ACE Info 2.07
The electronic note from the Architects' Council of Europe
Welcome to the second issue of ACE Info in 2007. The ACE welcomes feedback and comments on the content of this publication, so please feel free to write to us at [email protected]
This issue is also available in French.
Temporary and Mobile Sites Directive – Commission Plans a Guidance Document
Health and Safety is an issue that is of central concern to the architectural profession as construction sites are among the traditionally most dangerous places to work and it is essential to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, that the design of buildings does not aggravate any dangers for both workers and occupants. The European Parliament and Council adopted a directive in the context of the Framework directive on Health and Safety for Workers (the eight such directive) to address the particular problems of the construction sector. The directive is known as the Temporary and Mobile Sites Directive (reference EEC/92/57) and its provisions have had a significant, but uneven, effect on practice within the sector.
Energy and Climate – Absolute Priority for the German Presidency – ACE Responds
In announcing its priorities for the six months of its Presidency, Germany has stated that energy and climate will be its absolute priority. This will be treated as the guiding principle for its policy work and it warmly welcomed the Commission’s Energy Package launched in January 2007 (see ACE Info 1/07) as a step in the right direction. The important impact of the built environment, its maintenance and use has not been lost on the architectural profession and the ACE has been active in the field of sustainable architecture and the environment at all times since its foundation.
French Order of Architects Launches a Major Public Debate
Under the title of “La France de Demain a Besoin des Architectes” (Tomorrow’s France Needs Architects), the CNOA(F) has launched a major public debate on the role of the architect in society. It coincides with a Presidential election year and is intended as a major communication campaign aimed at raising public awareness of the need to use architects to ensure quality in the built environment and to permit the CNOA(F) to gauge the opinion of the public on the value of architecture and the architectural profession. The campaign involves the placing of over 10,000 posters across the country and of an interactive blog on the web where debates between the public and the profession can take place.
ACE Events and Meetings in February, March and April 2007:
Joint Working Party (with the EAAE) – 23rd February – Brussels
Environmental Technologies Action Plan
The Commission launched its Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) some time ago as it firmly believes that this is one area in which the EU is the world leader and it is anxious that the EU remains in this position. The Commission states that eco-friendly technologies are good for business, reduce pressure on the environment and can create new jobs. It has therefore established a highly informative website on the full range of environmental technologies in order to clearly demonstrate their potential. It has invited all stakeholders to discover the potential and to share in promising opportunities by logging onto the website at:
Observatory of Sustainable Development Established
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has recently established an Observatory for Sustainable Development under the Presidency of Mr. Derek Osborn with Mrs Ulla Brigitta Sirkeinen and Mr. Ernst-Erik Ehnmark (well known to the ACE as he was the co-rapporteur of the EESC on the Services Directive and rapporteur for the Qualifications Directive). The Observatory consists of 30 members of the EESC representing a diverse range of sectors and interest groups and will work to ensure that adequate account is taken of sustainability in all policy developments of the EU. In 2007 it will concentrate on aspects raised by climate change and clean energy. To learn more about the EESC go to:
Andria Report on Housing Policy Progressing Through Parliament
Following initial work on the European Housing Charter (led by Alain Hutchinson (PSE, Belgium)) and adopted by the Intergroup Urban:Logement of the European Parliament in April 2006, the Regional Development Committee of the Parliament has begun to draw up an own initiative report on housing and regional policy. The rapporteur, Mr. Alfonso Andria (ALDE, Italy) has included in his draft report the concept of a right to decent, quality housing at an affordable price as a fundamental right of every EU citizen. The report also takes account of the Charter on Housing already mentioned. Furthermore, the rapporteur has taken account of suggestions made by the ACE in the amendments that he has proposed to his draft report. In particular a reference to the Council Resolution of 2001 on architectural quality in urban and rural environments has been added and more emphasis is placed on the quality of the public realm as an essential feature of any well-conceived housing project or regeneration project. The timetable for the report, if it runs as planned, will see the report being voted on in Plenary session in May 2007. To see the text of the draft report, go to:
Insurance Sector Under Anti-trust Scrutiny
The Commission has recently issued a report that shows that business insurance may be overcharging their customers and that it is up to the industry and business insurance customers to respond to its findings or face anti-trust enforcement. The Commissions interim report was published on the 24th January and it reveals that prices vary considerably across the EU and that customers are kept from the benefits of a truly competitive market.
