Social responsibility is extremely important to our practice. We support and actively encourage our staff to engage in a range of activities outside their project work that benefit the construction industry and the wider community.
EPR are conscious that as a larger practice we have the opportunity to influence and a responsibility to lead the profession and wider industry. We do this by working in collaboration with other practices and industry associations in the pursuit of shared social value and are proud to be supporters and contributors to many successful initiates including Architectural Review’s Women in Architecture campaign and the RIBA’s equality, diversity and inclusion advisory group, Architects for Change.
Most recently, this has included support for the FLUID Diversity Mentoring Programme run by Built by Us and supported by the RIBA, NAWIC and CIC and helping to develop the next phase of the RIBA’s Role Model Project. As part of these initiatives our staff are given a forum to share their experiences, participate in the mentoring programme and be part of the process that aims to improve gender equality.
Outside of work, we support and actively encourage our EPR team to engage in a range of activities beyond their project responsibilities that benefit the construction industry and local community in which we work. Many of our staff are active members of local amenity groups and act as expert assessors on judging panels. We are also proud to give staff time to participate in voluntary work to assist other industry organisations and a range of charitable endeavours including various fundraising events and our weekly volunteer work at the Passage; a homeless shelter in Victoria which provides resources to challenge homeless people to transform their lives.
Campaigning in the wider industry, Dieter Bentley-Gockmann, director of EPR Architects and member of the AfC often works with the RIBA and the Architects Journal on their ongoing campaign to raise awareness of and improve attitudes towards LGBT architects. We are also corporate members of New London Architecture (NLA) which is a focus for the debate and discussion of issues facing architecture, planning, development and construction in the capital; our staff are encouraged to attend the programme of conferences, talks, events and exhibitions, having contributed to discussion panels on subjects such as electric vehicle charging stations and the potential future of office environments. EPR are also members of the NextGen initiative which identifies and supports young talent within the industry and champions the professional development of the built environment’s future leaders.
We also love to work with charities where possible. Our ongoing collaboration with the Royal Society for Blind Children has resulted in an innovative concept for a new landmark headquarters for the charity, along with an inclusive children's playhouse which was shortlisted in the AJ's House of Colour competition.
We endeavour to integrate art into our schemes, often inviting artists and local organisations to make their mark on these public spaces. Our collaboration with Kate Malone on American Express' HQ in Brighton involved a public art wall of decorative ceramic tiles created by the neighbouring school and the Deaf Association. We are currently working with a local primary school, developing proposals for an art-paved sensory garden designed to offer an inclusive outdoor space for quieter children.