What are the 8 stages of RIBA Plan
of Work?

In the dynamic realm of architecture and construction, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) stands as a venerable institution, shaping the future of the built environment. Established in 1834, RIBA has been a guiding force, championing innovation, excellence, and sustainability in architectural practices. In this blog, we delve into the essence of RIBA and unravel the intricacies of its renowned 8-stage framework.

What are the Eight Stages of RIBA?

At the heart of RIBA’s methodology lies a comprehensive 8-stage plan, designed to streamline the architectural process from conception to completion. Each stage represents a crucial phase, ensuring that projects progress with precision and purpose.

Stage 0: Strategic Definition

The journey begins with the Strategic Definition stage, where the project’s objectives, feasibility, and potential risks are meticulously assessed. Firntec recognises the importance of setting a robust foundation, aligning client aspirations with a strategic vision.

The inaugural phase of the RIBA Plan of Work is Strategic Definition, a critical step that, despite being a recent addition, inherits some tasks from the earlier 2007 Plan of Work’s initial stage, known as Appraisal.

Within this phase, the primary focus is on a meticulous evaluation of the client’s strategic brief, ensuring a comprehensive understanding. Additionally, the project’s scope takes shape during this stage.

Tasks undertaken during this phase encompass assessing both the benefits and drawbacks, conducting a thorough analysis of project risks, scrutinizing the project budget, performing necessary site surveys, and ultimately confirming the option that aligns best with the client’s requirements.

Stage 1: Preparation and Brief

This stage revolves around developing a clear project brief, refining ideas, and identifying key stakeholders. Firntec excels in facilitating effective communication between all parties involved, ensuring a thorough understanding of project requirements.

Preparation and briefing involve the thorough groundwork for a project, encompassing the compilation of a detailed project brief. This comprehensive document encapsulates essential details such as space requirements, quality objectives, sustainability targets, and overarching project outcomes.

Simultaneously, this stage entails gathering essential information crucial for the ensuing design process. This may include conducting feasibility studies, delving into all facets of the brief to ensure that spatial requirements can be effectively met.

Additionally, collaborative efforts within the team are dedicated to tasks like setting a project budget, formulating a project schedule, and devising a strategic plan for the seamless execution of the project. This collaborative approach ensures a holistic and well-prepared foundation for the upcoming project phases.

Stage 2: Concept Design

Embarking on the creative journey, Stage 2 involves transforming initial ideas into tangible concepts. Firntec collaborates closely with architects and clients, fostering creativity and innovation while maintaining a keen eye on functionality and sustainability.

In this stage, the main tasks include developing a design concept that incorporates strategic engineering needs and takes into account project strategies, cost plans, and basic specifications.

The design team will also conduct reviews of the design with clients and project stakeholders.

Stage 3: Spatial Co-ordination

Spatial coordination is a recent incorporation into the 2020 RIBA Plan of Work, replacing the ‘Developed Design’ stage in the 2013 edition.

This phase centres on a meticulous evaluation of the architectural concept through engineering analysis, design studies, and cost exercises. The primary objective is to validate that the engineering and architectural data established during the concept design phase are spatially aligned. It aims to ensure congruence with the updated cost plan, basic specifications, and overarching project strategies.

Stage 4: Technical Design

Technical design encapsulates activities that transpire post-detailed design and precede the initiation of the construction process.

Within this stage, all essential design information required for both manufacturing and construction reaches its finalization.

Critical tasks involve the fine-tuning of engineering and architectural designs, as well as the meticulous organization of Building Systems information within the design team. Furthermore, this phase entails the preparation and integration of information obtained from specialist subcontractors associated with Building Systems.

Stage 5: Manufacturing & Construction

The 2020 RIBA Plan of Work introduced a shift from ‘Construction’ to ‘Manufacturing and Construction,’ as observed in the 2013 edition.

This stage centres on constructing the systems in alignment with the selected Construction Programme specified in the Building Contract.

Key activities throughout this phase encompass the development of the building manual, concluding site logistics, addressing site queries, evaluating construction progress against the Construction Programme, ensuring construction quality, and executing the commissioning of the building.

Additionally, it entails the issuance of a practical completion certificate, signifying the contractor’s completion of the project and readiness to hand it over to the client.

Stage 6: Handover

Upon the completion of construction work, a conclusive handover is conducted to return the project to the client, marking the conclusion of the building contract. This phase involves a comprehensive review of project performance, identification of any snagging issues or defects requiring rectification, and the initiation of agreed-upon aftercare procedures.

Stage 7: Use

In the 2013 RIBA Plan of Work, Stage 7, referred to as ‘In Use,’ encompassed activities such as assessing the utilisation of a building and conducting a post-completion project review. In the 2020 edition, design and construction teams typically do not bear Stage 7 responsibilities. Nevertheless, clients have the option to consult with advisors for tasks such as post-occupancy evaluation, maintenance, insurance, addressing tenant queries, enhancing energy efficiency, and compiling documents for operation and maintenance contracts.

At Firntec, we are dedicated to offering high-quality building safety support and consultancy services to architects, building designers, and managers across all stages of construction outlined by RIBA.

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