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Digest: RIBA's information and member support on COVID-19

We have been listening to member concerns and creating content based upon your questions and queries. Below are links to everything the RIBA has published on and around the current COVID-19 crisis.

If you have an area of concern which has not been addressed below, please contact info@riba.org.

All information was correct at the time of publishing.

Business Clients and Services

Future workloads remain uncertain – RIBA Future Trends May 2020

The latest RIBA Future Trends survey report shows continuing uncertainty around future workloads

Published 11 June 2020.

Tips for reducing practices’ overheads

Ways to cut costs when savings must be made

Published 11 June. 

Can you promote your practice using projects from a previous one?

Taking credit for projects from your old practice

Published 4 June 2020.

Plot out your coronavirus ‘Now – Next – New’ plan

Look ahead to confront the likely industry scenarios

Published 11 June 2020.

When will the furlough scheme be ending?

Part-time furloughing, cut-off dates and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme extension announced

Published 4 June 2020

Do practices still need offices?

Architects share their thoughts on re-thinking their workspaces

Published 4 June 2020

Find new clients during lockdown


How practices are generating enquiries and turning them into work

Published 28 May 2020. 

How healthy are your practice’s finances?

Cashflow forecasts and Profit & Loss (P&L) during the coronavirus pandemic

Published 28 May 2020.

Next up: recession and its aftermath

How long will our exit from recession take, how much will life change, and what exactly will it mean for architects? RIBA’s panel of experts considered the next phase

Published 25 May 2020.

How will coronavirus affect supply chains and tender prices?

The construction industry’s latest tender price forecasts and supply chain tips

Published 21 May 2020.

Banking on first success: Establishing and evolving a practice

Feilden Fowles, Haptic Architects, RCKa and more explain how they embraced, consolidated and moved on from first success, taking advantage of each turning point

Published 19 May 2020. 

Is it safe to conduct a site visit?

If in doubt about coronavirus safety, then walk away

Published 14 May 2020. 

Furloughing extended until the end of October

Scheme to allow furloughees to work part-time from August

Published 14 May 2020.

How to lead a team during lockdown

Why communication and empathy are crucially important

Published 30 April 2020.

How to apply for a coronavirus bounce back loan

The UK government is offering a new loan scheme directed at small businesses

Published 30 April 2020


Tips on cyber security while remote working

What hackers are looking for and how to stop them

Published 30 April 2020

Tax tips to help you manage cashflow

Take advantage of HMRC rebates, R&D credits and other support

Published 28 April 2020.

Strength without numbers: survival as a sole practitioner

Resilience, preparedness and agility are key to working for yourself. Four sole practitioners explain how those qualities are helping keep their businesses going during the coronavirus pandemic and how the future looks.

Published 24 April 2020.

Is there any sign of economic hope in the Covid-19 gloom?

Like everything, construction is braced for a big hit from coronavirus and its aftermath. Are there any signs of hope?

Published 24 April 2020.

Market your practice for new work during lockdown

How can you find clients and win projects virtually during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis?

Published 23 April 2020.

Apply for furlough payments now under the coronavirus job retention scheme

HMRC promises payment six days after successful applications

Published 23 April 2020.

Coronavirus: What now, what next?

RIBA Head of Economic Research Adrian Malleson takes a look at the current economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and what the longer term effects might be.

Published 20 April 2020.

Architects 3D print critical PPE for NHS

Practices take model-making printers and laser cutters home to manufacture face shields and headbands.

Published 15 April 2020.

How RIBA is helping members during the pandemic

Ensuring members have the tools and information to navigate this crisis is the institute’s priority says chief executive.

Published 15 April 2020.

How to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan

What do the banks want to know and how much should you borrow?

Published 9 April 2020.

Tax tips to help you manage cashflow

Take advantage of HMRC rebates, R&D credits and other support.

Published 9 April 2020.

How practice are keeping the lights on during the lockdown

With predictions of a global recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and an economic fallout more devastating than the Great Depression, architects are acting to ensure the survival of their practices.

Published 9 April 2020.

Covid-19: What’s the bigger picture and what lies ahead?

Executive Director Professional Services, Adrian Dobson, takes a look at our Covid-19 survey findings and tries to deduce what lies ahead.

Published 9 April 2020.

What is Covid-19 doing to your business?

A RIBA survey reports an inevitable downturn in workload, plus home working, furloughing and a whole range of enabling technologies to learn.

