RIBA News Events 2024, London

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RIBA News Events 2024

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22 February 2024

Planning delays blight architects’ fortunes : RIBA Future Trends January 2024

Thursday 22nd of February 2024 – The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published the findings from its latest Future Trends Survey, a monthly report of business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession.

January’s findings show that over the next three months architects continue to expect workloads and staffing levels to fall overall, reporting ongoing challenges including planning system delays.

Falling workloads expected, while optimism gap between small and large practices narrows

In January, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index rose by 1 point to -8. This marked the seventh consecutive month of negative figures, the longest run since RIBA Future Trends began in 2009.

Over the next three months, 18% of practices expect workloads to increase, 26% expect them to decrease, and 52% expect them to stay the same.
The outlook of small practices (1-10 staff) improved slightly, rising by 5 points to -10, while the outlook of medium (11+ staff) and large (50+ staff) practices fell by 27 points to a combined figure of +3.

All monitored work sectors retained a negative outlook on future work, although none worsened. The outlook for the Private Housing sector improved by 4 points to -12, the Commercial (-5) and Public (-9) sectors held steady, and the Community sector rose by 1 point to -8.

Regionally, the picture remained mixed. London’s outlook dipped into positive territory (+1) after three months of pessimism; the North of England (+2) remained positive; Wales & the West (-16) and the Midlands & East Anglia (-20) remained negative; while the South of England’s outlook (-21) deteriorated by 7 points.

Staffing levels expected to fall amid rising personal underemployment

In January, the RIBA Future Trends Permanent Staffing Index held steady at -2, indicating that practices expect their permanent staff numbers to decrease.

• Over the next three months, 8% of practices expect to employ more permanent staff, 10% expect to employ fewer, and 83% expect no change.

• Small practices continued to expect staffing levels to decline, returning a Permanent Staffing Index figure of -4, a 1-point improvement from last month.

• Medium and large practices still expected staffing levels to increase, returning a combined Permanent Staffing Index figure of +8, although this is an 11-point fall from last month.

• The regional outlook on permanent staffing remained varied. Wales & the West, with a Staffing Index figure of +10, is the only region where practices expected an increase in permanent staffing levels.

• The Temporary Staffing Index held steady at -6, suggesting falling numbers of temporary staff over the next three months.

• Levels of personal underemployment increased from 26% in December to 29% in January.

RIBA Head of Economic Research and Analysis Adrian Malleson said:
“Amid raised interest rates and a weak UK economy, for the seventh consecutive month, architects expect workloads to fall – the longest period of pessimism since the survey began in 2009.

Persistently above-target inflation, and difficulties for clients obtaining finance, continue to weigh on workloads, while the poor performance of the housing sector continues to impact smaller practices.

These issues are exacerbated by ongoing planning delays. Many practices stress failures in the planning system, which are delaying project progress, diminishing practice revenue, and holding back the UK’s economic prosperity. Practices also report downward pressure on fees, with a number reporting domestic clients seeking free early-stage design and planning advice.

As the profession grapples with these challenges, RIBA is here to provide practical tools and resources to help practices succeed – from navigating professional indemnity insurance, to calculating fees, to writing contracts.

If the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation remains on a downward trend, we can hope to see the construction output price inflation to fall. While the outlook for 2024 remains uncertain, the hope of falling interest rates and an economy emerging from recession provide some grounds for optimism.
We will continue to report our findings to the Government and work with other built environment bodies to monitor these trends.”

14 February 2024

RIBA South Awards 2024 Shortlist

RIBA South Awards 2024

13 February 2024

RIBA East Midlands Awards 2024 Shortlist

RIBA East Midlands Awards 2024 shortlist

8 February 2024

RIBA responds to Labour U-turn on green pledge

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has responded to the UK Labour Party’s announcement on Thursday 8 February 2024, that it will no longer spend £28bn a year on environmental projects if it wins the upcoming general election.

