Why are there so many national RIBA Awards this year (70)? The short answer is that the past two years have seen a particularly good crop of buildings in most parts of the country; a long answer would include the influence of the growing number of eligible buildings designed across the EU by RIBA practices.
Cynics will doubtless argue that standards are falling, but if anything they are rising. As usual, a few schemes nominated by regional panels didn't quite make it, not because they were of low quality, but because they weren't sufficiently high given the overall standards which the RIBA Awards Group, chaired by Eric Parry, takes into account.
There were a few re-visits by the group to try to ensure consistency. In short, the award scheme is working well, not least because the standard of British architecture is on the increase.