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A Guide to Our Design Process


A guide to our design process and how we deliver exciting projects for our clients.

At Co Create Architects, we understand that embarking on a new building project can be an exciting yet daunting process. That’s why we aim to guide our clients through every step of the way, from the initial briefing stage to the final handover.

Based in Plymouth, Devon, we pride ourselves on delivering unique and exciting projects for our clients. Our team of talented architects and designers are dedicated to bringing your vision to life, whether you’re looking to build a new extension or undertake a larger renovation project.

Stage 0

The RIBA Plan of Works is a widely recognised industry standard that guides architectural practices through the various stages of a building project. At Co Create Architects, we use the RIBA Plan of Works as a guide for our services to ensure that we provide a consistent and comprehensive approach to every project we undertake.

The Plan of Works is divided into eight work stages, with each stage building upon the previous one. The first three stages (Preparation & Briefing, Concept Design and Spatial Coordination) are known as the ‘Pre-Construction’ stages, while the remaining five (Technical Design, Manufacturing & Construction, Handover, Use & Operation, and Retirement) are known as the ‘Construction’ stages. This approach helps us to manage our projects effectively and deliver a high-quality service to our clients at every stage of the building process.

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The RIBA Plan of Works

We begin our process with the Preparation & Briefing stage, where we take the time to understand your aspirations, project timeframes and budget. We then carry out a measured survey of the property and project site to ensure we have all the necessary information to move forward.

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Understanding the clients brief

The next stage is the Concept Design, where we present ideas, solutions and concept designs for your project. We take on board your comments and optimise the potential of the property, reviewing daylight, views and quality of space. Our advanced 3D design tools allow us to fully engage you in the design process and visualise the end result.

Once the design concept is agreed upon, we move on to Spatial Coordination, where we finalise and submit any planning applications to obtain the necessary consents for your project. We work closely with the local authority and undertake application discussions with the Planning Officer on your behalf, making amendments where necessary.

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The developed design option

Once planning permission is granted, we move on to the Technical Design stage, collaborating with a wider design team to complete the technical design. This includes working with a variety of consultants such as a Structural Engineer, Civil Engineer, M&E Engineer along with Building Control to ensure compliance under Building Regulations.

The Manufacturing & Construction stage is where the building work begins. We work closely with you to review the tender returns and move to the contract stage, before undertaking regular visits to the site to ensure the works are being undertaken in line with the drawings, specification and programme. We provide contract administration services and certify the works for compliance with the building Regulations.

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We work closely alongside the contractor while the project is on site

Finally, on completion of the construction work, we move to the Handover stage, where we prepare the necessary handover documents and review the project workmanship. We compile a list of any snagging items that require rectification, ensuring that the end result is to the highest possible standard.

At Co Create Architects, we aim to make the building process as smooth and stress-free as possible for our clients. Whether you’re based in Plymouth, Devon, or further afield, we’re here to help bring your vision to life.

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We’re always ready to start new and exciting projects. But we also understand if you’re not ready yet. If you’d like a chat through an idea or have a query, we’re always happy to talk.

Co Create Architects | RIBA Chartered Architects Devon