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The newsletter for RIBA Chartered Practices Valuable support for the business of your practice

In this issue: Good employment practice, RIBA Associate Membership, RIBA MBA, CPD@Ecobuild, fast-track your CPD, spring talks, exhibitions and awards Spring 2012

RIBA President

Angela Brady

“We need a diverse workforce so that we reflect society and client groups we work for.”

Angela Brady, RIBA President

Good employment practice takes many forms. In this newsletter we have what I believe is a thought-provoking piece about the benefits, to the employer and employee, of flexible working and taking time out of practice. In our own practice we encourage flexible working hours for women returning from maternity leave and we all value a balanced quality of life – without a culture of long hours working. We also like to encourage sole practitioners to come and join in our CPD seminars and lunchtime talks. Good employers respect their staff and ensure all have contracts and are paid a fair and equal wage for their work (in accordance with EU law). Practices also need to support the next generation of architects by giving paid work experience and time allocated for training or office based education for Part 2. Larger practices can consider adopting students and helping with student loans or supporting our RIBA Education fund. We need a

diverse workforce so that we reflect society and client groups we work for. Ecobuild, the sustainable design and construction event, has gone from strength to strength, and I am delighted that the RIBA is taking a central role at ExCel later this month. We will have the RIBA ‘Village’ exhibition stand, which will bring together all parts of the RIBA and NBS, along with a terrific three-day programme of seminars devised by our own Sustainable Futures group. There is a packed programme of events from the CPD Providers Network. Do come along, admission is free as are all of the seminars. We will be launching the new RIBA Guide to Sustainability in Practice at the show. Come join us for your copy, or download this free document at I will be there on 20 March at 14.15 leading a discussion on procurement, and then at the ‘Village’ (S1630 + 1640) from 15.15 where I’d be delighted to meet you.

Good employment practice: flexible working Discussion In today’s business world, it is widely accepted that flexibility in the workplace goes an increasingly long way in attracting staff and nurturing a happy workforce. But what are the business advantages of flexible working initiatives, and how can employers warrant loyalty and commitment from staff in such unpredictable economic times?

Amanda Deaves (top) and Dina Lockwood.

Research carried out by Croner, specialists in workplace regulation, reveals that job seekers’ needs have changed significantly over the past four years. Flexible working has become top of the benefits table as employees understand there is little or no extra money for pay rises. The culture of flexible working has therefore become very important in the workplace and both employees and bosses are seeing the benefits of getting the balance right. The architectural profession’s response has been to create new ways of working, taking into account both business productivity and quality of life for employees. Many RIBA Chartered Practices are seeing tangible benefits to having an open and flexible mindset that not only gives way to this type of working environment, but reflects in the way clients’ needs are being met. To highlight the importance of good employment practice and the rewards that flexible working initiatives can bring to the profession, the RIBA spoke to two senior professionals for their experience and advice for the future. Amanda Deaves, HR & Practice Manager, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Flexible working is relatively new in UK employment law and has traditionally been understood to mean part-time working, flexi-time and job sharing. However, employers have quickly come to realise that the rigidity of only offering these ‘known’ forms of working do not always offer the best solution.

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An open discussion to ascertain what support employees feel they need in order to balance their work and family life, albeit sometimes temporarily, will design the framework for what is actually required. For some, it could be a simple readjustment of hours, for example, starting and ending the day earlier to accommodate the school run, whereas others may require more.

“The challenge is to take what you know you can do well and use your time effectively.” The most common concerns shared by employees are whether they will be able to retain the same responsibility/status/salary if they took the decision to work fewer hours. At RSHP, we talk through these concerns very carefully and look at the facts of what a change in working hours may bring to an employee. When forming our Flexible Working Policy, we encouraged an open dialogue within the practice. I produced an in-house focus group consisting of male and female associate partners who ran full and part time projects, a senior partner at the commercial end of the business, a part-time male graphic designer and a number of female architects who were either currently working reduced hours or would shortly need to do so for family reasons. This was a great forum for everyone to raise questions, contribute

Good Employment Practice: Flexible working (continued)

new ideas and generally think through solutions for themselves, and for the business. The shared approach to the problem formed our new policy on flexible working. RSHP as an employer is committed to considering requests for flexible working if there is a clear reason and need for an employee to be asking for it. If the proposed new work pattern meets with business needs, it is then put on trial for six months. This time frame allows for any potential problems to be revealed.

