Arcadia Nursery, Edinburgh – Malcolm Fraser Architects

© Angus Bremner

Report on RIAS Council

March 2012

Council marked with respect the passing of Bruce Beckett FRIAS, Richard De’Ath RIAS, Bill Dickie RIAS, Gilbert Gray FRIAS, Donald MacKillop RIAS, Tom Spaven FRIAS, Donald Sutton RIAS and Isi Metzstein OBE FRIAS.

The Secretary reported that Dr Deborah Mays Hon FRIAS will be joining the Incorporation on 2nd April as Director: Projects and Chief Executive of SBCC.

The final out-turn figure on the Management Accounts was reported to Council as a surplus of £975. These accounts were adopted.

Council noted the deaths of 11 members and 12 resignations. There were 23 removals for non-payment, 17 transfers to Retired, 6 Re-instatements, 1 election to Affiliate, 25 elections to Student Membership, 25 elections to Membership, 11 nominations to Fellowship and 4 nominations to Honorary Fellowship.

The Draft Strategy for 2012 to 2016 was approved by Council. The refurbishment of the Rutland Square premises was noted by Council. The five year review of the Energy Certification Scheme was considered by Council. It was agreed to continue the partnership with Just Ask for a further six months while options are pursued.

Council agreed to the biennial salaries survey. Council re-iterated its position that members should not employ students unpaid. Deliberation on the Incorporation’s PR produced a Council decision that local issues be dealt with locally and national issues nationally.

Council welcomed the largest number of submissions ever received for any RIAS Awards scheme, 71 in total, of which 23 were shortlisted for judging. The judges are President Sholto, Robert Dye (RIBA rep), Dr Anne Lorne Gillies Hon FRIAS and Peter Wilson (Forestry Commission/Wood for Good). The results are to be announced at the Awards Dinner on 20th June 2012.

The list of confirmed speakers for the Thursday 10th May sports themed event were intimated along with the formidable international list for the main day on the Friday. The Saturday tour of Aberdeen will be led by Dr James Macaulay.

Nominations to RIAS Council were called for to fill the five places created by retiral. Council noted the request for nominations. Council also noted the changes to voting procedures. If there are more than five nominees, voting papers will be issued with results notified at the AGM. Joan Scott was approved as the RIBA Scotland South nomination.

Council considered the difficulties being experienced by the Inverness Chapter and while sympathising, could not agree with the proposal to amend their standing orders to deal with a temporary situation. Andy Bruce, Past IAA President, was thanked by Council for stepping into the breach. Hope was expressed that the Inverness membership would rally to support their Chapter.

Progress on the Festival of Architecture for 2016 was confirmed with David Dunbar PPRIAS becoming chairman of the 2016 Committee. Officer support for the Committee will be provided by Dr Deborah Mays. A twelve month programme of events is being planned with a number of other partner organisations participating.

Council deliberated on the candidates for the RIAS Lifetime Achievement Award and selected a suitable individual for presentation at the Convention.

In response to a letter from the RIBA President, Angela Brady, Council considered the relevance of the post of Honorary Curator. After discussion it was agreed that Council is the only authority to determine the retention or disposal of items within the Incorporation’s collection. As the post of Honorary Curator has been dormant for a quarter of a century it was agreed to stand down this position.

The assumption of management control of the Scottish Building Contracts Committee (SBCC) by the RIAS was noted.

Council agreed to support the University of Dundee as a venture partner in the development of the Integrated Sustainability Assessment Toolkit (ISAT).

A proposed revision to our Partnership Agreement with RIBA was agreed to introduce further clarity to the respective roles in overlapping activities and avoid potential conflicts.

The skewed nature of the ARB Election was discussed. Council affirmed its support for the gathering of evidence for presentation to ARB on a fast track process for minor issues, publication of names only in significant negligence cases, increased focus on protection of title, more architects on the panel and Scottish legal representation in Scotland. Doubts were expressed on the relevance of ARB in respect of Scottish affairs.

Council received an update on the RIAS Panel of Expert Witnesses and the success of the training day in November 2011. A seminar is to be held shortly on Expert Report Writing, recommended for all RIAS Expert Witnesses.