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RIBA North East - Sustainability forum

The RIBA North East sustainable futures forum is here to provide a unique and safe environment where we can share experiences, learn from each other and improve daily practice.

03 December 2021

What is the RIBA North East sustainability forum?

The RIBA declared a climate emergency in June 2019 which presents an opportunity for the architectural profession to demonstrate leadership and proactively engage in making a better future. Environmentally conscious design is not for one off projects, it is for every project.

But when new standards and reports are demanding your attention each day, it's a full time job just reading all the documents – never mind doing any work. This can be overwhelming, and in the end it feels like the odds can feel like they're stacked against you. Faced with so many challenges, how can we make informed, intelligent decisions? A problem shared is a problem halved.

The RIBA North East sustainable futures forum is here to provide a unique and safe environment where we can share experiences, learn from each other, and improve daily practice.

By stepping out of our respective bubbles, we can support and challenge each other. The sustainable futures forum is the place where you can clarify your thinking, renew your passion, and empower your daily practice. It is also a place where we can develop a shared language, find tools, improve skills, create targets, and forge a new path together.

This is your chance to make a difference, join us.

For more information and to book on to our next Sustainability Mastermind please email

What is the sustainable futures mastermind?

There are (at least) five ways you can benefit from the sustainability mastermind:

1) Community: Through the sustainability mastermind you get the opportunity to be a part of a community with shared goals. To this end, you’ll have the chance to create new relationships and new friendships.

2) Challenges: Together we will engage with the RIBA 2030 Challenge head-on. We will discuss how it can be applied to your project – whether or not you expect to address all criteria – and we help each other prepare for the RIBA Awards by addressing technical queries or agreeing common understandings.

3) Learning: We all start somewhere, and the sustainability mastermind recognises that not everyone has a project they want to share, or the expertise to contribute. If you want to sit on the side lines soaking up all the good ideas and developing new insights that you can apply in your work the next day, that’s fine. The most important thing is that you are interested, stimulated, and willing to engage.

4) Development: If you are already an expert in a specific field of sustainable design then you’ll be aware that you can’t master them all. The sustainability mastermind helps you fill the gaps by strengthening those underdeveloped areas.

5) Practice: With your practice’s approval, you bring a project, part of a project, or even just a construction detail to the mastermind. You set out the context, where you are right now and where you’d like to go. No scheme is too big, and no detail is too small – the mastermind is here to help.

These sessions will be held under the Chatham House rules. Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, or project may be revealed. This way everyone taking part can learn without risk. The more you contribute the more you’ll get out of the experience.

If you have a project in mind for peer-review at this session then please get in touch with us in advance.

Who are we?

Mark Siddall

"Protecting our children and grandchildren from climate breakdown and the collapse in biodiversity must lie at the heart of our daily activities – including the work we undertake." As an architect, Mark believes we must critically revaluate our buildings, learn from them, and share our successes – and failures.

Mark is Director of Architecture and Research at LEAP: Lovingly Engineered Architectural Practice, a trustee of the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB), a technical advisor for both the AECB and the Passivhaus Trust as well as author or numerous articles and peer reviewed papers.

Adam Vaughan

Adam is a Director at JDDK Architects in Newcastle where he leads the practice’s work in sustainable design. JDDK has been involved with sustainable design throughout their 30 year history, delivering low impact buildings across the region. Adam is a certified Passivhaus designer, and also co-chair of the RIBA North East sustainability forum. In his spare time he is retrofitting his home and also writes the Tracing Green blog.

Check out our sustainability events page for more RIBA events and activities, delivered by our members and teams across the country, that focus on the climate emergency, sustainability, and the built environment.

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