New publication: The ACE publishes the Value of Architecture II


This study is commissioned by the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, with the aim to support the development of research in architectural practice across Europe. Meaning finding suitable tools to document and evaluate the different types of value creation. This will enable architects to demonstrate the value of what they do, diversify their services and become more resilient, whatever the size of practice or the sector that they work in.


"Architects are adept at solving complex built environment problems in creative, inclusive and innovative ways and are therefore well placed to assist with addressing some of the major societal challenges faced by the world today, not least the Climate Change Emergency, and the aftermath of COVID 19. However, they don’t generally think of themselves as researchers and are often excluded from debates about research, research funding and innovation. (Samuel, 2018). Additionally, architects have a communication challenge and need to explain the worth of their work in terms that make sense to decision makers—in particular those who finance it, but also to the general public. Therefore, the focus lies on finding evidence and facts of value created by architectural design and planning that would supplement the compelling visuals and story-telling that architects are good at already. Value is created jointly, requiring many considerations and involving many types of expertise. Solutions must be found that create value at many levels, both for those who use the buildings and the built environment daily, and for society as a whole". 


This study has been conducted by Rowena Hay, Flora Samuel and Lorraine Farrelly*.


"The Value of Architecture II shows the importance of using research to evidence the environmental, social, cultural and economic performance of built environment projects. It features a set of inspiring case studies drawn from practices of all sizes across Europe who have adopted what are often quite simple research methods to explore the performance of their building projects in-use. I hope that architects and clients alike will take the lead from the case studies featured here, and will see the benefit of using research to understand the impact and value of the building projects they collaboratively deliver." Rowena Hay, Research and Evaluation lead at Shortwork.


"The post occupancy evaluation (POE) is the key to a holistic understanding of human interaction with the built environment and nature. In the age of digitalisation, the numeric approach will be key for the future of architecture." Ruth Schagemann, ACE Executive Board Member.



Up-dated version, May 2021.


The report is structured in four parts:

  • Part One provides the background and methodology for the report;
  • Part Two is a contextual review of research in practice, which draws on interviews with experts from across Europe, combined with an academic and grey (industry) literature search;
  • Part Three focuses on the impact of feedback on the design process and the project itself through Post Occupancy Evaluation, and how it can be used to demonstrate the value of design. Part Three also features a series of eight inspiring case studies from across Europe that highlight the important role that feedback can play in developing practice-based knowledge, and evidencing and communicating the value of architectural services;
  • Part Four contains the executive summary recommendations addressed to architects, policy-makers, clients, universities and academia.

Disclaimer: The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflect the view only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any sue which may be made of the information contained therein.

Back to top