Published 6 April 2020.

How to furlough staff using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Practices can furlough employees now, before repayment portal opens.

Published 2 April 2020. Revised 6 April 2020.

When the architect is the contract administrator

What are the issues over site closure and time extensions?

Published 2 April 2020. 

RIBA updated guidance for architects and students

RIBA Executive Director of Professional Services, Adrian Dobson, looks at some of the top priorities for architects and students.

Published 1 April 2020. Revised 2 April 2020.

Who is eligible for the small business grant fund?

£10,000 grant for businesses paying low or no business rates.

Published 30 March 2020.

Continuing to meet your professional duties during the COVID-19 disruption

Carys Rowlands, RIBA Head of Professional Standards, explains the key provisions to be aware of during the COVID-19 disruption.

Published 27 March 2020.

What financial help is the government offering coronavirus-affected businesses?

Loans, VAT deferrals, the Job Retention Scheme and ‘furloughing’ explained.

Published 26 March 2020.

RIBA COVID-19 checklist for architects

Find out what you can do as a practice leader, salaried staff member or student during this challenging time.

Published 23 March 2020.

COVID-19 hits construction’s new year’s cheer

The coronavirus will define the future construction market but we went into it strong with post-Brexit certainty and a Budget promising substantial infrastructure spending.

Published 19 March 2020. Revised 3 April 2020.

Working from home

We like remote working but miss the easy collaboration of an office

Remote working is going well for most architects, but communicating and collaborating with colleagues just isn’t as easy or as effective

Published 12 June 2020

At home with Amin Taha

A vintage Scandinavian chair is the Groupwork director’s isolation workspace for reading and sketching – the practice office is a few floors below. As staff begin to trickle back in, he doesn’t see home working becoming a permanent fixture

Published 10 June 2020

Don’t rush to the office – polish up your avatar instead

As we all settle down into long term home working, technology is making the virtual meeting much more realistic

Published 8 June 2020.

Looking after your mental health

A range of resources for architects including practical guidance and ideas to help boost mental health and wellbeing

Published 22nd May 2020.

Tips for practices to support mental wellbeing

How architects are de-stressing and avoiding burnout during the coronavirus lockdown

Published 21 May 2020.

Covid-19 blurs home and workplace boundaries

Lockdown has renewed interest in homeworking and raised questions over the value of offices in big urban centres. If it takes off, architects will need to reshape the built environment

Published 20 May 2020.

At home with Christina Seilern

A reluctant home worker at first, the Seilern Studio principal has found that it’s actually good for focus and almost as efficient as being in the office. She’s been hiring during lockdown too

Published 15 May 2020.

At home with Meredith Bowles

Mole Architects founder rediscovers time for thinking, reading and listening to old cassette tapes while isolating in his coronavirus lockdown workspace in Cambridgeshire

Published 11 May 2020.

Can you juggle work with home-schooling your child?

Architects share tips for teaching and getting work done during the coronavirus crisis

Published 6 May 2020.

At home with Mary Arnold-Forster

Our second invitation into an architect’s lockdown workspace finds us in rural Pershire with Mary Arnold-Forster. Her practice could be well placed for a more modest post-pandemic future

Published 7 May 2020.

At home with Friedrich Ludewig

The ACME director inaugurates our new series in which architects invite us into their lockdown workspaces, and muses on how the pandemic is affecting architecture

Published 4 May 2020.

Learn new skills while furloughed

Discover the best online CPD, webinars and learning packages

Published 30 April 2020

There’s culture on tap despite the lockdown

Museums are putting their shows and collections online as coronavirus keeps us indoors.

Published 9 April 2020.

Now you’ve got time for those personal projects

It’s only week two of the COVID-19 lockdown, and for many time is hanging heavy. We talk to five architects who are making the best use of the extra time.

Published 3 April 2020.

How to reduce your exposure to cyber-attacks as a result of remote working

Working remotely is helping to control the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate the economic impact on business. However, without exception, remote working in one of the top three critical vulnerabilities that can result in a serious cyber incident.

Published 27 March 2020.

Keeping calm while working from home

Find support and advice for maintaining your mental wellbeing.

Published 26 March 2020.

Working remotely with colleagues and clients

Our tips for home-working software, systems and strategies to help you communicate and collaborate effectively.

Published 19 March 2020.

Home working? We’re doing it already

As COVID-19 puts a lid on movement and office work, what can you learn from practices already well set up to send their staff home without any pause in business momentum.

