The Architects’ Council of Europe has been conducting two surveys among its Member Organisations to understand how they are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, evaluate its initial impact on the architectural profession and market, and collect information about measures put in place to help SMEs and the self-employed to weather the crisis.
- First survey (March- April 2020)
- Second survey (May 2020)
EUROPEAN OVERVIEW AND HIGHLIGHTS
FEDERAL CHAMBER OF ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS
Coronavirus: quick survey of civil engineers Civil engineers provide information on expected revenue losses and the impact on ongoing construction projects Extract : “Despite expected revenue losses due to the Corona crisis, expected by which 79% of the respondents expect, one of the most encouraging signals is probably that layoffs have so far been very rarely taken as a measure (7%) and that only about 22% are considering them for the future, but depending on the duration of the crisis. The reasons frequently given for this are that the acquisition of new orders is currently more difficult to implement. In addition, customers are increasingly discontinuing planned projects. 31% state that their company is affected by short-time work, 23% are considering applying for short-time work.”
ORDE VAN DE ARCHITECTEN
"There are no positive aspects to the corona crisis, but the joint communication sent out by Netwerk Architecten Vlaanderen, the Beroepsvereniging voor architecten and the Vlaamse Raad van de Orde van de Architecten with the support of the Federation of Architects' Associations of Belgium shows that the dark period is creating unanimity. In the following article, under the slogan 'strong together during a crisis', the parties explain what an architect should or should not do during the corona crisis in terms of site consultation and control.
CHAMBER OF ARCHITECTS IN BULGARIA
In view of the complicated epidemic situation related to the spread of COVID-19 in Bulgaria, and the state of emergency declared by the National Assembly on 13.03.2020, and the recommendations of the National Operational Headquarters, the Governing Board of the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria expresses its support for the state of emergency and the measures taken by the Government.
Read the statement here https://kab.bg
UNION OF ARCHITECTS IN BULGARIA
SHARE Architects launches the series of live webinars under the generic theme Transforming the World Through Architecture. Thus, between April and June, online events are scheduled, weekly with international guests who will have lectures and debates on the following topics: Architecture in post-pandemic era, How should architects play their historical role today? What should be the vision of the future of the city and architecture? Future of post-pandemic time countryside, Health care facilities for the future of humankind, Safe collective dwelling, Education and work after the health crisis, Pandemic is also an Urban Problem, Social distancing, closeness through technology, Narratives Beyond Crises.
THE ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS OF CYPRUS
The Association of Architects of Cyprus presented its 2nd online seminar - webinar on: "The obligations of the architect in the era of covid-19".
CZECH REPUBLIC OF ARCHITECTS.
THE DANISH ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS
In April, the Danish Association of Architectural Firms released a member survey that clarifies how the corona crisis affects individual architectural firms, including day-to-day operations, tasks and expectations for Q3.
“How has the corona crisis affected your business - and how will the future be?”
This was the headline of the member survey the Danske Arkitektfiretag sent to all member companies after Easter with a total of 13 questions and responses from 136 members; a response rate of approx. 20%.
We also asked about the international turnover of our members. The answers go in all directions, from "everything is stopped" to "minor decline" to "task access".
"Corona crisis will mean upheaval"
"It will require creative solutions across specialties for the community to function for a long time to come through rapid changes, architect MAA Line Willacy writes in his post on the community and architecture post Covid-19."
ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS
FINNISH ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS (SAFA)
The COVID-19 has affected both society as a whole and the daily lives of people, including architects. The situation raises a number of concerns and uncertainties about the future. SAFA has launched a special Corona web section with centralised information such as FAQS, support and information ressources, things to do in quarantine, help with anxiety.
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE ORDER OF ARCHITECTS (CNOA)
The National Council of the Order of Architects (CNOA) published a legal and financial guide for the restart of the construction work at the end of the confinement period and afterwards. This guide, which is intended primarily for architects and project management teams, will also be useful to contracting authorities, SPS coordinators and businesses.
The CNOA, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, provides all architects with a free training kit for resuming post-Covid construction. The ambition of this initiative is to allow architects to play an essential role in post-containment recovery.
Post-crisis recovery plan
"Economic urgency must not take precedence over social and ecological urgency", defends the Conseil national de l'Ordre des architectes , which has published a list of proposals to facilitate recovery from the crisis for:
Ensuring the continuity and efficiency of public services
Strengthening territorial cohesion
Boosting Project Management and Works Contracts
Facilitating real estate investment
Taking health issues into account
Amplifying the renovation of housing and equipment
Supporting professionals through fiscal, social and financial measures
This contribution also includes an explanatory note on the proposal to introduce the “declaratory license”.
-Create an ambitious recovery plan for the entire sector
-Support Architecture companies
- Offer a better quality of life to citizens by relying on architectural creation and innovation.
