ACE Info 4.07
The electronic note from the Architects' Council of Europe
New Website Launched
Welcome to the fourth 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.
Public Procurement – Remedies Directive Agreed at First Reading
A new directive to improve the national review procedures that businesses can use when they consider that a public authority has awarded a contract unfairly was agreed at First Reading by the European Parliament on the 21st June last. The directive will ensure that contracting authorities wait at least 10 days after deciding who has won the public contract before the contract can be signed. This “standstill period” is intended to give bidders time to examine the decision and to assess whether it is appropriate to initiate a review procedure. The directive will also combat illegal direct awards of public contracts, which is the most serious infringement of EU procurement law. It is expected that the directive will be, without delay, formally adopted by the Council. For more information and to read the text of the directive go to:
Leipzig Charter – A Significant Milestone for Sustainable Cities… and Architectural Quality
EU Ministers for urban development and territorial cohesion met at an informal session in Leipzig (DE) on the 24th and 25th May last. This meeting was the latest in a linked series of meetings that has seen significant advances in the appreciation of what is meant by a sustainable city and on what role cities can play in assisting the EU to achieve its main economic, social and environmental objectives. The European Forum for Architectural Policies (EFAP) was formally invited to attend the meeting and was represented by Alain Sagne, Secretary General of the ACE, who made a presentation to the Ministers. Nina Nedelykov, Vice President of the German Federal Chamber of Architects (BAK), was also part of the EFAP delegation. The principle output of the meeting was the adoption, by the Ministers, of the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable Cities and of a Declaration on the Territorial Agenda of the EU. The Charter sets down the principles that must be respected in order to achieve sustainability within our cities and it comes after the earlier adoption of the Urban Acquis in Rotterdam in November 2004 and of the Bristol Accord in December 2005. The Charter specifically recognises the role that quality architecture can play in creating sustainable cities and it calls on governments and cities to consider this factor in all pertinent policy developments. Thus, for the first time the link is established between architectural policies and urban and territorial policies, a development that the EFAP, and the ACE for its part, has been seeking for many years. While the Commission, through Commissioner Danuta Hubner (Regional Policy), recognised the importance of the Leipzig Charter as a political document several of the forthcoming Presidencies expressed their commitment to effectively implementing the Charter. Moreover, the European Parliament (Committee on Regional Development) decided to draft a report on the follow up to the Leipzig Charter.
ECJ Accepts Concept of “Reasonably Practicable” in Health and Safety Measures
The European Commission has lost its case (reference C-127/05) in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against the UK in relation to its use of the concept of “reasonably practicable” in relation to health and safety measures taken by employers. The case was first initiated in 2005 and centred around the text of the UK Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 which stipulates: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees”. The Commission considered that this went against the 1989 directive on the safety and health of workers at work in which it is stated that “the employer shall have a duty to ensure the safety and health of workers in every respect related to the work”. It remains to be seen if the judgement will provoke the Commission to propose a revision to the relevant directive(s) so as to reflect this judgement.
Designing the Future – The Market and Quality of Life, April 10th 2008
An important date for your diaries is the 10th April 2008. On that day the ACE will be holding a major European Conference on the theme of Designing the Future – The Market and Quality of Life in Brussels. The date has been chosen so as to coincide with the first General Assembly of the ACE in 2008 (scheduled for the 11th and 12th April) and with Committee week in the European Parliament. These factors should ensure that key elements of the target audience will be able to attend.
Ireland – Registration of the Title “Architect” after a Long Process
A new law, known as the Building Control Act, was signed into Irish law on the 21st April 2007 by the Irish President and on the 4th May 2007, the Council of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) unanimously endorsed the contents of the Act, thus opening the way to the introduction of the registration of the title “Architect” in Ireland. This is a major milestone in the history of the profession in Ireland and for consumer interests and over the coming months procedures will be developed to implement the Act. It is the RIAI that will become the registration body, thus requiring changes to its constitution. The text of the new Act can be sourced at:
The French Approach to Transposition of the Qualifications Directive
The National Council of Orders of Architects (CNOA) has reported as follows on the approach of the French government to the transposition of the Qualifications Directive:
France is currently in the process of transposing the Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC) into national law. As far as the architectural profession is concerned it is the law of 3rd January 1977 that will be modified, notably in relation to the free provision of services that, up until now, did not have a leagal basis as the procedure was only the subject of a decree.
