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On Thursday 5th March, Lee Connolly attended Ecobuild 2009 at Earls Court, London. With around 800 exhibitors, 100 seminars and dozens of attractions it was clear to see why this was regarded as the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment. Highlights included the ECO2H2OUSE, LandARK and ruralZED Zero Carbon House. Various new and improved products were on offer ranging from vertical axis wind turbines to soy-based spray foam insulation and almost everything in between.

For further details click the following link to Ecobuild’s website.

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Comic Relief 2009 and Architecture 519 turned on the style for a ‘Wear it Red’ day with all of the team declaring at least one red item of clothing. Although there were no red suspenders (on show), the contributions ranged from baggy red pants (worn suitably outside of the trousers) through to 1980’s throw-back red braces and a rather fetching pair of red slippers. In the charity sweepstake Dave Singh won a duvet-day for correctly identifying Graham Norton in the Red Nose Grid game. All in all, a fun Friday to end a hectic week with plenty of money raised for charity.

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We believe there is a growing need for an initiative to respond to the increase in unemployed Part I and Part II architectural students, associated with the current severe recession.

Architecture 519 currently employs a Part II student and a part time undergraduate trainee, we are unable to do more because of the constraints on our investment directly related to the downturn. We do however have the capacity, and the enthusiasm, to provide mentoring of students or graduates who are unemployed. We are aware that we are not alone and believe that there is an urgent need for some “joined up thinking” to ensure that as much as possible of this spare capacity is used to facilitate additional practical training opportunities.

One of our Directors David Lumb is seeking to establish a connection between the RIBA, local and regional organisations who share an interest, interested practices and, initially, the Leeds School of Architecture (but subsequently other schools in the region), with a view to establishing a locally based, sustainable vehicle to provide real support for unemployed “year out” students of architecture (both Part I and II).

David’s initial thoughts are that there is a way to properly manage and therefore legitimise the provision of “internships” within participating practices sponsored either by the practice or by others, or by both, where necessary. The intention is not to replace but rather supplement full employment in practices where for economic reasons a student may need to go elsewhere to obtain full or part time, paid employment or where a practice can do more but cannot sustain the cost.

There is undoubtedly a growing problem which will become a more significant problem as this academic year starts to seek appropriate employment in a market that is forecasted to continue to contract.

David is looking to initially gather information on the extent of the problem (currently and forecasted) whilst seeking to put in place a sustainable, support scheme that is adequately funded providing a realistic alternative to obtaining practical experience where full time employment is unavailable.

For further information contact David at
0113 213 5656

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Sustainability is a key element of Architecture 519’s philosophy not just in the buildings we design but also in the way we work. As part of our ongoing commitment to reducing our carbon footprint we have now signed up with Ecotricity to provide our studio’s electricity.

Ecotricity is an electricity company with a difference – they are dedicated to changing the way electricity is made. They take the money their customers spend on electricity and invest it in clean forms of power like wind energy. What’s more, they actually build these new renewable energy sources. In 2007 alone they invested £25 million in wind energy.

If you want to learn more about them visit

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Architecture 519 has now been in existence since the beginning of the year and we thought it was about time we started to tell everyone what we are up to.

The intention of this Blog is to provide a shared space for the team at Architecture 519 to share news about our business and general life in the studio.

Hopefully it will be of interest to our clients and the people we work with.