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ACE Info 5.05


English language version
The monthly electronic note from the Architects’ Council of Europe
Issue 5-05


Welcome to the fifth issue in 2005 of ACE Info, the monthly 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.

ACE Matters

The BAK Adopts Position in Relation to the Bologna Process

The Executive Board of the BAK (Bundesarchitektenkammer), which is the Federal Chamber of Architects in Germany, has unanimously adopted a position in relation to the Bologna Process on the structuring of higher-level education that sets out, in detail, its position in respect of this important process.  The BAK represents all 16 Architects Chambers of the Lander and the position confirms, among other matters, that, given “The increasing complexity of creative, technical, functional, organisational, economic and judicial demands on architects…”, “All Architects Chambers are therefore in favour of a five-year study according to the UNESCO/UIA Charter for Architectural Education…”

The full position can be downloaded at: http://www.bak.de/Portals/_Rainbow/infomaterial/1288-0/BAK%20BA%20MA%20engl.pdf

 The RIAI Offers Special CPD Course for Administrators 

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has launched a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course aimed at administrative and secretarial staff working in architects’ offices.  This shows that the type of work undertaken by administrative and secretarial staff in architectural offices is quite different from standard administrative work and that concentrating on the enhancement of skills is important for all staff.  This initiative is very much in line with objectives that the ACE has been promoting in relation to improving the quality of services provided by architects to their clients and is in harmony with the objectives of the quality chapter of the proposed Directive on Services in the Internal Market.  Visit the website of the RIAI for more information:www.riai.ie

Architecture in the Third Millennium – Project

At the UIA Congress in Istanbul (3-7 July 2005), there will be a presentation of the outcome of this project in which a number of the ACE Member Organisations have been involved.  The project has twelve partners from twelve countries and its aim has been to produce a teaching aid that will, through a new website (see below), allow architects and other building professionals to understand the legislation in those twelve countries so as to facilitate cross-border practice and mobility.

The presentation will take place on the 6th July in the Romelli room of building H1 in Congress Valley, Istanbul.  Note that it is necessary to register on the website and that not all information is uploaded at the time of writing.


Core Issues

Qualifications Directive

The Competitiveness Council adopted, on the 7th June 2005, the Qualifications Directive that will simplify and consolidate existing legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications and will see the abolition of the “architects’ directive” and 14 other directives on recognition procedures.  The Council accepted several amendments introduced by the European Parliament in May 2005, notably on more supervisory power for the host country to run checks on professionals from other countries and on consultation with affected professions when matters covered by the directive are being considered in comitology.  At the time of writing this article, the consolidated final text of the directive was not available.  However the ACE has been informed that the Commission expects to publish the directive in the Official Journal “before the summer break”.  Its provisions will come into effect 20 days after its publication and Member States will have two years to implement it in national law.

The Directive on Services in the Internal Market (SIM)

On the 13th June 2005, the Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Mr. Charlie McGreevy, presented to the Parliamentary Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), his views on the discussions underway on the SIM Directive.  Of importance in his presentation was the manner in which he acknowledged that there has been much controversy about the proposal and that he, being a pragmatic person, was aware that the proposal would need to be amended before adoption.  However he did not give any clear, new, indications on what the Commission view is on any such amendments.  In fact he said to the Parliament that it is “over to you” to propose amendments and that he would listen to what was proposed and be flexible on revisions.

McGreevy stated that he would not be swayed on the need for a directive that opens up the market for services and that it should be strong and effective.  This view, that a strong liberalising directive is needed, was also expressed by the shadow rapporteur of the IMCO Committee, Mr. Malcolm Harbour (EPP-PD, UK), while the rapporteur, Ms. Evelyne Gebhardt (PSE, Germany) said that her group would not accept a directive that negatively impacts on the social model of the EU.  These statements draw the battle lines for future debate.

