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Carrying out of construction work

Now that you’ve explored the key parties involved in the construction contract, let’s have a look at how construction works are carried out. Different countries apply different frameworks for undertaking construction. Here, we’ll look at a framework set out by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the RIBA Plan of Work 2013.

There are eight stages in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013:

Stage 0 – strategic definition The first stage was added in 2013 when the Plan of Work was updated from the 2007 version and is, therefore, perhaps a little confusingly, called Stage 0. This stage constitutes a strategic appraisal and definition of a project prior to the creation of a detailed brief.

Stage 1 – preparation and brief Although this is, in effect, the second stage of the framework, Stage 1 is the first stage that relates to the actual construction work. The preparation and brief stage involves developing an initial project brief. Work for this stage may include: considering feedback from previous projects, defining overall spatial requirements, carrying out surveys and quantifying the budget, carrying out feasibility studies and others.

Stage 2 – concept design The concept design follows the appraisals and project brief created in Stage 1. The aim of this stage is to demonstrate the design team’s preliminary response to the project brief. This is followed by detailed design drawings, incorporating all the elements needed for the construction of the structure.

Stage 3 – developed design ‘Developed design’ was previously known as ‘detailed design’. In this stage, all particulars or elements of the design are developed, including co-ordinated and updated proposals for structural design, building services systems, outline specifications, cost information and others.

Stage 4 – technical design At the technical design stage, all project activities involved are presented. This also includes the personnel to be involved, such as the sub-contractors needed for particular work activities in addition to the client’s work development team. The necessary statutory approval would also be sought following the completion of architectural, structural and mechanical services design and specifications.

Stage 5 – construction The construction stage involves all details of the proposed construction work, the schedule to be followed, the method of procurement and the process designers respond to queries – that is to say, all the detailed information (constructed details) are available at this stage.

Stage 6 – handover and closeout This is the period of transition between completion of the construction project and occupation; it’s also sometimes referred to as the ‘occupation and defects liability period’. This transition period is vital because it allows for the detection of defects. The final certificate is prepared upon completion of the list of defects that are identified in the six to 12-month post-occupation period.

Stage 7 – in use This is the stage where the construction works are considered complete; the owners are now responsible for the management of the building.

To finish our overview of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013, this video lists the core objectives and information exchange deliverables for each of the eight stages.

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0. Please note that there is no transcript for this video as there is no voice-over to this animation.

Your task

Take about 30 minutes to do some research about the process of carrying out works in your country. What framework does it depend on? Share your findings with your colleagues and discuss some posts of learners from other countries.

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about the RIBA Plan of Work 2013, you may want to visit the RIBA 2013 Plan of Work website, or download the RIBA Plan or Work 2013 overview.


RIBA (2013) RIBA Plan of Work 2013 [online]. available from https://www.architecture.com/-/media/gathercontent/riba-plan-of-work/additional-documents/ribaplanofwork2013overviewfinalpdf.pdf [17 August 2018]

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This article is from the free online course:

Contract Management and Procurement: An Introduction

Coventry University