Each project is unique and is treated as such, yet we approach all commissions in the same way regardless of size, budget or sector. Below you will find an overview of the process that a project will go through from inception to completion.

The stages of a project can generally be broken down into 4 stages, known as Preparation, Design, Pre-construction and Construction. These align with the RIBA Plan of Work, more information on which can be found here.

Preparation - RIBA Stages 0 & 1

The initial Preparation stage includes an appraisal of the project and working closely with our client to establish a design brief. This is one of the most important stages of the process as it influences all future decision-making. A thorough brief borne out of conversation and observation of the existing conditions and opportunities is key to a successful project.

At this stage we will require digital surveys of any existing buildings and/or the site before we can undertake any design work. This is outside our normal scope of work but we can provide a quotation for this service by others.

Design - RIBA Stage 2

Once the brief has been agreed we will move onto the Design stage with the preparation of initial feasibility schemes and concept drawings. Quite often we may also produce alternative solutions that our client’s may not have considered. Use of space, proportion and treatment of natural light are key considerations at this stage.

We would recommend the client engaging a Quantity Surveyor to prepare a Cost Plan at an early stage to ensure budgets and aspirations are kept in check.

Design - RIBA Stage 3

Further developing the design, we look to define layouts and introduce ideas on materiality. Both drawn and written information is then compiled for necessary Planning Applications. In some instances, where there is a degree of complexity to a project, we may approach the Local Authority for Pre-Application Advice. It should be noted that for some projects, in particular small domestic extensions, planning permission is not required.

At this stage it may be necessary for our client to engage other consultants to fulfil the requirements of the planning authority. Additional information may include:

  • Heritage Statement
  • Ecology Report
  • Transport Statement
  • Structural Report
  • Flood Assessment
  • Sustainability Report
  • Noise Assessment
  • Lighting Assessment

Pre-Construction - RIBA Stage 4

Once Planning Approval is confirmed the Pre-Construction stage commences with production of technical information. At this stage, drawings at a larger scale will identify the construction and detail build up and will be accompanied by specification notes. This enables the submission of the Building Regulations Application.

At this stage, depending on the complexity of the project our client may have to engage specialist consultants such as:

  • Structural Engineer
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineer
  • Lighting Specialist
  • Audio Visual Specialist

A further part to Pre-Construction includes the preparation of detailed working drawings and tender documentation to obtain quotations for the works. It is important to define the specification in as much detail as possible to obtain a fixed price and limit the possibility of cost variations. We are able to assist in the choice of a suitable builder and offer pre-tender advice on the choice of builders and contract procurement.

Cost Plans should be updated and verified by the Quantity Surveyor at all stages prior to tender.

Construction - RIBA Stage 5

The Construction phase commences with the analysis of tenders and the appointment of a contractor. We are able to offer post-tender advise on the choice of builder once quotations have been received. On most projects we will normally then be involved in administering the building contract. This involves regularly monitoring the progress and quality of the works on site, and undertaking further contractual duties such as the issue of contract certificates.

In Use - RIBA Stages 6 & 7

The completion of the Construction phase marks the point at which the project is handed over to our Client. We work with the contractors to ensure that the highest quality of finish is achieved and to ensure a smooth hand over. There will be some post construction administration for an agreed period to cover any possible building defects, normally 6 or 12 months. We are always keen to improve the service we offer and will often use this period to gain feedback from our client’s on all aspects of the project.

For further detail on the above and for information relating to fees and appointment please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our standard Conditions of Engagement can be downloaded using the link below.


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