ACE Info 1.06
English language version
Welcome to the first issue in 2006 of ACE Info, the regular update from the Architects' Council of Europe that will give you, at a glance, information on current issues, highlighting emerging areas of activity and informing you of matters of interest in the field of architectural policy.
This issue is also available in French.
Jean-François Susini – First Elected President of the ACE – takes up Office
The recently elected President of the ACE – Jean-François Susini (FR) – took up office on the 1st January 2006 for a two-year mandate. He will be assisted by the 10 members of the Executive Board, five of whom are elected and five of whom are nominated, on a rotating basis, by the Member Organisations of the ACE. The principle tasks facing the new Board will be to put into place the new structures and procedures that are required to coherently implement the adoption of the new Statutes of the ACE. Jean-François Susini was President of the French National Order of Architects (the CNOA) until the 2nd December 2005, when his successor, Bernard Figiel and Vice-President of the CNOA, took up the role as President.
At a special joint meeting of the outgoing and incoming Executive Boards, the allocation of the main functions for the co-ordination of the work of the ACE to new Board members was decided upon. They are listed in the following chart of the full names and nationalities of the new Executive Board:
Jean-François Susini (FR) – President
Luciano Lazzari (IT) – Vice-President
Katarina Nilsson (SE) – Treasurer
Pierre-Henri Schmutz (CH) – Co-ordinator Access to the Profession
John Wright (UK) – Co-ordinator Practice of Architecture
Olgierd Dziekonski – Co-ordinator Architecture and Society
Fabian Llisteri Monfort (ES)
Peter Benuska (SK)
Rob Budding (NL)
David Felice (MT)
Tonu Laigu (EE)
The CNOA Holds its Convention in Brussels
For the first time since the establishment of the ACE, one of its Member Organisations, the Conseil national de l’Ordre des architectes (FR), held its annual convention of all its elected representatives in Brussels on the 2nd and 3rd December 2005. It was the first time ever that such a convention was held outside of France. The Convention was a resounding success with about 450 French architects attending the event, which was marked by a series of lively presentations and exchanges. Of particular interest was the fact that speakers were invited from the European Commission, the ACE Executive Board, the ACE Secretariat and the Social Partners. This gave an international flavour to the event and provided to the attendees a valuable overview of the impact and influence that European policies and legislation is having on architectural practice in the Member States. There was a particularly lively exchange held with officials from the DG Competition and DG Internal Market on the question of competition in professional services. Further information and papers of the presentations made can be found at:
New Appointments in Member Organisations
With the New Year, there are many changes in personnel in the various Member Organisations and their constituent bodies of the ACE. The ACE Info has been informed of the following:
At the RIAI – Ireland
The architect James Pike has become President for a two-year period taking over from Tony Reddy who served as President for 2004 and 2005.
Pierre-Henri Schmutz, Head of Delegation of the Swiss Member Organisation CSA and newly elected member of the ACE Executive Board has taken up the post of Director of the Swiss Register of architects, engineers and technicians, REG. He was appointed on the 7th November 2005 and took up his functions on the 1st December 2005.
Elections took place for all of the Regional and local Orders of Architects, including the CNAPPC (see also ACE Info 8-05). Leopoldo Freyrie, Past-President of the ACE (2004) was re-elected to the National Council as Vice President with special responsibility for International affairs. The full list of Members of the National Council can be found at:
Luciano Lazzari, new Vice President of ACE, was re-elected President of the provincial Chamber of Architects of Trieste.
In Milan Antonio Borghi, Chair of the ACE Work Group on Urban Issues, was elected to the Council of the Milan Chamber.
Progress in the Build-for-All Project
The ACE is one of 15 Partners in this EU-Funded project aimed at mainstreaming disabilities policies through the preparation of guidance on how contracting authorities can include accessibility as a criterion in the awarding of contracts in public procurement. The ACE is represented in the project by the Polish architect and expert in accessibility issues, Ewa Kurylowicz and Adrian Joyce, Senior Adviser. The Reference Manual that the Project has produced will be launched as a consultation document at the mid-point of the Project on the 16th January 2006 in the Headquarters of the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. During 2006, the project partners will develop and elaborate the Reference Manual, taking account of any inputs received, with publication of the final version due to take place in late 2006. To access the document and to find out more about the project, log on to:
Progress in the Towards Class “A” Project and Call for Nominations
This Project, being led by Energie-Cities is a follow-on to the earlier “Display” campaign which devised a format for the display of the energy performance of public (municipal) buildings as a precursor to the entry into force of obligatory requirements under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Its aim is to identify shining examples of very energy efficient public buildings and to reach a target of 500 such buildings by the end of the project. The idea is to demonstrate that highly energy efficient buildings (Class “A”) are already very widely distributed across the EU and that they can become inspirational for future building works. The ACE is represented in the project by the Austrian architect and expert in building-related energy issues, Walter Unterrainer and Alain Sagne, Secretary General.