Green Paper on Urban Transport due this Autumn
A conference entitled “Urban Transport: Problems, Solutions and Responsibilities” took place on the 31st January last. The conference was the first step in the debate on the urban transport Green Paper that the Commission has announced it will bring forward this autumn. At the conference, the Commission Vice-President, responsible for transport, Mr. Jacques Barrot, said that all stakeholders will be consulted during the drafting process and that their opinions will be taken into account. Three further events are scheduled that will address funding of urban transport, inter-modality and integrated approaches to urban transport. Furthermore an online consultation process is due to be launched shortly. To follow this issue, go to:
Changes Within the European Union as from 1st January 2007
On the 1st January last, Bulgaria and Romania were welcomed as new members of the European Union and as full Members of the ACE. This enlargement has had an effect on certain institutional matters including the weighting of votes with Romania being assigned 14 votes and Bulgaria being assigned 10 votes thus changing the various calculations for majorities in the Council. This change will also be reflected in the ACE as its voting system mirrors that of the Council. The accession of Bulgaria and Romania means that there are now 23 official languages in the EU and, finally, they have been inserted into the list for the rotation of Presidencies with Bulgaria due to take the Presidency in the second half of 2018 and Romania taking the Presidency in the second half of 2019.
Parliament Calls for Greater Action on Obesity
On the 1st February the report of the European Parliament prepared by Belgian Liberal Frederique Ries reacting to the Commission Green Paper on obesity was adopted by 620 in favour to 24 against and 14 abstentions. The report calls on the Commission to move rapidly to the preparation of a White Paper containing concrete measures to address this increasingly important issue. The ACE has taken an interest in this issue as the design of the built environment and the public realm can be a stimulus to increased physical activity in the general public and therefore a significant contributor to the reduction of obesity. At the present time the ACE is considering what actions it can take and what advice it could issue to the architectural profession on the matter. Further information in future issues of ACE Info.
European Business Lobby Group Changes its Name
UNICE (The Voice of Business in Europe), the Confederation of European Business changed its name to BusinessEurope on the 23rd January last. The organisation claims that the name change indicates its shift to a more optimistic approach to Europe in which it hopes to help to build Europe. For more information go to:
New Director General at DG REGIO
Dirk Ahner, a well-known enthusiast for Europe, has recently been appointed Director General of DG REGIO. He took over following the retirement of Graham Meadows on the 1st January last. Of German nationality and an economist by training he moves to DG REGIO from DG AGRI and, while admitting that he is on new ground, he quickly won friends by saying that the role that cities play in Europe is extremely important in terms of both economic development and social integration. With such an energetic Director General in place it is hoped that the management of the various regional policies during his time in the post will be highly effective and beneficial for the quality of life in cities and regions.
