Strategic definition stage for building projects
The process for completing the design and construction of a building is often divided into notional ‘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 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.
‘Strategic definition’ is a stage referred to in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for their 2013 Plan of Work. This plan comprises eight work stages, and introduces new terminology, and a new stage referencing system:
- 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 first stage, Strategic definition is a new stage, although some of the tasks involved were previously included in old first stage of the 2007 Plan of Work ‘Appraisal’.
The RIBA suggest that, ‘Strategic considerations might include considering different sites, whether to extend, refurbish or build new and the key Project Outcomes, as well as initial considerations for the Project Programme and assembling the project team.’
The stage is followed by stage 1, ‘Preparation and brief’ which involves developing the initial project brief, carrying out feasibility studies and assembling the project team ready for concept design to commence.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Briefing documents.
- Business case.
- Comparison of work stages.
- Designing Buildings Wiki Project plans.
- RIBA Plan of Work.
- Statement of need.
- Strategic brief.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Eleven Magazine announce the winner and runners-up in their Moontopia competition.
As January is the time for hitting the gym, Designing Buildings Wiki lists the best gym architecture in the world.
London is at the top of the list of global construction megacities, beating Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
What are the innovative business models of the future, and how to incentivise supply chains to work on a whole life basis?
One of the largest churches in the world, the monumental St. Peter's Basilica.
How thermal comfort is quantified and how it can affect wellbeing.
Snøhetta complete a treehouse cabin that allows guests to lie beneath the Northern Lights.
Christiania is an anarchist 'freetown' in Copenhagen where strange and experimental architecture has flourished.
“UK waste data needs improving” say BRE specialists, in this summary of their report into construction waste.
UandI announce new joint venture with US developer to work on office refurbishment projects.
Why buildings crack, how cracks are categorised and what can be done.
Inaugurated last week, the new Elbphilharmonie concert venue; a soaring new addition to Hamburg's skyline.