Mad Hat Cakes Ltd. wants to construct a 2 storey low rise building. The paper discusses important issues such as understanding stages of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) guidelines; traditional procurements; different roles in construction and statutory constraints to which the development will be subjected.
1. Traditional Procurement
In construction projects, three main criteria constrain and drive the project. These criteria are cost, time and quality and by focussing on only one criterion, the others would be negatively impacted. Procurement refers to the purchase of construction work and the traditional method is usually recommended for inexperienced clients such as Mad Hat Bakers Ltd. The method is also called as design bid build and it can be used for simple and complex projects with cost certainties and time predictability possible. In this method, the customer develops the business case for the construction, creates the brief and a budget and would hire consultants for design and preparing tender documents. The customer would select the building contractor to undertake construction as per the agreed price. There would be subcontracting of the work to specialist firms with the contractor assuming liability of failure and to manage the risks. The consultants would manage and administer the contracts and provide guidance of different aspects such as design, stage payments and work progress. This has a lower level of risk for customers who want to have a reduced risk exposure to issues such as design failure and overspend delays. The exposure to risk would increase when the time schedule is shortened or where tender documents are improper (Peter, 2007).
A slight improvement is the two stage tender process where the contractors tenders are created on the semi finished designs prepared by the consultant. The contractor would then help in finalising the design and tender documents. The tender documents are then prepared for the second stage of preparing the tender process. The method increased the perceived risks in the costing and the date of completion would be uncertain. However, involvement of the contractor is much more and the contractor would work harder (Peter, 2007).
2. RIBA Stages of Work
According to the RIBA method, a construction project would be made up of five main stages. Each of these stages has a number of stages identified as A to L. The five main stages are Preparation, Design, Pre-Construction, Construction and Use (RIBA Work Stages, November 2008). Please refer to the following figure that gives details of the process.
Between the first stage of preparation and last stage of use, there are a total of 11 sub stages. The stages are also called the outline plan of work and it is used to manage, design build and administer the buildings. The whole project life cycle would be covered by these work stages and sub stages and they are further identified by an alphabet code such as A, B. In the preparation stage, there are two sub stages A an B or appraisal and design brief, respectively. In this stage, the business case is justified and requirements of customer’s requirements, objectives and expected constraints are noted. In addition, issues such as procurement method, organisation structure, procedure and others are created. The second design stage has three sub stages, C, D and E or Concept, Design Development and technical design, respectively. The stage provides the ideas from the previous stage and the design development work is done. Deliverables include the concept design, structural and building services and preparation of the technical designs and specifications (Hughes, 2008). The Pre Construction stage has three sub stages, F, G and H or product information, tender documentation and tender action, respectively. In this stage, product information is readied so that the tender documents can be prepared. This is followed by preparation of detailed and firm tender documents and identifying possible contractors. The next stage is Construction with two stages J and K or mobilisation and construction to practical completion, respectively. In the stage the investment decision is taken, contractor appointed, work is initiated to completion. The final stage us use with a code L or post practical completion. The code L is further split into L1, L2 and L3 and the stage takes care of building administration, assisting the user during occupancy and a review of the project performance (Hughes, 2008).
3. Concise Job Descriptions
There are a number of new roles and designations that would be involved in the project. The roles are: project manager, architect, architectural technologist, quantity surveyor, CDM co-ordinator, building control surveyor, building surveyor, clerk of works, principal contractor. Please refer to “Appendix A1. Role and Job Description.”
4. Guidance notes for the main statutory constraints
According to RIBA stipulations for plan of work stages are subject to a number of legal and technical statutory constraints. These constraints vary from area to area but the constraints would determine of permission is required for construction and how applications have to be framed. As given in the case, the project is ‘notifiable’ and this means that before construction can commence, local building approval authorities have to be notified about the exact location, detailed design documents and how the building plan would reply to the some constraints as given below (Peter, 2007).
Flood Risk Zone: As per the Environmental Agency – EA report, there are certain flood risk zones for rivers. These areas are classified into 3 zones, with zone 2 and 3 under great risk. Construction is not allowed in this zone.
Tree Preservation Order: The plan should not involve cutting down of any trees and in such cases, the authorities have to be informed and permission taken.
Conservation areas: Some areas are under conservation and construction activity is not allowed.
Food and Drug Administration: Since the proposed administration is for food products, there are a number of regulations regarding building design, waste disposal, processing stock material, storage of finished products, general hygiene and cleanliness levels and so on.
Green Buildings and Building Efficiency: As per regulations on building efficiency, sustainability in design has assumed great importance. Buildings must demonstrate they preserve and reduce heat loss, allow natural light inside and that renewable energy sources such as solar power are used.
Permitted Development Rights: Local bodies have the power to grant rights for developing certain areas and for reversal of such rights if granted. Just because an organisation already has a construction in a location does not mean that rights for redevelopment are automatically given and have to be gained. In some cases, development rights may have been removed from some properties and it should be ascertained if a new construction is allowed.
The paper has examined the construction proposal for Mad Hat Cakes Ltd. that wants to develop a vacant space into a new building for it office and units. The traditional procurement model or the design bid build model was recommended since it is not very complex and gives equal importance to cost and time. The model allows the customer to develop the business case, create a brief and budget, and hire consultants. The consultant would hire other contractors, create the designs, get the construction done and make the building ready for use. Important aspects of RIBA have been examined and different work stages discussed. A concise definition for some new job roles and descriptions has also been provided. In addition, guidance notes on constraints for building development have been discussed.