a phase of a project’s progression, from start to finish.

Each of the RIBA Stages (shown below) has its own tasks, processes and outputs, which make the Plan of Work a useful management tool and a road map for all members of a project team to follow.

The 8 RIBA stages

Working in line with a clear, proven structure helps to ensure that work is resourced correctly, outcomes understood and actioned to a high standard and all aspects of a project are completed. It’s also adaptable to any type and scale of project, so whether you’re working on a small building or a large development, the Plan of Work can be used in a way that is relevant.

Here’s how we work in alignment with the RIBA Stages as we move through a project.

RIBA Stage 0 – Strategic Definition

To start with, we engage with the client to determine the feasibility of the project. Prior to beginning the design process, we understand the client’s requirements and work out how this can best be achieved. We carry out background research, review the budget and project risks, and develop a business case for the project.

RIBA Stage 1 – Preparation and Brief

Here, we document the brief, share with the client our vision and intentions for the project, and begin to detail the project outcomes and spatial requirements. We agree the project budget, gather site information and prepare a programme and timeline for the project. Once we have the client’s approval, we can move on to the design.

RIBA Stage 2 – Concept Design

The design process begins here! Using the information we can gathered so far, we start to develop architectural concepts in line with the project brief and budget. We conduct design reviews with clients and stakeholders and develop architectural drawings and concept designs.

RIBA Plan of Work 2020

RIBA Stage 3 – Spatial Coordination

This stage serves to ensure the design meets the client’s spatial requirements. Here we carry out design studies and costing exercises to test the design in line with the project brief. By the end of this stage, we’ll have coordinated all architectural and engineering information required for the planning process and submitted any required planning applications.

RIBA Stage 4 – Technical Design

This stage is where we produce the detailed architectural and engineering designs and specifications ready for tendering, submission to building control and construction. Building systems are finalised, a detailed design programme produced, and all technical information prepared.

RIBA Stage 5 – Construction

Here, all the information and designs produced to date are implemented and delivered on site by a team of contractors and workers. We organise site logistics, monitor progress against the construction programme, and resolve any issues as they arise. This is where we really start to see the work come together!

Birch House, Bath

RIBA Stage 6 – Handover

When construction work is complete, there is a final handover back to the client and the building contract finishes. We review project performance, identify any snagging issues and defects that needs rectifying, and agreed aftercare begins.

RIBA Stage 7 – In Use

Finally, we reach the stage where the building is in operation and being well maintained. We carry out a post-occupancy evaluation of the building performance, which concludes the Plan of Work process.

All in all, the RIBA Stages are an excellent guide for construction professionals, serving as a unified structure that makes running a construction project that much simpler.

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