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Hilary Benn to deliver his first lecture to the architecture profession, Wednesday 28 October


20 October 2009

Press office contact:

Beatrice Cooke
T: +44 (0)207 307 3813
E: beatrice.cooke@riba.org

Hilary Benn MP to deliver first lecture to the architecture profession

Wednesday 28 October 2009, 6.30-8pm, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD. Tickets available to the public - £8, £5 (concessions)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to confirm that the Rt. Hon Hilary Benn MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will be delivering his first direct address to the architecture profession about climate change at the RIBA on Wednesday 28 October 2009. His speech is a highlight of the ongoing International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change lecture series, sponsored by Gleeds.

In this high profile keynote speech Mr Benn will focus on the essential issue of adaptation - for homes, commercial buildings and infrastructure – in reference to the DEFRA’s UK Climate Projections (UKCP09) which provides information on the possible future climate. UKCP09 shows we can expect warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers, sea level rise, and more severe weather including heat-waves and flooding. The speech will be followed by a panel discussion, chaired by RIBA President Ruth Reed, with leading industry experts on the challenges and opportunities for the built environment resulting from the changing climate.

Speaking about his lecture, Hilary Benn said:

“The groundbreaking UK Climate Projections 09, launched in the summer, show the scale of the potential challenge we face as a result of climate change. For the first time they set out the probability of changes to our climate – giving us the ability to judge risks and plan our response.

“These projections will certainly help the architectural profession, as they build, plan and manage risks in the future. Architecture must take account of carbon and adaptation to create climate resilient buildings, infrastructure and places.

“This is a really important task for the architectural profession to take on. I welcome the lead that the RIBA is giving in highlighting the need to reduce our emissions and design buildings that can withstand the climate of the future.”

The International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change series began in February 2006 with a talk by Wangari Maathai and has continued to give a platform to leading visionary thinkers, practitioners and policy-makers from disciplines such as environmentalism, architecture, urbanism and art. The series invites contributors to consider and debate the issues of globalisation and the socio-economic, cultural and environmental role that cities and our urban landscape must embrace to enable the transformation towards a low carbon world.

Through this programme of talks and debates the RIBA aims to encourage a wider understanding of the role of architecture and sustainable design solutions in both adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change through expert presentations and talks.

Sponsored by Gleeds and in partnership with BioRegional One Planet Communities® and Futerra

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Notes to editors


1. For further press information contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office: 0207 7307 3813; beatrice.cooke@inst.riba.org

2. Tickets are available to all members of the public and unless otherwise stated, tickets cost £8 (£5 RIBA members, students, concessions). To book, download a ticket booking form from www.architecture.com/programmes or call the RIBA Trust booking line 020 7307 3699. Tickets can also be purchased from the RIBA Bookshop, 66 Portland Place.

3. The RIBA Trust talks take place at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD. Nearest tubes are Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street. The RIBA Trust exhibition spaces are open Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm except Tuesday 10am – 9pm Tel: 020 7580 5533; www.architecture.com/programmes

4. The programme was initiated and curated by Tamara Horbacka, Curator - Talks, RIBA Trust. The RIBA Trust manages the cultural assets of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), including the internationally recognised collections of the British Architectural Library. It is the UK's national architecture centre, delivering the RIBA Awards and RIBA Stirling Prize (live on Channel 4); the Royal Gold Medal; International and Honorary Fellowships; a full programme of lectures, exhibitions, tours and other events; and an education programme.

5. For more information about the UK Climate Projections go to: www.defra.gov.uk/adaptation

6. 'International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change' is in partnership with One Planet Living® and sponsored by Gleeds. Gleeds is a world class cost and project management consultancy with over 120 years experience in the fields of construction, property and related industries. Gleeds have a strong and established reputation in the field of sustainability and offer consultancy and advice on this and many other aspects of the built environment through a network of 48 offices and 1200 dedicated staff. They have a presence in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and the USA. Gleeds is a truly global business that is structured to act and think locally.

7. Videocasts of previous talks in this series can be viewed at www.gleeds.tv and at www.architecture.com/international-dialogues

8. The vision of One Planet Living® is a world in which people everywhere can lead happy, healthy lives within their fair share of the Earth's resources. To find out more visit www.oneplanetliving.org

9. Futerra is a specialist communications consultancy which advises NGOs, public and private sector clients on issues of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. For more information please contact David Willans - 0207 378 4003 or visit www.futerra.co.uk

10. As part of the RIBA's response to the challenge of climate change, the institute has adopted a four-part climate change policy proposal. The policy framework sets out the RIBA's commitment to develop guidance for members, industry and clients on how to best use design to counter climate change; deliver corporate behaviour guidance for the institute and its members to guide emissions reductions; and continue to campaign for greater public awareness of the climate change threat and lobby influential organisations and government. Contraction and Convergence (C&C), an internationally supported philosophy for countering climate change with comprehensive targets that go beyond those set out by the government and The Stern Report, has been formally adopted by the RIBA as the basis for its policy.

11. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of the RIBA. To celebrate this milestone the Institute is holding a programme of special events throughout the year that aim to show the breadth of our activities throughout the world of architecture, engage an even wider public and celebrate the benefits to society of good design. For further information visit www.architecture.com



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