Outgoing RIBA president Paul Hyett has called on members to be at the forefront of the battle to 'save the planet'. He wants architects to take the lead within construction, moving the industry towards a more 'energy-efficient future'.
Speaking at his final council meeting as president last week, Hyett also announced that the government has asked the institute to develop a 'five-star' rating system for all new buildings that will 'clearly show the public the efficiency of all new buildings'.
Hyett said the profession has a pivotal role to play in 'saving human kind from a looming ecological disaster'. He warned that the British profession had fallen behind the US in developing innovative sustainability concepts and CPD training, insisting that the RIBA must take the lead in 'developing new ideas and pushing out the boundaries'. 'This is the legacy I hope the institute will take from my presidency, ' he said. 'An understanding that it must help save man's place on the planet.'
Hyett told council that solicitor-general Harriet Harman had invited the RIBA to draw up a consumer-friendly efficiency-measurement tool for all new buildings.
Hyett said: 'I think it is important architects take the lead.' He denied the project would tread on the toes of the BREEAM and SEDBUK schemes, insisting that the institute would work with 'all interested parties'.
The RIBA's head of government relations, Jonathan Labrey, later told the AJ: 'This will be like the ratings and the league tables for hospitals.
'Everyone knows that they are crude, but they are clear and you can compare like-for-like.'