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The Forum Exeter, Devon

An RIBA south west award wining building at Exeter University in Devon; The Forum. This building benefited from design review during the design and pre-planning stage

Design Review Panel Training 2018

Design Review Panel training session carried out in Taunton and the Somerset County Cricket Ground in November 2018. The event was extremely well attended by local authority representatives, house builders and design team members

Exeter Quay by Jonathan Braddick

Photograph of Exeter Quay taken by Architect and Design Review Panel Manager Jonathan Braddick. The Design Review Panel holds regular design review panel sessions at Exeter City Council

Design Review Panel Training 2018

Design Review Panel training event 2018. Jonathan Tricker, Highways Engineer, Urban Designer & Director at Phil Jones Associates, gave a talk entitled: ‘Highway Design in Placemaking’

Steiner School Exeter

The design review Panel was engaged by Willmott Dixon during the pre-application design stage of the project to help them prepare a design that would be acceptable to the local authority

Design Review Panel Site Visit Poole

Photograph from a 2018 design review panel site visit carried out in Dorset in 2018. A full sit down design review panel was subsequently held in the Poole Borough Council Offices

North Grays Farm Para 80 House

External visualization for a NPPF paragraph 55 (now 79) house that was presented to the design review panel. This project has subsequently gone on to achieve planning permission and is now built on site

Design Review Panel Training 2017

Design Review Panel training session carried out in Exeter, Devon in December 2017. The event was extremely well attended by local authority representatives, house builders and design team members

Exeter Quay - Rockfish Restaurant

A small but sensitive project in Exeter Quay; The Rockfish Restaurant has been designed by Grainge Architects who engaged with The Design Review Panel during the design & pre -application planning stage

Extra Care Development by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects

Pegasus Life secured planning permission through public inquiry for a Sarah Wigglesworth Architects scheme for a C2 assisted living community at The Knowle, Sidmouth, Devon. The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk) were instructed by East Devon District Council (EDDC) to provide multidisciplinary, expert, independent and impartial guidance and feedback to the local authority, applicant and design team during the pre-application design stage.

Plymouth Hoe

Photograph of Plymouth Hoe, Devon. The Design Review Panel holds regular design review panel sessions at Plymouth City Council

Design Review Panel Training

Design Review Panel training session carried out in Exeter, Devon. The event was extremely well attended and incorporated a mock design review panel session and design workshop.

Do buildings need to be 'green' to be considered good architecture ?

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Energy performance does not seem to have been a priority for the judging Panel on this years (2021) RIBA House of the Year. This may be considered particularly surprising as it is two years since the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) declared environment and climate emergency and committed to developing the RIBA Ethics and Sustainable Development Commission’s action plan and made a pledge to support the government’s 2050 net zero emissions target.


The RIBA webpage states that:-


"RIBA Awards are regarded by both the public and profession as the most valued architecture awards with an unrivalled approach to the judging and promotion of good architecture ...


... RIBA Awards and prizes are the most rigorously judged awards for architectural excellence..."


Research shared with The Design Review Panel by by Hawkes Architecture, which can be seen below, indicates that none of the short listed contenders have an A-rated energy performance certificate (EPC). Surprisingly half were D-rated, and one project has not even had an EPC produced.

Table/chart comparing 2021 RIBA House of the Year Longlist Available EPC Date
2021 RIBA House of the Year Shortlist - Available EPC Date

The 2021 RIBA House of the Year Longlist only includes one house (The Walled Garden, by McLean Quinlan) that achieved an A rating, and this project appears not to have been shortlisted.

Table/chart comparing 2021 RIBA House of the Year Longlist Available EPC Date
2021 RIBA House of the Year Longlist - Available EPC Date

The RIBA webpage states that:-


"RIBA House of the Year is awarded to the best example of a one-off house designed by an architect in the UK. The award celebrates excellence and innovation in home design."


This raises the question, can a bespoke one-off house be considered to demonstrate architectural 'excellence' and 'innovation' if it does not demonstrate the highest standard of energy performance?


It is noted that three of the long list projects are extension, renovation or conversion, however should projects such as these also need to demonstrate that they perform to the best possible standards within any existing constraints?


Whilst it is wonderful to see that the ​RIBA may be starting to give energy performance more weight, there does not seem to be any sense of 'emergency'. This appears to be evident by the ​UK Awards information and entry guidelines​ on the RIBA website, which states that the over the 'next few years' the awards criteria will be aligned to support the 2030 Climate Challenge and the measures articulated within the Challenge will 'increasingly' be used to define the standards expected of RIBA Award winning projects.


For the 2022 Awards all projects are expected to meet statutory targets in achieving sustainable outcomes and measures, and verify how they perform. Is meeting minimum statutory targets good enough for a project to be considered as demonstrating architectural 'excellence' and 'innovation'?


There is an opportunity for architecture and building awards to showcase the highest standards (excellence) that can be achieved, which may provide wider learning outcomes and inspire other professional built environment designers, as well as home owners and developers.

 

Post written by Jonathan Braddick, RIBA Chartered Architect and Manager of The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk)

Research and images provided by Hawkes Architecture

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