“The challenges we face as employers are the same changes and cultural shifts in working practices that any industry faces.” If there are difficulties that present themselves during this process, we address them and look for solutions. It is often the case that the employee personally finds the solution as they are driven to make a success of the new working method they themselves proposed. The challenges we face as employers are the same changes and cultural shifts in working practices that any industry faces. If for example, the working practice has generally been a Monday to Friday week from 9am to 5pm, then it is quite a leap to not only accept this will change, but that we must also be willing to flow with that change. Certain legal obligations are already upon us to consider flexible working requests from parents and carers, and as is always the nature of employment law, will only grow and develop as it matures. Communication is vital within teams that have flexible workers although technology such as Blackberries can be a fantastic way of remaining linked in with what is happening at work and on site. Good employment practices are advantageous to our business because we invest a great deal in our staff. Great care is taken from day one; induction, training and development, review meetings and of course the fun and social aspect of working at RSHP. In my view, good employment practices should far exceed stipulated regulations and to focus intently on what people want and need. If I feel that my employer treats me well and that I enjoy working in a place with great benefits and employment practices, then it follows that I am far more likely to give respect back in terms of quality of work, commitment and length of service. Any business is only as good as its people and retaining knowledge within a business can be one of its greatest challenges. If employees feel they have room for growth, not just within their career but within their growing and changing family needs, then this can be considered as “another employee benefit in itself”, as one employee observed from one of our focus group discussions. Not all businesses can or will be flexible but to be able to say this is something we will always try and do, then this in itself will raise our profile as a good employer. I would encourage all RIBA Chartered Practices to adopt similar flexible working policies and would be happy to discuss the approach we have at RSHP.

I am also happy to be open about our concerns as I think we can all benefit greatly from talking to each other and taking independent action now - ahead of any new government regulation. We should be looking at flexible working as making good business sense, to retain the excellent staff we have within our organisations and take the industry forward in a dynamic and positive way. Dina Lockwood, Director, Andrew Catto Architects After graduating in 1995 I worked closely with Crispin Wride before moving to London in 1997. I joined Aukett Associates (Now Aukett Fitzroy Robinson) where I worked until 2003 to take time out following the birth of my first child. I was pregnant with my second child by autumn 2003 and the break extended until the youngest started nursery in 2007. The practicalities of looking after two small children and the demands of a commercial practice some distance from home made taking time out from practice the only sensible option. I was able to allow my life to revolve around my young children but it also allowed me to reconsider my professional objectives and decide on the kind of work I wanted to pursue. I attended the RIBA Return to Practice course in 2008 which gave me a good deal of confidence and focus. More than anything, I was impressed that such a course had been launched. What came to the fore during this appraisal was that to combine family and a professional life, I needed to work locally and flexibly. Having found a suitable practice, I was able to negotiate with Andrew (Catto) who had similar criteria for what he required in the way of assistance at the time.

“To combine family and a professional life, I needed to work locally and flexibly.” My growing family commitments could have come at a price leading to limited career prospects, but the work I do now suits me well. It is often underrated but I have found hidden complexities in it which I find stimulating. When I started at Andrew Catto Architects, it was for 17 hours a week over three mornings. Now with a third child, I am able to work double those hours in accordance with my increased responsibility, and the practice has been able to support this. The demand of architectural practice ultimately requires long hours and commitment. The challenge is to take what you know you can do well and use your time effectively. Taking on more responsibility and working part time hours is a challenge in itself as you effectively have less time to do more. At Andrew Catto, we encourage an ethos that the work must be done and delivered to a very high standard of service. We try to hone how we do this and like many growing practices, there is a degree of evolution to it. Andrew knows that his staff is key to the success of the practice and is therefore flexible and accommodating. In return, he has tremendous loyalty from us all. Having experienced the world of large commercial practice, I like to think I am able to contribute an RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter 3

Good Employment Practice: Flexible working (continued)

alternative approach to what we do. I would encourage other architects in similar situations to firstly consider how and where you want to work and what sort of practice would best accommodate you. Ask yourself questions such as what can you do confidently and well, and are you returning part time or full time, as these will have different implications on your chosen path. Ultimately, support will be given to practitioners considered of value to the practice. Having been involved in the selection of staff members myself, it is difficult to always get it exactly right. From the perspective of an employer, I look at what has been done up to and during a career break and clues that detect self-discipline, drive and commitment. As long as both the employer and employee are never taken for granted, both parties will to come to an understanding that will always benefit the practice.