RIBA President Muyiwa Oki said:
“With the climate emergency intensifying, 19 million UK homes are still in dire need of upgrading. Ambitious and sustained investment from whomever forms the next Government, and the private sector, will be critical to address the scale of this challenge.

And there’s a solution. We must futureproof homes with a well-funded National Retrofit Strategy – a long-term plan that will also create jobs, boost green skills and level up the country.

Act now, or future generations will pay the price. As ever, we stand ready to contribute to creating a more sustainable and resilient built environment – to making the future a better place.”

8 February 2024

RIBA publishes ‘no-nonsense’ Guide to Professional Indemnity Insurance

As part of its work to support practices in running their businesses, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today, Thursday 8th of February 2024, published its Guide to Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) 2024, exclusively available to RIBA members. Find a free summary of the guide attached.

From offering financial protection, to legal compliance, to building client confidence, PII has an essential role in helping to protect against claims made by third parties as a result of negligent professional services.

This easy-to-follow guide – the first of its kind to cover such depth – equips architects to navigate the maze of insurance jargon, complexities and myths, giving them confidence when applying for or renewing their PII, and helping their businesses survive an unintended and unexpected event.

It explains terminology and outlines the value and principles of insurance, how it works in practice, how to buy good quality insurance, and the importance of being risk-aware – as awareness of what can happen can prevent it from happening. It also sets out what to do when a crisis does occur.

Written by experienced professionals, this guide is supported by the ongoing work of the RIBA Council Expert Advisory Group on PII, comprised of insurance industry experts and RIBA members.

RIBA President Muyiwa Oki said:
“Our profession has been crying out for support with Professional Indemnity Insurance, and I am pleased to say that we have heeded that call. The importance of appropriate PII cover cannot be understated – sitting alongside a commitment to excellence, ethics, innovation, collaboration and continuous improvement, it is a critical component of building and maintaining a strong professional reputation.”

RIBA Chair of Board Jack Pringle said:
“As practices continue to grapple with economic uncertainty, this guide to navigating the complexities of Professional Indemnity Insurance could not be more timely. It is essential for architects to be well-versed in insurance in order to protect their practice and thereby their clients through appropriate cover. Familiarising yourself before the worst happens is the best way to be business resilient. This guide is the culmination of years of work by the industry’s top experts and provides practical support in clear, no-nonsense language. I look forward to seeing it used far and wide.”

Previously on e-architect:

1 February 2024

New RIBA guidance demystifies smart building technology

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today, Thursday 1 February 2024, published its Smart Building Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work.

Developed with ScanTech Digital, Glider Technology, Kier and Hoare Lea, this free resource will support anyone involved in the design of newbuild, retrofit or refurbishment projects to implement smart building technology.

The Smart Building Overlay introduces smart building terminology and outlines the benefits of embedding smart building technology from the outset. Its principles can be applied to projects of all scales and scopes.

At a domestic level, smart building technology can be used to remotely and automatically manage heating, lighting, security, appliances, electric vehicle charging and air quality.

Commercially, it can support business activity and space versatility, and optimise management and maintenance regimes. For example, in an office building, a system that automatically adjusts lighting and heating in response to weather conditions and occupancy levels can reduce energy consumption and operational costs as well as providing user comfort.

Smart building technology also supplies data on building performance, helping to evaluate and address operational energy usage, and mitigate safety risks.

RIBA President
Muyiwa Oki said:

“The Smart Building Overlay is a helpful roadmap to guide built environment professionals in using smart technology, which is an important tool to reduce the environmental impact of buildings. Our research shows that, too often, the decision to include smart technology in a project is often made too late. So, this guide prompts the client and project team to integrate smart technology
discussions at every stage of design and construction. It recommends involving specialists at the earliest possible stage to ensure successful project outcomes.”

25 January 2024

Architects face uphill battle despite growing confidence of larger practices: RIBA Future Trends December 2023

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published the findings from its latest Future Trends Survey, a monthly report of business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession.

