Every project is different and approached on an individual basis.

Undertaking a construction project is rewarding but challenging. At Fleming James Architects we strive to make the experience as simple as possible. At every stage from appointment to completion we can be on hand to guide the client through what can be a daunting process.


Every project is considered on an individual basis. The starting point is always to consider the brief, alongside the building's context. We put enormous effort into understanding the nature of the site and the needs of the buildings users. We believe that it is only from here that the design, materials and methodology can be determined. Working as a team in close collaboration with clients, consultants, contractors, and all other stakeholders, the result is responsive, original and intelligent architecture.


In addition to computer modelling, the use of photography, hand sketches and physical models are vital tools in the design process. These are used to effectively communicate the design to the client and amongst other members of the team, ensuring a collaborative and thorough approach.


The following provides a brief summary of the RIBA Plan of Work describing the key stages of a construction project. If you have any queries or require further explanation please contact us.


It should be noted that the specifics of each work stage are dependant on the project type and complexity and the level of architectural services commissioned.


  • Stage 1 - The process begins at stage 1 with the development of the brief. This records the scope of the project including the number and type of spaces to be accommodated and the project budget. Costs must always be considered at this early stage to ensure that the project is affordable, avoiding budget issues further into the project. Fundamentals of the building design such as the layout and orientation are established. These test the feasibility of the project brief before moving forward to Stage 2.


  • Stage 2 - The information produced in Stage 1 is elaborated at the concept design stage including outline proposals for structural design and building services systems. Project strategies such as design programme timescales are are also considered.


  • Stage 3  -  The proposed design is developed in greater detail taking in to account a broad range of parameters that affect the design. Architectural drawings of sufficient detail are produced to form part of a planning application. In certain cases smaller building extension works can progress without the need for planning permission under permitted development rights, in which case the project can progress into Stage 4 without awaiting planning approval.


  • Stage 4 - The proposed design is considered in full detail to produce architectural drawings and specifications of a detailed technical nature suitable for construction. The information forms the basis of the application for Building Regulations (Building Control) Approval. Stage 4 information is used to form a 'tender package' issued to construction companies to obtain competitive quotes. It is important the detail is of a high standard to enable accurate quotations to be obtained and ensure the builder can realise the project in line with the original design and to the required quality.


  • Stage 5 - The project commences on site. The time and effort invested in the previous design stages is rewarded as the building comes to life. Retaining the full services of an architect during construction provides guidance to the client through what can be a daunting process. Site supervision and contract administration under the direction of an architect will ensure that on site queries are resolved and the building works are completed in line with the original design. The length of construction depends greatly on the size and complexity of a project.


  • Stage 6 - The building works draw to a close. Where full architectural services have been commissioned there are processes in place to ensure that the building works are satisfactorily completed and any post completion defects are rectified by the construction company following an agreed period of time.


  • Stage 7 - Now is the time to sit back and enjoy your new building.