Estonian Union of Architects Visits the ACE Secretariat
The Estonian Union of Architects organised a Study Day in Brussels, which was dedicated to a visit to the ACE Secretariat and to a detailed expose of the work that the ACE undertakes on behalf of the profession at EU level. The EUA was represented by its Managing Director, Ingrid Mald-Villand and Laila Podra, Adviser on Architecture in the Ministry of Culture of Estonia and a member of the Council of the EUA. The visit permitted the EUA to get a tailored overview of the activities of the ACE by which it was able to become informed on issues that are of current concern in Estonia where many changes and developments affecting the architectural profession are underway. It was also an opportunity for the ACE to learn about how the recently adopted national Architectural Policy is being implemented. It is expected that the implementation of this Policy will have a beneficial impact on the quality of the built environment in Estonia which is currently suffering from an over emphasis on commercial developments that bring short term returns to the developer at the expense of the community.
ACE Workshop in Santiago de Compostela
Thematic Area 3 (Architecture and Society) of the Architects Council of Europe (ACE), met in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on 22/23 June 2007 at the invitation of Teresa Taboas Veleiro, Minister of Housing and Land Use of the Region of Galicia, to discuss and coordinate its Work Group topics of Housing, Research, Urban Issues, Environment and Sustainable Architecture.
The ACE at External Events
The ACE is frequently represented at external events and conferences by its President, Members of its Executive Board, Chairmen of Work Groups and/or the Secretariat. These activities often go unnoticed, but are very important to the pursuit of the policies of the ACE. It has therefore been decided to start a new regular article for ACE Info in which a selection of recent, relevant activities of these representatives will be reported upon.
The ACE President at the AIA Convention
The Architects Institute of America (AIA) held its annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, from the 3rd to the 6th May 2007 and the ACE was represented by its President, Jean-Francois Susini, who took part in a number of key events at the Convention. The Convention was a major event for the AIA as it also marked its 150th Anniversary. Firstly, Jean-Francois Susini was conferred with Honorary Membership of the AIA, and he also received the Presidential Medal of the AIA. Secondly he took part in the International Presidents Conference, a meeting of the Presidents of many regional and national organisations at which matters of global concern were debated. Finally he took part in a roundtable discussion with Al Gore former Vice-President of the USA and the man behind the Oscar-winning documentary on global warning entitled “An Inconvenient Truth”. The latter was highly critical of the current dominant business focus on quarterly returns at the expense of a long-term vision for a sustainable and responsible future – a message that resonated with the architect audience he was addressing.
Monza Conference - The Reform of the Profession - The Role of the Architect - A European view
ACE at Berlin EU-G8 Energy Efficiency Conference
The Chairman of the ACE Work Group on the Environment and Sustainable Architecture, Prof. J Owen Lewis, spoke at this high level event on behalf of the ACE, giving a paper on the interdisciplinary approaches for modern buildings that set out the strategies that can be adopted to ensure that the design of new buildings fully incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability. One of the key messages delivered was that the technologies needed to dramatically reduce the energy consumption of buildings during their useful lifetime are now tried and tested and there is no reason why all new buildings in the EU cannot immediately incorporate the best of these approaches. Also key to the strategies presented is the notion that adopting an interdisciplinary approach within the project team from the earliest stage is of particular importance to achieving success in this new approach to building design.