CORONA CRISIS: ARCHITECTS LOOK TO THE FUTURE WITH CONCERN
A recent joint survey by the Federal Chamber of Architects and the Federal Chamber of Engineers shows that architectural firms are preparing for difficult economic times. The profession will be affected above all by downstream effects. More than 6,000 architects of all disciplines took time, at the beginning of April, to answer urgent questions about the effects of the corona crisis. More than three-quarters of those surveyed are already feeling the concrete effects of the measures taken against the spread of Covid-19, and a third are even feeling the effects in a clearly negative way. The most frequently cited problems are cancelled or postponed orders (52%), delays in the approval process due to an under-staffed public administration (41%) and disruptions on construction sites (34%). From the second half of 2020 onwards, architects and engineers expect a significant deterioration in the economic situation and financial losses overall. Interior designers are already the most affected.
CHAMBRE TECHNIQUE DE GRECE
ROYAL INSTITUTE OF THE ARCHITECTS OF IRELAND (RIAI)
23 April 2020: Post COVID-19: Construction Sites
The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has published a series of proposals to support the delivery of safe working environments as construction sites reopen. The publication, titled RIAI Proposals for Reopening of Construction Sites to Promote Suitable Protocols for Working Environments, is intended to assist in getting construction sites functioning post COVID-19 restrictions without compromising quality of construction or compliance with building regulations. Read the full press release here.
The RIAI is working to provide Members with as many online training resources as possible https://www.riai.ie/the-riai/riai-and-covid-19/online-cpd-training-and-webinars
Links are useful for up-to-date information on COVID-19:
Business Continuity Planning: Checklist of preparatory actions in responding to COVID-19 (Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation)
COVID-19 information and advice for taxpayers and agents (Revenue Commissioners)
A Letter of Agreement for a COVID-19 Ex Gratia Payment by the Employer (The Office of Government Procurement)
CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DEGLI ARCHITETTI, PIANIFICATORI, PAESAGGISTI E CONSERVATORI (CNAPP)
The Lockdown Observatory for Economic Recovery is born. The scenario determined by the coronavirus emergency imposed drastic changes in habits, consumption and expectations related to the so-called "phase 2". Understanding the transformations of the market and demand is fundamental for companies and institutions that, at this moment, are planning the post-coronavirus and are forced to modify, marketing plans, communication strategies and product/service offer mid-project. The new "Lockdown. How and why it is changing our lives" will constantly monitor (for at least 12 weeks) 4 areas: opinions, concerns and priority issues; purchasing behaviour; daily habits and leisure time; post-lockdown forecasts.
"How will we manage, in the aftermath of an emergency, living spaces, public spaces, urban dynamics? How will we re-start the economy, activate construction sites, transfer an indispensable driving force to the construction world? And again, how do we see the future of our cities and territories, starting from the lessons of the pandemic?
We need a capacity for design. Therefore, we need architecture and architects, yet all this does not seem to be sufficiently well perceived by the main political players and decision-makers in our country".
LATVIAN ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS (LAA)
ARCHITECTS ASSOCIATION OF LITHUANIA (AAL)
ORDRE DES ARCHITECTES ET DES INGENIEURS CONSEILS DU GRAND DUCHE DE LUXEMBOURG (OAI)
Post Covid Think tank launch in order to provide useful practices during the crisis, initiate a rapid "re-boot" of the construction sector, participate in the societal debate to draw the right conclusions from this crisis, to build better way of living together.
“It is more than evident that the profession is being hit hard. The primary concern at the moment appears to be the inability to pay salaries due to a reduction in ongoing projects and due to defaulting clients, both of which impact on cash flow. The measures rolled out by the Government so far have not been of direct benefit to the profession, and this will mean that offices will be forced to look at alternative measures to cut their costs.
Periti are advised to contact both the DIER and Malta Enterprise, which are taking a case by case approach to assist businesses in the current situation. Meanwhile, the Kamra tal-Periti will continue to push for more measures to be made applicable to the profession, however it is unclear what Government’s approach will be in this regard.”
Royal Institute of Dutch Architects BNA
“In week 6 of working from home, with all colleagues, we have invented and executed many online meeting formats, from learning to brainstorming with virtual post-its, and from one-to-one meetings to round tables. An online activity for young foreign employees of the offices is coming up in the coming 2 weeks, as is a ‘post corona’ session to focus on the strength, creativity and vision of the architectural practice.”
Focus by the International Program:
Where to get trustworthy info on working internationally
International Business Basics online: Contracting (includes ACE IBM checklists!)
