Recruiting new Steering Group members - deadline for applications extended
We've extended the deadline for new vacancies on our Steering Group to Friday 8th March 2024.
We are keen to recruit new members from among our signatories, reflecting the diversity of practices as we develop AD’s programme. Our Steering Group are all volunteers and actively lead on many aspects of our work through small SG groups as well as full Steering Group meetings.
New members will contribute to the full range of the Steering Group’s discussions and decisions. It's a great opportunity to get involved in our busy work programme! You can find out what's involved and how to apply in our Role Description.
28 February 2024
Building Blocks to Transform the Built Environment: 'early adoption policies' briefing document
UK Architects Declare has been working hard with partners to finalise our policy document, Building Blocks to Transform the Built Environment, for its Parliamentary launch on 12th March. Key industry voices will be joining MPs and Lords to hear about and discuss the policy priorities in AD's manifesto for the next UK Government.
A 1-page briefing document, highlighting key 'early adoption policies' in the manifesto, has been endorsed by a range of industry bodies. AD will be presenting these at ACAN's stand (D40) at Futurebuild on 6th March: Come along to find out more!
28 February 2024
Entries are open for the inaugural Regenerative Architecture Index
UK Architects Declare and Architecture Today have launched the world’s first Regenerative Architecture Index.
Benchmarking participating practices on their regenerative policies, actions and working practices, the Index aims to share best practice, celebrate success, raise awareness across the wider construction sector and act as a catalyst for regenerative practice across the industry. We will also use the initiative to identify obstacles to progress, encourage knowledge sharing and identify tools, methods or policy measures required to support the transition to a low-carbon, high well-being and resilient future.
AD will also very soon be publishing a free Regenerative Design Primer. Complementing our 2021 Practice Guide (and replacing its short chapter on regenerative design), this Primer will support practices participating in the Index - and all built environment designers looking to make this transition.
The Index asks participants about their practice and its projects under three broad headings:
Part 1: Being a good ancestor.
This is about a shift in practice mindsets to consider truly long-term thinking. Our decisions today should consider seven generations ahead, ensuring adaptability and flexibility for the future. This requires innovative thought, as current models are rarely beneficial in the long term.
Part 2: Co-evolving with nature.
This is about recognising that we are part of nature, within integral living systems, not separate from it. Our work should actively regenerate ecosystems by learning from and working with natural systems. This requires designing for circularity and encouraging closed-loop energy, material and water cycles.
Part 3: Creating a just space for people.
This is about providing social connection, economic opportunity and wellbeing for all. Our design processes should foster a shared sense of stewardship where neighbourhoods can self-organise and build their resilience. This requires ethical, inclusive and participative approaches.
The deadline for entries is Wednesday 17th May.
The results will be published in September 2024 in a special issue of Architecture Today and on the Architecture Today website.
26 February 2024
Statement on Labour's reversal on its Green Investment pledge
Responding to the recent announcement by the Labour Party reversing its pledge to invest £28 billion annually on investment to combat the climate and biodiversity emergency, the Steering Group of UK Architects Declare today said:
"We are deeply disappointed by Labour’s recent decision to scale back investment in a safer future. This is a massive missed opportunity to show true climate leadership at a time in history where it matters most. The tragedy is that there are a plethora of solutions that could solve our planetary emergency, whilst also bringing about greater social justice. The Climate Change Committee has estimated that up to 725,000 jobs could be created in the low carbon sector, proving that greater investment makes both scientific and economic sense for the long term.
"We are hopeful that there are still some courageous voices within parliament, and we encourage them to speak out against the short-sighted mindset that is driving the destruction of the living world. As UK Architects Declare we remain committed to shaping a positive future and will be presenting our ‘Building Blocks’ policy manifesto at Portcullis House on the 12th of March. We encourage our signatories to write to their local MP to invite them along.
"We agree with Muyiwa Oki, President of the RIBA, who recently said of this announcement that, with the climate emergency intensifying, urgent national action is needed: ‘Ambitious and sustained investment from whomever forms the next Government, and the private sector, will be critical to address the scale of this challenge. ... Act now, or future generations will pay the price.’"
13 February 2024
UK Architects Declare seeks volunteers to expand our working groups - February 2024
We plan and deliver our activities through small working groups, with Steering Group members and other volunteers from across our signatory practices and beyond. These are mostly ‘task & finish’ groups, typically working over periods of a few months up to a year.
We now wish to expand our groups with suitable volunteers. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved in any groups below! Skills you might contribute could include research, drafting, graphics & design, proofreading, building networks, and promotion - among many other ways to support us. You can find details in our Call Out.
7 February 2024
AD joins call for Embodied Carbon Regulation in the UK
Leading construction industry and built environment experts from 11 organisations - including UK Architects Declare as part of the Built Environment Declares family - have today called for policy action in this election year.
UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Construction Industry Council (CIC), Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Built Environment Declares, RIBA, RICS, Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), and Part Z and have joined forces to send a consistent message to UK political party leaders about the urgent need for regulation of embodied carbon emissions in construction.