As part of the work of the project, readers of ACE Info are invited to nominate public buildings that they know are highly energy efficient as possible shining examples for inclusion in the work of the Project. Ideally, nominations should name the building, the exact address, the public body that owns or occupies the building and a contact person able to engage with the Project team. Nominations should be sent to [email protected]
“Towards Class A” Award for the Best Communication Campaigns
The partners in the TCA Project launched, in late November 2005, a Campaign for the 2006 “Towards Class A” Award. The aim is to reward the best communication campaigns launched by municipalities n the context of the European Display Campaign that encourages municipalities to raise awareness of building users about the energy and environmental performance of their public buildings. The Award is open to all municipalities and local authorities who are members of the Display Campaign and the deadline for the submission of applications is the 7th April 2006. Further information on the award can be found on the Campaigns website under the “TCA Award” section at:
Livia Tirone, past Chair of the ACE Work Group on the Environment and Sustainable Architecture, has been nominated by the ACE to sit on the jury for the Award.
Hous-Es Network Proposal Formally Approved
The proposal of the City of Poznan, Poland, to establish a Network of cities in the context of the URBACT Programme of the EU has been formally approved and a kick-off meeting of the new Network will be scheduled for Spring 2006. The Network whose full title is “Management and Renewal of Large Housing Estates” will be know by the acronym Hous-Es and it will address the issues of the regeneration and management of large-scale housing estates with a particular emphasis on architectural quality. The ACE is an associated partner of the Network and intends to be active in promoting the work that will be achieved over the life of the Network. Further information on URBACT can be found at:
ACE Granted Liaison Status on Important CEN Technical Committee TC 350
The ACE has been granted Liaison Status on the new CEN Technical Committee on Sustainability of Construction Works (TC 350) which is undertaking the development of standards on the overall environmental impact of buildings. The ACE sees this work as having a potentially large impact on the manner in which building design and assessment of the performance of buildings will be carried out in the future and it is concerned that the point of view of the profession is delivered to the work of the Committee. It has therefore launched a call for nominations from its Member Organisations of appropriately experienced experts to represent it on the Committee and in its Work Groups. The Executive Board has appointed Mrs Barbara Schlesinger, architect (DE) as the ACE representative on the Technical Committee. The work of the Committee is expected to take about five years.
ACE Events and Meetings in January, February and March 2006:
Work Group Urban Issues – 3rd February – Brussels
Work Group Procurement – 3rd and 4th February – Berlin
Executive Board Meeting – 17th and 18th February – Brussels
Work Group Competition Issues – 27th February – Madrid
ACE-EAAE Joint Working Party – 3rd and 4th March – Dublin
Work Group Education – 6th March – Paris
Co-ordination Meeting – 9th March – Brussels (to be confirmed)
CEO’s meeting – March, date to be confirmed
Finance Committee Meeting – 10th March – Brussels
Executive Board Meeting – 10th and 11th March – Brussels
The Services Directive – Current State of Play
The next important step in the co-decision process for the adoption of the Services Directive is the vote in the Plenary Session of the European Parliament (First Reading), which is scheduled for the 15th February in Strasbourg. This follows the adoption of the report of the IMCO Committee (see ACE Info 8-05) with its large number of proposed amendments.
In parallel, the President of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, announced that a “revised proposal” for the Directive will be unveiled very shortly after the vote in the Parliament. He said that the Commission hopes to come up with a balanced solution that will remain ambitious and that will provide added value while taking into account the concerns of certain sectors and of certain Member States. The procedure can be tracked at:
The ACE is currently considering what lobbying action to undertake ahead of the vote in the Parliament and it is close to agreeing on a joint action with the other liberal, regulated professions represented in the informal Club Profile to lobby for real clarification that all matters covered the recently published Qualifications Directive will be derogated from the provisions of the Services Directive. At the same time it is considering joining with the European Association of Consulting Associations (EFCA) in their action to demonstrate that the proposed compulsory professional indemnity insurance provision of the directive is not workable. This action, while welcoming the principle itself, is calling for a postponement of Article 27 of the directive and a transition period for it of at least five years in order to allow time to advance harmonisation on the issue.
