Lord Foster presented the RIBA Annual Discourse

On the 12th of October Lord Foster presented the RIBA Annual Discourse on the topic of ‘Performance’.

Introduced by RIBA President Elect Angela Brady the Annual Discourse’s central remit is to invite distinguished international speakers to address themes and issues relating to a wider context. Established in 1957 previous speakers of the RIBA Trust Annual Discourse have offered personal and polemical addresses.

In his Annual Discourse address, Lord Norman Foster, founder and chairman of Foster + Partners spoke on the topic of ‘Performance’ as it relates to sustainable performance as well as past and future performance. As well as also to his personal passions for automobiles, cycling and cross-country skiing, Lord Foster included an in-depth look at the Masdar project – the World’s first zero carbon, zero waste city in Abu Dhabi, which can attribute its success to extensive research and cutting edge technology.

Previous speakers of the RIBA Trust Annual Discourse have offered personal and polemical addresses. The Annual Discourse 2009 was given by Joseph Rykwert and previous speakers include Moshe Safdie, Philip Johnson, Michael Sorkin, Charles Jencks, Richard Rogers and Peter Eisenman.

Gleeds are sponsors of the RIBA ‘International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change’ talks series, which the Annual Discourse, which includes the Annual Discourse. This talk and all others from the series are available on www.gleeds.tv


Recently Hermann Scheer, a member of parliament who was a driving force in making Germany a world leader in renewable energy, died unexpectedly at the age of 66. As a tribute to the man who championed solar and renewable energies is Dr Scheer’s 2008 RIBA ‘International Dialogues and Climate Change’ talk, co-present with Bianca Jagger. In this talk Dr Scheer  spoke about the integration of renewable energies – decentralised, emission-free production, supply and use – as a central challenge and huge opportunity for creating an ecological future. Hermann Scheer will always be remembered the MP who persuaded the German government to leave behind nuclear power and invest heavily in renewables such as wind and solar power.

To view the lecture footage visit www.gleeds.tv

Young British Fashion Designer Ada Zanditon's new collection

Influences by Biomimrcy and Architecture

Watch a video interview about her influences and future plans: http://www.gleeds.tv/index.cfm?video=674 or visit her site www.adaz.co.uk

The construction industry in London has a ‘fantastic future’ (provided we continue to invest in infrastructure) according to Mayor of London Boris Johnson. In a doorstop lecture ahead of the Stephen Lawrence Memorial Trust Lecture at the RIBA, Gleeds TV managed to nab a quick interview with the May to ask him about the future of the construction industry in London, implementing proposed housing space standards changes and what he feels is biggest achievement as Mayor (to which he responds the new bike hire scheme).

Watch the interview at www.gleeds.tv

Gleeds TV was recently approached by the Health and Safety Executive to host a series of CPD videos. The series ‘Safeguarding People – Achieving Design Excellence’ was produced by the HSE and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) educate members of the construction industry on improving health and safety both on-site and through design. The videos are free to watch online or download at www.gleeds.tv

The videos cover topics such as:
Architects have a key role in creating safe, sustainable and buildable designs. The fourth video in a series produced by the RIBA and the Health & Safety Executive covers the housebuilding sector and looks at: working at height; sequencing and programming; and manual handling. The 2007-2008 HSE statistics showed that 50% of all fatalities on housebuilding sites were as a result of falls from height and 16% of major health issues were caused by manual handling. This amounts to a poor safety record for UK housebuilding.

Compliance: Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007
Architects have a key role in creating safe, sustainable and buildable designs. This is the first video in a series produced by the RIBA and the Health & Safety Executive challenges architects’ perceptions of addressing health and safety through the design process. It introduces the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and provides an overview of achieving company compliance.

Designing for Refurbishment
Architects have a key role in creating safe, sustainable and buildable designs. The third video in a series produced by the RIBA and the Health & Safety Executive discusses designing for refurbishment, specifically looking at; surveying and analysis; structure and stability; and sequencing and programming. In 2007 work was stopped on 30% of UK refurbishment sites visited by the HSE. Refurbishment also accounts for 50% of all on-site fatalities that occur in Britain, and when the major injuries statistics are included, this amounts to a poor safety record for UK construction.

HSE & RIBA Safeguarding People – Achieving Design Excellence: Working with Roofs
Architects have a key role in creating safe, sustainable and buildable designs, and the roof is often the crowning glory of any building design. The second video in a series produced by the RIBA and the Health & Safety Executive discusses the reoccurring problems workers are faced with when construction roofs, what architects can do to reduce this risk and a case study demonstrating an innovative roofing design solution.

Luton BSF: Lea Mannor School

Luton BSF: Lea Mannor School

Open-City Summer Architecture Academy

Open-City, London architecture charity, set up the Summer Architecture Academy as a free out-of-school summer activity for young Londoners aged 12-18. The four day event focused on the exploration and investigation of architecture and design. During the young people took part in a variety of workshops from model-making and building explorations to drawing, designing and mapping at University of Westminster’s Architecture School. Gleeds TV is proud to support Open-City and filmed an afternoon workshop with students as well as interviews with Sponsors Lend Lease and Westminster University.

BSF Students interview Robin Porter – Assistant Chief Exec, Luton Council
Students from Cardinal Newman School in Luton interview Robin Porter from Luton Council. Robin was previously the director from Luton Council responsible for delivering Building Schools for the Future and ensuring all schools were delivered to time and to budget. Robin has since been promoted to Assistant Chief Executive of the Local Authority. In this interview Robin discusses with the students how he believes BSF will radically change the way teaching and learning is delivered and how this will in turn benefit the wider community. The students also question Robin on how student’s opinions have been incorporated in design plans and if he believes behaviour will improve with the new BSF schools.

