National President, Richard Kirk. Photo by Toby Scott
International Chapter Awards
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of announcing the winners of the 2017 International Chapter Architecture Awards at a presentation evening in Singapore attended by Australia’s High Commissioner to Singapore, His Excellency Bruce Gosper.
The Awards coincided with the International Chapter’s annual face-to-face meeting and was an excellent opportunity to engage with members as well as our counterparts from other Institutes around the Asia Pacific region (and beyond). The work and influence of Australian architects in the broader region are becoming increasingly important and it is great to see how well our talents are being received and utilised.
Strategic Plan Survey
Thank you to all those members who took the time to rank our proposed initiatives for our new three-year Strategic Plan. Your feedback forms an important contribution to the next phase in the development of the plan which will be finalised later in the year. We will keep you updated as the Strategic Plan 2018-2020 progresses further.
Non-complying building products
Last week the National Practice Committee met, progressing discussions around non-complying building products and how architects can be more involved in the solution for improving public safety. The committee are currently preparing advisory notes for architects that we will be making available shortly.
Institute staff with the assistance of the National Practice Committee are also currently preparing our formal submission to the ongoing Senate enquiry into non-conforming building products. The Senate’s Economics Reference Committee, chaired by Senator Chris Ketter, held their first public hearing in Melbourne on Friday 14 July, with a second hearing taking place in Sydney on Wednesday 19 July.
The latest COAG Energy Council meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg, was held in Brisbane on Friday 14 July. The group discussed the Coalition’s proposed adoption of 49 of the 50 recommendations but are still working through the adoption of a Clean Energy Target, a recommendation the Institute fully supports.
The Institute is continuing to lobby for the demand side of the equation to be considered especially through the regulation of better design. With rising electricity prices putting pressure on households and businesses, smarter design in the building sector is critical to achieving energy savings.