Stage 2 – A robust and carefully considered concept design is key

Stage 2

It is our view that a robust and carefully considered concept is key. That might sound like a mouth full, but it is important because the concept design sets the tone for the project. After early engagement at Stage 1, the concept stage is a crucial part of the design process.

Why is it so important?

Typically we would be approached at Stage 2 Concept design to support a project. As mentioned previously, however, some of the design steps would have already been completed by this stage, which is why early engagement is so important. But having been appointed at Stage 2, we can rapidly mobilise to support the project.

At RIBA Stage 2 – Concept Design, the Architect prepares the “Concept Model” for the project incorporating “Strategic Engineering” requirements, which is aligned to “Cost Plan”, “Project Strategies” and “Outline Specification”

  • Being able to feed the MEP requirments into the Concept Model is vital at this early stage.
  • Plant rooms, risers, vent shafts, intakes etc are all classed as Strategic Engineering requirments.
  • Those previous elements are required to develop the Cost Plan or for the consideration of Project Risks.
  • Having an awareness, and supporting the Project Strategy provides a clear understanding of Project Goals.
  • Supporting the Outline Specification with regards to MEP services enhances the project definition.

Having completed the Feasibility Study at Stage 1, the Concept Design should capture the items identified in the Project Brief, the Quality Aspirations and in line with the Study. We then develop an MEP model that carefully considers all other design team members requirements and constraints. This collaborative and engaging working environment is what we do best.

Key MEP Goals of Stage 2

  • Developing core requirements from Stage 1
  • Concideration of Cost Plan with MEP approach
  • Input known DNO information to support MEP model
  • Review Feasibility Study and input options of Renewable Technology
  • Define performance matrix and design targets
  • Discuss options for MEP services for the preffered solution
  • Advise on significant spatial implications from MEP plant
  • Full Design review

If the project needs to achieve a BREEAM target, then some credits can be won in this early stage. We have a number of projects being completed that have a BREEAM requirement. One of which is Dover Technical College which we have recently posted here.

BSRIA Stage 2 concept visual
BSRIA Stage 2 Concept Model

In the past, we have been appointed on a number of projects that come to us at Stage 3 or later. Some of these projects had MEP input but most didn’t have any design support with regards to the building services.

This created a number of problems due to spatial constraints that could have been negated if we were involved earlier. Abortive time, re-design and variations are terms we hope to design out as part of our support package.


Do you have a project coming up?

Why not get in touch with our team today to discuss? We offer free and confidential advice and are happy to support projects of all sizes.

Published by Lex Rouzee

A versatile Building Services Engineer with extensive experience within the construction industry, involving principally electrical bias design, installation, commissioning and testing. Significant experience within the building services sector has been gained from progressing through site installation, supervisor and now design and consultancy.

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