EESC Public Hearing on Climate Change
The European Economic and Social Committee held a Public Hearing on the 16th May 2007 entitled “Civil Society Responding to Climate Change” at which Adrian Joyce, Senior Adviser at the Secretariat of the ACE gave a presentation on during a plenary session entitled “How can we live more sustainably?” The presentation exposed the actions of the ACE in raising awareness of the fact that the approaches needed to make buildings more sustainable are already well known and widely used and that the profession is very awake to its duties in this regard. It also set out some of the most effective design strategies that can be used by architects to ensure an adequate response to the impact of buildings on climate change can be delivered emphasising the need to reduce the running costs of buildings. His presentation and ll others made at the event can be accessed at the following website:
Second ETAP Forum on Eco-Innovation
The subject of this years ETAP Forum (Environmental Technologies Action Plan), which was held on the 11th June, was “Markets for Sustainable Construction” and the ACE was represented in a breakout session on “New buildings: Solutions” by Bill Gething of the RIBA. Bill is a member of the ACE Work Group on the Environment and Sustainable Architecture and his presentation spoke about tools, targets and performance in practice giving a detailed overview of the strategies and difficulties faced by architects and their clients when they seek to design responsibly. He specifically used the example of a project in which he was involved where the strategies helped to produce a result that means the completed building respects the target of having a sustainable eco footprint (< 1 earthshare).
ACE Events and Meetings in July, August and September 2007:
Work Group Trade in Services – 13th July – Paris
EU Launches Free Trade Talks with ASEAN, Korea and India
On the 4th May last, the EU and the 10 Southeast Asian nations of ASEAN agreed to launch talks to set up a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This decision followed an earlier decision taken on the 23rd April to open trade talks with Korea and India. These decisions expose the deep interest that the EU has in establishing trade links with the fast growing economies in the region despite the difficult political situation that exists in some countries, especially in Myanmar. Following these announcements, the ACE will carefully consider whether or not there are grounds for it to seek to open negotiations, at a profession-to-profession level, with any or all of these countries.
Parliamentary Report on Housing and Regional Policy
On Thursday 10th May last, the European Parliament adopted, in plenary session, with a large majority (469 votes in favour, 38 against and 46 abstentions) an own-initiative report on Housing and Regional Policy. The rapporteur for the Report, Alfonso Andria (ALDE, IT) publicly acknowledged, including during a meeting in the Parliament, the contribution made by the ACE to the content of the report, which calls on the Commission to include housing in its reflections on cities and the sustainable development of regions. It also expresses the demand for reasonably priced, decent quality housing for all. The adoption of the report led to demands for the adoption of a European statement on housing to be based on the Housing Charter adopted by the Parliaments Inter-Group Urban:Housing on the 16th April 2006. To download the final report go to:
Parliamentary Report on Obligations of Cross-Border Service Providers
The European Parliament is currently working on an own-initiative report on the Obligations of Cross-border Service Providers. It decided to initiate the work as it believes that the Services directive does not adequately cover all aspects of the obligations that service providers owe to their clients or customers when they provide their services across borders. The rapporteur for the Report is Lasse Lehtinen (PSE, FI) and it is currently going through the debate stages in the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee (IMCO). It is expected that the IMCO Committee will adopt the report during the month of July and that the report will be adopted in Plenary session during September or October 2007. The ACE is following this work closely as it is not convinced that there is a need to do more on the obligations of service providers at the present time. It would seem right to wait for the implementation of the Services Directive before deciding if more needs to be done on this matter.
