Following my articles summarising the RIBA Plan of Works, this article continues from Stage 4: Technical Design. I will be writing a series of articles going into more detail on each stage to help people better understand the process by which architects work. This article covers Stage 4.5: Mobilisation.
As you may have guessed, this isn't really a stage, but a halfway point between stages 4 & 5. In older versions of the RIBA Plan of Work, Mobilisation was a stage in and of itself and I feel it's a shame that it's no longer included. Typically, we package it within Stage 5: Construction, but I wanted to cover this aspect on it's own, given how important it is.
In essence, Mobilisation transitions the design from the office to site. It's in this stage that we help clients find a builder, prepare a contract and help the builder get on site. The drawings, schedules, specifications etc that you've just had from Stage 4 are useful not only for building from, but also to get accurate pricing. If you've not already got a quantity surveyor on board, this may be the ideal time to get one involved. The quantity surveyor can prepare a 'Bill of Quantities' which is essentially a shopping list that helps for more accurate pricing. This is especially recommended for complicated or high value projects.
In tendering the works to builders we work with either a list of builders you provide us, a set of builders we work with regularly or a combination of the two. We check not only the pricing of the works, but their ability to carry out the works, timescales and health & safety. We'll give you our assessment of the tenders and help you negotiate a contract with the builder and put the contract in place.
The only part remaining is the pre-start meeting where we ensure final checks, e.g. remaining planning considerations, building regulations inspections, statutory undertakers and the contractor's welfare set-up.
After all that - the construction starts! That's RIBA Stage 5, which I'll cover in my next article in this series.