Current Research


Architects and Research Series

The documents below consider subjects from academic literature on how architects use research-based knowledge through to advice on how to engage with research.

Architects and Research-Based Knowledge: A Literature Review

This desktop study looks at published academic research on information practices in architecture and the built environment. It is a useful resource for practices who may be wanting to, for example, encourage the sharing of knowledge between their staff members. It demonstrates the importance of understanding research cultures across the built environment sector for those seeking to encourage closer relationships between researchers across practice and academia, and more effective knowledge transfer.

RIBA/SCHOSA Review of University Research 2013

This research review has been created to help practicing architects find academics and research groups with interests – however specific – that are relevant to their work, and to encourage them to make contact. It lists research groups and academic expertise across all 48 Schools in the UK and Ireland that are validated by the RIBA and/or members of SCHOSA. The third edition contains some updated information.

Research in the Schools of Architecture 1981-82: Reissue

Alongside the 2013 review, the RIBA is reissuing the 1982 report Research in the schools of architecture.  Together the reports encourage us to look at research in architecture in context – as an evolving discourse – which continues to support the work of practising architects long after particular research projects are complete.

Home Improvements: Housing Research in Practice and the RIBA Research in Practice Guide

These documents examine the current state of housing research in practice, revealing gaps in knowledge within the housing industry, exploring the potential of practice to respond to such gaps, and assisting in the development of a definition of what a 'research led practice' could be.

Call for evidence on ageing research

We are looking for an evidence base related to ageing and the built environment. Evidence received will shape the RIBA's research focus on ageing over the course of 2014, its dissemination of both innovative and best practice research and design over the course of the year, culminating in work with research funders to fill gaps in knowledge and practice.

This call for evidence has closed, however we will be collating evidence throughout 2014 and are keen to here from you if you would like to contibute. Further calls for evidence on more focussed aspects of ageing may go out throughout 2014 as our work develops.

For more information please download the call for evidence document:


RIBA President's Awards for Research 2013  

The RIBA's annual research awards exist to promote the innovation and insight that emerge from excellent research.

The awards acknowledge and encourage fresh and strategic thinking in architectural research for the benefit of the profession as a whole.

View the winners of the President's Awards for Research 2013. 

Home Improvements Knowledge Exchange Project

The Home Improvements project explored novel and flexible ways of engaging with practice and industry partners. It endeavored to unlock the housing sector's creative potential by integrating with systems of housing design and procurement in the UK, and through testing the potential of architectural practice to translate research into innovation in the supply chain, by encouraging practice to engage with the knowledge base in a systematic way.

This project resulted in two reports that formed part of the Architects and Research Series above - Home Improvements: Housing Research in Practice and the RIBA Research in Practice Guide. Theses documents set out to examine the current state of housing research in practice, revealing gaps in knowledge within the housing industry, exploring the potential of practice to respond to such gaps, and assisting in the development of a definition of what a 'research led practice' could be.

Funded by the AHRC, over 2013 The RIBA worked with schools of architecture (the  University of Sheffield School of Architecture , in partnership with  Edinburgh University  and  Kingston University ), the Housing Industry (represented by Taylor Wimpey, Design for Homes and Radian) to improve the quality and value of new housing by improving communication and knowledge exchange between volume housing builders and architectural practices. Three practices worked with us to develop embedded research projects in the field of self build, parking and public realm.

Collective Custom Build Cany Ash, Ash Sakula
Fionn Stevenson, Cristina Cerulli and Sam Brown, University of Sheffield
David Birkbeck, Design for Homes

Ash Sakula, working with the University of Sheffield and Design for Homes examined the context of self-build. Their project, resulted in a website, which locates the opportunities inherent in future occupiers having more say in how housing is conceived and built in the UK.

Parking Space John Sampson, Urbed
Fiona McLachlan and Kenny Fraser, University of Edinburgh
David Birkbeck, Design for Homes

There is an assumption that that less parking will discourage car ownership, make new neighbourhoods safer and allow better quality urban design. The Parking Space research sets out to test these assumptions using data collected on more than 300 new house schemes in Kent, six case studies, residents survey and focus groups.

