building culture: procurement of UK arts construction. Appendices

building culture appendices

These appendices accompany the print publicationbuilding culture: procurement of UK arts constructionby Bridget Sawyers & Walter Menteth. Project Compass CIC, 2021 (available as below).

building culture describes from inception, commissioning culture and practice for UK arts buildings, over 204 A4 pages with 185 illustrations, supplemented with these appendices. Building Culture is a uniquely comprehensive exposure that offers case studies, research, reference, guidance, analysis of Covid impacts, and recommendations, for communities, arts professionals, commissioners, clients, architects, project teams and policy makers, for future best practice.

Building Culture contains –

  • 10 chapters by eminent architects, competition programmers and a client
  • Unique sector data and procurement analysis
  • Programming and funding guidance with resources and references
  • Sustainability, inclusivity and social value overviews
  • Strategic insights, Covid coverage and recommendations

Building Culture is available to order, RRP £35 + £3.60 UK post & packing, from, by PayPal (giving send details) or by BACS payment Acc. Project Compass CIC. Sort: 090128. Acc. No. 49240080 with your billing &/or delivery address with payment

Transforming public procurement: Response to the Dec. 2020 Government consultation paper

Procurement Reform consultation response March 2021
Consultation response, March 2021

This submission responds to the consultation on post Brexit reform of public procurement being proposed by the UK Government, published on 15 Dec. 2020.  While many of the proposed reforms are welcomed, such as the greater focus on long term outcomes and social value, this response highlights further opportunities to secure design quality, innovation ease of access, and better construction sector procurement. Making proportionality a primary principle in procurement and retaining Design Contest procedures and are amongst matters raised to ensure that processes and procedures can be the most appropriate.

This March 2021 joint response is a collaboration between Project Compass CIC and The London Practice Forum.

Competition Culture in Europe: Voices

Competition Culture in Europe: Voices, 2018

A series of essays by 17 distinguished architects, competition organisers, scholars and commentators in 22 chapters, covering 11 countries. The case studies, project data, discussions and interpretive glossary, that together include reflections on historic, contemporary and future competitions and their practices, opportunities and potential, in Europe and beyond, offer a valuable resource, practice compendium and unique insight into competition culture.

The publication is available in hardcopy from Project Compass RRP £25.00 + £3.60 UK post & packing, from

Competition Culture in Europe 2017-2020: Final Report

Competition Culture in Europe 2017-2020: Final Report

Activities, research & educational outputs from the 2017 International Competition Culture in Europe (CCIE) conference,  & the wider CCIE programme, are assembled here to provide invaluable resources, knowledge, & guidance. 25 European countries were involved in the programme & in 6 research programmes were set up.

The 1st part provides an overview of CCIE international convocations & their outputs. The 2nd part reports on University master students research from Tirana (Albania), Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Sofia (Bulgaria), Athens (Greece), Dublin (Ireland) & Portsmouth (United Kingdom).  These country’s outputs cover the history, development, application, & opportunities of competitions in an international context.

This publication is an Architectuur Lokaal project realised with Project Compass CIC & A10 New European architecture Cooperative, & made possible with support from the Creative Industries Fund (NL).

Competition Culture in Europe 2013 – 2016

Competition Culture in Europe
Competition Culture in Europe

A pan-European survey of architectural competitions providing: 1) data on numbers and typologies; 2) practical info. on international portals, regulations and critical discourse and 3) country case studies providing commentary on the architectural culture within each state. 

These survey results by Architectuur Lokaal, in collaboration with A10 new European architecture Cooperative and Project Compass were launched and discussed at the Competition Culture in Europe, Conference 28 – 29 September 2017, Amsterdam.

Project Compass Design Contest Guidance

Projet Compass Design Contest Guidance

Properly run design competitions are a rarity in the UK construction sector. This document sets out why Project Compass believes that design contest procedures can achieve exceptional design value, encourage innovation and delivery high levels of quality without exposing the commissioning client to unnecessary risk. The report makes a number of recommendations on how such good design competitions, both above and below the OJEU threshold, should be run and what policies may be adopted to sustain them better and expand their use. It provides a step by step guide to running design contest procedures and describes some new and innovative practices that can be considered, along with sources of further advice, additional resources and links.

Building better flood resilience for Southsea’s frontage and common

Building better flood resilience for
Southsea’s frontage and common.

The ‘Portsmouth Elephant Cage’ was an innovative programme that emerged through an experimental open cross disciplinary competitive procedure, based on ‘parallel commissioning’ (Design Contest Guidance. p.39). Briefings, international research and case studies from wide sources informed alternative strategic designs for Portsmouth’s sea defences.

