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RIBA Smart Practice conference 2023

Smart Practice is RIBA’s annual conference for project architects. With forward-looking, strategic focus, Smart Practice is designed to appeal to architects working in practices of different scales across all sectors.

The Smart Practice Conference 2023 theme centres around creating sustainable outcomes through craft and materials. The conference will feature well-known and innovative architects, engineers and clients who are pushing our understanding of sustainable design and construction in different ways.

Topics covered include understanding global sustainable supply chains, achieving net zero, innovative ways of using natural materials and adopting Building and Material Passports.

This conference is RIBA CPD certified, and the two online half days total eight hours of structured CPD.

2023 programme:

21 November: Specifying for the future

  • 9am - Introduction and keynote by Jess Hrivnak, RIBA
  • 9.25am - Embodied carbon - Simon Sturgis, Targeting Zero
  • 10am - Using MMC to bring down costs for natural materials - Louisa Bowles, Hawkins Brown
  • 10.30am - Global supply chains for the 21st century - Paul Priest, Hannah Newcomb (Stronger Together), Patricia Carrier (Coalition to End Forced Labour)


  • 11.30am - Social empowerment as a key to sustainable outcomes: Nourish Hub case ctudy - Anthony Staples, RCKA
  • 12.15pm - Specifying social, health and environmental outcomes for the future - Azim Jasat, Autodesk
  • 12.45pm - Retrofitting with bio-based materials: Entopia Building case study - Wendy Bishop, Architype
  • 1.15pm - Closing words by Jess Hrivnak, RIBA

22 November: Working towards net zero

  • 9am - Welcome by Jess Hrivnak, RIBA
  • 9.15am - In conversation: Delivering Passivhaus at scale - Kirstin Assheton, Architype
  • 10am - Net zero's frontiers - Phil Obayda, SOM
  • 10.30am - Introducing natural materials: In conversation with ACAN Natural Materials Group - James Rixon, Rixon Architecture + ACAN


  • 11.15am - Driving innovation in practice: Re-introducing structural stone - Amin Taha, Groupwork
  • 11.45am - Adopting Building/Material Passports in the UK; tbc, Autodesk
  • 12.15pm - Rammed Earth: Bushey Cemetery case study - Andrew Waugh, Waugh Thistleton Architects
  • 12.45pm - Sustainability Surgery - with Architype & Co.
  • 1.15pm - Closing words by Jess Hrivnak, RIBA
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