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Global Architecture Billings Index (GABI)

Fiona Mckay


The AIA – in coordination with partner organizations around the world – is looking to expand the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) into the international realm. To help the architecture profession better understand business conditions, opportunities and risks around the world, the new Global Architecture Billings Index (GABI)initiative will help monitor design markets across the globe to assess the construction outlook in key countries and regions.

We are currently signing up firms to join the GABI survey panel. As a GABI panelist, you will be asked to complete a brief survey on the firm billings (to indicate if billings have increased, decreased, or stayed the same – we will not request proprietary data!) and business conditions on a quarterly basis. You will receive early access to the survey results before they are published, and may have access to the survey data in the future. 
If you would like to join the GABI survey panel, we ask that you complete a brief background information form. This information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with others or linked back to your firm; it will only be used for analytical purposes and your responses will only be reported in aggregate with others. If you are not the correct person at your firm to provide this type of information and participate in the survey, please share this invitation with the appropriate colleague.

Thank you for your interest, and please contact if you have any questions.

Sign up for the GABI survey panel: Background Information Form

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AIA Fellowship – UK Update

Fiona Mckay

The 2019 crop of AIA Fellows and Honorary Fellows has been announced and includes two UK-based architects. Congratulations to Jane Duncan and Amanda Levete on their elevation to Honorary Fellowship!

Former RIBA President Jane Duncan received an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her contribution to the profession including being the Champion for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion on the RIBA board.  She established student and practice mentoring guidelines and set priorities for mental and physical health initiatives. She also initiated the publication of a guide for those with disabilities wishing to enter the profession and supported development of a financial assistance fund for deserving architecture students.  Following her election as RIBA President she advanced her initiatives with a new five year Strategic Vision for the RIBA, International Women in Architecture Day, and she constructed a review of Council make-up to bring in a greater proportion of student and young people, launching the Young Architects & Developers Alliance (under age 35) to bring equality, diversity and inclusion to a level never before seen.

Amanda Levete also received an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her design work, both at Future Systems with Jan Kaplicky, and latterly as Amanda Levete Architects.  Her work frequently involves the creation of buildings that create new or positively impact existing urban spaces. Whether the waterfront esplanade at Lisbon’s MAAT complex or the city centre redevelopment of Selfridges Birmingham, her work reaches out to the public, engaging them in a carefully considered dialogue between building and site. She is adept at integrating heritage structures into her work; the recent Victoria and Albert Exhibition Road Quarter skilfully inserts contemporary form and function into a 19th century courtyard, creating a new vibrant entry plaza while respecting the resonance of the museum’s historic architecture.  

Written by: Lester Korzilius; FAIA, RIBA

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Board Members Meet with AIA CEO

Fiona Mckay

AIA National EVP/Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA, took the opportunity to meet AIA UK board members while in London on business.  Robert hosted the board members for lunch on the 26th of February.  Among the topics discussed were the AIA UK’s liaison with the RIBA and the AIA’s national convention.   This takes place on June 6-8 in Las Vegas.

L to R: Michael Lischer, Bea Sennewald, Robert Ivy, Lorraine King, Lester Korzilius, Robert Rhodes, Etain Fitzpatrick, Amrita Raja

L to R: Michael Lischer, Bea Sennewald, Robert Ivy, Lorraine King, Lester Korzilius, Robert Rhodes, Etain Fitzpatrick, Amrita Raja

Written by: Michael Lischer, FAIA

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Document Retention under the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018

Fiona Mckay


The Data Protection Act 2018 came into force on 25 May 2018. It implements the General Data Protection Regulation as well as, supplementing and bolstering it.

In this article, James Hutchinson, partner at Beale & Co., explains how document retention has changed due to this new legislation, and what it means for policy standards and data sharing in the future.

To read the full article, please click here.

Written by: James Hutchinson , Beale & Co

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2019 Annual General Meeting - Approval of Minutes

Fiona Mckay


The AIA UK Chapter Annual General Meeting is a unique mixture of social evening, continuing education event and business meeting all in one.  Following a tradition starting in the 1990s, this year’s AGM – held on Thursday 17 January 2019 – was hosted by our long-term sponsor, Herman Miller.  Herman Miller’s generous hospitality before and after the business meeting made for a most enjoyable evening.

Prior to the meeting, Herman Miller’s representative, Bertie van Wyk, gave a presentation on “Cognitive Wellness”.   He started his talk with the startling projection that the largest health risk to be faced in 2030 will be ‘depression’.  He then continued with an analysis of how we might avoid depression and stress through understanding how environmental information is processed.  As architects, we should aim to achieve a better fit between our brain and our surroundings, allowing the environment to tell us what to do so that we can make better decisions quicker.  As ever, the Herman Miller talk was both entertaining and instructive – and earned attendees 1.0 Continuing Education credits.

