May saw the launch of the new RIBA Plan of Work 2013.
This comprises eight work stages with defined boundaries, tasks and outputs at each stage.
There is also now an online tool which provides the flexibility to produce “a focused practice or project-specific Plan of Work…..to create a bespoke practice-specific Plan of Work that reflects the common working methods of their practice or produce a project-specific Plan that can be developed with a client for a particular project..”
This flexible approach is an innovative change that provides some room for future change around procurement practices.
For instance, since the early 1990s there has been a significant increase in Design and Build projects. However, the previous RIBA Plan of Work assumed that an architect would take a project lead and produce information for contractors to tender under a traditional form of procurement.
Clearly, the RIBA Plan of Work prior to 2013 had not kept up with systemic changes in procurement trends.
The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 is now able to cope with BIM projects and changes in procurement.
One of the really interesting aspects of the new plan of work is the last stage, Stage 7 – In Use.
This is a new approach and signals opportunities for architects, contractors and other consultants to consider post-occupancy services that clients may want. In essence, why should the client relationship end on project handover?
This will tie-in with the release later in 2013 / early 2014 of NRM3 which is aimed at maintenance and in-use cost planning.