Published 16 March 2020. Revised 3 April 2020.

From the RIBA Policy team

Mental Health concern grows – RIBA Covid-19 survey findings

Headline findings from the RIBA’s second COVID-19 survey of architects, and a comment from CEO Alan Vallance.

Published 26 May 2020.

RIBA Covid-19 survey: Executive Summary

How is the crisis continuing to impact the profession? Read the summary of findings from our second survey

Published 26 May 2020.

COVID-19: How is the RIBA working with the Government?

Find out more about how we’re working with the Government during this challenging time.

Published 2 April 2020. Updated 12 June 2020.

Guest blog: Valeria Passetti reflects on RIBA ‘Town hall’ meetings

Architect and RIBA Board member responsible for Member Development, Valeria Passetti, shares some of the things she’s learned from virtual ‘Town Hall’ meetings with members

Published 19 May 2020.

Coronavirus: RSAW correspondence with Welsh government

RSAW have shared correspondence with Welsh Government over concerns raised by RSAW members about the impact of coronavirus

Published 19 May 2020.

Guest Blog: Jane Duncan reminds us that we are born to talk

President of the Architects Benevolent Society Jane Duncan shares her own experience of lockdown and reminds us all to prioritise our mental health

Published 18 May 2020.

RIBA launches ‘RETHINK: 2025’ Design Competition

The Royal Institute of British Architects has today launched an international search for post-pandemic ideas

Published 12 May 2020. 

RIBA responds to government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy

Read our response to ‘Our plan to rebuild: the Government’s COVID-19 strategy’.

Published 11 May 2020. 

How have the government responded to COVID-19 so far?

A summary of the key announcements, guidance and temporary policies on coronavirus from the government as of 1 May.

Published 7 May 2020.

BEIS Select committee coronavirus consultation response

Earlier this week we shared some of the most immediate concerns of architects in our response to the Business Select Committee’s parliamentary inquiry on the impact of coronavirus

Published 30 April 2020

Pushing the Government to help those excluded from income support

An update on where the Government currently stands on extending income support packages and what we’ve been advocating on our members’ behalf.

Published 8 April 2020.

45% report drop in personal income and almost a quarter struggling with mental health – RIBA COVID-19 survey findings

Headline findings from the RIBA’s Covid-19 survey and a response from CEO Alan Vallance.

Published 6 April 2020.

RIBA COVID-19 survey: executive summary

How is COVID-19 impacting the profession? Over the past two weeks, we’ve been conducting a survey to understand how coronavirus is affecting architects. Read our summary of findings here.

Published 6 April 2020.

How have the Government responded to COVID-19 so far?

The spread of COVID-19 across the UK has had a huge impact on businesses, jobs and households, leading to several significant temporary changes to UK economic policy. A summary of the Government’s key announcements, latest guidance and temporary policies (as of 3 April) can be found here.

Published 27 March 2020. Updated 3 April.

How can RIBA members contribute to the COVID-19 frontline effort?

A note from Alan Vallance, RIBA CEO, outlining to Government how architects can help fight COVID-19 by making frontline equipment.

Published 1 April 2020.

RIBA responds to Government’s new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The RIBA has responded to the Government’s new scheme (announced on 26 March) to support the UK’s self-employed affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Published 26 March 2020.

Working together with CIOB, RICS and RTPI to ensure the concerns of our members are heard

On 19 March RIBA CEO Alan Vallance held an online meeting with CIOB, RICS and RTPI to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our members. Alan explains how the Institutes are working together to ensure member concerns are heard during this difficult time.

Published 25 March 2020. Revised 2 April 2020.

RIBA writes letter to Chancellor calling for urgent action to tackle the economic crisis caused by coronavirus

On Wednesday 18 March, RIBA CEO Alan Vallance wrote to the Chancellor to set out urgent measures required to support architects over the coming weeks and months.

Published 20 March 2020.

Government to ‘stand behind workers’ – RIBA responds

The RIBA has responded to the Government’s latest financial measures including paying wages for workers facing job losses and deferring the next quarter of VAT payments.

Published 20 March 2020.

“Unprecedented measure for unprecedented times” – Chancellor outlines further measures to protect jobs, businesses and households against economic impact of COVID-19

On Friday 20 March the Chancellor outlined further financial support to protect jobs, businesses and households against the economic impacts of coronavirus. Read our Summary here.

Published 20 March 2020.