“The aim of the RIBA Return to Practice Course for architects who have taken a career break, run by London Metropolitan University, is to provide skills and to build confidence whilst helping to establish a peer group that will support course participants after the course is completed. The course draws upon a wide range of contacts within many scales of practice who have given generously of their time and one of the invaluable opportunities we can offer returning architects is the chance to network among professionals who not only can offer advice from an employers perspective, but may also be able to signpost opportunities for short or long-term employment. The course has also been supported by the recruitment consultancies Adrem and Bespoke who have offered practical assistance such as bursaries for childcare costs and feedback on portfolios and curricula vitae.

RIBA In brief

We see the Return to Practice Course as the central part of an ongoing learning and support experience, including a preliminary appraisal of the participant’s needs and subsequent support, mentoring and follow-up. The course was piloted in 2007 and we have run four courses since and are hoping, with the support of RIBA, to encourage other Universities around the country to adopt it as a model for a regional offer to architects.” Anne Markey, ASD Projects @ The Cass and Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design, London Metropolitan University. RIBA Business Essentials, provided by Croner Exclusive to RIBA Chartered Practices, this valuable online resource and telephone helpline, can equip you to prepare for upcoming workplace legislation that will affect how you operate. Croner offers practical tools that will help, such as sample policies, letters and forms, checklists and factsheets. To access the online RIBA Business Essentials hub: 1. Go to, click Member Login and log-on using your practice’s Main Contact’s personal RIBA Membership number and password. 2. Click Chartered Practice Services then click Employment Law and Business Advice. 3. Click Croner online to gain access to RIBA Business Essentials. To contact the RIBA Business Support Helpline: Call 08445 618133 quoting scheme 99801. Lines open 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday.

RIBA Chartered Practice Survey 2011 The RIBA would like to thank all of you who participated in last year’s extensive RIBA Chartered Practice Survey, the first of its kind. Over 600 representatives from both member and non-member practices responded to the telephone and online survey as well as taking part in focus group discussions across the country. The results have helped us better understand what you are looking for from the RIBA and have begun to frame our plans for future category development. We will keep you updated throughout the year on how we will be developing the RIBA Chartered Practice Membership in light of outcomes from the survey – as always, we value your feedback.

President’s Education Fund Event Angela Brady will host the second student fundraising event, with guest speaker Sarah Wigglesworth, in aid of the RIBA Education Fund. It will take place at 19.30 on Thurs 28 June at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1. Music, fun and auction. The Fund makes grants to students of architecture in the UK experiencing financial hardship.

Elections for RIBA President and RIBA Council Nominations are invited for the next president of the RIBA from September 2013 and for members of Council from September 2012. For details visit or contact the constitutional affairs secretary 4 RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter

RIBA Publishing

Debunking Myths with The Environmental Design Pocketbook By Sofie Pelsmakers

In the past decade, there has been great progress in the field of sustainable architecture, both through new legislation and frameworks as well as through the advance of technology and built examples. Yet the fast pace of change and the complexity and variety of solutions on offer seems to have stifled the decision-making process, leaving many designers and clients in the building industry confused. Design professionals are bombarded with a bewildering array of green-building mantras: ‘green roofs are great’, ‘design for maximum solar gain’, ‘recycle grey-water’, ‘harvest rainwater’, ‘provide building-renewables’, ‘biomass is zero carbon’. Without considering each statement in detail and as part of each particular site and design, the application of such statements has led to ‘green tokenism’, resulting in ambiguity and misuse of the term sustainable architecture. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ within environmentally responsive design: a multitude of factors will affect the appropriateness of adaptations and design strategies. Sustainability is here to stay for architects, yet it has become so complex and technically overloaded, it feels impenetrable to most. So I decided to write the book I felt I most needed while advising and teaching practitioners – a handy guide that would help cut through that confusion by debunking myths and synthesizing the main environmental design issues into one single source of practical information. I wanted a book that would lead architects to the priorities, and guide them intelligently through the decision-making process.

