The IHBC’s heritage business register HESPR – our Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition quality assurance scheme for heritage services – emails members weekly ‘News and Tender Alerts’, with notices from across the development sector’s publications, and this week features the RIBA’s Social Value Toolkit for Architecture.
… need to demonstrate Social Value on their projects…
… built environment professionals need to up their game in understanding their role…
The RIBA writes:
The Social Value Toolkit was developed through a research project led by the University of Reading and included representatives from the RIBA and research leaders in architectural practice.
In the Foreword Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President 2017-19 writes:
…The Social Value Act 2012 was never specifically intended to apply to the design of places and buildings. But the act is indirectly influential in prescribing the societal benefits arising through development, as a result of government procurement provisions. In public procurement, architects increasingly come across the need to demonstrate Social Value on their projects – although the focus until now has been very much on the process of development; on, for example, the jobs created during construction. But our concern should be for long term outcomes of certain design decisions that deliver lasting human wellbeing.
Architects do little to obtain feedback on the outcomes of their work and are shockingly ignorant of the impact they have on communities. As a result, it is virtually impossible to predict or explain the positive societal impact of their contribution to buildings, homes and places.
Social value, as a rule, previously hasn’t been viewed as a return on real estate investment or as a measure of progress during different stages of a project…..Instead, economic viability has dominated planning negotiations and development outcomes; not always resulting in lasting quality or sustainable wider societal benefit….
But in a world where there is an increasing realisation that the funding streams for the provision of homes, the healthcare system and protecting the environment should be fundamentally aligned to ensure the best outcomes for long term sustainability. Accordingly, built environment professionals need to up their game in understanding their role in delivering predictably and positively on these important societal issues. What value can and do they add?
The Social Value Toolkit for Architecture has been developed to make it simple to demonstrate and evaluate the impact of design on people and communities, outcomes that are increasingly considered as social value benefits in public policy and procurement. This RIBA source book understands social value to be much broader than the social capital of a place but rather the holistic social, environmental and economic benefits to society.
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