Another striking feature of the debate in the IMCO is that calls to withdraw the proposal were not made and that it is therefore clear that a directive on this subject will certainly be adopted by the EU.  Finally, at the meeting, the rapporteur reported that there have been 936 amendments tabled by MEP’s to the proposal among which there are many that the ACE could support as they are in line with its position on the provisions of the directive.  In fact the ACE prepared a set of suggested amendments hat it circulated to the members of the IMCO Committee and it has been informed that many of them may yet be proposed for adoption.  Copies of the ACE position on the SIM Directive and of its set of proposed amendments can be obtained on request from the ACE Secretariat at:[email protected]

Other Matters

Better Law-making – Commission Strengthens Rules on Impact Assessment

On the 15th June, the Commission adopted two documents on its “Better Law-making “ initiative of the 16th March.  They are a technical inter-service document on the Commission guidelines on impact assessment of regulation, and a statement by President Barroso to the Commission on the progress that has been made in implementing the “Better Law-making” package and on the revision of the guidelines.  While preserving the integrated approach to impact assessments, the Commission’s revised guidelines set clearer economic and competitiveness orientations and plan for an examination of compatibility with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.  The documents ascertain that the Commission services will establish close mutual contacts in order to guarantee that all relevant factors are taken into account and they contain an obligation to consult stakeholders in the assessment procedure.

European Business – Facts and Figures

Eurostat is preparing to a new edition of its flagship publication on EU business statistics “European Business – Facts and Figures”.  The publication gives a comprehensive picture of the structure and characteristics of European business and its different activities and Eurostat is turning towards professional trade associations, representative bodies and private sector companies for complementary information for the publication.  Any data that is provided before the 1st September 2005 will be considered for inclusion in the publication.  Further information can be found at:www.europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/

and information for consideration should be submitted to:[email protected]

marked for the attention of “European Business – Facts and Figures”

European Research Budget in Dire Straits

The official proposal from the Commission for the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development envisages a doubling of the current EU research budget.  The programme relates to the period 2007-2013 and the proposed expenditure, in accordance with the Commission proposal would be about 75 billion euro.  This level of expenditure is needed in order to ensure that the EU becomes the world’s most competitive, knowledge-based economy and both the Parliament and Council have, in the past, expressed the view that increased investment in research and development is essential for the EU.

However, the Council proposal, that was rejected at the EU Summit of the 16th ad 17th June, propose cutting the proposed budget by 40%.  This level of cut would have drastic effects on the proposals of the Commission and would seriously weaken the prospects of the EU achieving in aims in the medium-term.  More information can be accessed at:http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-140790-16&type=News

EU Expert Group on the Urban Environment (EGUE)

The latest meeting of the EGUE took place in Brussels on the 17th May 2005.  The ACE was represented by its Secretary General, Alain Sagne, and the meeting took stock of the current situation in relation to the developments of the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment, considering the outputs and final reports from the three Expert Groups that worked through 2004 on the topic.  The Commission announced that it has appointed a consultant to provide basic data on the likely costs and benefits of the two main instruments being proposed in the strategy – environmental management plans and sustainable urban transport plans.  These reports are related to the Impact Assessment contract and can be accessed at the website of the DG Environment (see below).

The Commission also reported that a final (Internet-based) stakeholder consultation will be launched this summer with adoption of the strategy expected for December 2005.  It was also confirmed that the meeting was the last one for the EGUE in its current form.  Finally the Austrian representative reported that urban environment will be a priority under the Austrian Presidency of the EU (first half of 2006) and that it would be a major point on the agenda of the informal ministerial meeting in June 2006. www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/urban/home_en.htm

Energy Efficiency Directive – First Reading in Parliament

At the Plenary Session of the European Parliament held on the 7th June 2005, the European Parliament decided, by an overwhelming majority, to support binding energy saving targets of 11.5% by 2015 for the Member States.  The directive, entitled “Energy End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (COM(2003)739), is expected to have a significant impact on the reduction of energy use in the EU and to boost technological innovation in the energy sector.  Further information can be accessed at:http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-140595-16&type=News


The Fundación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Arquitectura Sevilla (FIDAS) is a foundation whose main aim is the research and dissemination of architecture through professional training courses, technical consulting, archiving, library, exhibitions, publications and so on.  The Foundation is willing to organise book exchanges with its own publications in order to build its library and archives.  Anyone interested can contact [email protected] or browse the FIDAS website at:www.fidas.org

WWF Report on the Ecological Footprint of the EU

On the 14th June 2005, the WWF published a report entitled “Europe 2005 – The Ecological Footprint” in which the WWF says that the EU-25 are currently consuming more resources than their own environmental capacity would normally permit.  The reports says that the ecological footprint of the EU is 2.2 times as large as its own environmental capacity.  The WWF argues that the EU should decouple economic growth from resource consumption if it is to become competitive in both the short and long term.  It says that one major way to achieve this would be to switch energy consumption from fossil fuels to renewable energies.  Download the report at:http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/europe/what_we_do/policy_and_events/epo/index.cfm

