TEP’s 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 need to think 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.

Building with Nature uses a framework of standards founded by practitioners, policy makers, academic experts and end users. They gathered together all existing guidance and best practice on creating high-quality green infrastructure and established an assessment and accreditation service. The service can be applied UK-wide at all stages of a development and will recognise high-quality green infrastructure by awarding the Building with Nature Accreditation.

Should you consider Building with Nature?

  • It is a voluntary scheme, which complements other approaches such as biodiversity net gain, to help mitigate or compensate for biodiversity losses within a development.
  • Building with Nature focuses on helping to deliver high-quality green infrastructure to create places where people want to live.
  • The standards are directed at planners, developers and communities, and are written in a language that is easy to understand.
  • The Building with Nature accreditation gives developments a competitive advantage and a marketing tool when promoting the quality and sustainability of that development.
  • 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.
  • As the assessment is externally and independently validated, it reassures the public and planning authority that the development is working beyond the minimum requirement.
  • Being accredited reduces planning uncertainty, as the standards encourage going above the minimum standards set in planning policies.
  • Building with Nature focuses on collaboration between team members and helps to deliver holistic designs that consider every aspect of the building process.
  • By reducing planning uncertainty and helping to coordinate design team efforts, this can reduce time and costs for developers.

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-resilient and future-proofing.

The six wellbeing standards focus mainly 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.

TEP’s Senior Landscape Architect, Anna Miroslaw has recently been appointed as an approved assessor for Building with Nature and is already conducting evaluations for the service nationwide.

Anna will be able to help start your application process by engaging with your design team, ideally from the early stages of the project, offering guidance and expert advice on the application of Building with Nature standards. When assessing your projects, she will gather all the evidence and describe how the scheme meets all the standards set out above and build a positive story of the project. The assessment will then be submitted for external audit, where there are three levels of Accreditation: Design Award, Full Award (Good) and Full Award (Excellent).

By considering green infrastructure as an instrumental feature to a development’s design, together we can make a positive impact on where we live.

If you would like to learn more about the accreditation or to book a consultation please email Anna or for more information visit: www.buildingwithnature.org.uk.