They assert that this is necessary as buildings and construction form a substantial part of UK carbon emissions, which are a main driver of climate change. UK policy has stalled, and urgent action is needed.
The group of experts has issued a paper to political leaders with a key ask: to include in their manifestos a commitment to move to reduce embodied carbon emissions in construction within two years of starting government.
Additionally, the experts list specific steps for action:
The group says these actions are essential as around 1 in 10 tonnes of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions are “embodied carbon” emissions. These relate to the production and use of construction materials, which account for a substantial part of the UK’s overall carbon emissions.
You can view the one-page Position Paper here on the Institution of Structural Engineers website.
31 January 2024
AD is seeking new members to expand our Steering Group!
We have new vacancies on our Steering Group and are keen to recruit new members from among our signatories, reflecting the diversity of practices as we develop AD’s programme. Our Steering Group are all volunteers and actively lead on many aspects of our work through small SG groups as well as full Steering Group meetings.
New members will contribute to the full range of the Steering Group’s discussions and decisions. It's a great opportunity to get involved in our busy work programme! You can find out more of what's involved and how to apply in our Role Description.
31 January 2024
UK Architects Declare & Architecture Today launch Regenerative Architecture Index
With Architecture Today, we are launching the world’s first Regenerative Architecture Index (RAI) as a means of benchmarking architects on regenerative projects, policies, working practices and actions.
The Index rejects the notion of ranking practices by profitability and size, instead benchmarking participating practices on their regenerative policies, actions and working practices. Its aim is to share best practice, celebrate success, and communicate this work to the wider construction industry to raise awareness and act as a catalyst for regenerative practice across the industry.
The RAI 2024 will launch with a call for entries in January 2024. Participating practices will be invited to answer questions both on the practice itself and on the projects it delivers, under three broad headings:
Part 1: Being a good ancestor, will look at evidence of long-term thinking and a concern for the well-being of future generations.
Part 2: Co-evolving with nature, will look at measures to support a mutually enriching coexistence with the natural world.
Part 3: Creating a just space for people, will look at issues around inclusivity, diversity, equality and engagement.
The results will be published in September 2024 on the Architecture Today website and in a special issue of Architecture Today. Graphs and tables indicating practices’ progress in specific areas will accompanied by case studies, commentary and analysis designed to produce a comprehensive compendium of best practice in the transition to regenerative architecture. Just as importantly, the RAI will also identify obstacles to progress, encouraging peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and advice, but also identifying any tools, methods or policy interventions required to support the transition to a low-carbon, high well-being and resilient future.
The Index is not a conventional awards programme – the focus is educational rather than competitive, with an evolving series of activities based on benchmarking, sharing experience and acknowledging challenges and mistakes. That said, a practice, or practices, that have performed particularly well will be rewarded with a bespoke retreat at Schumacher College in Devon, as an opportunity to recharge and establish a roadmap to regeneration for the year ahead.
We're looking forward to sharing more details very soon. For further information, in the first instance contact [email protected]
21 November 2023
Architects Declare releases draft 'Building Blocks to Transform the Built Environment'
It is clear that 30 years of sustainable design has not got us where we need to be. The United Nations concluded in 2022 that current policies and pledges do not create a credible pathway to achieving the Paris goals and limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C. The best science tells us we are heading for horrific climate impacts globally, particularly in some of the poorest parts of the world. Even before the UK Government's recent retrograde policy shifts on Net Zero, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero's revamped strategy itself admitted its policies will achieve only 92% of the cuts required - which many experts said could be a generous estimate.
We are in a period of inaction on the climate and ecological crises. Since the formation of Architects Declare in 2019, the construction industry has offered many practical solutions to these crises, to create a regenerative and just built environment – but these have not been incorporated into national policy. We now require true climate leadership by a goverment that embraces far-reaching system changes and implements them at a national scale.
Our mission is to turn a climate catastrophe into a climate opportunity. The Architects Declare Building Blocks aims to create a regenerative built environment that enables society and nature to thrive – creating jobs, improving health, and restoring the natural world. The Building Blocks, underpinned by a foundation of systemic change, offers a practical, impactful and implementable set of policies to transform the built environment.
We have worked with industry partners to develop the Architects Declare Building Blocks draft and are now sharing it publicly. We welcome your feedback at our online event on 19th October, and at an industry in-person event in November (date to be announced very soon). If you have specific experience in influencing policy or connections with policy-makers or politicians, please do get in touch via [email protected]. We will be revising the document over the coming months, ahead of a final launch early next year.
17 October 2023
UK Architects Declare is hiring: Communications Position (part-time)
UK Architects Declare is hiring for a flexible, part-time position to support our social media engagement - either freelance or secondment.
We promote AD through Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram, our
website and newsletters. Our communications priorities are: Make the urgency of AD’s
mission relevant; Be strong on AD’s achievements so far; Be positive, practical and focused in face of the Climate & Biodiversity Emergency.
Deadline: 12th October 2023.
24 August 2023