Last month, Dale Sinclair and Adrian Dobson discussed the thinking behind the review of the RIBA Plan of Work. Here they explain the conceptual shift in the new PoW
RIBAJ: What are the main changes in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013?
Dale Sinclair: The RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007 consists of 11 work stages defined by the letters A-L, a description of key tasks, and reference to former OGC (Office of Government Commerce) Gateways. The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 has eight work stages defined by the numbers 0-7, and eight task bars.
These eight stages are derived as follows:
> Stage 0 is new. In it a project is strategically appraised and defined before a detailed brief is created. This is particularly relevant in the context of sustainability when an extension, refurbishment or rationalised space plan may be more appropriate than a new building. Some activities in stage 0 are derived from the former (RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007) stage A.
> Stage 1 merges the residual tasks from the former stage A with the stage B tasks that relate to carrying out preparation activities and briefing in tandem.
> Stage 2 maps exactly to the former stage C.
> Stage 3 maps broadly to the former stage D. The strategic difference is that in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 the developed design will be co-ordinated and aligned with cost information by the end of the stage. This may not increase the amount of design work required, but extra time will be needed to review information and for making any changes arising from the comments made, until all the outputs are
co-ordinated before the Information Exchange.
> Stage 4 comprises the residual technical work of the core design team members. At the end of stage 4, their design work will be completed, although they may have obligations to check fabrication design information during stage 5 or respond to design queries that arise from work undertaken on site during stage 6.
> Stage 5 recognises the importance of design work undertaken by specialist subcontractors and/or suppliers employed by the contractor (Performance Specified Design in JCT contracts). The need to define this work early in the process, in a design responsibility matrix, is a core recommendation of RIBA PoW 2013.
> Stage 6 maps to the former stage K – but also includes stage J.
> Stage 7 maps to stage L but is likely to embrace further duties arising from post-completion and post occupancy evaluation activities.
RIBAJ: this leaves some major tasks out of the work stages, notably procurement. How are they being addressed?
DS: While the tendering stages have been deleted RIBA Plan of Work 2013 replaces them with a procurement task bar. When it is launched in May there will be a free online version enabling users to customise a practice or project RIBA PoW 2013 to meet their specific needs. In a customised Plan of Work the selected procurement route will be inserted with specific activities included at each stage. The new programme and planning task bars will allow a number of options to be included in the custom plans. The remaining five task bars contain activities specific to each stage.
RIBAJ: Many architects will be interested how the new RIBA PoW will affect fee structures and what relevant guidance will be provided.
DS: Many issues are affecting fees, including the recession, BIM, significant variations in the services required and/or provided or the information provided at each stage, so it is difficult to provide a definitive statement on fees. However, the changes to the current stages are not significant. Practices should consider how the strategic changes influence their current processes and charge-out rates. For example, stage 0 is likely to be chargeable on an hourly rate whereas the co-ordination exercises undertaken at stage 3 may necessitate an increase in the previous stage D fee.
RIBAJ: When will RIBA Plan of Work 2013 take over from the old Plan of Work?
Adrian Dobson: The paper and online versions of RIBA Plan of Work 2013 will be available in May. At the same time new alternative services schedules for RIBA Appointment agreements and a new version of the Architect’s Job Book will be published. We anticipate that both the old and new versions of the Plan of Work will remain in parallel use for quite some time. But we also believe that the advantages of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 will quickly become apparent and that many people in the construction industry will start to make the switch sooner rather than later.
Dale Sinclair is author of the RIBA Plan of Work and Adrian Dobson is RIBA director of practice