Perth Theatre, Perth – Richard Murphy Architects

© Keith Hunter

Report on RIAS Council

December 2011

Obituaries were read for David Duncan RIAS, Martin Fraser RIAS, Roland Wedgewood FRIAS, William McAra RIAS, Francis Simpson RIAS and Ernie Walker Hon FRIAS. Council marked their passing with respect.

Council noted the Accounts and the net surplus of £3,240 compared to the budget surplus of £1,595. Adverse variances in Publishing, Directory, Consultancy and Convention were balanced by favourable variances in members’ subscriptions.

Council noted the deaths of 12 members, the resignation of 14 others. There were 4 removals for non-payment, 18 transfers to Retired, 3 to Retired Fellowship, 1 from Retired to Full Membership, 4 reinstatements, 1 election to Affiliate, 231 elections to Student Membership, 32 elections to Membership, 3 nominations to Fellowship and 3 to Honorary Fellowship.

Progress on the website and database were noted. The deferred launch of the Practice/Projects Directory to spring 2012 was also noted. Council agreed to the drafting of a 2012-2018 strategy, including the Incorporation’s ambitions for the centenary in 2016 and targets in support of members in the present economic climate. As part of this review further Committee rationalisation will bring together Membership and Awards with Communication and Events. Andy Bruce and Roy Milne will serve as Co-chairs.

The report of the Procurement Commission was noted. The report will be circulated to politicians, local authorities, friends of the Incorporation, all those in public procurement and the membership.
Council considered a proposal from a member to surcharge members to finance the promotion of the profession. In view of the financial climate and the proposed Practice/Projects Directory, Council, while lauding the proposal, were unable to agree.

An update report on RIAS Energy Design Certification was noted. The scheduled audits have been completed and further audits planned. The CPD series was attended by 159 delegates.
All of the internal improvements for 2011 are complete. Council agreed the proposal to upgrade staff accommodation at a cost of £26,400. The final phase of improvements will be the attic areas. That will be considered for 2013.

The dropping of the suffix ‘Ret’d’ was approved by Council.

The re-branding of the RIBA Awards as the RIAS Awards was approved. This will incorporate a 20% member threshold for applicants. The RIBA are in agreement with this change. The Awards will be presented at a gala dinner in mid-June. Winners at the first round will go forward into the Doolan Prize, other RIBA awards and the Stirling Prize. First round costs will be met from competitor fees with any balance split between the Incorporation and RIBA.

Council noted the Incorporation’s response to the Historic Scotland’s draft Corporate Plan and expressed deep concern on the proposed move from ‘listing and protection’ to a more nebulous ‘conservation and promotion’.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, hosted a parliamentary debate on Economy (Architecture and Placemaking) on 10th November 2011. Council commended Ms Hyslop and her Government for this important initiative.

At a positive meeting on 4th November between the President, Past President Dunbar and Secretary with the Presidents of the Catalan and Spanish Institutes, Lluis Comerón i Graupera and Jordi Ludevid i Anglada it was proposed to set up a new informal cultural forum of architectural organisations under the title of the Convention of International Architectural Organisations. After discussion Council agreed that the Incorporation should take a lead role.

Council were informed of a potential threat from a BSD consultation, “The Energy Performance of Buildings” to the RIAS Energy Design Certification scheme in respect of the possible introduction of Protocol Organisations to the production of EPCs. Council endorsed the proposed response, pointing out the previous BSD statement that only Certifiers of Design would be recognised to produce EPCs.

Council noted the continuing improvement in the Incorporation’s press coverage.

The success of the training day on 9th November to update the skills of RIAS Expert Witnesses was noted.