From the Ground Up: Building Luton BFS
A look inside the building of the Luton BSF schools, featuring interviews with Wates Site Manager Michael Coyle, Lea Manor Deputy Head Teacher Peter Clarke and Challney School for Girls Deputy Head Teacher Elizabeth Plews about their experiences with the ongoing rebuild of Luton schools. The clip also looks at the consultation process behind the new build schools, changing educational needs and the benefits the new facilities hold for students.

Luton BSF


Gleeds TV recently spent a few days in Luton filming the staff, students and key representatives involved in the Building Schools for the Future programme. As a result we have produced a series of clips looking at different facets of this community wide regeneration scheme. The first two in the series are:

Luton BSF Overiew: Lea Manor & Challney School for Girls
An inside look at two of the new Luton BSF schools; Lea Manor and Challney School for Girls. These new schools form part of the Luton Building Schools for the Future programme which will deliver new and refurbished schools and community facilities including community theatre, swimming pool and libraries in a new partnership arrangement between the Luton Council, QED Wates and the local education partnership. Improving education and training are key priorities for the town, as is the improving community facilities and affordable housing through the BSF led regeneration of the Borough. In this video students discuss their thought on the new BSF schools and see their new school facilities for the first time.

elearning@luton: Christian Turton, Deputy ManagerThe elearning@luton centre opened March 2004 as is part of a network of City Learning Centres across the UK with an emphasis on music technology, digital video and ICT. The centre has six cutting edge teaching and learning spaces allow students to experience the latest educational technology, including PC and Mac suites; Music Technology Suite, and a ‘Live’ Room. Christian Turton, Deputy Manager of elearning@luton, discusses how the new and emerging technology used at the centre is the type of technology BSF schools will be expected to embrace, with a large part of the BSF budget allocated toward investment in ICT infrastructure in schools.

More clips from Luton BSF are on their way, featuring interviews with:
• David Crick, Senior School Improvement Advisor for Transformation and ICT, Luton Borough Council
• Graham Neill, BSF Design Champion
• Robin Porter, Assistant Chief Executive, Luton Borough Council
• Pip Hesketh, Luton Learning Community Partnership General Manager, Wates
…and much more, keep an eye out on www.gleeds.tv

Wordle Fun


While finishing up the edits on Luton BSF and Transformation Trust 1st Birthday clips (featuring Tinchy Stryder, The Saturdays and Eliza Doolittle!) I ran the blog through wordle www.wordle.net with some fun results…

Wordle - Gleeds TV Blog

Wordle - Gleeds TV Blog

The Impact of Government Cuts to BSF: Jonathan Stewart, Gleeds Advisory
Michael Gove’s parliamentary speech announced 715 school refurbishments were cancelled, 123 academy schemes were under review and all schemes not at financial close were to be stopped was more immediate and deeper than industry had expected. The cuts were announced as the BSF process came under fire for its inefficient and bureaucratic nature and LEP exclusivity arrangements discredited.
In the wake of these cuts, Jonathan Stewart looks at the impact of the cuts to the BSF programme on the industry. With the Governments plans for ‘Free schools and New schools’, Jonathan also questions how, and how quickly the Government will address the issues surrounding the future capital investment education.

Richard Steer Interviews RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich

Richard Steer Interviews RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich

Richard Steer Interviews RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich
Gleeds Senior Partner Richard Steer interviews RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich. Appointed in 2009, Rich discusses the global market place and what that mean for architects in the UK. Rich encourages young architects to change the way they approach projects, especially in terms of seeking creative was to add value to project. With architect becoming more globalised UK architects need to collaborate with their international counterparts and move away from tradition ways of working.
With the changing economic conditions, Rich stresses now is the time for practitioners to learn the skills to communicate with clients about the importance of sustainability as a commercial opportunity and the need to invest in architecture for long term usability.
Rich is a strong advocate for architects to live and work in the buildings they design, he even suggests a potential new RIBA competition. Describing RIBA awards – like the Sterling prize- as ‘often seen as a beauty prize’, Rich proposes a ‘user based award’ which would be nominated by the buildings occupiers several years after occupation begins. He believes this would help architects better understand the needs of end users. Rich states that the RIBA and all architects should champion better buildings because they build stronger communities and can lessen the impact on the environment.
In terms of current situation facing the industry, Rich says architects they are dealing with both a political and economic situation. Having met with the new government and policy makers, he understand cuts are inevitable but continues to argue to decision makers that architects are part of the solution not part of the problem. Rich also suggests anecdotal evidence from RIBA members suggests the private sector is starting to recover, especially on schemes where projects have been frozen, although he expresses his worries that private sector work will not recover fast enough to fill the void created by public sector cuts.

'Triumph of the Pedestrian City' Sir Terry Farrell

Sir Terry Farrell presents a talk on 'Triumph of the Pedestrian City' at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London

RIBA: ‘Triumph of the Pedestrian City’ featuring Sir Terry Farrell and Edward Jones, Dixon Jones

‘Triumph of the Pedestrian City’ is the final lecture in the RIBA 2010 summer ‘International Dialogues: Architecture & Climate Change’ talks series.

Presented by Sir Terry Farrell and Edward Jones, this talk examine s whether London is a pedestrian friendly city. Are London architects and planners embracing walking as part of a sustainable future? Presented in the run up to the London Festival of Architecture’s focus on the Nash Ramblas pedestrian route, Sir Terry Farrell, of Farrells and Edward Jones, of Dixon Jones, discuss their current pedestrian schemes, with a focus on long-term aspirations for a walk-able city and obstacles to its achievement.
Watch the debate at www.gleeds.tv