Building With Nature

Building with Nature

Green infrastructure plays a vital role in our modern society.  Our networks of parks, play areas, street trees, rivers and ponds not only regulate the climate and support wildlife but deliver countless benefits for our wellbeing.  Now more than ever we are thinking about ways to create sustainable places that really deliver for people and wildlife.

Building with Nature is the UK’s first green infrastructure benchmark that aims to support and encourage developers to create high-quality, sustainable places where people and nature can thrive.  TEP is an advocate of the benchmarking process and have an approved assessor who supports our clients in delivering schemes which showcase great sustainable development; where people and wildlife benefit from well-designed, expertly implemented and sustainably managed features.

Schemes are assessed against a framework of standards both at pre and post-construction stages and those which meet the standards are awarded the Building with Nature Accreditation.  It is becoming a widely valued and recognised scheme, with The Landscape Institute recently creating a new category in its 2020 awards, calling for entries which have gained full Building with Nature accreditation.

Should you consider Building with Nature?

  • The Building with Nature accreditation gives developments a competitive advantage and a marketing tool when promoting quality and sustainability.
  • The accreditation process is carried out by a trained assessor from within the industry and is externally validated to assure impartiality and quality of accreditation.
  • External and independent validation reassures the public and stakeholders that a development is working beyond minimum requirements.
  • Being accredited can reduce planning risks and uncertainties, giving confidence to decision makers that national and local policy requirements are being met.
  • Reducing planning uncertainty and helping to coordinate design team efforts, can reduce time and costs for developers.
  • Building with Nature focuses on collaboration between team members and helps to deliver holistic designs that consider every aspect of the building process.
  • The standards complement other approaches such as biodiversity net gain, to help mitigate or compensate for biodiversity losses within a development.

What are the Building with Nature Standards?

There are 23 standards across four themes, which the assessor will consider when evaluating your development:

  • There are five core standards, which relate to providing multifunctional infrastructure that respects local context, delivers on local policies, climate-resilience and future-proofing.
  • The six wellbeing standards focus on accessibility and inclusivity of green infrastructure, providing seasonal enjoyment, being locally relevant, distinctive and supporting social cohesion.
  • The six water standards are concerned with managing water quantity and quality, and maximising opportunities for amenity and biodiversity.
  • The six wildlife standards help create places where nature can flourish, both within the boundary of the scheme, and at a landscape scale.

What does the process involve?

TEPs approved assessor, Anna Miroslaw, conducts evaluations for the service nationwide.  She is able to start the accreditation process by engaging with a design team, ideally from the early stages of a project, offering guidance and expert advice on the application of the Building with Nature standards.  When assessing projects, she gathers all the evidence and describes how the scheme meets the standards constructing an honest and thorough assessment.  The assessment is then submitted for external audit, where there are three levels of Accreditation: Design Award (planning stage), Full Award – Good, and Full Award – Excellent (delivery stage).

Building with Nature Award Badges

If you would like to learn more about the accreditation or to book a consultation please email Anna.

To read more from our Landscape Designers click here.