- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 07 May 2018
RIBA plan of work
The RIBA Plan of Work is published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The latest version is also is endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, the Construction Industry Council, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, the Royal Society of Architects in Wales and the Royal Society of Ulster Architects.
It was originally launched in 1963 as a fold out sheet that illustrated the roles of participants in design and construction in a simple matrix format. The first detailed plan of work was published in 1964 (ref Introduction, RIBA Plan of Work 2007).
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. Whilst it has never been clear that architects actually follow the detail of the plan in their day to day activities, the work stages have been used as a means of designating stage payments and identifying team members responsibilities when assessing insurance liabilities, and they commonly appear in contracts and appointment documents.
The Plan of Work has evolved through its history to reflect the increasing complexity of projects, to incorporate increasing and changing regulatory requirements and to reflect the demands of industry and government reports criticising the industry. It has moved from a simple matrix representing just the traditional procurement route, to include multiple procurement routes, more diverse roles, multi-disciplinary teams, government gateways and to add stages before and after design and construction. It is supported by other RIBA publications such as the RIBA Job Book.
The Plan of Work has been criticised for being too architect focussed, for missing many of the client tasks undertaken at the beginning of a project and for condensing construction into a single stage.
The latest version, published in 2013 has moved online and has undergone a radical overhaul. It is now more flexible, with stages such as planning permission and procurement being moveable, it reflects increasing requirements for sustainability and Building Information Modelling (BIM) and it allows simple, project-specific plans to be created. In addition, the work stages have been re-structured and re-named.:
- 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 2013 Plan of Work has come under some criticism as it is significantly less detailed than the previous 2007 edition, its flexibility and customisability is very limited and the definition and naming of work stages does not reflect the terminology that is used by the industry.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Gustavo Giovannoni’s role in integrating modern planning requirements into historic town centres.
Against Hackitt's recommendations, the government are to consult on combustible cladding ban.
People or density - can we create urban liveability at ever-increasing densities?
3D printing is the computer-controlled sequential layering of materials to create 3D shapes.
Hackitt review calls for a radical rethink of the whole system and how it works.
Life cycle assessment is used to total up the environmental impact of a product’s supply chain. But why building LCA?
The government warns building owners of a performance issue with Grenfell fire doors.
Ramboll discusses how digitisation is contributing to how they design, engineer and construct in new and different ways.
'Carillion could happen again, and soon' is the stark warning from the heavily critical final report into Carillion's collapse.
In the wake of British architect Will Alsop's death, read about one of his most distinctive buildings.