Temporary Committee on Climate Change Established by the European Parliament
On the 24th May last, the inaugural meeting of a new temporary Committee on Climate Change was held. There are 60 members in the Committee and its Chairman is Guido Sacconi (PES, IT) who held the difficult position of rapporteur in the REACH Regulation on chemicals. In his address to the meeting, the Chairman said “2007 and 2008 will let us know if we can save the planet. These two years will be key to our knowing whether the conditions for a real battle against climate change exist. This Committee must be a kind of taskforce to try to prevent total failure”. The main objective of the Committee will be to support EU negotiators in building a worldwide parliamentary coalition and to mobilise Europe supported by joint action by national and regional parliaments to raise public awareness that can then bring pressure to bear on governments and international organisations. To follow the work of the Committee, bookmark the following webpage:
The ACE Receives a Group of Future French State Architect-Urbanists
On the 10th May last, the ACE received a group of qualified architects and future French State Architect-Urbanists (Architecte Urbanistes de l’Etat (AUE)) at its offices in Brussels; it was in the context of a study tour to get acquainted with the European Institutions. There were over 25 persons in the delegation led by Mireille Grubert, Director of the Ecole de Chaillot in Paris, and the meeting allowed for an extensive exchange of views between the ACE (European issues) and the AUE (national issues). The group were architects that were undergoing an 8-month training period before taking up employment in the various relevant departments of the French Government covering heritage and urbanism. They are the first group of Architect-Urbanists to be trained at the recently opened facilities at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris which houses the Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. This centre was officially opened on the 4th June at a ceremony at which a “Club of Founding Partners” was established. The Club has members such as the Groupe Moniteur, Bouygues Immobilier and Vitra. The main objective of the centre is to better diffuse the impact of architecture on our lives to both professionals and to the public at large. For more information go to:
Intercultural Dialogue - €10m to be Given by Commission to Trans-national Projects
2008 will be the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue during which the key goal will be to strengthen respect for cultural diversity and the coexistence of different cultural identities and beliefs. The European Commission has opened a call for projects that encourage intercultural dialogue and it will fund up to ten trans-national projects that progress the objectives set for 2008. It is now accepted that cultural actions can contribute to the more central objectives of the EU such as set out in the Lisbon Agenda. To read more about this call for proposals go to:
Commission Launches Consultation on Codes of Conduct
Arising out of the provisions of the Services Directive, the Commission has decided to launch an online consultation on Codes of Conduct. This is a matter of some interest to the ACE and its Member Organisations as it adopted, in November 2006, a reference framework for a European Deontological Code that has already been taken into account by several Member Organisations in the revision or review of their national codes of conduct. The Commission believes that developing European codes of conduct will facilitate the free movement of services within the EU because suppliers would apply rules, with which they are already familiar, in other Member States and build consumer confidence in service provision from other Member states. The consultation is based on an online questionnaire that can be accessed at:
Report on Environmental Impact of the Two Seats of the European Parliament
Readers of the ACE Info will be aware that there has been some significant moves undertaken by some MEPs to serious question the continuation of having two seats for the European Parliament. It should be recalled that this fact arises from a political agreement whereby the seat of the European Parliament is shared between Brussels and Strasbourg with the Secretariat located in Luxembourg. There is a plenary session of parliament on one week each month in Strasbourg and the MEPs are located in Brussels all of the rest of the time. The holding of the session in Strasbourg involves a huge amount of logistics with both personnel and documents being shipped between the two locations each month. Last year a campaign (www.oneseat.eu) to get one million signatures calling for the Parliament to have its seat in Brussels was successfully run by a number of MEPs and the signatures were delivered to the Commission in the hope that the issue will be raised in the negotiations on the constitutional treaty.
