Stages of Design and Build

The main stages of the design and build process are outlined here and are based on the stages of work, and the nature of the work for each stage, that is proposed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This is for two reasons - architects are often the principal consultants on building projects (that is they often sub contract with the other consultants needed by the project and project manage the whole process) and also because these stages are understood in relation to what is expected in terms of outputs and fees by most other built environment professionals. It is worth bearing in mind however that some tasks will be needed that are not core design functions in order to secure planning permission - for example travel plans - but again, architects or surveyors can sub contract other specialists to carry out this work.

It should be borne in mind that this process can be a very long one. Design and build can be very time consuming and even the most generous estimates of time required for this are probably going to be less than the time it will actually take. Depending on the scale and kind of development involved, a construction process can take several years to develop in detail and even longer to implement on site. The most significant factors that will influence the time needed will be:

  • The levels of community involvement or consultation required throughout the process, particularly in relation to agreement on initial land uses and design requirements in the detailed stages
  • The scale of the works and any phasing of the process;
  • Any delays in obtaining planning consent;
  • When resources are available;
  • The skills and input from the client who authorises the work to take place and approves changes;
  • The availability and quality of professional advice.

The Are You Ready? section of this guide provides advice on the process of selecting and appointing consultants. Preparation work for briefing design professionals on building and refurbishment work will require considerable work and discussion with stakeholders.

Related Resources

Your Buildings, Your Future

A guide to commissioning sustainable architecture for community organisations.

By Matt Bridgestock

PDF icon Your Buildings, Your Future