RIBA Plan Of Work Stages 2022

What is the RIBA Plan Of Work?

The RIBA Plan of Work is a framework that defines the phases and activities needed to take a project from its initial conception to completion. The plan describes eight stages for each project but in practice you may find that projects go through fewer or more than this.

The plan supports clear communication and coordination between project participants at every stage. This is important because it helps you know what’s expected of you at each stage so you can plan your resources effectively.

The RIBA Plan of Work stages:

  • 0 – Strategic Definition
  • 1 – Preparation and Brief
  • 2 – Concept Design
  • 3 – Spatial Coordination
  • 4 – Technical Design
  • 5 – Manufacturing and Construction
  • 6 – Handover
  • 7 – Use

Stage 0 - Strategic Definition

This planning stage outlines the needs and issues specific to each project. It allows the architect to gather information, prepare the brief and create an outline strategy on which to base the further development of design. A meeting with the client to discuss their requirements and set the initial objectives marks the start of this phase.

Stage 1 - Preparation and Brief

In order to maximise the productivity of stage 2 concept design, several parallel and significant activities need to be carried out throughout stage 1. This includes the development of the initial project brief and any related feasibility studies. The project team is assembled, and each party’s roles are defined. When preparing the initial project brief, it is necessary to consider the desired project outcomes (potentially derived following feedback from earlier and similar projects), the project’s budget, and the site itself (by undertaking site appraisals and collating site information). A project risk assessment is required at this stage, and the procurement strategy and project programme should be developed.

Stage 2 - Concept Design

The concept design stage is a strategic review of the design and its viability from a cost perspective, making sure the design concept is viable and feasible. This stage focuses on the economic, financial, technical and serviceability aspects of the project to ensure that it meets expectations. It includes an evaluation of how the project proposal measures up against client criteria such as: cost containment and financial feasibility requirements; sustainability; compliance with legal obligations (including Building Regulations); technical feasibility; constructability; servicing arrangements; contractual arrangements including risk management and procurement strategy.

Stage 3 - Spatial Coordination

The preferred design from stage 2 is refined and worked up along with other supporting information to form the documents to be submitted to the planning authority. Other third-party input/consents or appraisals may also be required at this stage. By the end of stage 3, the architectural, building services and structural engineering designs will all have been developed and will have been checked by the lead designer.

Stage 4 - Technical Design

A detailed specification of works will be agreed upon, and construction information prepared. A building regulations submission will be made at this stage. Input from other third-party consultants will be coordinated to enable the contractors to price up the technical design information when the documents are issued for tender.

The lead designer coordinates the preparation of the technical design, as this may involve design by specialist subcontractors as well as the client’s core design team. By the end of this stage, the architectural, structural and mechanical services design and specifications should describe all main components of the building and how they fit together, and any performance specified work should be defined. At the end of this stage, the project usually will be passed on to the contractors for tender, which may take up to 6 weeks.

Stage 5 - Manufacturing and Construction

During this stage, the building is constructed on-site in accordance with the Construction Programme. This includes the erection of components that have been fabricated off-site. The procurement strategy will set out the designer’s duties to respond to design queries from sites generated in relation to the design.

Stage 6 - Handover

The team will facilitate the successful handover of the building in line with the project programme and conclude all aspects of the building contract. Other services may be required at this point which will be dictated by the project-specific schedules of services. This should be aligned with the procumbent and handover strategies.

Stage 7 - Use

This new stage of the RIBA Plan of Work acknowledges the potential benefits of harnessing the project design information to assist with the successful use and operation of the building. Should any additional services be required after the completion of the project, the architect will be able to provide