Last edited 09 Dec 2020

Manufacturing and construction

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, 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.

Manufacturing and construction’ is a new stage introduced by the RIBA Plan of work 2020. This replaces ‘Construction’ in the 2013 edition and reflects the increasing prevalence of manufactured systems and components and volumetric construction.

The RIBA Plan of Work is published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Split into a number of key project stages, the RIBA Plan of Work provides a shared framework for design and construction that offers both a process map and a management tool.

The RIBA Plan of Work 2020 changed the structure of the stages as shown below:

Stage 2013 edition 2020 edition
0 Strategic definition. Strategic definition.
1 Preparation and brief. Preparation and briefing.
2 Concept design. Concept design.
3 Developed design. Spatial coordination.
4 Technical design. Technical design.
5 Construction. Manufacturing and construction.
6 Handover and close out. Handover.
7 In use. Use.

The 2020 edition of the RIBA Plan of Work suggests that stage 5, manufacturing and construction: ‘…comprises the manufacturing and construction of the Building Systems in accordance with the Construction Programme agreed in the Building Contract. Increasingly, digital technologies are being used to rehearse different construction activities, allowing Stage 5 to be faster and safer. As the construction industry moves towards greater uptake of offsite manufacturing, greater emphasis is also placed on the logistics of getting materials and large-scale components to site on time, and on the management of supply chain partners.’

Stage 5 concludes by issuing a practical completion certificate which allows the completed development to be handed over to the client. The Plan for Use Strategy described by the RIBA requires that several tasks are undertaken to prepare for this, before and after practical completion.

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