Green Cities Declaration

Green Cities were the focus of the United Nation’s Environment Day 2005 in San Francisco at which over 50 mayors were in attendance.  One tangible outcome of the event was the adoption of the “Urban Environmental Accords – Green Cities Declaration” which commits the signatories to work towards making their cities green over the coming years.  The Accords include some good ideas and their widespread adoption would certainly have a positive impact on the global environment and on improving the quality of life of citizens the world over.  Further information on the event and a link where the declaration can be downloaded are accessible through:http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-140546-16&type=News

EFCA Elect a New President

The European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations has elected, at its General Assembly in Krakow, Poland, a new President for a three-year term (2006-2008).  He is Yann Leblais, Chairman and CEO of Arcadis FCI.  He has set three priorities for his presidency that include curbing the trend whereby clients and re-insurers shift risk towards engineering consultancies, promote common standards for the proper functioning of public procurement practice and reinforce the co-operation between the EFCA and the European Institutions.

Green Paper on Energy Efficiency

On the 10th June 2005 the EU Commission issued a Green Paper on “Energy Efficiency or Doing More with Less” (reference COM(2005)265 final).  The paper takes a broad view of what is needed at EU level in order to reduce energy consumption across the EU and in all sectors.  On buildings it says that one option would be to extend the provisions of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive so that it would apply to renovation of buildings of more than 50 sq. metres.  The current directive only applies to renovations of buildings of greater than 1,000 sq. metres.  The paper can be requested from the ACE Secretariat at:[email protected]

Anglo-Swedish Initiative for Greener Buildings

The Swedish and British governments have launched a joint initiative promising to highlight and share best practice in sustainable construction and to provide leadership across the EU.  Environment ministers form the two countries stressed the huge responsibility of construction and use of buildings for carbon dioxide emissions and waste generation.  The initiative will support and promote more sustainable construction by encouraging dialogue and by helping to make the business case for continuous improvement.  See the initiative at:www.ukswedensustainability.org/

Definitive Guide to Lobbying the European Institutions

A report has been prepared by Burston-Marsteller based on a survey carried out by Harris Interactive on the opinions of the EU Institutions on the effectiveness of lobbyists.  The report shows that industry and HGO’s are considered to be equally good at lobbying the EU Institutions.  The report was launched by the Commissioner for Administration and Anti-Fraud, Siim Kallas, who reaffirmed his commitment to transparency.  Among the elements that emerge from the report is the clear fact that English is, by far, the second language of the EU.  That is to say, it is the language that 85% of those who responded to the survey speak as a second language.  The report can be downloaded via the link at:http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-140998-16&type=News

Irish to Become the 21st Official Language of the EU

Irish will become the EU’s 21st official language from the 1st January 2007 following agreement within COREPER (Committee of the Permanent Representatives of EU Member States) on the 13th June last.  The Irish language will not be treated in exactly the same way as other official EU languages as the agreement states that “for practical reasons and on a transitional basis, the institutions of the Union shall not be bound by the obligation to draft and translate all acts, including judgements of the Court of Justice, in the Irish language”.

Intelligent Energy – Europe Programme: Third Call for Proposals Expected in September

The European Commission is currently preparing the third call for proposals under the “Intelligent Energy – Europe” programme which will see about 50 million euro being made available for projects that promote energy efficiency, renewables, the intelligent use of energy in transport and horizontal actions including the creation of energy agencies.  There are four main categories in the programme: energy efficiency (SAVE), renewable energy sources (ALTENER), energy use for transport (STEER) and co-operation with developing countries (COOPENER).  The Intelligent Energy Executive Agency of the European Commission plans to organise and information day on the call in early October 2005 in Brussels.  There will also be several national information days.  More details will be made available as they come to hand at:http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy/intelligent/index_en.html

E-CORE Project Completes its Work

The European Construction Research Network (E-CORE) project on the establishment of a Strategy for Construction Research and Technological Development has completed it work.  Carried out under the auspices of the ECCREDI (European Council for Construction Research Development and Innovation), the ACE was closely involved with the work through its expert, Vesa Peltonen and through its membership of the Council and Steering Committee of the ECCREDI (Jean-Marie Fauconnier and Alain Sagne respectively).  The final output is a comprehensive and forward-looking report on the way in which construction related research should go over the coming decades.  The document is to be one of the principle base documents for deliberations in the wider European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP), whose work is now well under way.  For further information see:www.e-core.org

