The Architects’ Council of Europe is the European organisation representing the architectural profession at European level. Its headquarters and Secretariat are located in Brussels. Its membership currently consists of 43 Member Organisations, which are the regulatory and professional representative bodies in all European Union (EU) Member States, and accession Countries, Switzerland and Norway. Through them, the ACE represents the interests of over 565.000 architects from 31 countries in Europe.
Taking into account the expected contribution of the building sector to the 2020 objectives and beyond, it is clear that the role of the architects is crucial, as they are expected to deliver new or retrofitted buildings that offer high-energy performance. The need for appropriate training of architects is substantial as the building sector is confronted with a constant evolution of building materials and technologies. Moreover, innovative approaches both regarding the planning and management of the construction process are necessary in order to reach nZEB standards. For the above reasons, the availability of information and of appropriate training materials is vital.
Description of ACE activities:
The principal function of the ACE is to monitor developments at EU level, seeking to influence those areas of EU Policy and legislation that have an impact on architectural practice and on the overall quality and sustainability of the built environment.
The ACE is dedicated to the better understanding of technical, environmental and cultural values and to the promotion of the highest standards of education and practice in architecture. Its mandate is to seek to ensure that the views and expertise of the profession are delivered to the institutions of the European Union and to seek, as far as possible, consensus among its Members in all of its policy positions. Its policy is defined and approved by the General Assembly of all the Member Organisations, meeting twice yearly. www.ace-cae.eu
In a context of global warming, and while building energy consumption represents 40% of Europe’s total energy needs, ACE believes that it is crucial to explore new legislative, political and financial mechanisms and solutions, at EU and national levels, to allow for a more sustainable built environment.
Promoting the Architect’s role in achieving architectural quality and responsible design is the overall objective of the Architects’ Council of Europe through its Area 3 – Responsible Architecture. ACE defines responsible design as an integrated, energy conscious, inclusive and adaptable quality design. In 2016 ACE published eight policy position of which two relate to energy efficient buildings: ‘the role of Architecture in Energy Efficient Construction’ and ‘Urban Regeneration: Renovating the Existing Building Stock’.
The Environment and Sustainable Architecture and Urban Issues (ESA-UI) Work Group contributes to this global objective by highlighting the unique expertise that Architects can bring to the design of energy-efficient building, the retrofit of existing buildings, the renovation of historic buildings and urban regeneration.
Maintaining effective communication both internally (between Member Organisations) and externally to interested stakeholders and partners is a key activity of the ACE. The ACE along with the International Union of Architects (UIA) have long agreed on a common set of guidelines on CPD. Moreover the ACE is monitoring the CPD programs of its Member Organisations (https://www.ace-cae.eu/). This background can prove to be very useful for eventually introducing the developed materials within PROF/TRAC in the CPD programs of the ACE Member Organisations, thus maximising the projects’ impact.