Ronald McDonald House, Glasgow – Keppie

© David Cadzow

Report on RIAS Council

September 2011

Council noted the Management Accounts to June 2011 and the predicting net surplus of £2,509. Favourable variances on membership subscriptions and the RIAS Quarterly have offset some adverse variances in bookshop, publishing, consultancy and the convention.

The Membership Report was noted by Council with 13 deaths, 20 resignations, 10 transfers to Retired, 5 transfers from Retired to Full membership, 2 re-instatements, 86 elections to Student Membership, 20 elections to Membership, 9 nominations to Fellowship and 4 nominations to Honorary Fellowship.

The issue of Conservation Accreditation was reported to Council who noted the consultations which had taken place with the RIBA and with English Heritage to confirm their positions on the status of RIAS Accreditation. Council also approved the re-introduction of 5-yearly monitoring of RIAS accredited architects. This process will be monitored by Conservation Committee.

On procurement Council noted that the report from the President’s Commission on Procurement is in preparation and will be released shortly. The RIAS’s contention that the Scottish Government’s sPQQ is overly cumbersome has been raised with the Cabinet Secretary and a formal response is awaited. Members were extolled to sign up to Practice Convenor, Willie Watt’s, HM Government Petition, on http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/273.

Council noted progress on the new RIAS website, its extension to include commissions for the Practice/Projects Directory and a new database. The new system is due to go live within the next few weeks. The Practice/Projects Directory is due for release in early October and members will be urged to avail themselves of its advantages in promoting their practices.

The issue of non-practising membership returned to Council with a proposal that privileged access be given to academic non-practitioners. Council debated the proposal and votes were taken on the invitation to academics and non-practising membership, both of which were approved.

Council was advised that the President and Secretary had met with Gwyneth Hardy of Tern Television, the producer of the Beechgrove Garden, to discuss the opportunity for the Incorporation to support the Beechgrove’s community projects. After deliberation Council agreed to the Incorporation supporting one or two community projects in 2012.

A preliminary proposal is being developed with Buro Happold for them to act as broker for the Incorporation to seek out international appointments. Council approved the further development of this initiative with Buro Happold and the establishment of a viable protocol for the architectural appointments.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Glasgow Housing Association and Shelter are campaigning to persuade the Scottish Government to invest more money in affordable housing. Homes for Scotland has also given its support and a proposal was made to Council for the Incorporation to add its weight to the campaign and to make social housing a national priority. Council agreed to support this initiative.

It was reported to Council that RIAS Energy Design Certification (the Scheme) now has 97 subscribers, of whom 56 are Approved Certifiers of Design. The final 2011 CPD event to raise awareness of the certification process takes place in Inverness on 12th October. The Scottish Government has introduced Section 7, sustainability, and the Scheme continues its interest in expansion into both Section 6 non-domestic and Section 7 certification.

Council noted progress in the internal refurbishment of 15 Rutland Square and the completion of Phases 1, 2 and 3. Phase 4, the repainting of the internal stairwell, will commence in October. Next year’s works will include the basement offices with a possible future refurbishment of the attic offices. Council approved the out-turn costs for Phases 2 and 3 and noted the budget of £10,000 for the stairwell.

The ARB Annual Report was noted by Council highlighting its three strategic aims of protecting consumers, supporting architects through regulation and delivering the Architects Act 1997. ARB is due to elect its seven architect members early in 2012 and Council agreed to support Gordon Gibb as the RIAS’s official nominee (and Tom Young as a member nomination – along with any other members who wish to stand).

A proposal to develop a Young Architect’s Network on the lines of the surveyors and planners was embraced by Council and it was agreed that it could have separate representation on Council.
Council endorsed the Incorporation’s position as the representative of the architectural profession in Scotland while recognising the usefulness of the Construction Industry Council (CIC). A formal intimation of this position is to be made to CIC and to the Scottish Government.

The President, Sholto Humphries, the immediate Past President, David Dunbar and the Secretary have been invited to attend the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in early November by the Director, Paul Finch.

Council noted the changes to the RIAS Standard Forms of Appointments.