Procurement and Contracts

Read the coronavirus contract guidance to avoid disputes

Construction Leadership Council issues best practice advice

Published 14 May 2020. 

How to deal with non-payment by clients 

Chasing invoices and debtors during the coronavirus crisis.

Published 23 April

Site closures, safety and contract liabilities

Construction lawyer Chris Reeves explains urgent contract issues.

Published 9 April 2020.

When the architect is the contract administrator

What are the issues over site closure and time extensions?

Published 2 April 2020.

Is coronavirus a Force Majeure event?

Information about insurance and liability for architects unable to carry out work projects.

Published 19 March 2020.

Legal, Regulatory and Compliance

Everyone is working at home – can you save costs on your lease?

Negotiate with your landlord – they will need solvent tenants when the COVID-19 crisis passes.

Published 8 April 2020.

Anticipating non-essential site closures: time to prepare

A note from RIBA Executive Director Professional Services, Adrian Dobson on preparing for non-essential site closures.

Published 24 March 2020.

Construction industry goes into battle with COVID-19

Construction sites are particularly threatened by COVID-19, and the industry works on tight margins. It’s fighting back, but will it be enough? And what do architects do about site inspections in the meantime?

Published 20 March 2020. Revised 3 April 2020.

Places, Planning and Communities

Planning authorities announce ‘business as (un)usual online tool

New online tool reveals local authorities’ planning capacity

Published 7 May 2020.

The role of place in a post-coronavirus world

This blog post from Frederik Weissenborn, RIBA Future Place Programme Manager, explores how the built environment sector can begin planning for the recovery after the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Taking ‘place’ as the starting point for its reflections, the post sets out a proactive vision for the sector.

Published 1 May 2020.

Our choices can save the high street

Coronavirus need not be the coup de grace for this already struggling sector. We can choose to shop with the little guys and rediscover high streets as places for unorthodox uses and quirky design ideas say Jan Kattein.

Published 16 April 2020.

How are planning departments coping with the COVID-19 crisis?

New regulations include allowing virtual planning committees.

Published 9 April 2020.

How to make emergency COVID-19 wards

As BDP rapidly turns London’s ExCel Centre into a hospital for coronavirus patients, Hugh Pearman talks tot Architects for Health chair Christopher Shaw about the priorities and practicalities of emergency conversions.

Published 30 March 2020. Revised 3 April 2020.

Architecture education

Contingency planning for Part 1 students seeking their year out in practice

If you are a Part 1 architecture student completing your final Bachelor’s year, it would be surprising if you weren’t apprehensive about your prospects amid the coronavirus crisis. But there are still plenty of routes to explore

Published 29 May 2020

PEDR and recording practical experience during coronavirus

A list of FAQs for students undertaking practical experience during the pandemic

Published 01 May 2020.

How to take positive steps forward if you are a furloughed student in practice

Advice to furloughed students in practice on how to take positive steps during the current crisis from David Gloster, RIBA Director of Education.

Published 22 April 2020.

RIBA Student and Associate Member Reps on National Council

We are here for you. Hello from your joint council Vice Presidents Maryam Al-Irhayim, Lewis North and student council member Victoria Adegoke.

Published 8 April 2020.

How COVID-19 is affecting the class of 2020

With the introduction of social distancing measures in mid-March, students across the UK lost direct access to university facilities, tutors and their peers. The effect has been profound for third-year Part 1 students, completing their degrees.

Published 1 April 2020. Revised 3 April 2020. 

RIBA updated guidance for architects and students

RIBA Executive Director of Professional Services, Adrian Dobson, looks at some of the top priorities for architects and students.

Published 1 April 2020.

How architecture students can remain focused amid the COVID-19 crisis

An article by David Gloster, Director of Education, on how students can remain focused amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Published 26 March 2020.

RIBA COVID-19 checklist for architects

Find out what you can do as a practice leader, salaried staff member or student during this challenging time.

Published 23 March 2020.

International

RIBA Chapter Chats

RIBA International has introduced a series of Chapter Chats. The purpose is to enable cross-dialogue between chapter committee members, share experiences during lockdown and talk about current or future projects

Published 5 June 2020

The post coronavirus construction boom: an interview with Wang Liwei, China Development Foundation


Clare Pearson, International Development Director (Asia) DLA Piper interviews Mr Wang Liwei, CEO of the China Development Foundation on behalf of the RIBA to learn about the opportunities for architects in China post-lockdown

Published 19 May 2020.

