Preparation and brief project stage
The process for completing the design and construction of a building is often divided into stages. This can be helpful in establishing milestones for the submission of progress reports, the preparation of information for approval, client gateways, and for making payments. However there is a great deal of ambiguity between the naming of stages by different organisations and the definition of what individual stages actually include (see comparison of work stages) and so it is important that appointment documents make it clear specifically what activities fall within which stage, and what level of detail is required.
‘Preparation and brief’ is a new phrase coined by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for their 2013 Plan of Work. This plan comprises eight work stages, and its new terminology, stage referencing system and lack of detail have generated some criticism.
- 0 - Strategic definition.
- 1 - Preparation and brief.
- 2 - Concept design.
- 3 - Developed design.
- 4 - Technical design.
- 5 - Construction.
- 6 - Handover and close out.
- 7 - In use.
The preparation and brief stage involves:
- Developing an initial project brief. This may include; considering feedback from previous projects, defining overall spatial requirements, carrying out surveys and quantifying the budget.
- Carrying out feasibility studies.
- Undertaking a project risk assessment, including; planning risks, programme and procurement strategy.
- Assembling the project team and defining their roles and responsibilities.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing consultants.
- Briefing documents.
- Comparison of work stages.
- Designing Buildings Wiki Project plans.
- Design responsibility matrix.
- Feasibility studies.
- Project brief.
- RIBA Plan of Work.
- Risk assessment.
 External references
Featured articles and news
In the week of the momentous Heathrow decision, we look back at the development and design of T5.
BSRIA’s flagship event will address performance and wellbeing beyond compliance.
Young Architects and Developers Alliance launched to build the relationship between the two disciplines.
BS 8536-2:2016 Design and construction: Code of practice for asset management (Linear and geographical infrastructure).
Paying for off-site goods or materials can be useful, but it puts the client at risk.
People power can be transformative if properly informed and inspired.
ZHA win competition to build an Urban Heritage Administration Centre in Saudi Arabia.
Leaps, not steps, are needed to avoid a ticking time bomb, say BRE in response to Farmer Review.
A multi-purpose hall in France covered in a translucent orange membrane.
Winning designs revealed for a rock formation-influenced residential complex in Rennes.
An article explaining the techniques, regulations and environmental impacts of carbon capture and storage.
Watch one of the first documentaries by the acclaimed Adam Curtis, examining the substandard system building of the 1960s.