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Last edited 13 Dec 2019
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.
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.
 Find out more
 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
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