High Level Group (HLG) of the ECTP Elects its President

At its second meeting, held on the 21st June, the European Construction technology Platform (ECTP) elected Michel Cote of the French consortium, Bouygues, as its President.  A debate on the need to have a Vice-President indicated strong support for the idea and it is expected that a Vice-President will be elected at the Third meeting of the HLG in November 2005.  At the meeting, the proposed Strategic Research Agenda was debated and several proposals for large-scale joint initiatives were also debated.  The architectural profession is represented on the HLG by the British architect, Ian Ritchie, who was very critical of the proposal to undertake a major initiative on the exploitation of underground space for living.  This followed specific comments and criticism that the ACE had communicated to the ECTP about its concerns that the proposal was unsustainable, highly energy intensive and simply un-needed.  The ACE acknowledges that there is room for research into underground construction, but it believes that functions appropriate to the exploitation of underground space must exclude living and working spaces.  Following the debate in the HLG it seems that the message of the profession is being heard.  For general information on the ECTP go to:www.ectp.org

FIEC Celebrates its Centenary Year

The Europan Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) celebrated its 100th year with a Congress in Brussels and Liege (where it was founded in 1905) over the period of the 16th to the 19th June 2005.  At the event, it unanimously adopted “The FIEC Principles for Sustainability” which is intended to raise the profile of the industry, whilst also providing guidance to contractors on how to make their firms and their construction projects more sustainable over time.  More information and access to the adopted principles can be found at:www.fiec.org/


Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, Reima Pietila, Heikkinen & Kononen…

Rakennustieto publishes about fifty books annually in the field of architecture and the most recent publications cover the architects named above.  You can access their lists and buy online at:http://kauppa.rakennustieto.fi/en/default.asp

New Books from the European Study Centre

Two new books have been published by the European Study Centre based outside Brussels in Belgium.  They are:

Access to European Union – 14th Edition

Access to Social Europe – 4th Edition

The publications are promoted as being excellent source books for professional associations and NGO’s as they provide a quick but comprehensive overview of EU policy and legislation in the commercial, industrial and social sectors.  Further information from:[email protected]

Design for Deconstruction

A guide on the principles of design to facilitate reuse and recycling when a building is partially deconstructed or demolished, this guide addresses the opportunities that arise at design stage to maximise the reuse of components and recycling of materials at the end of the useful life of a building.  Further information can be found at:www.ciria.org/acatalog/C607.html

East European Construction Market Reports

These unique reports prepared by BuildECON, the Euroconstruct Partner, is now available for purchase on the internet.  Reports can be downloaded for Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey at the following address:www.buildecon.com


2nd International Alvar Aalto Research Conference on Modern Architecture

This international conference will take place in Jyväskylä, Finland from the 12th to the 14th August under the theme “Architecture + Art, new visions, new strategies”.  The focus will be on shared material practices and intellectual projects during a period that spans from the immediate aftermath of the Second World War to the present.  Further information is available at:www.alvaraalto.fi/conferences/architectureart2005

Nordic Congress on Landscape Architecture

This conference is scheduled to take place in Stockholm from the 9th to the 11th September 2005.  There will be lecturers from all Nordic countries as well as speakers from a wider international arena who will present their perspectives on the theme “Urban action – how to initiate and manage successful projects”.  The conference will be conducted in English.  For more information and registration see:www.arkitekt.se/urbanaction

Social Emergency and Crisis Intervention in Large European Cities

The European Federation of Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANSTA) is holding its annual conference on the theme above in Paris on the 27th and 28th October 2005.  Full details at:http://www.feantsa.org/code/en/pg.asp?Page=25&id_events=53

Smart Games and the City

This conference is expected to be an international forum for professional exchange and know-how related to the design and construction of sports facilities for the Olympic Games and other important international sports events.  It is being organised by BLOK in co-operation with the Faculty of Architecture and the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University.  The event will be held in Prague on the 16th and 17th September 2005.  More details at:http://www.arch.cz/blok/

Alpbach Architecture Forum 2005

This forum is promoted as being a highly prestigious gathering covering a wide range of topics – including architecture – which takes place in the village of Alpbach in the Austrian Alps.  The theme for this years event is the future of architectural education ad it will be held on the 19th and 20th August 2005.  Full information can be found at www.alpbach.org

