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Architectural Services


BBA create architectural solutions which meet a variety of client requirements. The team has a vast cross-section of architectural, planning and construction knowledge to assist a variety of project briefs. BBA offers a unique combination of commercial acumen, design talent and social commitment. A rigorous approach produces design solutions that are intelligent, imaginative and which add value and joy.

Working to a process

The RIBA Plan of Work was introduced in 2013 and organises the process of briefing, designing, constructing, maintaining, operating and using building projects into a number of key stages. BBA have experience of working within each of the eight RIBA stages. Click on each segment of the circle below to find out more about each stage. The segments below include an example of a three dwelling scheme in Clevedon which BBA were involved with from Stage 0 (Strategic Definition ) to Stage 7 (In Use). One of the homes was shortlisted for the final of the ‘best individual new home’ at the LABC awards.

The stages of RIBA


Stage 0 is used to ensure that the client’s Business Case and the Strategic Brief have been properly considered before the Initial Project Brief is developed.

The Strategic Brief may require a review of a number of sites or alternative options, such as extensions, refurbishment or new build. By asking the right questions, the consultants, in collaboration with the client, can properly define the scope for a project, and the preparation and briefing process can then begin.

Core Objectives

Identify client’s Business Case and Strategic Brief and other core project requirements.


Several significant and parallel activities need to be carried out during Stage 1 Preparation and Brief to ensure that Stage 2 Concept Design is as productive as possible. These split broadly into two categories:

  • developing the Initial Project Brief and any related Feasibility Studies
  • assembling the project team and defining each party’s roles and responsibilities and the Information Exchanges.

The preparation of the Initial Project Brief is the most important task undertaken during Stage 1. The time required to prepare it will depend on the complexity of the project.

When preparing the Initial Project Brief, it is necessary to consider:

  • the project’s spatial requirements
  • the desired Project Outcomes, which may be derived following Feedback from earlier and similar projects
  • the site or context, by undertaking site appraisals and collating Site Information, including building surveys
  • the budget.

A project Risk Assessment is required to determine the risks to each party. The development of the procurement strategy, Project Programme and, in some instances, a (town) planning strategy are all part of this early risk analysis.

The importance of properly establishing the project team cannot be underestimated, given the increasing use of technology that enables remote communication and project development using BIM. For Stage 2 to commence in earnest, it is essential that the team is properly assembled.

Core Objectives

Develop Project Objectives, including Quality Objectives and Project Outcomes, Sustainability Aspirations, Project Budget, other parameters or constraints and develop Initial Project Brief. Undertake Feasibility Studies and review of Site Information.


During Stage 2, the initial Concept Design is produced in line with the requirements of the Initial Project Brief.

The project team also develops, in parallel with the Concept Design, a number of Project Strategies. Their importance at this stage will depend on how they are to influence the Concept Design. For example, the Sustainability Strategy is likely to be a fundamental component of the Concept Design, whereas a Security Strategy may have minimal or no impact and can therefore be developed during a later stage.

It is essential to revisit the brief during this stage and it should be updated and issued as the Final Project Brief as part of the Information Exchange at the end of Stage 2.

In parallel with design activity, a number of other related tasks need to be progressed in response to the emerging design, including a review of the Cost Information, the development of a Construction Strategy, a Maintenance and Operational Strategy and a Health and Safety Strategy and updating of the Project Execution Plan.

Core Objectives

Prepare Concept Design, including outline proposals for structural design, building services systems, outline specifications and preliminary Cost Information along with relevant Project Strategies in accordance with Design Programme. Agree alterations to brief and issue Final Project Brief.


During this stage, the Concept Design is further developed and, crucially, the design work of the core designers is progressed until the spatial coordination exercises have been completed. This process may require a number of iterations of the design and different tools may be used, including design workshops.

By the end of Stage 3, the architectural, building services and structural engineering designs will all have been developed, and will have been checked by the lead designer, with the stage design coordinated and the Cost Information aligned to the Project Budget.

Project Strategies that were prepared during Stage 2 should be developed further and in sufficient detail to allow the client to sign them off once the lead designer has checked each strategy and verified that the Cost Information incorporates adequate allowances.

Change Control Procedures should be implemented to ensure that any changes to the Concept Design are properly considered and signed off, regardless of how they are instigated.

While specialist subcontractors will undertake their design work at Stage 4, they may provide information and guidance at Stage 3 in order to facilitate a more robustly developed design.

Core Objectives

Prepare Developed Design, including coordinated and updated proposals for structural design, building services systems, outline specifications, Cost Information and Project Strategies in accordance with Design Programme.


The architectural, building services and structural engineering designs are now further refined to provide technical definition of the project and the design work of specialist subcontractors is developed and concluded. The level of detail produced by each designer will depend on whether the construction on site will be built in accordance with the information produced by the design team or based on information developed by a specialist subcontractor. The Design Responsibility Matrix sets out how these key design interfaces will be managed.

Using the design coordinated during the previous stage, the designers should now be able to develop their Technical Designs independently, with a degree of autonomy. The lead designer will provide input to certain aspects, including a review of each designer’s work.

Once the work of the design team has been progressed to the appropriate level of detail, as defined in the Design Responsibility Matrix and the Design Programme, specialist subcontractors and/or suppliers undertaking work will be able to progress their design. The lead designer and other designers, where required as part of their Schedule of Services, may have duties to review this design information and to ensure that specialist subcontractor design work is integrated with the coordinated design.

By the end of this stage, all aspects of the design will be completed, apart from minor queries arising from the site during the construction stage. In many projects, Stage 4 and 5 works occur concurrently, particularly the specialist subcontractor design aspects.

Core Objectives

Prepare Technical Design in accordance with Design Responsibility Matrix and Project Strategies to include all architectural, structural and building services information, specialist subcontractor design and specifications, in accordance with Design Programme.


During this stage, the building is constructed on site in accordance with the Construction Programme. Construction includes the erection of components that have been fabricated off site.

The procurement strategy and/or the designer’s specific Schedule of Services will have set out the designer’s duties to respond to Design Queries from site generated in relation to the design, to carry out site inspections and to produce quality reports.

The output of this stage is the ‘As-constructed’ Information.

Core Objectives

Offsite manufacturing and onsite Construction in accordance with the Construction Programme and resolution of Design Queries from site as they arise.


The project team’s priorities during this stage will be facilitating the successful handover of the building in line with the Project Programme and, in the period immediately following, concluding all aspects of the Building Contract, including the inspection of defects as they are rectified or the production of certification required by the Building Contract.

Other services may also be required during this period. These will be dictated by project specific Schedules of Services, which should be aligned with the procurement and Handover Strategies. Tasks in relation to the Handover Strategy can be wide-ranging and may include:

  • attending Feedback workshops
  • considering how any lessons learned might be applied on future projects
  • undertaking tasks in relation to commissioning or ensuring the successful operation and management of the building.

Core Objectives

Handover of building and conclusion of Building Contract.


This is a new stage within the RIBA Plan of Work. It acknowledges the potential benefits of harnessing the project design information to assist with the successful operation and use of a building.

While it is likely that many of the handover duties will be completed during Stage 6, prior to conclusion of the Building Contract, certain activities may be required or necessary afterwards. These should be confirmed in the relevant Schedule of Services.

While the end of a building’s life might be considered at Stage 7, it is more likely that Stage 0 of the follow-on project or refurbishment would deal with these aspects as part of strategically defining the future of the building.

Core Objectives

Undertake In Use services in accordance with Schedule of Services.

Partial text taken from RIBA. ribaplanofwork2013overviewfinalpdf.pdf