- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 25 Jan 2017
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
A document can be called a bond or a guarantee. Does the name matter and what is the difference between them?
New briefing note is launched focusing on increasing knowledge of housing that promotes health and wellbeing.
Arbitration is a private, contractual form of dispute resolution used in the construction industry.
The European Parliament has approved a revised Energy Performance of Buildings directive.
One in six MPs supports the ring-fencing of retentions as proposed in the 'Aldous Bill'.
A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in the process or outcome of a construction project.
BRE launches online self-assessment tool for ethical labour sourcing.
Tower refurbishment failed to meet safety standards on several counts, according to leaked report.
It may seem obvious but what does the term 'structure' refer to within a built environment context?
Carillion's liabilities could be much higher than previously thought, according to Receiver.
Photographing Historic Buildings, by the former head of photography at English Heritage.