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How will the SAP10 update impact fabric performance standards?

As Building Regulations Part L 2020 is due for imminent release before coming into force at the end of the year, a Seven Consulting CPD course covers the likely compliance issues

1 July 2020

Sustainable architecture

There’s a lot more to earthen materials than mud huts. ‘Engineered nanomaterial that can improve the indoor environment, health and wellbeing’ is nearer the mark, say UK/Indian research team

Project will demonstrate carbon and wellbeing benefits of building materials made from earth

Covid-19 makes a very small appearance in the Architecture Room at this year’s delayed Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. It’s a relief

Calm, community – and Covid: Eva Jiřičná’s Architecture Room

Prototype product monitors buildings’ actual heat loss against design ambitions, even when the property is unoccupied

Prototype product shows 99% pass rate on standard heating trials

RIBA’s latest policy report shows that POE makes greener, cheaper, more productive buildings. So why do only 19% of UK practices offer the service, and how can we encourage greater use of this essential tool?

More sustainable, more productive, lower costs: POE ticks all the boxes

UCL researchers say reusing secondary timber from demolished buildings could construct up to 10,000 homes a year

UCL researchers say reused timber could build 10,000 homes a year

Architecture for social purpose

Have you a project that aids the common good? We are waiting to celebrate schemes that have wide social benefit

Send in your schemes which work for the common good

How can we make our public places more accessible to more people, while keeping them safe post-lockdown?

Ideas for combatting lockdown loneliness safely

How best to spend the government’s £1bn school building bonanza? Four sets of priorities range from better access and bigger spaces to flexibility and promoting hygiene

Priorities for spending the government’s £1bn for education

Nearly 150 members from 18 countries accepted the RIBA’s Rethink 2025 challenge to reimagine society for a post-pandemic world. The international panel of judges found many ideas big and small to celebrate

RIBA members from 18 countries accept challenge to envision a post-pandemic world

Your enthusiastic response to this invitation to design the post-Covid, environmentally aware, world of 2025 produced an exhilarating range of ideas and a 32 entry-strong longlist

Imaginative proposals show architecture's power for change

Health, safety & wellbeing

Put on an old age simulation suit, use a wheelchair, or get the end users of the building involved before you design your next project to experience it as some will, urges 2019 Rising Star Joanna Asia Grzybowska

Act the part of your design’s users to produce a truly effective building, says Rising Star Asia Grzybowska

As the loosening lockdown sees non domestic buildings prepare to open up, managing inside services is critical to avoid a coronavirus resurgence

How to keep building services safe

Automation is crucial to keeping the commercial washroom designs of the future as clean and safe as possible. Bobrick now offers a range of touch-free accessories

Bobrick offers range of automated commercial washroom accessories

When we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic a new sort of design will be needed. How would you design the new world we will find ourselves in? Enter Rethink: 2025 – you could win £5000

Win £5000 with your big ideas for a post-pandemic world

Feeling overwhelmed by carbon zero demands? All that’s needed are a few simple actions to take advantage of the help that’s out there

Where to find the help you need for zero carbon design

Business, clients and services

Furlough abuses and Covid driven cuts to jobs and apprenticeships are this week's grim stories, while the profession braces itself for slashed architectural exports with a no-deal Brexit. But it's not all bad news: Amanda Levete to design for fusion, Adjaye breaks ground in Niger and Finsbury Circus revamp awarded

Practices made furloughed staff keep working; Covid and Brexit bite

Financing model for Cepro microgrids promotes zero carbon homes by removing cost and risk from developers without passing costs on to buyers

Energy Systems Catapult scheme makes zero carbon homes more affordable

Justin Nicholls of Fathom Architects looks at the pitfalls of communicating designs digitally – does it make us lazy with its removal of constraints such as space and file size?

Don't get lost in the graphics of digital communication

As an RIBA survey reveals the truth about home design and mental wellbeing, what can architects do to make our dwellings work better?

Survey is goldmine of domestic market data

A sound planning system must be based on economics, geography and data in order to leave a solid legacy we can be proud of: Alan Jones addresses the planning reform white paper

Replace planning politics with geography, economics and evidence says Alan Jones

Legal, regulatory and statutory compliance

Planning battle adds to SHARKS! debates on architectural theory, complete with smoke and bubbles, in Jaimie Shorten’s entertaining Antepavilion

Another Architecture Foundation Antepavilion planning battle adds to architect Jaimie Shorten’s debates on architectural theory

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are five years old. How familiar is the profession with their aims, and how do its designs match up? Here’s an overview of an RIBA survey showing where we are

Do UK designers conform to UN Sustainable Development Goals?

With government action to curb construction’s contribution to climate change falling short, some in the sector are taking matters into their own hands

There's no national policy or developed market, but retrofit projects keep coming

The ‘cheapest is best’ mantra flies in the face of fire safety, and architects must take the lead in opposing it

Diluted regulations and cost conscious clients need architects to take the lead

As the only regulated profession in an industry facing huge responsibilities, architects must be more expert

Profession must manage the demands of dramatic change

Procurement and contracts

Fewer than 13% of the construction workforce are women. In the first of an occasional series, Rosa Turner Wood, who has just completed her Part II, takes over some space to consider how we can rebalance our gender-unequal, and aging, workforce

Could women be the answer to tackling the UK’s declining construction workforce?