Commission Adopts Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment
On the 11th January 2006, the European Commission adopted the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment that has been based on extensive consultation and expert work, in which the ACE has been active over the past number of years. The Strategy sets out new measures to support and facilitate the adoption of integrated approaches to the management of the urban environment by national, regional and local authorities. Following preliminary analysis of the adopted strategy, the ACE notes that is much weaker in its proposals than at first anticipated, largely due to the fact that it adopts a strict and narrow view of environment in the urban context. That is to say that the strategy does not adopt a sustainability perspective in its aspirations, just a purely environmental one. Overall, the strategy – a very short text - is disappointing and lacks ambition. It certainly does not respond to the aspirations and expectations of many stakeholders and it is to be expected that it will provoke criticism. For more information and a link to the text of the strategy, go to:
Cohesion Policy and Cities – Consultation Launched by the Commission
The EU Commission has launched a consultation in preparation for a Communication on “Cohesion Policy and Cities: the Urban Contribution to Growth and Jobs in the Regions” on the basis of a staff working document. The document, which was presented at the Bristol Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Communities (see hereafter) has identified several key areas of concern: transport, accessibility and mobility, access to services and amenities, the natural and physical environment and the cultural sector. It is worthwhile emphasising that, for the first time ever in an EU policy document, a reference has been made to architecture and architectural quality as one element of an attractive built environment that contributes to growth and job creation.
The consultation period runs to the 17th February 2006 and its results will inform the debate on the framework and future priorities for EU funding (Structural Funds) in the 2007-2013 period. The working document can be downloaded at:
European Ministers Adopt the Bristol Accord on Sustainable Communities
At the Ministerial Conference organised by the UK Presidency on the topic of Sustainable Communities in Bristol on the 6th and 7th December 2005, the Bristol Accord was adopted. The accord sets out a framework of key ingredients through which communities of all sizes across Europe can be made more sustainable and to share good practice. In particular one of the eight key issues identified refers to good urban design and to quality construction.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, John Prescott, said that the Accord “… is about achieving better places for all European citizens.” The ACE has welcomed the contents of the accord and it hopes that the principles it sets out will be taken up across Europe with the objective of improving the quality of life of all. The text can be downloaded at:
Irish Government Publishes Bill that Includes Registration of Architects
The Irish Government published, on the 22nd December 2005, a Building Control Bill that will, among other matters, introduce a system for the registration of the title “architect” in Ireland. The publication was strongly welcomed by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) as an important measure that will benefit consumers by ensuring improvements on building safety, construction standards, accessibility and energy efficiency. The RIAI will become the registration body for architects in a co-regulatory role with the Government and in the key areas of admission and professional conduct, standards will be set by legislation.
At a time when the European Commission is carefully looking at the regulation of professions, this move by the Irish Government takes on a special significance. It is a sign that good regulation is considered to be firmly in the interest of the public and it is worth recording that the Irish Competition Authority had examined the proposal before it was published and that it did not object to its publication. Further information on this development can be found at:
Austria Takes up the EU Presidency
On the 1st January 2006, Austria took over the Presidency of the EU from the UK for a period of six months. It has placed the advancement of the co-decision process on the Services Directive as one of its main priorities and it will be looking to bring sustainable development issues closer to the heart of the work of the EU in the context of the implementation of the review of the Lisbon Strategy. It will also use its Presidency to develop a specifically European social model and will strive to rebuild confidence in the European project among EU citizens. Of specific interest for the architectural profession is the organisation, on June 8th and 9th, by the Austrian Presidency of the event of the European Forum for Architectural Policies that will focus on best practices in the procurement of architectural services. The official website of the Presidency is:
The EU Urban Audit
The Urban Audit presents the result of a statistical exercise covering over 300 indicators for 258 cities in the enlarged EU. These statistics show, amongst other things in the wake of recent trouble in some Member States, notably France, that more must be done to reduce disparities between areas within cities and to promote social inclusion in poorer areas. You can see the full results at:
Slovenia Will be the First New Member Country to Hold the EU Presidency
On the 13th December 2005, the EU Council adopted a decision fixing the order of rotating Presidencies until 2018. As a result, Slovenia will be the first of the ten new Member States to hold the Presidency during the first half of 2008. The order of the Presidencies will be as follows:
2006: Austria – Finland, 2007: Germany – Portugal, 2008: Slovenia – France, 2009: Czech Republic – Sweden, 2010: Spain – Belgium, 2011: Hungary – Poland, 2012: Denmark – Cyprus, 2013: Ireland – Lithuania, 2014 Greece – Italy, 2015: Latvia – Luxembourg, 2016: Netherlands – Slovakia, 2017: Malta – United Kingdom, 2018: Estonia until 30th June.
