A new report issued today by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) provides evidence for how well designed buildings can deliver tangible social and economic benefits to those who use them and invest in them. The RIBA’s new report ‘Good design – it all adds up’ brings together research from the UK and abroad to illustrate the benefits that good design in housing, education, health, the workplace and public spaces can bring, and what happens if that investment is not made.
The research is supported by 15 case studies, including the Centre for Structural Engineering at Loughborough University. Professor Simon Austin of the Centre said: “The design of the building has been particularly successful in that it allows for undisturbed study and makes it much easier for students to have direct access to tutors.” Initiated by RIBA President Ruth Reed, and launched by John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage, Good design – it all adds up has been published to support anyone considering investing in a construction project and those directly involved in the design and building process. RIBA President Ruth Reed said: “In stringent times, there is a danger that short-term money-saving decisions will be made on new buildings which result in poor solutions that are effectively false economies. “Good design is an investment that pays for itself over a building’s lifetime; bad architecture will always cost more; invest now, or pay later.”
John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage and the cross-government lead for architectural design policy said: “High quality architecture and design make a really important contribution both to society and to the economy, particularly when budgets are tight and value for money is key. Ugly, poorly-designed and ill-considered buildings sink the spirits of those who live and work in them and can, at worst, actually help defeat the core purpose of the building itself. So this guide provides useful evidence to support the need for high standards in design. I commend it to the profession and to those councillors and consultants involved in the commissioning process.”