measures as well as environmental site planning and building fabric performance issues. And of course a pocketbook cannot attempt to cover everything in depth, so key readings are suggested in each section for the reader who hungers for more detail. Written especially with the building industry’s key players in mind – architects, designers, clients,

“A zero carbon calculator means you can swiftly estimate the building’s carbon footprint.” contractors, developers and students – my hope is that the Pocketbook will prove a useful tool, helping them confidently practise what I refer to not as ‘sustainable’ architecture but simply as ‘good’ architecture. The Environmental Design Pocketbook is due to be launched on 21 March at EcoBuild. Copies are available from

“Sustainability is here to stay for architects, yet it has become so complex and technically overloaded, it feels impenetrable to most.” After nearly 3 years of research, collaboration and writing, the end result is The Environmental Design Pocketbook, a little book that designers can keep close at hand, on their desks or while out on site. It is intended to distil and complement current legislation, guidance and other design manuals as well as to draw emerging research into a single source. Ever-aware that caring for environmental impact can add to an already-heavy design workload and risk becoming ‘yet another thing to do’, simple key recommendations are clearly highlighted for each topic, accompanied by greater detail for those who want to drill down further. I tried to pack the book with as many of the tools that I found most useful while teaching and consulting – a zero carbon calculator means you can swiftly estimate the building’s carbon footprint, and easy-to-use flow charts aid the initial decision-making process. Useful checklists are included which cover the RIBA Plan of Work, climate change adaptation

Sofie Pelsmakers is a chartered architect and environmental designer, and a doctoral researcher in building energy demand reduction at the UCL Energy Institute and co-founder of Architecture for Change, a notfor-profit environmental building organisation.

RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter 5


NBS Create – specifying made simpler, faster and more intuitive By Ian Chapman, Head of Specification,NBS

I’ve been looking forward to writing about NBS Create for quite some time as it all started back in 2003 when we developed a content structure that was arranged around systems. For many years NBS has been organized using the Common Arrangement of Work Sections; however, this approach has not kept pace with contemporary procurement and specification practice. NBS Create has been structured in a different way – a more flexible way that works the way a project does. Whilst information modelling tools were in their infancy in 2003, customer needs and demands for more sophisticated specification writing tools were not. One regular customer request was to enable the assembly of the specification automatically; more specifically, the ability to add more detailed clauses to the specifications based upon the choices made in outline description clauses. For example, if in a Panel cubicle system outline clause you specify a framed panel, can the framed panel product clause and its corresponding execution and completion clauses be automatically added to the specification? This customer request was entirely reasonable, but to deliver this meant the creation of a complex information model and NBS Create was born.

“We’ve developed a brand new information model and this is now the home and delivery platform for all NBS specification content.”

Figure 1 showing a visualization of a landscape planting system

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To achieve what our customers requested we had to create an entirely new authoring environment, then re-write all our technical content and introduce sophisticated information modelling techniques that allow authors to connect related clauses together. We’ve developed a brand new information model and this is now the home and delivery platform for all NBS specification content. This information model offers many opportunities for ourselves and

customers, it is truly ground breaking. It gives our software the ability to understand the meaning of our content – and with that knowledge our master specification system can now do some very clever things. NBS Create operates at whatever project stage or level of detail you require. Creating an outline specification or RIBA Plan of Work stage C report is quick and easy; then if you want to come back to that specification a few months later and turn it into a performance specification you can. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is all about adding to information created earlier. NBS Create handles re-use of information exceptionally well and enables items to be ‘parked’ for decision later, recognizing that at certain times not everything about a project is known. Creating a project specification is easy, simply select the systems that the project needs and add them to your job. You can search for systems or navigate the brand new Uniclass work section hierarchy. If you want to create an outline report the outline view is all you need. This allows descriptions to be entered against each system in your job – ideal for things like stage C reports. Beyond that, you may wish to develop performance specifications or full detailed specifications that reflect the requirements of your design. Whether the specification is performance, prescriptive or a mix of both, completing it is easy. NBS Create is unique in its approach to specification assembly, gone are the days of having to delete or deselect clauses that are irrelevant to your project; as we know, this can lead to unnecessarily lengthy specifications due to lack of confidence to delete. The approach NBS Create takes is to assemble the specification based upon decisions made when completing the system outline clause. Each system has an outline description that can be completed and used as a scope of works. However, the usefulness of the system outline clauses goes beyond their ability to generate a scope of works description, when choices are made in an outline clause the remainder of the specification is automatically assembled. This is a huge time saver and creates project specifications that are precise and highly relevant. This concept flows into other clause types, such as execution clauses which now automatically link to general requirements for installation without you even having to click the mouse. System visualizations demonstrate the depth and power of the information modelling undertaken by NBS. Figure 1 is a visual representation of a planting system demonstrating how NBS clauses for a particular system are related. These visualizations are part of NBS Create and can be used as a navigation aid to jump to the desired clause. Another big improvement is the ability for NBS Create to include content from any library. This enables complete specifications to be worked on and published by the project team. Single documents containing preliminaries, architecture, structural, building services, and landscape sections can be produced. This aids collaboration and helps multi-disciplinary project teams to produce coordinated documentation. The ability to customize NBS Create to suit the way you work is another great feature. Whether you

