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RIBA gets to work in tsunami aftermath

The RIBA has established a working party to coordinate the response from the architectural community to the tsunami disaster.

The institute is asking its members to make contact with suggestions for assistance for both immediate and long-term relief.

RIBA president George Ferguson and chief executive Richard Hastilow have sent their condolences to the families of those known to the institute who are either missing or dead, and to the architectural institutes in the four countries worst affected by the tsunami.

The RIBA's staff is also working with institutes overseas to establish how many RIBA international members may have been affected and to offer assistance in planning the best form of reconstruction.

Letters of sympathy have also been sent to RIBA-recognised schools of architecture based in the affected regions, and RIBA staff have been offered the opportunity to donate a day's salary to the disaster emergency committee.

Architectural practices have been asked to offer their staff a similar opportunity to give in a tax-efficient manner through their practice payroll to the disaster emergency committee, and the RIBA is providing guidance as to how this can be done.

The institute will also be working with organisations such as the Building Research Establishment and the Construction Industry Council in an effort to ensure that future built development is designed to better resist natural disasters of this kind.

'I give every encouragement to the RIBA and to the profession in their efforts to provide real practical support to the countries affected by the tsunami,' Ferguson said.

'We should also make sure that in all we do we do not forget to continue to support the ongoing crisis in Africa, particularly in the Sudan, and in other parts of the world, to match the significant amount of aid already pledged to the tsunami disaster,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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