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Process

No matter the type or scale, every project follows a process from investigation/feasibility through to design and consents then to work on site and beyond. For all but the smallest of projects, we work to the RIBA Plan of Work 2020.

Stage 0
Strategic Definition

We identify your initial brief and other core project requirements. We may visit your building/site to help us understand your needs and aspirations.

We also need to understand your budget and discuss the scope of our appointment.

This is also a good stage to discuss a strategy for grant-funding if it is appropriate to your project.

For ecclesiastical repairs projects, Stage 0 may simply be a conversation to discuss the repair priorities and selection of items to form a project.

The Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 introduced responsibilities for the Client to plan health- and-safety for their projects. You can appoint us to manage this planning as Principal Designer.


Stage 1
Preparation & Briefing

We carry-out or arrange surveys, investigations, and feasibility studies to develop the initial brief.

We also advise on consultants and other specialists that may be required, including Quantity Surveyors who help manage costs.

Heritage projects may also include a special fee for carrying-out desk-based research or visits archives, and writing a report.

If we are also appointed as Principal Designer, we will advise on your health-and-safety duties as a Client, and start to collate the various information arising with what you may already have.

If the project is for a church, we can help with the production of Statements of Need and Significance.


Stage 2
Concept Design

We will prepare preliminary design/repair proposals and discuss with you, then develop them to create a final brief.

From the final brief, we will prepare an approximate estimate of the cost of the project, and you will then be asked to approve both the design/repair proposals and the estimate.

We will also assist with the appointment of consultants at this stage if they were not needed for surveys and investigations at Stage 1. Consultants are appointed by the client directly.


Stage 3
Spatial Coordination

We will develop the design, collaborating with the rest of the project team.

We will work-up the drawings and specification in enough detail in order to seek Planning permissions that may be required.

At the end of the stage you will have a detailed cost estimate and the developed design for approval.

As part of the development of the design, we can consult the relevant heritage bodies who will approve or comment on applications.

For church projects, at the end of this stage, we will submit an application to the church authorities for the ecclesiastical equivalent of planning approval unless further detail is required, in which case we will submit the application in Stage 4.


Stage 4
Technical Design

We will develop the technical design in sufficient detail for tendering, collating design information from any consultants.

We will prepare the documents required for the tender process (when you seek quotes from contractors). We will also advise on potential contractors to consider inviting to tender.

For church projects, we will submit an application to the church authorities for the ecclesiastical equivalent of planning approval if the application was deferred at Stage 3.

We or the Quantity Surveyor will Invite contractors to tender for the work, appraise and report on received tenders. We will arrange for post-tender interviews (if desired) and prepare the Building Contract and arrange for it to be signed.

Before starring on site, we will arrange for a pre-contract meeting to be held where the arrangements for starting on site and running the contact are discussed.

If Building Regulations approval is required, we will collate enough information to apply for approval at this stage.

If you would like (or are required) to carry-out a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) to screen potential tenderers, we can conduct this exercise.

If appointed as Principal Designer, we will also collate the CDM pre-construction information.


Stage 5
Manufacturing & Construction

We will visit site to see that the work is proceeding generally in accordance with the Building Contract.

If consultants such as Structural Engineers and Mechanical and Electrical Engineers have been appointed, we will invite them to visit site and inspect the works if this has been allowed for in their fees.

During the course of the works, we will conduct regular progress meetings, certify payments for work carried-out or completed.

If approvals for the works as-built are required from Building Control and Conservation Officers, we will arrange for the necessary inspections to be made.

As the project draws to a close, we will provide or obtain ‘As Constructed’ information and (if appointed as Principal Designer) prepare the CDM construction information.

We will also be able to give general advice on maintenance.


Stage 6
Handover

We will make final inspections and advise on the resolution of defects.

We will (on the advice of the Quantity Surveyor) agree the final account with the contractor and issue a final certificate.


Stage 7
Use

In certain cases you may wish to agree separate services for monitoring a building, or providing regular inspections.

For our church clients, Stage 7 is effectively covered in our ongoing relationship as Inspecting Architect.