This report provides an evaluation of the proposed sea defences, provides a programme summary and following the findings proposes a resilient design alternative delivering more sustainable long term benefits.  The new vision is illustrated and recommendations are made to adopt improvements.

The programme was organised by Project Compass with Dutch partners Architectuur Lokaal in Nov. 2016 and March 2017. The report is by director Walter Menteth and published by Project Compass CIC, it is distributed under ‘The Island City papers’ imprint here.

Public Construction Procurement Trends 2009-2014

Public Construction Procurement Trends

A Project Compass report into the trends in public procurement in the UK construction industry during the period 2009-2014 which evaluates the trends in UK public sector architectural design procurement for commissions that come within the remit of the European Union Directive 2004/14 and its threshold values over the last five years (2009-14).

Project Compass CIC has captured over 12,000 OJEU notices, generating entities to cover all notice types in all procedures and under all instruments with frameworks, lots and their contents. This data has been interrogated and a range of concerns for the architectural profession in the UK, such as market access, evidenced.

A synopsis of UK Architectural Competitions Practices and Trends

A Synopsis of UK Architectural Competitions Practices and Trends

This Project Compass report is a synopsis on UK architectural competitions, that forms  part of a comparative evaluation, stocktaking and exploration of Competition Culture in Europe. The analysis undertaken is with a view to researching the opportunities and potential expansion of alternative innovatory European practices, and for furthering their implementation over the period 2017-2020 as part of the Competition Culture in Europe programme.

Thames Garden Bridge Procurement Issues

Thames Garden Bridge Procurement Issues

This Project Compass CIC report on the Thames Garden Bridge explores issues around TfL’s procurement of the Bridge Design Services (TfL 90711 Design Services) and Temple Bridge Lead consultant (‘TfL 90001 Task 112 Temple Bridge’) contracts awarded in 2013.

Education Funding Agency Procurement Issues

Education Funding Agency Procurement Issues

As Making Government business more accessible to SMEs: two years on highlighted, SMEs are making a valuable contribution to the Public Sector Supply chain, helping to reduce costs and increase innovation.

However, SMEs are still often being discriminated against when attempting to participate in the Education Funding Agency’s Capital School Building programme; Perplexingly, the issue seems to be due either to faulty procurement practices or to the procurement team not fully adhering to Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Notices and wider regulations.

This brief report has been written to highlight how Regional Contractors Framework procurement has failed and how the situation
could be improved to increase accessibility of contracts to the SME
community, moving forward. Collaboration UK <>NL

the independent European portal for architectural competitions & contests. is the result of a close collaboration between Project Compass CIC and Architectuur Lokaal which developed forward from 2013 and was established in 2015. Europe does not have a single public construction procurement portal but a number of national, regional and commercial sites. is the result of a collaboration between both organisations that now draws these together from thirty-nine European states.

Market transparency

By providing architects across Europe a single architectural competitions portal dramatically raises market transparency and provides a forum for sharing knowledge and improving practices. represents significant progress towards providing better public insight into the European market for architecture. The service was extended further in 2019 to reach all the European countries now listed and is maintained by Architectuur Lokaal.


A list of the portals announcing calls for architectural design contests and competitions from 33 European countries along with international websites can still be directly found on our website HERE. Below the EU thresholds design contests and competitions are not usually published on Tenders European Daily (TED) but many may be found here.


The following publications provide further tools and references for those seeking better design procurement. Where noted these are made available under a creative common (CC BY-ND) licence. Those by RIBA remain © Royal Institute of British Architects and they request that in any referencing a link to be provided. Others are available only from the publishers

Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes (RIBA)

Ten Principles for better Procurement (RIBA)
Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes (RIBA)

Published by RIBA in 2016, Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes,  clarifies how public client organisations can get better possible outcomes when they procure architectural services.

As a result of poor procurement practice or lack of in-house expertise, public clients often don’t get what they expected and communities don’t get the buildings they deserve. This provides guidance on how effective public procurement that prioritises good design outcomes can maximise the social,  environmental and economic benefits of development so it can be designed to serve its intended purpose, be efficient to build, maintain and operate, and have a positive impact on the community it serves. (Under a creative common (CC BY-ND) licence)

European competition programmer handbook: GreenArch project results with summary recommendations

European Competitions
Programmers handbook:
GreenArch project results

This EU project partnership with French, Spanish, UK, Czech and Italian participants included Walter Menteth Project Compass director. The project aims to improve opportunities and procedures for all architects, especially young professionals, through better understanding, knowledge sharing and collaborative strategies which address the European design competition system. Research on the common priorities and objectives for public and private competitions is reported along with recommendations for architects and European policy makers for improving access, quality, practice experience, effectiveness and efficiency, digital migration and integration, transparency, knowledge and reduced risk in competitive processes that can increase opportunities, contributing to growth, innovation, value and sustainability along with better competition processes both nationally and across Europe.

