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Architect: Stages of work

The design and completion of a construction project progresses through several well defined stages, from original inception through to final completion. Planning the work in this way helps to ensure that nothing is overlooked and also provides useful points at which a client can be invoiced. A brief outline of the different stages is given below (based on the RIBA definitions of the different stages).

Sometimes a project goes no further than the initial stages and for this reason fees for the early part of a project are often charged on a time basis. Once the preliminary stages have been completed and agreed with the client, the detailed work on the project begins and, from this stage until completion, the project is often charged for on a percentage basis.

Strategic Definition You will identify what the client wants and whether there is anything fundamental that might prevent the project from going ahead. You will prepare studies, including surveys if necessary, so that your client can decide whether or not to go ahead

Preparation and Brief You will put together the strategic briefing, confirming the key requirements and constraints. You will identify the procedures and organisational structure for the project, as well as any specialist consultants whose services need to be engaged

Concept Design You'll flesh out the strategic brief into the final project brief by preparing outline proposals, specifications and cost information

Developed Design You'll develop the outline design in more detail and update cost estimates

Technical Design All the technical aspects of the project are brought together and finalised and planning submissions prepared and submitted

Construction The building contractor and any other specialists involved proceed with the building work. You'll closely monitor and supervise the work and make frequent site visits

Handover and Close Out After making final inspections you'll formally hand over the completed building to the client and present your fee note

In Use Carry out any activities outlined in the handover strategy, like a post-occupancy evaluation and review of how the project progressed

You can see detailed information about the different work stages in the RIBA Plan of Work.

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