This blog post below is a summary of what happens in Stage 1 of the plan of work.
Stage 1 of the RIBA work plan is about creating a clear overview of the brief and ensuring that everything needed for the design process is in place before Stage 2. This includes ensuring that the brief can be accommodated on the site.
Feasibility studies are conducted during the briefing process in order to verify whether a site is appropriate for the client’s needs, or to investigate a specific aspect of the briefing. If different feasible options emerge during this stage, these options should not be narrowed down or appraised. Rather, they should go on to undergo more thorough testing and analysis at Stage 2 of the design process – when the design can be fully created and brought to life. If you have an RIBA Client Adviser on board, they can complete feasibility studies for your project.
When the client team does not possess the necessary skills to analyze feasibility studies, they may want to consider hiring a designer early so that the feasibility study can be conducted as part of the client team. This will give continuity to Stage 2 and help contribute to design thinking by starting at Stage 1 and going through Stage 2. While design strategy may be applied during Feasibility Studies, it is not yet focused on designing the building; this starts in Stage 2.
All too often, a lack of a thorough briefing during Stage 1 can slow down the design process in Stage 2. This is because the design team will need to spend additional time on iterations of their proposal if there are any discrepancies between it and the client’s brief. It’s common for a brief to change during Stage 2, in response to the design proposals you have received.
It’s essential that Stages 1 and 2 of the project covers any topics that the client wants the design team to consider, including Project Outcomes, exemplar projects,
A good brief can help your project design process. The better the brief, the more engaged your design team will be in developing the best solution for you. RIBA Client Advisers have experience facilitating in Stage 1 with an informative and detailed Project Brief that will provide your Stage 2 design team with all the requirements.
In Stage 1, the design team needs to define the Information Requirements for each project stage. This includes considering new digital survey techniques that might assist in designing the best possible solution, what Assets are needed when the task is complete, and how new technologies might speed up the design process. Experienced clients will likely be prepared to specify these things on their own. Less experienced or one-off clients might look to the design team bidding for their project to offer up suggestions based on their experience in this domain or appoint an RIBA Client Adviser or information manager as a resource during this early phase of development. As digital transformation starts taking hold in construction, there’s no right answer in terms of how this should be approached. However, not considering it at all will make it more difficult and inefficient than working traditionally with an architect or designer would have been.