In the UK construction industry, confusion often arises during the tendering process regarding the design stage a project is in. This can cause issues for contractors and suppliers, who may find it difficult to understand what is required of them at each stage. In an effort to simplify the process and provide clarity, this article will define each of the RIBA design stages, from Stage 0 through to Stage 7. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what is expected at each design stage, and be better equipped to handle the tendering process.

The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) stages of design are a widely used framework for the design and delivery of construction projects. The stages provide a systematic and comprehensive approach to the design process, and help to ensure that all important aspects of the project are considered and addressed. There are seven RIBA stages of design, as follows:

  • RIBA Stage 0: Pre-Design – This stage involves initial project planning and feasibility studies, including site analysis, programming, and cost estimating.
  • RIBA Stage 1: Brief Development – This stage involves the development of a detailed project brief, including the design objectives, client requirements, and performance criteria.
  • RIBA Stage 2: Concept Design – This stage involves the creation of conceptual design proposals, including the development of massing studies, sketch plans, and 3D models.
  • RIBA Stage 3: Scheme Design – This stage involves the refinement of the conceptual design, including the development of detailed plans, sections, elevations, and schedules.
  • RIBA Stage 4: Technical Design – This stage involves the preparation of detailed technical drawings and specifications, including the preparation of working drawings, detailed schedules, and product specifications.
  • RIBA Stage 5: Construction – This stage involves the physical construction of the building, including procurement, fabrication, and construction of the building components.
  • RIBA Stage 6: Completion – This stage involves the completion of the construction, including final inspection, commissioning, and handover of the building to the client.

By following the RIBA stages of design, architects and engineers can ensure that all important aspects of the project are considered and addressed, and that the design process is well-structured, comprehensive, and efficient.

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