02 Sep 2021

RIBA plan of work – it’s never too early, or too late to talk to an AluK Consultant

RIBA plan  of work – it’s never too early, or too late to talk to an AluK Consultant

The complexity of glazing elements of any façade shouldn’t be underestimated, so involving your local AluK Project Consultant at any stage of your RIBA Plan of Work is advisable, even essential, in stages 2 to 4.

Stage 2- Concept Design

“I don’t want to waste your valuable time at Stage 2”, is often the reason I hear, as we hit issues later in the project development. Seldon are these issues of a nature that couldn’t have been avoided with earlier consultation, but now seem like a compromise.

While preparing your Concept Design, our clarity and expertise can offer advice and guidance regarding buildability and sustainability. We will assist with compiling budget expectations, involving were necessary, trade contractors for a more robust cost plan. Our consultant can guide you to achieve regulatory requirements and focus on key drivers. Key drivers being preliminary structural viability, initial acoustic, thermal and ventilation considerations, as well as reviewing strategies for fire egress and long-term maintenance. While it is helpful that we can prepare routine NBS outline specifications and generate generic CAD & BIM models, we believe it’s more important to provide bespoke samples, detailed program of delivery and suitability of bespoke elements, which can be key factors in the decision-making process at Stage 2.

Stage 3 – Developed Design

It’s not too late to involve AluK’s consultant at Stage 3, however, there are likely to be some compromises required to the concept design to ensure you achieve as successful Developed Design. An AluK consultant will guide you through the necessary information to gain regulatory compliance while trying to keep as close as possible to your Concept Design.

From AluK’s involvement at Stage 2, to preparing the glazing element of your Developed Design at Stage 3, it becomes more streamlined, as issues arising under structural design and building systems have already been considered. The coordination and update of proposals, as far as possible, are straight forward.

During Stage 3, AluK’s consultant will continue working with you, assisting the development of your design, providing more specific and updated design and technical support, similar to Stage 2. Now we can help you develop tender information, such as project specific ventilation, thermal and acoustic specification reports, together with project specific CAD drawings and relevant BIM models. Were required, AluK’s in-house testing facility can provide valuable test data. Naturally, updated NBS specifications into your desired format are provided.

Stage 4 – Technical Design

Again, it’s not too late to bring our AluK consultant into the project, in fact it can be invaluable especially if you need to consider “Value Engineering” your project. Bringing all the elements together looked at in Stage 2 and 3, the AluK Consultant will offer guidance for Value Engineering opportunities that otherwise could be overlooked. Finally generating an alternative proposal, then canvassing competitive tenders from specialist subcontractor for comparison.

Moving from Stage 3 with AluK assistance to preparing your Technical Design; AluK’s consultant will continue to work closely employing technical and design support to assist the qualification of tenders, ensuring compliance with the specification. They will help to develop the NBS alongside the project team while offering any guidance on VE opportunities that may have arisen.

In a continued support role, AluK will ensure fabrication training if necessary and installation training for all operatives and management that have not passed through the AluK Academy.

I hope now you can see the value of working with AluK with collaboration at our heart, and you will visit us at either of our Design Studios (Chepstow HQ and London) two spaces specifically designed for collaboration, networking, education and interaction, were we hope to bring our range of curtain walling, window and door systems to the heart of the fenestration and architectural communities.

The last 18 months have presented been the biggest challenge the specification community has ever seen, necessitating non-contact collaboration, and relying on partnerships to get the job done remotely.

AluK has invested in the consultant team to ensure they were consistently available for the ubiquitous Teams or Zoom virtual meetings, albeit with the odd interjection from rogue cats, wandering home schooled children or just perennial Wi-Fi issues. However throughout we were committed to support the RIBA plan of work both remotely and when permitted safely in person. While we hope everything is getting back to “normal”, we haven’t abandoned our remote support, we have merely absorbed it into the new ways of working, being another option alongside meetings on site, in your office or at our showroom.

Wherever and however we meet, we look forward to seeing you there!

Author: Ripley Foster

AluK Project Consultant

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