On design quality standards Government have an ongoing dialogue with a range of professional bodies, either directly or through the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. Recently, we have not received any specific representations from specific professional bodies regarding design quality. The most recent was the March 2005 publication of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ ‘Manifesto for Architecture’ (http://www.riba.org/go/RIBA/News/Policy_4440.html). However, this was not specific to Government, but aimed at a wider audience.
On energy efficiency standards we are currently engaging a range of stakeholders in discussions around further reform of building regulations. During the period 2003 to 2005 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister consulted widely on proposals for raising energy efficiency standards in line with commitments made in the Energy White Paper. These consultations supported improvements in energy efficiency standards through an amendment of the Building Regulations that came into effect on 6 April 2006. I am aware that construction industry professional bodies have been active in disseminating the changes introduced.