want to alter the screen layout (which is memorized for you personally) or to add specific technical values to supplement NBS drop down lists, it’s all possible (see figure 2). By modelling NBS specification information we’ve been able to not only speed up specification but enable a range of automatic reports, for example a report identifying all of the contractor’s decisions can be generated at the click of a button.

“NBS Create has been designed to allow project specifications to evolve throughout the life of a project.” Because NBS Create has been designed to allow project specifications to evolve throughout the life of a project it includes sophisticated revision and comparison tools. These tools enable tracking of changes to the specification throughout its life. Milestone versions of your project document can be taken at any point. These milestones record the specification and allow one version to be compared with another (see figure 3). Comparisons are easy, simply select the milestones and NBS Create presents a detailed report with the differences between each version highlighted in colour. Accompanying the specification clauses is detailed NBS guidance. This is invaluable and makes filling in the clauses simple and clear. NBS guidance is often accompanied by links to reference documents and websites offering useful information for further research. NBS Create recognizes that specifiers have their own knowledge that is collected from good and bad project experiences and allows recording of user guidance within the regularly used NBS Guidance. Placing user guidance within NBS Guidance helps to inform specifiers of company knowledge. The software technology behind NBS Create is cutting edge. It has been written from the ground up. NBS content is accessed online so you are guaranteed to always be using the latest information without having CD installation to worry about for updates. Online software licenses also mean that you can use NBS from any location. The feature list of NBS Create is extensive and includes an export format called COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange). This format is recommended by Paul Morrell the government’s UK Chief Construction Advisor for all public projects. So if you don’t have a specification tool that exports to COBie then creating as-built information and providing it in COBie format will be tricky. NBS Create allows you to specify the way you want, when you want, to the level of detail you want and in the format you want. Use of NBS Create will result in a precise and robust project specification that can evolve with the project. NBS Create redefines how specifications are assembled and should be an essential component of your BIM toolkit. Further details on NBS Create can be found at You can contact Ian Chapman via twitter: @IanChapmanNBS

Figure 2 showing user created office values

Figure 3 highlighting the difference between two milestones

RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter 7

Practice Issues

RIBA Associate Membership – a valuable opportunity for Part 2 graduates

The RIBA knows that many of its Chartered Practices employ Part 2 graduates. For them, making the transition from student to architect can be a tough and often daunting task To make this journey easier, the RIBA is offering tailored advice and guidance for all its Associate Members. Listed below is the exciting new range of benefits and services on offer.

11 successful architects and experts within the profession offer their experiences and advice through the medium of film.

Right and below: Vantage Point and the set of RIBA Perspectives fact sheets.

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RIBA Perspectives Top professionals from within and outside of the world of architecture have joined forces to give aspiring young practitioners essential business knowledge and tips. Specialists including Jamie Oliver’s brand guru, Bryan Edmondson of communications agency SEA, Paul Chappell of RIBA Appointments, and Mark Blayney Stuart of the Chartered Institute of Marketing are just some of the experts on board. Providing fact-sheets on how to find a job, managing finances, marketing, business planning and how to sell your creative ideas, the topics covered will provide extensive support and inspiration. RIBA Vantage Point and RIBA Talking Heads RIBA Vantage Point is a new publication that offers a unique insight into the experiences of 11 established architects, including Lee Polisano, Joanna van Heyningen and Ken Shuttleworth. All have successfully developed careers in architecture, each having taken different paths along the way. A collection of filmed interviews (available to view as RIBA Talking Heads), transcribed for publication and Q&A articles have been put together to provide insight, guidance and inspiration on the many different ways you can develop a career in architecture, with advice on how you can get there.

