New safety and sustainability guidance for architectural institutions

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ARB guidance

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has published new guidance for schools of architecture on fire and life safety design and environmental sustainability

The guidance, which will apply to all institutions offering ARB-recognised qualifications, aims to ensure that future architects are competent to design safe and sustainable buildings.

Institutions responding to the consultation generally welcomed the guidance, though understandably some highlighted the time it would take them to make the changes necessary to comply with it.

ARB appreciates what a challenge this is. From September 2021 onwards, when ARB monitors a school as part of its annual process or considers an application for a qualification to be recognised, ARB will ask to see a plan as to how the school has implemented or will implement the guidance in their curriculum.

ARB expects schools to commit to meeting its requirements in full within a reasonable time and will require them to demonstrate their progress.

ARB received 48 responses to its consultation, 15 of which were responses on behalf of organisations including schools of architecture and climate action groups.

The majority (69%) of respondents agreed that ARB should begin incorporating the guidance into its prescription process from September 2021.

ARB proposed to check the progress of implementation through its annual monitoring process, and again the majority (85%) of respondents agreed.

Following the consultation, the Board updated the guidance and it is now being published and formally introduced.

“Protection of the public and of the planet demands no less”

Alan Kershaw, chair of the Architects Registration Board, said: “Fire and life safety design and environmental sustainability are crucial topics that absolutely must form part of an architect’s education and training.

“We will work with institutions and give them time to put in place the necessary resources and quality assurance. But we will insist that students are taught these important topics in sufficient detail.”

consultation report, published alongside the guidance, summarises the responses ARB received and how ARB made changes following feedback received in the consultation.

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