Most construction sites are operational again, but problems with supplies and managing safe distances between workers are hampering efforts to recoup lost time

Loosened lockdown leaves gaps in supplies and staffing in its wake

John Walker, director at Walker Simpson Architects, chooses three of his specification favourites

Three specification favourites from the director at Walker Simpson Architects

Paul Strudwick, associate at HKS Architects, chooses his specification favourites

Paul Strudwick of HKS chooses three of his specification favourites

Housing and commercial uplift send average fees higher – but hourly rates fail to keep up with inflation

Rising fees leave hourly rates standing still

Inclusive environments

It’s essential to tackle growing gaps between the privileged and less so in education, around mentoring and experience, digital provision and where our profession is and should be

How can we close the widening opportunity gaps?

A new ASSA ABLOY white paper outlines the importance of buildings that are accessible to all, the regulations that govern them - and how to specify compliant door hardware

Specifying compliant hardware for fully accessible environments

Specialist carpet supplier's products have received DSDC accreditation for use in care settings and public buildings

Danfloor carpets receive DSDS accreditation for specialist settings

A surreal quality of unexpected juxtaposition characterises Park Palace Ponies, an inner city riding school in a derelict theatre

Liverpool riding school operates from a derelict theatre

Homeless find sensitivity domesticity and a warm welcome at Shelter from the Storm, a supermarket converted to a temporary refuge

Community café is also a homeless shelter

Places planning & community

As the country moves towards harsher restrictions on gatherings and travel, the debate over the future of the office continues to rage, but statistics suggests news of its death is greatly exaggerated

What is its future role and what will city centres look like?

Our weekly catch-up on the architectural news: Tower-block architects face tougher qualifications; Grenfell inquiry latest; Jenrick’s demolition drive; Bjarke Ingels’ houseboat; Parliamentary decants; Foster bonus bonanza

Plus the latest on Jenrick, Ingels, Foster and MPs’ temporary home plans

Emergency food banks have been a feature of the pandemic, but places that already existed to help food-insecure communities are best placed to target need. It’s a health issue that is always with us

How architects can facilitate a National Food Service

Simon Aldous's take on the week's architectural news stories: Permitted development backtrack; Adjaye wins Gold Medal; Royal Academy's endless summer; Foster's positives of the pandemic

Plus David Adjaye’s Royal Gold Medal, Foster is chipper and the RA’s Indian summer

Treat housing as vital infrastructure, not financial speculation

What we didn’t learn from the sub-prime scandal

Building conservation and heritage

Are you a modernist or a conservationist? Why not both? We need continuity in architecture

Conservationism and modernism sit side by side

Sleep in the stables, cook in the dairy, relax in the timbered full-height barn: how tenacity and an unforgettable dream found a happy ending at 18th century Oxhey Hall Farm

Tenacity finds a happy ending in Fletcher Crane’s barn house

Tom Hull’s photograph of his grandparents is part of his project ‘A Moment’s Glance’ – a visual chronicle of the life of a single family

Part of Tom Hull’s photographic chronicle of a single family

The Grade II listed building that still services the railway tunnel that runs under the River Mersey is being refurbished

Grade II listed Shore Road building is being refurbished

In Owen Hatherley’s book 33 authors offer alternative views of London’s boroughs which will surprise and enlighten even the capital’s residents

Alternative guide to London offers unexpected insights

Design, construction and technology

The office is moving into our homes, here's how to maintain work/life balance, keep the two separate, and create the right sort of space. Some practices were already planning this when lockdown made the idea urgent

From Shoffice to in-house studio, ways to design home working

It almost looks like a traditional home but Surman Weston’s house on the edge of London trips your senses with spirits of California, a noble barn and the ghost of suburbia

Steel exoskeleton allows visual gymnastics as form melts away

Rudolf Schindler’s California Beach House for Philip M Lovell, photographed during construction in 1926, clearly shows its reinforced concrete structure

Modernist icon shot during construction

Concrete proved a critical choice for the main structure of this performing arts academy, both containing noise and reducing vibration from the dance studios

Acoustics were key to success at Peckam’s Mountview Academy

Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri welcome the ‘time to rest’ that Covid-19 has imposed on their busy lives in Shanghai and beyond, as they consider what life has become and how the pandemic will shape the future

What are these renowned but private architects doing during the pandemic?


The Forbo linoleum brand contains no plastics and is made from 97 per cent natural raw materials

The Forbo brand is made from 97 per cent natural raw materials

Specialist carpet supplier's products have received DSDC accreditation for use in care settings and public buildings

Danfloor carpets receive DSDS accreditation for specialist settings

The firm's Signature and Spacia 36+ luxury vinyl tiles have been developed using slip resistance technology and an active antibacterial ingredient

Slip-resistant luxury vinyl tiles feature active antibacterial ingredient

When the sports hall at Ashington Academy in Northumberland needed a refresh, the existing Gerflor flooring was replaced with its updated equivalent

Specialist sports flooring re-specified at Northumberland school

Light Natural concrete creates a high-sheen industrial feel over three floors at a Wandsworth retrofit project

Light Natural concrete creates high-sheen style over three storeys

Doors and windows

Velux flat roof window system brings natural light to the Maber-designed office and warehouse space of the Nottinghamshire fabrics company

Velux flat roof system provides daylighting solution for fabrics firm

The new Hilton Garden Inn Hotel features curtain walling, window inserts and doors by Senior Architectural Systems

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel features curtain walling by Senior Architectural Systems

The timber windows and doors specialist has achieved the environmental gold standard of FSC® Chain of Custody certification

Timber windows and doors specialist achieves FSC Chain of Custody certification

Specifying a window walling system that already meets CWCT requirements means eliminating the risk of costly remedial work post-installation

Curtain walling and window screens that eliminate the risk of remedial work

Reynaers' new aluminium parallel-opening windows bring noise reduction, acoustic insulation and natural ventilation to residential buildings in urban environments

Reynaers' new aluminium window reduces noise ingress