Resume app An exclusive app for members to download, Resume has been designed for creative and architectural job-hunting as well as helping to strengthen the all-important CV. It works by tracking and managing job searches, and enables users to input letters and notes while viewing the company websites or job vacancies directly in the software. Once CVs and letters are created and generated, users can then keep them on record and stored for future reference. To arrange a meeting and discuss how RIBA Associate Membership can benefit RIBA Chartered Practice Part 2 graduates, or to provide feedback so the RIBA can further develop the scheme, please contact the Membership Development team on 020 7307 3686 or email For more information on RIBA Associate Membership, please visit


“The use of BIM has almost doubled over the last year.”

BIM Latest industry report

Results from an annual industry-wide survey undertaken by NBS have provided the most comprehensive and up to date picture of UK BIM (Building Information Modelling) and its growing influence within the built environment industry. Unquestionably one of the hottest topics in construction, the adoption of BIM has recently been described as “unstoppable” by Paul Morrell, the government’s chief construction adviser, who has reiterated over the last 12 months the intention to make BIM compulsory for public projects. NBS’s National BIM Survey, completed in late 2011 by nearly 1,000 construction professionals, has now revealed that the use of BIM has almost doubled over the last year. Almost a third (31%) of professionals are now using BIM, up from 13% in 2010, with three quarters predicting that they will be using it on some projects by the end of 2012. More than 80% agreed that BIM increases the coordination of construction documents, with 65% of those using the technology saying BIM delivered cost efficiencies. Whilst the benefits of BIM are becoming clearer to some, over a fifth of people working in the construction industry still remain unaware of the technology and are not using it. However, compared with 43 % in 2010, the tide is clearly turning in favour of increased BIM adoption. Dr Stephen Hamil, Head of BIM at RIBA Enterprises, said: “The survey clearly shows that in the UK the question is no longer will BIM be adopted but how quickly? The fact that three quarters of those aware of BIM predict they will be using it on projects by the end of the year shows the speed with which things are moving.” In terms of barriers to industry-wide adoption, the NBS survey revealed that the perceived expense and time commitments involved in adopting BIM technology remain the main obstacles in the current economic climate, particularly for smaller businesses. Almost two-thirds (63%) agreed that BIM is too expensive to consider at the moment, with nearly half (48%) saying they needed to get through the downturn before looking at BIM. The survey also revealed that, in terms of understanding how BIM works, there is still much progress to be made with almost 4 out of 5 agreeing that the industry is not yet clear enough on what BIM actually is. Dr Hamil believes this is where companies such as NBS have a key part to play: “It is the job of the construction industry data providers and software companies, such as NBS, to provide the tools necessary to make the adoption of BIM an easy process. Whether it’s specification information, technical guidance, manufacturer product information or geometric objects, the digital information that is produced must be structured to work in the BIM environment.” The 2011 National BIM Survey represents the latest stage in NBS’s campaign to promote debate on BIM, and guide the industry in its understanding and adoption of the process. Expert providers of technical information for construction industry professionals, NBS is focussed on providing the information needed to improve decision making at each stage of the

construction and operation process, as well as developing libraries of data that will support this information revolution. Its new specification tool, NBS Create, has been designed to make life much easier for design and construction teams and enables an entire project team to work on a single, integrated document that allows you to develop an outline specification and build on this as the project evolves. The development of NBS’ National BIM Library is also well advanced and set to become the leading source of free-to-use BIM objects. To be launched at this year’s Ecobuild (20-22 March), the National BIM Library will be accessible online and will enable architects, contractors, interior designers and other construction professionals to locate and download generic and proprietary BIM objects for a comprehensive range of systems and products, such as walls, windows, doors, foundations, cladding and roofs.