View from the Emirates: working through the global pandemic

Design and construction work in the United Arab Emirates is not ceasing. With coronavirus restrictions in place, architects and clients are adapting fast and working out what’s next

Published 14 May 2020. 

Italian practice designs shipping container ICUs

CURA pod fast-to-deploy plug-in intensive care units are being rolled out across Europe in the fight against Covid-19 – and the NHS is set to become an early customer

Published 12 May 2020.

Architecture after COVID-19

Rethink: How to sell the high street after lockdown

For a sector already in crisis, Covid-19 looked like the final straw for physical retail. But four specialists see a chance for growth and change for the better

Published 12 June 2020.

Rethink: 2025 – ETH-Zurich’s Chris Luebkeman on strategizing for change

A circular, generative economy was already on the agenda but for ETH-Zurich’s Chris Luebkeman Covid-19 has really made the case, and opportunity, to make it a reality

Published 9 June 2020.

Architect Deborah Saunt on Rethink: 2025

The first in a series, Hugh Pearman video interviews the DSDHA director about how the coronavirus pandemic will change life and architecture – as the RIBA calls for entries to its ideas competition Rethink: 2025 for a chance to win £5,000

Published 29 May 2020.

Coatings specialists are gearing up to develop new anti-viral surface treatments

As developers of anti-viral coatings step up a gear, industry bodies are pushing for speedier testing and approval regimes to bring counter Covid-19 products to market

Published 29 May 2020.

Working miracles: The office design revolution

From community hubs for homeworkers to the demise of the high-rise office, the first in a series on post-pandemic design asks what our future workspaces might look like

Published 22 May 2020.

When will you be able to return to your workplace?

Practices prepare to meet office safety requirements

Published 21 May 2020.

Covid-19 is about more than reimagining offices

Workplace, home and city design are all interconnected, says Winy Maas. There is an opportunity to rethink the built environments we want – and we must be active contributors

Published 21 May 2020.

Gensler software helps to reconfigure workspaces

A physical distancing tool that uses generative algorithms to plan office occupancy is being offered by Gensler to clients in the UK as we gear up for a return to work

Published 15 May 2020.

RETHINK: 2025 – Design for life after Covid-19

When we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic a new sort of design will be needed. How would you design the new world we will find ourselves in? Enter Rethink: 2025 – you could win £5000

Published 12 May 2020.

How can contractors safely re-open sites?

Ensuring safety and distancing for all workers and visitors

Published 7 May 2020.

Workload lessons from past recessions

How will practices survive Covid-19? A look at architects’ workload statistics over the last half-century gives some blues as to how the present downturn might progress

Published 7 March 2020. 

Recirculated air falls foul of anti-Covid-19 drive

As Covid-19-conscious HVAC associations call for an end to recirculated air in buildings, the system of fresh air with heat recovery for buildings seems essential

Published 5 May 2020.

Will Covid-19 speed up a move to intergenerational living?

The social benefits of intergenerational projects are known, and the few live schemes point a clear way for the future. They fit the current mood

Published 30 April 2020

After coronavirus, the climate

The climate emergency might seem a distant threat compared to the immediate pandemic, but it is a potentially greater issue for the planet

Published 29 April 2020.

Guest Blog: Randy Deutsch explores the future role of the architect

Architect and author, Randy Deutsch, looks at the role and relevance of the architect in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Published 29 April 2020.

Coming out of Covid-19 – can we learn from China?

As people start daring to think about life after lockdown, eyes are on those ahead of us on the coronavirus curve. How pertinent are China’s experiences as a guide to our economic future?

Published 27 April 2020. 

How will COVID-19 change our cities?

Architect Chris Williamson discusses what we can learn from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our cities

Published 27 April.

Dinner for one? Linehouse on fantastical opportunities in China – even after lockdown

With offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the practice’s founders revel in Asia’s openness to new ideas, poetic narratives and whimsy – and what effect the coronavirus will have on design.

Published 21 April 2020.

Beyond business survival: preparing for practice after lockdown

The pandemic crisis won’t end when the lockdown does. Wise practices are preparing for the expected recession, honing their business, boosting their skills and polishing their marketing.

Published 7 April 2020.

Messages from Shanghai architects – Coping with COVID-19

Messages from RIBA members based in Shanghai, about their recent experience adapting their architectural practices to working under restrictions imposed on businesses due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

Published 7 April 2020.

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