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Plan for Use guide

Plan for Use provides guidance on managing the delivery of high performing, efficient and comfortable buildings through each RIBA Plan of Work stage. This includes setting realistic and measurable targets, managing risks to performance and measuring your clients' desired outcomes.

Plan for Use is the RIBA’s interpretation of the Soft Landings Framework produced by the Usable Buildings Trust and BSRIA. Its aim is to encourage a more outcome-based approach to briefing, design, construction, and handover, both within the architectural profession and (by extension) to the construction industry as a whole. The Plan for Use is embedded within the RIBA Plan of Work 2020.

Plan for Use has three basic components:

Set realistic and measurable targets

The client, design team, and end users should place greater focus on defining performance outcomes or targets as part of the Project Brief. This includes measurable values on energy consumption, embodied and operational carbon, water, and waste as well as “softer” measures like user comfort and well-being. Project-specific targets like reduction in patient waiting times may also be stipulated.

Complete Plan for Use activities

The Plan for Use activities described in this guide will help to ensure that both the design and its construction are capable of meeting the agreed targets. These should be revised as necessary, as the understanding of the design and the client requirements develops over the course of a project.

A record of performance risks is used to manage the aspects of design, procurement, and construction that might adversely affect the efficient running of the building in use, and to review progress against mitigating these risks.

Measure and feedback

A commitment to measuring and evaluating the performance of the building in use to understand the extent to which targets have been met; to allow the building and its services to be fine-tuned; and crucially, to provide valuable learning to inform future projects.

To help the profession and practitioners achieve these core outcomes, the RIBA has developed a detailed Sustainable Outcomes Guide that provides key metrics, design principles, and verification methods for each of the core outcomes. The Sustainable Outcomes Guide presents measurable and realistic targets and is intended to be referenced and used in the first action of the Plan for Use guide.

The Plan for Use complements the Sustainable Outcomes Guide and the RIBA Plan of Work 2020 in that it provides greater detail on the activities required at each stage, which are needed to deliver the desired outcomes of high performing, efficient and comfortable buildings. The RIBA recommends using the Plan for Use Guide as part of standard processes on all projects alongside the other new guidance.

A key aspect of Plan for Use is Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). For further guidance on POE please see:

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