December’s findings show that, over the next three months, architects continue to expect workloads and staffing levels to fall overall, but larger practices seem markedly more optimistic.

Larger practices grow in confidence about future workloads

In December the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index fell by 3 points to -9. A negative balance indicates an overall expectation of falling workloads among architects.

Over the next three months, 20% of practices expect workloads to increase, 28% expect them to decrease, and 52% expect them to stay the same.

The outlook of small practices (1-10 staff) has worsened, falling by 3 points to -15, while medium (11+ staff) and large (50+ staff) practices reported a Workload Index figure of +30 – a 6-point increase from November.

In terms of sectors, all monitored work sectors maintain a negative outlook on future work, with three out of four more pessimistic than the previous month. The outlook for the Private Housing sector held steady at -16, the Commercial sector fell by 4 points to -5, the Public sector fell by 2 points to -9 and the Community sector fell by 7 points to -9.

Regionally, the picture remained mixed, with Wales and the West falling back into negative territory after last month’s recovery, down by 19 points to -17; London (-5), the South of England (-14) and the Midlands & East Anglia (-23) all worsening; and the North of England improving by 9 points to +5.

Staffing levels expected to fall overall, despite growing optimism of larger practices

In December, the RIBA Future Trends Permanent Staffing Index rose by 1 point to -2, indicating a slight improvement, but practices still expect their permanent staff numbers to decrease over the next three months.

  • Over the next three months, 9% of practices expect to employ more permanent staff, 11% expect to employ fewer, and 80% expect no change.
  • Small practices continue to expect staffing levels to decline, returning a Permanent Staffing Index figure of -5, the same as in November.
  • Medium and large practices once again expect an increase in permanent staff, returning a combined Permanent Staffing Index figure of +19, a considerable 14-point rise from November.
  • The regional outlook on permanent staffing is varied. The South of England, with a Staffing Index figure of +5, is the only region where practices expect an increase in permanent staffing levels.
  • The Temporary Staffing Index slipped marginally to -6, suggesting falling numbers of temporary staff over the next three months.
  • Levels of personal underemployment increased from 22% in November to 26% in December.

RIBA Head of Economic Research and Analysis Adrian Malleson said:

“While the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and construction output price inflation are both on a downward trend, this has yet to translate into an uptick in architects’ commissions. These results indicate practices expect to reduce workloads and limit recruitment as they head into 2024.

Practices also continue to report the challenges of still high inflation, high interest rates, elevated project costs, and ongoing planning delays, alongside diminished pipelines of work and low levels of enquiries. Some note planning delays being exacerbated by the level of detail required in planning submissions, deterring the progression of potential projects.

We are also aware of heightened competition, including from ‘architectural designers’, which continues to intensify the downward pressure on fees, and an increasing number of reports of clients failing to pay invoices on time, threatening practice cash flow.

RIBA Business Benchmarking 2023 provides a more detailed analysis of business trends affecting the profession last year.

We will continue to report our findings to the Government and work with other built environment bodies to monitor these trends.”

Background:

  1. Completed by a mix of small, medium and large firms based on a geographically representative sample, the RIBA Future Trends Survey was launched in January 2009 to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession.
  2. 247 practices took part in the December 2023 survey.
  3. The survey is carried out by the RIBA in partnership with the Fees Bureau. Results of the survey, including a full graphical analysis, are published each month here.
  4. The definition for the workload balance figure is the difference between those expecting more work and those expecting less. A negative figure means more respondents expect less work than those expecting more work. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends workload index.
  5. The definition for the staffing balance figure is the difference between those expecting to employ more permanent staff in the next three months and those expecting to employ fewer. A negative figure means more respondents expect to employ fewer permanent staff. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends staffing index.
  6. To participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey, please contact the RIBA Practice Department on 02073073749 or email [email protected]. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete each month, and all returns are independently processed in strict confidence.
  7. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates.

