top of page
Agrostis speedcut at Colchester

Getting a Project Started

We tend to follow our customised sports facility version of the RIBA work stages with our projects. The various stages are described here.

​Site Investigation / Feasibility Study (RIBA Stages 0, 1 and 2)

Before embarking on the detailed design of any sports facility it is best to undertake a Site Investigation and produce a Feasibility Study. This informs the subsequent Design work and provides all of the necessary technical information. The Feasibility Study will include data on existing features such as soil conditions, existing drainage and greenfield runoff, surface levels, areas, dimensions etc. Appropriate techniques described in ‘Technical Services’ are usually those that are carried out.

Many projects require ‘cut’ and ‘fill’ land formation. Using levels data obtained from the site we can provide an accurate assessment of cut and fill volumes. This can have significant implications for the cost of a project.


The Feasibility Study will also provide an indication of the likely costs. By applying cost data from all of our projects for which we have organised the Tendering, a suitable Estimate is obtained. This can be particularly useful for example in grant applications and for general budgeting. If necessary, the subsequent Design can be modified in the light of the Estimate in order to meet your budget.​

​​Design and Specification (RIBA Stages 3 and 4)

​The detail of the design is set down in drawings and in the technical specification. These are extremely detailed documents that constitute a set of instructions to the Contractor as to what exactly needs to be carried out when. All materials, sand, gravels, grass seed etc, and performance tolerances are clearly set out to ensure that the design is implemented exactly as intended.


The Design documentation also includes a Bill of Quantities. This indicates exactly how much of what ‘stuff’ is to be incorporated into the project and is key to obtaining actual costs in the subsequent Procurement exercise.


​Almost all artificial surface projects and those natural turf projects that involve a significant change in surface levels require planning permission before they can go ahead. Planners require a good deal of technical information, usually presented as part of a Design and Access Statement. 


That information which pertains to the technicalities of a sports pitch may include:

  • The design and rationale behind drainage and soakaway systems (see here for details of our SuDS design services).

  • The details of changes in surface levels.

  • The details of fencing and floodlighting intentions.

  • The overall visual impact.

  • The design and rationale of subsoil preparation prior to sub-base installation (artificial pitches only).

We can provide this information in an appropriate form to dovetail with the wider application . It is usually most efficient to produce this alongside the Design Specification because the same thinking is required for both.


​It is relatively straightforward to incorporate the Design Specification into a Contract document. We tend to use the most appropriate contract from the JCT suite. With this documentation we then go out to Tender among suitable contractors. We enjoy good relations with most of the best contractors who are able to carry out the sort of specialised work involved in sports surface preparation, both natural and artificial. As an independent consultancy, however, you can be sure that an entirely level playing field exists between the contractors at this point. Only by using this approach can the best value for money be obtained for our clients.

On receipt of the bids we will appraise them and make a recommendation to you. In some cases it may be appropriate to interview contractors . When all is agreed, you and the selected contractor can sign the documentation and the work can go ahead. Hurrah!

​​Project / Contract Management (RIBA stages 5 and 6)

​You will want to know that your project is being carried out as specified so we will monitor the work of the contractor as this is going ahead. This involves the supervision of the works as they proceed and the management of the Contract itself, issuing payment and completion certificates as appropriate.

bottom of page