European-Wide Study of Architectural and Urban design Competitions
The ACE has been informed of a Swedish research project, being financed by FORMAS, the Swedish Research Council that is looking at the structure, organisation and quality assurance practices used when running architectural and urban design competitions. The project intends to study the competition documents, programmes, protocols and briefs together with published records on architectural and urban design competitions in Europe. The leader of the project is Dr, Reza Kazemian, who is interested to get in contact with any persons or organisations that might be willing to help in the research work. If you are interested then write to Dr. Kazemian at:
European Disability Forum Campaign for Disability Rights
The European Disability Forum (EDF) has launched an online campaign calling for a European Union in which disabled persons rights are protected through effective legislation that combats all forms of discrimination and guarantees full inclusion of all EU citizens with disabilities that the EDF estimates number about 50 million. If you wish to sign the EDF petition and thereby take a stand for disability rights then go to:
RESPIRO Project – First Sounding Board Meeting with Stakeholders
The RESPIRO Project held its first round of sounding board meetings with relevant stakeholders over a two-day period in Brussels on the 11th and 12th June last. The ACE was invited and took part. The project aims to develop practical guidance for contracting authorities that will assist them in ensuring the inclusion of social and ethical criteria in public procurement procedures. In the project two key sectors – textiles and construction – are being looked at in detail. The project is being jointly led by EUROCITIES and ICLEI and it is building on work already carried out in the production of the CARPE Guide on responsible procurement and in the Build-for-All Reference Manual. The FIEC (European Construction Industry Federation and EFBWW (European Federation of Builders and Wood Workers) are also partners. The ACE took part in the sounding board meeting on construction and looks forward to further involvement over the life of the project. For more information go to:
UME 21 Published Online
An international architecture magazine that is available online and is free to download. The publicity for the magazine says that it is a rich designers resource. Check it out at:
ManuBuild Publishes First Book
ManuBuild is an EU-funded research project that is looking at the whole question of manufactured buildings and it has just published its first book online. The book is entitled “Open Building Manufacturing – Core Concepts and Industrial Requirements” and contains 16 chapters clustered under themes of concepts, industrial requirements, solutions and applications for open building manufacturing. It can be downloaded for free at:
2nd International Workshop on Energy Performance and Environmental Quality of Buildings
This Workshop is due to take place on the 12th and 13th July on Milos Island, Greece and it will present and discuss the main progress achieved on systems and techniques related to the energy performance and the environmental quality of buildings. For full information including details of how to register, go to:
Solar and Energy Efficient Renovation Strategies for Multi-Family Housing
This is an academy (summer school) event that will take place from the 4th to the 11th August in Solothurn, Switzerland. Participants will spend the week in an interdisciplinary environment learning about solar and low energy strategies. The event will be run in English and includes design studio work. Full details are available at:
Central Europe towards Sustainable Building
Organised by the iiSBE, this Event will be held in Prague on the 24th and 25th September and will focus on the design and construction of sustainable buildings. Full details on the event can be accessed at:
Sustainable Building – SAFARI – Northern Europe, 7th to 11th September
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 (Malmo, Sweden) to take part in one of the lead-up conferences in the International Sustainable Building Conference series. For full information go to:
Design Excellence – Design-Build Conference
Due take place in London from the 27th to the 29th September, this Conference is organised by the American Institute of Architects and will take place at the RIBA Offices. The Conference will permit participants to learn from leaders in the industry through educational sessions and project tours about design excellence through design-build in the international marketplace. For more information go 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:
50 Years On – Resetting the Agenda for Architectural Education
This event will be held in Oxford (UK) on the 22nd and 23rd July 2008, the 50th anniversary of the first Oxford Conference on architectural education. The conference is to be comprised of visionary keynote lectures and a series of forums. A call for papers and poster presentations is currently open with a deadline of the 28th September 2007 for the submission of abstracts. For full details go to:
Ugo Rivolta European Architecture Award
The Ugo Rivolta European Architecture Award was created by the Chamber of Architects of Milan to promote and recognise the best social housing projects built in Europe in recent years. The ACE is one of the patrons of the award and hopes that it will encourage a resurgence of interest in the design of social housing in the profession. The deadline for submission of projects for consideration is the 28th September 2007 and full details can be found at:
Europa Nostra Awards 2008
Europa Nostra has issued its annual call for entries in four categories – Conservation, Research, Dedicated Service by Individuals or Organisations and Education, Training and Awareness-Raising. The deadlines are staggered with entries for Research due to be submitted by the 15th August 2007 and other entries by 15th September. Full details at:
Perm Museum XXI - Russia
This is an open, international, two-stage, architectural competition for the design of a modern art Museum in Perm, which is one of Russia’s most powerful and ambitious regions. The Region is seeking to be the first in Russia to have a museum designed to meet the needs of the 21st Century and it is looking to have a buildings of stunning modernity. Full details at:
European Commission homepage
Search page for Commission documents
The Barroso Commission:
Website of the German Presidency
Website of the Portuguese Presidency
European Forum for Architectural Policies
URBACT Hous-Es Network website:
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/MemberN/Content/EN/sub/sub/subscribe.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 the CNOA(F), the RIAI, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.
[email protected] - Comments and contributions welcome