RIBA 66 Portland Place in London, UK
RIBA News Events 2024 - 66 Portland Place in London, UK

RIBA News Events 2024 information from The Royal Institute of British Architects

Location: 66 Portland Place, London, England, United Kingdom

Previously on e-architect:

19 December 2023
Michael Gove announces planning reforms in speech at RIBA HQ

Today, Tuesday 19 December 2023, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced the second phase of its Long-Term Plan for Housing, launched in July 2023.

Michael Gove at RIBA HQ London:
RIBA News Events 2024 - Michael Gove London

Speaking at the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at 66 Portland Place, London, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said that the changes would speed up the planning system, and outlined the Government’s response to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy consultation.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, speaking at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) HQ in London.

RIBA Chair of Board Jack Pringle gave opening remarks before welcoming the Secretary of State onto the stage in the RIBA Gallery. Responding to the announcement, he said:

“Today’s focus on ensuring that we build more new homes, alongside the infrastructure needed to sustain our communities, is to be applauded. New measures to tackle delays in the planning process and ensure that local authorities have clear plans in place are long overdue.

The Secretary of State has recognised the important role of architects and planners, but this must be backed with further resource. Delivering high-quality, sustainable and genuinely affordable new homes will require more skilled expertise in overstretched local planning departments. As was acknowledged, to do this we must ensure fees paid for planning applications are invested back into the system.

We look forward to seeing further detail on today’s announcements and will continue to work with the Government to deliver homes and places in which people can thrive. Our planning system is an impediment to badly needed development at local, national and infrastructure levels. We need to move to a simpler, faster planning system with more predictable outcomes.”

13 December 2023
RIBA statement on COP28 outcomes

RIBA President Muyiwa Oki said:
“Today’s historic agreement to deliver a new era of climate action is monumental. It’s the first time that a COP outcome has acknowledged the need to move away from fossil fuels – and this is a truly welcome and positive shift.

Other COP28 agreements have put the built environment firmly on the map. Pledges to improve energy efficiency, increase timber use in buildings, and reduce carbon emissions from cooling all signal that we are moving in the right direction – and it’s clear that architects have a key role to play.

But we must go further. These pledges alone will not limit the warming of the planet to 1.5°C. We must ensure we regulate and reduce the whole life carbon impacts of the built environment and ensure that procurement and planning policies embed sustainability at their heart. We continue to work with the sector and the Government to make this a reality.”

Previously on e-architect:

RIBA UK News Archive

RIBA News & Events 2023

RIBA News & Events 2022

Royal Institute of British Architects News for 2022 – key selection below:

Serjeant Award for Excellence in Architectural Drawing News
RIBA News Events 2024 - Serjeant Award for Excellence in Architectural Drawing
image courtesy of Nathan Tipping-Stevenson
RIBA Serjeant Award for Excellence in Architectural Drawing

2022 RIBA Charles Jencks Award News
2022 RIBA Charles Jencks Award

RIBA Reinvention Award News
RIBA Reinvention Award

2022 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship Winner

Muyiwa Oki Elected RIBA President

UK Government Building Policy 2022 News
UK Government Building Policy 2022

RIBA and Scott Brownrigg prize fund to support sustainability research
Wind Turbine and mountain sustainable development
image courtesy of The Royal Institute of British Architects
RIBA Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development 2022

RIBA HQ refurbishment
RIBA HQ refurbishment, 66 Portland Place

RIBA News & Events 2021

RIBA diversity and inclusion radio station

RIBA News & Events 2021

RIBA News & Events 2020
RIBA News & Events 2020

RIBA News & Events 2019
RIBA News & Events 2019

RIBA HQ at 66 Portland Place

RIBA Gold Medal for Architecture

RIBA Awards

RIBA Stirling Prize

RIBA Honorary Fellowships

London Architecture Events

AA School Events

Bartlett School of Architecture Event

Comments / photos for the RIBA News & Events for 2024 page welcome