An Estuary and its Towns

Announced in the last issue of ACE Info, this conference has been postponed and will now take place on the 13th and 14th October 2005 in Nantes, France.  More details on the contents of the conference, but not on the re-scheduled date, is available at:http://www.archilink.com/libre/S0022C60F-0022C621?WasRead=1

3rd International Seminar of Architecture - Lisbon

The theme of the seminar will be “PARA.ARCHITECTURES – Architectural Design and Urban Re-qualification” and will consist of a reflection on the territories at the frontier between architecture and other disciplines.  It will held in Lisbon from the 22nd to the 29th July 2005.  To register go to:http://www.fa.utl.pt/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=168&Itemid=2#

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

To be held in Brussels from the 21st to the 23rd September 2005, this international conference will be looking at implementation in practice of the directive.  There is a parallel session on ventilation in relation to the energy performance of buildings with a sub-theme of “Whole building heat, air and moisture transfer”.  Full details can be found at:http://www.aivc.org/frameset/frameset.html?../Conferences/conferences.html~mainFrame


Menhir Prize – Architecture Prizes for Young Architects

The Menhir Prizes will be looking to acknowledge architects who have undertaken technically or aesthetically outstanding work in the construction, renovation, restoration and/or rehabilitation of public or private architectural buildings or developments and whose work has highlighted the proper use of natural stone and in a way which offers some innovative value.  All candidates must be 45 or under on the 31st December 2004 and the deadline for entries is the 16th September 2005.  Full details at:www.pmenhir.es

European Award for Architecture and Technology

Messe Frankfurt, together with the Federation of German Architects (BDA), the German Museum of Architecture (DAM), the Specialist Institute for Building Ventilation (FGK) and the Association of Consulting Engineers (VBI) will be awarding this prize to a building that is newly erected, converted or modernised in Europe, is used commercially or publicly, has been in use for at least a year at March 15,2005 and is not older than three years.  The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (ISPRA) is further supporting the award.  Receipt of the documents for participation are available free of charge and the closing date for entries is November 16, 2005.  Further information at:www.at-award.messefrankfurt.com

2005 UIA Prizes

To encourage merit, talent and actions of international importance, the International Union of Architects awards a number of prizes on the occasion of the UIA World Congress, held every three years.  Each of the four UIA Prizes concerns a specific theme and is a tribute to the memory of the first Presidents of the UIA.  For 2005, the prizes are:

The Auguste Perret Prize for technology applied to architecture goes to Werner Sobek, Germany.

The Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize for town planning or territorial development goes to Nuno Portas, Portugal with a mention for Hermann Strab, Germany.

The Jean Tschumi Prize for architectural criticism or architectural education goes to QUADERNS d’arquitectura i urbanisme, Spain, ex-aequo and Peter Davey, United Kingdom, ex-aequo with a mention to Selim Khan-Magomedov, Russia.

East Darling Harbour, Sydney

This urban design competition will soon be launched by the Government of New South Wales in order to source ideas that will underpin the transformation of East Darling Harbour.  For more information, visit the official competition website at:www.eastdarlingharbour.com

Useful links

European Commission homepage

Search page for Commission documents

The Barroso Commission:

Website of the UK Presidency

Website of the Luxembourg Presidency
(then choose your preferred language)

European Forum for Architectural Policies

Sustainable building website

COAC international relations database:

CNAPPC database - ArchiEurope:

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:

ACE website

Useful tip:

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:

French _fr  

German _de

Danish _da  Swedish _sv
Italian _it    Spanish _es Greek _el Dutch _nl
Portuguese _pt   Finnish _fi  Czech _cs Maltese _mt
Estonian _et  Latvian _lv   Lithuanian _lt Polish _pl
Hungarian _hu  Slovene _sl Slovak _sk  


Editor’s note

The editorial board for the compilation of ACE Info is:

The ACE President: Marie-Helene Lucas

The Secretary General of the ACE:  Alain Sagne

Senior Advisor to the ACE:   Adrian Joyce

ACE Info is normally issued around the second Wednesday of each month.  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 issue then e-mail it (in English or French please) to [email protected]  Deadline for submissions is the first Friday of each month.


The editorial board wishes to acknowledge the sources of information for this issue of ACE Info which include the CEPMC, the FIEC, the BAK, the RIAI, the UIA, the Euractiv website (www.euractiv.com) and Bulletin Quotidien Europe.

[email protected] - Comments and contributions welcome


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