European Competition Programmer Handbook: GreenArch project results APPENDIX.

European Competition Programmer Handbook: GreenArch project results. APPENDIX

The Project Results APPENDICES include 1. A Glossary of terms; 2. GreenArch partnerships, participants and involved organisations; 3. Case Studies: include five on Design and construction case studies; three on competition programming and five others on research, portals and the engagement of young architects; 4. meeting presentations

GreenArch Project Report (July 2015). Authors: Paola Boffo, Walter Menteth, Julie Fernandez, Cécile Fridé, Ilham Laraqui, Marianne Tartarin, Roberto Secci, Silvia Brandi, Ana Marti Serichol, Igor Kovačević, Karin Grohmannová, Yvette Vašourková

Building Ladders of Opportunity (RIBA)

Building Ladders of Opportunity (RIBA)

Published in 2012, Building Ladders of Opportunity was the output of the RIBA‘s Procurement Reform Group set up by then President Angela Brady, chaired by Walter Menteth and with Russell Curtis Project Compass directors.

The document highlights some of the principal concerns with how public buildings are currently commissioned in the UK and makes recommendations as to how reform could stimulate growth in the economy.

This report impacted reforms of Directive 2014/24/EU and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.  (Under a creative common (CC BY-ND) licence)

Procurement Case Studies (RIBA)

Published in 2012 in the suite of reports output by the RIBA’s Procurement Reform Group these Case Studies evidence practice and highlight some specifically identified issues. All references to more detailed recommendations in this document are to recommendations in ‘Building Ladders of Opportunity(Under a creative common (CC BY-ND) licence)

Procurement Survey 2012 (RIBA)

Procurement Survey 2012 (RIBA)

The RIBA Procurement Reform Group commissioned Mirza & Nacey Research to conduct an on-line survey amongst architectural practices during the period January to February 2012. This report, published in 2012 in the suite of reports output by the RIBA’s Procurement Reform Group, sets out the results of the survey.  An RIBA viewpoint responding to the findings is set out in the lead report ‘Building Ladders of Opportunity’ and Procurement Case Studies’. The survey ascertained a number of professionally detremental findings, in detail and for the first time. (Under a creative common (CC BY-ND) licence)

Comparative Procurement: Procurement regulation and practice in Germany, Sweden and the UK

Comparative Procurement: Procurement regulation and practice in Germany, Sweden and the UK (RIBA)

Published in 2012 this independent report, commissioned by the RIBA Procurement Reform Group from Burges Salmon LLP, examines the comparative implementation of the EU Public Procurement Directive, as it relates to the appointment of architects and the procurement of buildings in Germany, Sweden and the UK, and in the context of some of the RIBA’s key procurement reform recommendations set out in their report ‘Building Ladders of Opportunity(Under a creative common (CC BY-ND) licence)

Response paper: on the Modernisation of EU Public Procurement Policy towards a more efficient European Procurement Market

Response paper: on the Modernisation of EU Public Procurement Policy towards a more efficient European Procurement Market (RIBA)

This response to the EU Green Paper Consultation from Walter Menteth Architects, the RIBA Small Practice Public Sector Procurement Working Group and the RIBA, was prepared by Walter Menteth on behalf of the group. This 2011 report describes a range of issues for architects relating to the EU procurement system along with its interpretation and application at national level that are believed require urgent reform. It provides industry data, evidenced examples with discursive background, and proposes key opportunities for the comprehensive reform thought necessary.

This EU response paper impacted reforms of Directive 2014/24/EU, the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and precipitated establishment of the RIBA Procurement Reform Group in furtherance of some of the described objectives. (Under a creative common (CC BY-ND) licence)

The Competition Grid: Experimenting With & Within Architecture Competitions

The Competition Grid: Experimenting With & Within Architecture Competitions

The Competition Grid: Experimenting With & Within Architecture Competitions (Theodoru. M., Katsakou A. (eds) RIBA Publishing, 2018. Project Compass Director Walter Menteth contributed Chapter 10, ‘E-Procurement Delivering Better Design Competitions’ in Part 3-‘Experimenting with Architectural Competitions’.  “This is an engaging and extensive review of architectural competitions. Merging the immediacy of practitioners’ competition experience and the rigorousness of scientific writing, each section features comprehensive research and lively discussion from an international set of experts.”   Available from RIBA Publishing.

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