“Almost a third of professionals are now using BIM, up from 13% in 2010.” By also publishing property definitions for all systems and products, NBS will establish a common approach to quality standards across the construction industry, with a view to encouraging consistency and collaboration. At Ecobuild, NBS will reveal the first batch of generic BIM objects in IFC, plus native formats from some of the leading CAD software vendors. Commenting on the National BIM Library, Richard Waterhouse, Chief Executive of RIBA Enterprises Ltd, said: “The effective use and exchange of information is at the heart of BIM and will dictate the overall impact it will have on the construction industry. By establishing a National BIM Library, NBS will increase access to the information construction professionals need to make the right decisions at the right stage of the building process. The National BIM Library will also offer manufacturers the opportunity to have their proprietary objects authored to the new standard and hosted within the Library, as well as other information sources such as and the NBS itself. This will facilitate generic objects to be replaced at later stages of a design with specific manufacturer’s objects once specified”. For more Information and the opportunity to register for updates about the National BIM Library can be found by visiting To read the NBS National BIM Survey in full, visit

RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter 9

RIBA Initiatives


The construction industry faces difficult times with an uncertain future. One of the issues that has arisen is that architects have automatically focused on what they do best: design. This leads in certain instances to a shift in focus away from the fee earning business side of architecture. The RIBA MBA, launched in January 2012, and with a further intake this coming October, teaches architects management, legal and administrative processes so that they can develop their design skills and creative flair within the context of a sound business framework. Modules taught are: • Law and sustainability in the built environment • Legal environment of business • Project and practice management in architecture and construction • Business accounting • Business economics • Business research • Corporate finance • Marketing • Managing people • Operations management • Strategic management

The modules sit alongside those that make up the AMBA and EQUIS accredited Bradford MBA. The course is taught by blended delivery with two main start points, each January and October. Some applicants may be able to accredit the work and skill sets they have already undertaken and gained. This MBA is flexible, allowing students to vary the speed of their progression to suit their needs. Generally students take one or two modules per quarter, which equates to 7–8 hours or 14–16 hours of work per week. The distance learning components are supplemented by block learning residential classes that take place in March/April and July of each year. These can be taken according to requirements of the student and are usually taken after the completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Architectural and Construction Business Administration. Bradford Management School The MBA has been awarded Advanced CPD status by the RIBA. It forms part of a collaborative alliance between the RIBA and the Bradford Management School, one of the UK’s oldest university based business schools, with an international reputation in management education, training and research. Accredited by both EQUIS and AMBA, the School is ranked within the top 10 Business Schools in the UK (FT European Business School rankings Dec 2010). Entry requirements To be accepted on the Architectural and Construction MBA programme candidates will typically have a good first degree from an approved university or an acceptable professional qualification and at least three years’ significant post-study employment experience. This is the only MBA with professional recognition from an RIBA governing body and as such the resulting award will be highly regarded everywhere you work.

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RIBA Initiatives

CPD@Ecobuild from RIBA CPD Providers Network Ecobuild is the world’s largest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, and the UK’s largest construction event of any kind. The RIBA CPD Providers Network will be running a series of CPD seminars at the exhibition which will provide you with quality learning. With hundreds of building product manufacturers having a presence at the event, it can often be difficult to differentiate a sales-focused presentation and genuine learning material. All seminars from the RIBA CPD Providers Network, including those featured at CPD@Ecobuild are assessed and approved by the RIBA, ensuring you receive an unbiased view. To find out more about CPD@Ecobuild please visit or contact us at

of sustainable buildings and how to promote your solutions to clients. There is guidance on the use of software for environmental modelling and applying the correct methodology for delivering and monitoring sustainable projects. Available from and from the RIBA Village, S1630 + 1640 at Ecobuild.

Other Ecobuild highlights

Sustainable Architecture & Design seminars Ecobuild 2012’s Sustainable Architecture & Design seminar stream has been programmed by the RIBA Sustainable Futures Group, which advises the Institute when talking to government and the construction industry about sustainability. The seminars will be a great opportunity to hear – and engage with – some of those who help to shape the construction industry’s quest for more sustainable design. This packed programme will bring together leading thinkers, practitioners and designers. Seminars are free and has full details. All members are encouraged to attend.