Display® Campaign – 39 Shining Examples Registered
At the start of 2007, the Display® Campaign, through its extension the Towards Class “A” (TCA) project in which the ACE is a partner, has received a significant boost as France notifies 6 Shining Examples in the first six weeks of the year. The objective of the campaign is to identify more than a hundred Shining Examples of highly energy efficient municipal public building across all climatic zones of the EU before the end of 2007. Should you be aware of a building that could be considered a Shining Example, then you are urged to notify the Display® Campaign/TCA. Full information available at:
Study of the Public Sector and Compilation of Good Practice in Urban Renovation
CECODHAS, the European Liaison Committee for Social Housing, has published this study that provides an overview of public sector social housing organisations experience in the field of urban renewal. To view the publication in pdf format got to:
Brussels Capital of Europe – Urban Form, Representation, Architecture
The Berlage Institute (NL) has recently published a compilation of the work of its Second Year Advanced Research Studio 2004-2005 that studied the urban form of Brussels in the context of its representative role as the Capital of Europe. Details of how to acquire the book can be requested by writing to:
European Energy Efficiency Conference
This Conference will be held in Wels, Austria on the 1st March as part of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2007. With the increasing political importance that is being given to energy, this event will focus on the developments in EU legislation affecting the sector. For more information go to:
European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition
This Conference will be held in Milan, Italy from the 7th to the 10th May and will address major issues of importance for European and Global wind markets and will, among much else, look at the prospects for the wider uptake of these technologies in society. For more information go to:
Sustainable Building Safari
A unique event and idea! Take a 5-day, 4-night road trip across part of the European Continent taking in visits to some of the best examples of completed sustainable buildings and projects arriving in time at the destination to take part in one of the lead-up conferences in the International Sustainable Building Conference series. For full information go to:
Sustainable Building Support Centre Summer Course
A week long summer course is planned to take place from the 10th to the 16th June 2007 on the Greek island of Tinos. The organisers say that it will permit participants to refresh their views on building and construction in light of environmental issues and challenges to be faced in the 21st Century. For full details go to:
SPRECOMAH Seminar on Architectural Heritage
A seminar organised under the Sixth Framework Project of the EU on preventive conservation and monitoring of architectural heritage, will take place from the 11th to the 16th June 2007 in Leuven, Belgium. The number of places is lilmited to 40 appropriately qualified persons and so you must reserve your place before the 21st March by going to:
Listing of events relating to Urban Issues
The European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) maintains a very good listing of events that relate to urban issues on its website, many of which are interest to architects. It can be accessed at:
UIA Turin 2008 – Congress Website Opens
The next triennial UIA (International Union of Architects) Congress is to be held in Turin from the 29th June to the 3rd July 2008 at the Lingotto, once the main factory for Fiat and converted in recent times to a convention centre by the well-renowned architect Renzo Piano. The website for the Congress has now been opened 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:
Wonderland – Papers for its Magazine
Wonderland is a network of (young) architectural practices that are less than five years in business and it is publishing a series of booklets on aspects of architectural practice that is distributed with A10, the European architectural magazine. Wonderland are currently preparing the third edition of its magazine on the theme of “Going Public”. They are seeking contributions on the topic, so if you have experience of how to get projects published, get public attention for your work and maintain that attention over time that you are ready to share, then please sent an abstract to:
Visitors Centre at the European Parliament
The European Parliament has notified the ACE of an interior architecture competition that it has launched for the fitting out of the new visitors centre at the European Parliament. The centre has a useable area of 5,200 square metres and its mission will be to explain the significance of the European Parliament in shaping European policies and in representing citizens. Information on the tender was published on the 6th February and can be accessed through the TED database (see address below). Having entered the TED database you have to search for the notice using its reference number which is: 2007/S 25-029179. The full title of the tender is B-Brussels: tender on interior and exhibit design for a European Parliament visitors centre in Brussels: lot 1 – interior and exhibit design,, including multimedia development; lot 2 – development and supply on a multi-modal role-play game.
Online Database of Architectural Competitions
Summary of current competitions:
European Commission homepage
Search page for Commission documents
The Barroso Commission:
Website of the German Presidency
European Forum for Architectural Policies
Sustainable building website
Collegi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) international relations database:
Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti, Pianificatori, Paesaggisti e Conservatori (CNAPPC) database - ArchiEuro:
Website of the European Construction Technology Platform:
EU Impact Assessment in Practice
Register of Expert Groups of the European Commission:
ArchiEuropa website – comparative information on practice of architecture:
Archi-Student website – a wealth of information on schools and students of architecture in Europe:
Link to the Newsletter of the International Union of Architects (UIA):
Website of the UIA Practice Commission – contains useful information on the work of the global architectural association, UIA, on practice related issues:
The editorial board for the compilation of ACE Info is:
The ACE President: Jean-Francois Susini
ACE Info is issued on a regular basis, with about ten editions 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/ACEINFO/subscribeEN.asp
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 URBACT, Le Moniteur, the EESC, CECODHAS, the European Urban Knowledge Network, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.
[email protected] - Comments and contributions welcome