RIBA responses to government consultations on the coronavirus pandemic
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has been working closely with government to represent the needs of our members in during the coronavirus crisis.
A key part of this engagement is formally responding to government consultations highlighting the impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the architecture profession. We have also been responding to consultations on the role of the built environment in a green economic recovery from the pandemic.
House of Lords COVID-19 Committee: Life Beyond COVID
The House of Lords COVID-19 Committee were interested to hear how the sector has been both positively and negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They were also interested to find out what we hope would change for the better going forward.
Our response noted that we were concerned about practice workloads and job security. However, we were pleased to see the move towards a green economic recovery and greater flexibility within the planning system.
House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee: Post-pandemic economic growth — levelling up local and regional structures
Following their earlier inquiry into post-pandemic economic growth, the BEIS Select Committee are running a series of sub-inquiries on specific issues. This sub-inquiry was asking for responses on how local and regional structures can help deliver economic prosperity across the UK.
We responded to highlight the importance of a more decentralised approach to decision making, with decisions taken at a relevant level. We also noted the need for local and regional structures to have adequate resources, and the importance of integrating stakeholder knowledge from the outset of a project.
House of Commons Treasury Committee: Decarbonisation and green finance
The Treasury Committee was interested to find out if HM Treasury should be directly funding green infrastructure as part of its coronavirus spending package.
Our response recommended prioritising additional public investment and reviewing tax mechanisms to incentivise energy efficient retrofits in existing homes. We also suggested that HM Treasury should also ensure that publicly funded infrastructure projects are providing value for money by requiring the use of Post Occupancy Evaluation.
House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee: Greening the post-COVID recovery
This inquiry sought views on how the government should prioritise the environment in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Our response noted that the built environment has a key role in supporting an environmentally friendly recovery from the pandemic. Improving the energy efficiency of our existing housing stock and ensuring new buildings do not negatively impact the environment are key to a green recovery.
House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee: Post-pandemic economic growth
The BEIS Select Committee launched an inquiry into post-pandemic economic growth, including which sectors should be included, and what the government's priorities should include.
Our response highlighted the importance of the built environment in post-pandemic economic growth while helping the UK meet its climate goals.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: written submission on economic recovery from COVID-19 - green recovery
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy asked the RIBA to provide details on how the built environment can assist with a green recovery post-coronavirus.
Our response highlighted the importance of addressing energy efficiency in existing homes as a key element of the UK’s green recovery.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: written submission on economic recovery from COVID-19 – increasing opportunity
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy asked the RIBA to provide details on how the built environment can assist with increasing opportunity post-coronavirus.
Our response highlighted the importance of devolution and a more decentralising approach to decision making across the UK.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: the impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors
The inquiry considered both the immediate and long-term impact that coronavirus and the related social and financial measures are having on the culture, media and sport sectors.
We responded to this inquiry highlighting that RIBA members work patterns have changed; there has been a significant impact on income in the sector; and practices were experiencing project delays and cancellations.
The Labour Party: Green recovery consultation
The Labour Party were looking for information on what should be included in their green recovery policies. We recommended that the Labour Party endorse embodied carbon targets and promote the use of Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE).
House of Commons Business, Energy and Industry Strategy Select Committee: the impact of coronavirus on businesses and workers
The Committee’s inquiry initially focused on the immediate impact and support offered to workers and businesses during the coronavirus crisis. We responded to this inquiry highlighting the results of our coronavirus survey. Our survey revealed that 45% of respondents stated that they have seen a reduction in their individual income, and many are uncertain about the future.
Treasury Select Committee: the government's response to coronavirus
The Treasury Select Committee sought a range of views asking if the government's response to the coronavirus was sufficient, and to suggest areas where more support was needed.
Our response recommended that government ensure the sector survive the crisis through supporting businesses to preserve cash-flow, keeping the planning process operable and ensuring construction sites and projects continue.