Launch of the RIBA Guide to Sustainability in Practice, by Lynne Sullivan This free RIBA guide is essential reading for practices wishing to ‘tool up’ for sustainable design. Setting out the business case for sustainability, it shows through a 10-step process how sustainability can be built into daily practice. Supporting material includes the ‘drivers’ for sustainability, the benefits

Conference sessions chaired by RIBA President Angela Brady and Chief Executive Harry Rich On 20 March RIBA President Angela Brady leads a discussion on procurement (14.15) followed by an informal ‘meet the members’ session at the Village (15.15–15.45). On 21 March RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich will be joined by industry experts to discuss localism (11.15).

RIBA CPD Roadshows, fast-track your CPD

Read the RIBA Chartered Practice newsletter online

RIBA CPD Roadshows provide construction professionals with up-to-date knowledge on a wide range of subjects, and last year RIBA CPD Roadshows offered CPD to over 1,500 construction professionals. Seminar topics can include BIM and Specification, Building Regulations, sustainability, new sustainable products, latest construction technology updates and practice management amongst others. RIBA CPD Roadshows travel across the UK, to cities including London, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, York, Belfast, Cambridge, Reading, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Brighton and Leeds. Find out about upcoming topics, and details of events that are closest to you, by visiting

March’s newsletter – and also back issues – is available to read online, from within the members only pages at

The ne RIBA wsletter fo Charte r red Pr actices

Valuab le sup port for the

busine ss of you r practic e

In this issue: Good Memb emplo ership yment , RIBA spring practic MBA, talks, e, CPD exhibit ions and @Ecobuild RIBA Associ ate , fast-tra awards ck you r CPD ,

Spring 2012

RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter 11

Culture and Events

Spring talks, exhibitions and awards

Home Season The season complements HomeWise, the RIBA’s national campaign to improve the quality of the nation’s new build housing. Exhibitions at 66 Portland Place, London W1, until 27 April. Free. Where we live and why, Gallery 1 Guest curated by Sarah Beeny, the exhibition charts the story of the design and appeal of everyday homes in the UK. It explores the characteristics of a British obsession and the experiments that have shaped how and where we live. High Society, British Architectural Library Using vintage imagery from the RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection this exhibition explores five classic post-war high-rise housing schemes.

Last Tuesdays 66 Portland Place is open late every Tuesday until 22.00, but Last Tuesdays are extra special, with a diverse range of talks, films and debates. Browse the bookshop and explore the world-class Library or simply meet friends for a drink in the bar or a bite to eat in the restaurant. Spring highlights are: March 27 ‘Bata Ville. We are not afraid of the Future’. Film screening at 18.30. ‘Pugin’ – talk at 19.00 by Charles Hind, RIBA Drawings & Archives Collections. April 24 ‘Architecture – a woman’s profession’ – talk at 18.30. May 29 ‘The Great Royal Patron debate’. Panel discussion at 18.30.

4x4 in Leeds Now in its eleventh year, 4x4 making places brings people together to learn about and debate place making, with leading practitioners. This year 4x4 investigates numbers, the hidden force behind decisions in place making. From size, proportion, cost, value, efficiency, turnover, time and footfall, to energy consumption, policies, finance, budgets and appraisals, the numbers must ‘work’. Free to attend, tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 22 and 29 March. The Rose Bowl, Leeds Metropolitan University, Portland Crescent, Leeds LS1 3HB. Hub exhibition Anglo-Italian Adventures Non-Place Anglo-Italian Adventures in Exile 28 March–20 April.

The Mancunian Way, the never realised Picc-Vic tunnel, the Guardian Exchange and fanciful dreams of a city-centre heliport are presented using artefacts found and recovered from the various archives and museums of the region. Exhibition by George Epolito, Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture. Monday–Friday, 10.00–17.30, Saturday, 12.00–17.30. Free. CUBE 113–115, Portland Street, Manchester M1 6DW. 0161 236 7691

RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2011 Until 31 March. Gallery 2. An exhibition of new buildings submitted through open competition by its members.

This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled Forest Stewardship Certified stock using vegetable-based inks

12 RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter

Long Room Hub at Trinity College, Dublin. Photo: RIAI

BAApp – Walking Experience the best of Birmingham’s architecture with a new interactive mapping app. Walking Architecture is the first app to unveil the stories and people behind the city’s buildings. Download the BAApp at or search for BAApp at the App Store. Free.

RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter - Spring 2012  
RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter - Spring 2012  

RIBA Chartered Practice Newsletter - Spring 2012