General updates via yellow corona tag https://www.bna.nl/nieuws
BNA model corona paragraphs for contracting in this crisis
Model letter to banks for loans and financial matters
Model letter for private clients to continue works safely
Guidelines for delayed works and clainms as a result of the corona crisis
ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ARCHITECTS IN NORWAY (ACA)
Industry weekly insights - Week 16:
“A larger proportion of members report on a normal assignment situation; so far this is good news. At the same time, for the others – up to 60% - we see that some do not get new assignments, some have a number of projects that have stopped and some report a very challenging situation where almost all assignments have stopped. That such a large part of the industry is struggling with negative factors is serious. It also emphasises the importance of the Architectural firms keeping up pressure on the authorities.”
Liquidity. “Here, the results of this week's survey seem to be pointing in the right direction, as more people are reporting on safer liquidity than before. This can be interpreted as the fact that many have taken hold and that several moments of uncertainty have been removed. Policy instruments from the authorities can be said to have worked to a greater or lesser extent. At the same time, it is also important to see the other side of the coin, as employee layoffs can probably contribute to this improvement. Moreover, it is not insignificant that over 20% struggle with liquidity to a greater or lesser extent.”
Instruction Anti-crisis shield 2.0
The most important changes regarding the practice of the profession of architect, were introduced under Act of 16 April 2020 on specific support instruments in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the so-called anti-crisis shield 2.0), and Ordinance of the Council of Ministers of 19 April 2020 on establishing specific restrictions, orders and bans in connection with the occurrence of the state of the epidemic
ORDER OF ARCHITECTS (OA)
Professional Associations and the Post-Covid Territory
The Order of Architects, the Portuguese Association of Landscape Architects, the Portuguese Association of Geographers, the Portuguese Association of Urban Planners and the Order of Engineers, meeting last April 22, signed the document entitled “Professional Associations and the Post-Covid Territory ”, which contributes to the necessary social and economic reform that the country requires. This document was sent to the Prime Minister, the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action and the President of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities .
The Order of Architects, the Portuguese Association of Landscape Architects, the Portuguese Association of Geographers, the Portuguese Association of Town Planners and the Order of Engineers, gathered last April 22nd, signed the document entitled "The Professional Associations and the Post-Covid Territory", which they present as a contribution to the necessary social and economic reformulation that the country requires.
This document was sent to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Environment and Climate Action and the President of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities and can be downloaded from the pdf available below
ROMANIAN ORDER OF ARCHITECTS
Regarding building sites:
In Romania, some sites have taken their own decision to close, while others are expected to close due to workers' refusal to go on site. Although the state of emergency imposes traffic restrictions, mobility is possible if justified. Since no security measures have been taken by the public authorities (except for a few specific recommendations, such as working in small groups or individually, etc.), the OAR called the authorities on 20 March 2020 to adopt and transmit measures to prepare for closures. In this way, risks will decrease and a less difficult reopening will be possible. Read the statement here:
Results of 2 surveys : Coming soon.
CHAMBER OF ARCHITECTURE AND SPATIAL PLANNING OF SLOVENIA (ZAPS)
Information on the adopted regulations at the time of emergency measures and general instructions for settling legal matters in the fulfillment of contractual obligations will be published on the ZAPS website, in the Expert help tab, in the COVID19 >> section, on the following topics, which will be supplemented if necessary:
fulfillment of contractual obligations of designers during the COVID epidemic19
Important interventions with essential emphasis
Conducting municipal spatial planning process during COVID19
CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE LOS COLEGIOS DE ARRQUITECTOS DE ESPANA (CSCAE)
-The CSCAE sends the Government a document with measures to reactivate the sector, highlighting the potential of rehabilitation to generate up to 400,000 jobs
-Lluís Comerón calls for "public policies that promote and take advantage of the potential of a sector that has not yet recovered from the previous crisis
-The importance of a Law on Architecture and Quality of the Built Environment is underlined by its positive effects on the health and well-being of people
The document includes an annex with proposals to speed up licensing, encourage the digitisation of processing and unify regulations.
Since the state of emergency was declared, 78% of Spanish architects have seen some of their work stopped, mainly for security reasons against infection. The workload has been reduced by half and the forecast is to close the year with a loss of income of 57%.
68% of professionals warn of delays in projects, 44% of which are attributable to the municipalities.
The President of the CSCAE, Lluís Comerón, stresses: "These data show that the sector will need strong support from the public administrations".
“Many architectural firms are small and risk being eliminated during the corona crisis unless the government supplements the support packages with targeted measures. Many of our members, who are entrepreneurs, have rental costs as one of the largest expense items. The fact that the architect's office and other consulting businesses cannot take advantage of the rental support is misguided. " said The Swedish Architects' Associate Director Elisabet Elfström, commenting on the Saco Federation's demands on the government, which were developed in collaboration with the Swedish Architects and other affiliates.
The hashtag #tillamannstarviansvarningen highlights the efforts that are made to meet the corona crisis - both in this acute situation and in the longer term.
RIBA Head of Economic Research Adrian Malleson takes a look at the current economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and what the longer term effects might be.