Making Place Stewart Dodd, Satellite Architects
Steven Spier and Nicola Read, Kingston University
Nick Rodgers, Taylor Wimpey

Making Place proposes design solutions for the public realm in volume housing building, which we define as the spaces that are in front of or to the side of houses. Our primer adopts the starting point in Learning from Las Vegas that 'Main Street is almost alright'.

Plan of Work 2013

The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 has now been launched. Following a fundamental review this major upgrade ensures that, as it enters its fiftieth year, the RIBA Plan of Work continues to reflect the very best principles in contemporary practice. In addition to essential updates, including key changes from procurement to sustainability, for the first time some of the tasks can be customised by the user via a new online tool at:

Study of the earnings of architecture students 2011-12

The RIBA Study of the earnings of architecture students 2011-12 was undertaken in order to provide a clear picture of student earnings across the architectural profession. 900 RIBA Student Members that responded to the survey from November 2011 to January 2012 provided information about their current or most recent work placement.

This report presents the findings of the survey, including the length and type of students' work placements, average salaries and their receipt of thei benefits such as paid study leave or travel expenses.

The survey findings will inform future reviews of the RIBA's Chartered Practice requirements in
relation to remuneration of students, as well as future employment guidance that the RIBA may develop.

If you have comments or queries about the study, please contact .


The UK Research and Development Tax Credit Scheme - A guide for architects

Are you an architect? Is your practice liable for corporation tax? You may be being short-changed.

UK architects are among the most creative and innovative in the world. However, many architectural practices are not taking advantage of the HM Revenue and Customs R&D tax credit scheme, which has paid
out nearly £6 billion in tax relief to some 24,000 companies since its introduction in 2000.

This publication aims to help to make sure that
they do.

The UK Research and Development Tax Credit
Scheme - A guide for architects:

  • explains how research and development is
    defined by HMRC for tax purposes
  • identifies the kinds of activities undertaken by architectural practices that could qualify
  • is illustrated using three cases studies of
    practices that have successfully claimed R&D
    tax credits.

The guide, written by consultants Capita Symonds for the RIBA, also includes step-by-step advice on how to begin the process of making a claim and it shows where additional help can be found.

If you have comments or queries about The UK Research and Development Tax Credit Scheme – A guide for architects, or wish to share your own practice's experience of claiming R&D tax credits with the RIBA Research and Innovation Team, please contact .  


Construction Project Information Committee (CPIC) 

The Research and Innovation Team provides RIBA representation on the inter-disciplinary  Construction Project Information Committee  (CPIC), which aims to provide best practice guidance on the content, form and preparation of construction production information (such as specifications, drawings and Building Information Modelling (BIM)).

RIBA BRE CIAT Technical Task Force 

Most technical matters are managed by the TechnicalTaskForce, which is a tripartite forum comprised of the  Building Research Establishment  (BRE),  Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists  (CIAT) and  RIBA  officers. Members meet on a quarterly basis to discuss current technical, regulatory and related issues, and to prepare material to influence (where appropriate) matters of construction legislation. The taskforce hopes to help CIAT and RIBA members to understand changes in this environment and subsequently help BRE more effectively direct its services and activities.

RIBA Knowledge Communities

Developed by the RIBA Reserach and Innovation Team The RIBA Knowledge Communities are networks of architects, engineers, surveyors, architectural technologists and other built environment professionals engaging in specialist subjects across the construction industry.

They make up cooperative environments with spaces to debate, facilitate and collaborate with the built environment community on topics ranging from highly focused technical issues to pan-industry policy consultations.

Architectural Reseach Paper 2008

The paper Architectural Research: Three Myths and One Model from the RIBA Research and Innovation Group represents its thinking about this subject and hopes to provoke further discussion relating to architectural research.