The formal part of the AGM dealt with approval of the 2019 Accounts and the election of the 2019 Board of Directors and Officers.  Additionally, the 2018 President, Alex Miller AIA, gave an overview presentation of the past year and the 2019 President, Amrita Raja AIA, gave a preview of plans for 2019.   These presidential presentations can be viewed in full HERE.  A summary of the 2018 Accounts, a review of Chapter membership and the list of Board Directors and Officers can be accessed through AGM Minutes via the link below.

According to the UK Chapter Bylaws adapted at last year’s AGM, the Minutes of the AGM must be presented to the overall membership for approval.  If there are no relevant additions, comments or modifications within a month from this notification, the Minutes will automatically be approved.

Please send any comments to  


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INTBAU / Everything Old is New Again

Fiona Mckay

INT Congress 18 Single-03.png

It is the aim of the AIA UK Board of Directors to offer sufficient CE credits to satisfy the diverse interests and requirements of the Chapter’s membership.  In 2017, the UK Chapter organized events, lectures, tours, etc., generating 48.5 CES credits; in 2018, 49.5 CES credits - and there are constant efforts to better that record.

In 2018, the Board undertook a survey to investigate event preferences and is taking efforts to implement the results - a Super Saturday was reintroduced for those who cannot make weekday events; efforts are being investigated for joint recognition of events with the RIBA; and other organisations will be promoted for self-reporting opportunities in 2019.  And then – in late 2018 – an AIA approved event just came out of the blue and supplemented the Chapter’s CES credit total.

Ethan Antony, AIA, from the AIA Central Massachusetts Chapter, recognised that the INTBAU World Congress was holding its biennial forum in London on 27-28 Nov 2018 and brought the event to AIA UK’s attention.  Thankfully, he also did the legwork that achieved AIA approval for 6.0 CES credits.

The INTBAU World Congress ‘brings together global perspectives and knowledge for discussion and debate of pressing issues and difficult questions facing the built environment in communities around the world’.  Given that it works under the patronage of its founder, HRH The Prince of Wales, it has a clear agenda ‘to support traditional building, the maintenance of local character, and the creation of better places to live’.

INTBAU / Contexts Session

INTBAU / Contexts Session

And, yes – as to be expected – the Congress - with its formal sessions on Contexts, Materials and Identities - did have a strong emphasis on academic research and the topics of vernacular architecture, conservation and traditional materials.  However, there were also multiple presentations on the relevance of such topics to today’s architectural profession. The various presentations kept the overall programme not only balanced, but wide-ranging in its appeal. See full Congress programme HERE.

Linking discussions on traditional craftsmen and materials to the Congress’ title ‘Everything Old is New Again’, there were lectures on the joys and potentials of modern mud construction and the use of CLT wood construction to speed up delivery of UK social housing.  

Photo Credit: INTBAU Spain and Terrachidia

Photo Credit: INTBAU Spain and Terrachidia

Sean Griffiths, professor of Architecture at the University of Westminster, then asked the fundamental question - ‘What is the nature of a natural material?’.  He then amused and stimulated the attendees with his proclamation that ‘natural is not necessarily innocent’ and his warning to be careful ‘when equating nature with ethical moral virtue’.

There were also lectures on the delivery of urban projects in diverse locations with an emphasis on creating liveable conditions – encouraging walkable communities in car-loving America via a ‘missing middle’ housing development; generating traditional housing forms in Asia; empowering communities in Oman to adapt and revitalise traditional villages; and ‘balancing resiliency, budget and beauty’ while rebuilding in disaster hit New Orleans.  

The Congress included presentations from or about the US, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Greece, Norway, Spain, France, Sweden, Palestine, Oman, Norway and Finland as well as the UK and there were opportunities at break times to engage with all the global participants.

INTBAU was also not averse to controversy and had the courage to address an issue that concerns many modern practitioners.  Phineas Harper, Deputy Director at the Architecture Foundation, discussed the ever present danger of too many people commonly associating traditional architecture with a far-right populist agenda – a topic he openly admitted that was designed to offend at least some of the attendees and participants.

Photo Credit: Lorraine King, AIA

Photo Credit: Lorraine King, AIA

For example, he linked the demolition of the Robin Hood Housing estate with analysis that somehow equated modern housing with the antithesis of traditional – and therefore supposedly morally preferable – housing.  People should not, he insisted, lose their homes over arguments on architectural style.

A following talk – perhaps designed to appease attendees and participants possibly affronted by Phineas Harper’s discourse - described the ‘architectural uprising’ in Sweden and Finland resulting from a programme to increase public awareness of design issues by – for example – letting the public express its views on the current trends in architectural awards.  The presentation concluded that ‘there are alternatives to boring boxes…’.

All in all, the INBAU World Congress was a resounding example of the potential for furthering architectural education and debate through collaboration with other organisations.  See HERE for a partial listing of organisations in the UK that provide alternative events for self-reporting, including INTBAU and the Architectural Association.  Please feel free to bring other organisations to the Chapter’s attention.

Written by: Lorraine D King, AIA

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