This three-year project is aimed at investigating the potential of making major savings in space heating and cooling costs in houses using the endothermic technology funded by the European Commission under the Energie Programme. Six demonstration houses will be built and fully equipped according to their needs as determined by their latitude. The project has set up an Architects Advisory Group (AAG) that will advise on the architectural integration of the technology. It is looking for additional participant in the AAG, preferably from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Belgium or Austria. If you are interested, then write to:
Commission to Propose Legislation for Renewable Heating and Cooling
On the 7th December 2005, the European Commission announced its decision to work towards a proposal for Community Legislation in 2006 to encourage the use of renewable energy, including biomass, for heating and cooling. The announcement was part of a package of proposed actions included in the Biomass Action Plan in which the Commission calls legislation on renewable energy in heating “the missing piece of the jigsaw, alongside existing directives covering electricity and transport”. Further information can be found at:
Parliament/Council Agreement in Second Reading on Energy Efficiency Directive
In a final trilogue with the Commission on the 30th November last, the Parliament and Council reached, at Second Reading, an agreement on the directive on energy efficiency in final use and energy services. The final text invites Member States to make energy savings of 9% over 9 years during the period of 2008-2017 and requires them to produce Action Plans presenting measures that they will take in order to attain the suggested 9% reduction in energy end-use by 2017. It is expected that this requirement will open debate at national level on energy efficiency. On the role of the public sector it is expected to set an example through the exchange of best practices and it should therefore develop and publish guidelines aimed at making energy efficiency an assessment criterion for awarding public contracts. The directive also contains provision on a more regular invoicing system based on real consumption measured by intelligent computers to be installed in every new building or when old buildings are renovated. For more information go to:
Sustainable Development Strategy of the EU to be Re-invigorated
On the 15th December 2005, the Commission confirmed its commitment to continue its action on the implementation of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy adopted in Gothenburg in 2001. In order to stimulate and accelerate progress towards sustainable development the Commission recommends, amongst other things, the adoption of several measures to encourage the development of future products and procedures (cleaner and better cars, information and communication technology, the use of hydrogen and renewable energy sources) the extension of the Community system of trading in emissions quotas to the aviation and shipping sectors, launching an action programme for energy efficiency, which will, amongst other things, help to achieve potential savings of 20% in buildings throughout Europe. There is to be a revised proposed strategy that will be submitted to the Parliament, Council, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee before it is put to the European Council f June 2006 for approval. For further information see:
Commission sends Reasoned Opinion to Italy on Architects Fees
The Commission has decided to send a Reasoned Opinion to Italy concerning its regulations on compliance with minimum fees for the services of architects and engineers under Article 43 and 49 of the EC Treaty guaranteeing, respectively, the freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services. The Commission questions the need for such provisions, the result of which is to restrict access to the Italian market in the case of providers from other Member States, while not protecting recipients of services or guaranteeing the quality of the services provided in a way that is proportionate with the general interest objectives sought.
Science for Environment Policy
The Commission has launched a new news alert service known as “Science for Environment Policy” that aims to facilitate the uptake of research by the dissemination of knowledge and the results of research. It can be accessed at:
Culture 2000 Programme Supported 217 Projects in 2005
The Commission has announced that its Culture 2000 Programme supported 217 projects in 2005 with funding of over 33 million euro going to the selected projects. In 2006, Culture 2000 will support projects across the artistic and culture spectrum without focusing on any particular sector. However, the Commission has proposed a new cultural cooperation programme for the period 2007-2013 that will concentrate on three priorities, namely the mobility of artists and cultural workers, the mobility of works and intercultural dialogue. More information can be found at:
Citizen’s Declaration on the City of Tomorrow
This short publication is the result of a unique consultation with a group of EU Citizens on the outcome of the research funded by the EU under the City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage Key Action. It makes very interesting reading as it gives a clear and succinct insight into the concerns of citizens in relation to urban issues. The ACE hopes that the views expressed will be taken into account by the European Construction Technology Platform in its recommendations on research priorities for the 7th framework Programme. The document can be downloaded from:
European Biomass CHP Conference 2006
To be held in Brussels on the 23rd January 2006 in Brussels, this conference will address the questions that arise from the European Commissions’ Action Plan on Biomass such as what needs to be done to realise the market for biomass? Who is doing what? Where are the best opportunities? Full information can be found at:
World Sustainable Energy Days 2006
A series of conferences are scheduled to take place in Wels, Austria from the 1st to the 3rd March 2006. The events to take place are:
1. European Energy Efficiency Conference
2. Green Heating and Cooling Conference
3. European Pellets Forum
4. Green Electricity for Europe’s Regions Conference
5. Green Energy Business Seminar – new clients, new markets.
Full details on all these events can be found at:
L’architecture, Vertu Thérapeutique?
Due to take place in Brussels on the 16th and 17th March 2006, this event will examine the question of whether or not the architecture of hospitals can have a therapeutic effect on patients, thus speeding up their recovery time. Full details can be found at:
Un Estuaire et ses Villes
A colloquium on the subject of estuarial cities will be held in Nantes, France on the 23rd and 24th March 2006 which will include a visit to the project for a port town at St. Nazaire. Full details on the event can be requested by writing to Didier Prost at:
Fourth European Biennial on Landscape Architecture
Due to take place in Barcelona on from the 23rd to the 25th March 2006, full information on this event can be found at:
Calls for Papers
The ACE frequently receives notifications of “Calls for Papers” for conferences and seminars worldwide. You may have written a thesis or doctorate paper that you would like to present or you may have an idea that you wish develop and to share with a wider audience – here is your chance:
Energy Performance and Environmental Quality of Buildings
An international workshop on the above theme is scheduled to take place on the 6th and 7th July 2006 in Greece and a call for papers is currently underway. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is 31st January 2006 and full information on how to submit papers can be found at:
International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis and Restoration
This Journal, due to be published in 2007, will provide a multi-disciplinary scientific overview of existing resources and modern technologies useful for the study and repair of historical buildings and other structures. The Journal has issued a call for papers that can be found at:
Construction Aspects of Heritage Protection – Research Needs
A conference and brokerage event under this title will be held in Dubrovnik from the 14th to the 17th October 2006 and the organisers have issued a call for papers with a deadline for submission of abstracts of the 1st March 2006. Full details can be requested by writing to:
European Prize for Urban Public Space
The Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona has announced the 4th European Prize for Urban Public Space that aims to foster and recognise the process of recovering the public dimension of urban spaces in Europe so as to enhance their capacity for social cohesion. The website for the prize, containing all relevant information is:
European Commission homepage
Search page for Commission documents
The Barroso Commission:
Website of the Austrian Presidency
European Forum for Architectural Policies
Sustainable building website
Collegi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) international
Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti, Pianificatori,
Paesaggisti e Conservatori (CNAPPC) database - ArchiEuro:
Website of the European Construction Technology Platform:
EU Impact Assessment in Practice
Consult a list of impact assessments that the EU has
carried out on various legislative packages at:
Register of Expert Groups of the European Commission:
ArchiEuropa website – comparative information on practice
In the website addresses given in ACE Info for the documents of the EU, you will frequently see the following near the end of the address: “_en”. These two letters define the language of the document (English in the case of “en”) and you can usually change these two letters in order to bring you to a different language version as follows:
The editorial board for the compilation of ACE Info is:
The ACE President: Jean-François Susini
The ACE Vice-President: Luciano Lazzari
The Secretary General of the ACE: Alain Sagne
Senior Advisor to the ACE: Adrian Joyce
ACE Info is issued on a regular basis, with about ten editions issued per year. You are free to circulate the document as widely as you wish, to translate its contents for use in your publications and to refer to the information it contains once you credit the ACE as the origin.
If you wish to receive ACE Info regularly and you are not on the mailing list, you can register online at: http://www.ace-cae.org/Public/fsPublicNetwork_EN.html
If you have information that you wish to have included in the next edition then e-mail it (in English or French please) to [email protected]. The deadline for submissions is the first Friday of each month.
The editorial board wishes to acknowledge the sources of information for this edition of ACE Info which include the RIAI, EFCA, CECOHDAS, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.
[email protected] - Comments and contributions welcome