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Building with Nature

The Building with Nature benchmark has been set up as the UK’s first green infrastructure standard, making it easier for those charged with designing, delivering and maintaining green infrastructure to deliver ecosystem services for people and wildlife.

The Standard aims to demonstrate ‘what good green infrastructure looks like’ and can provide a fundamental evidence base to identify and highlight key environmental considerations and challenges, help project teams engage with stakeholders, collaborate through the design process, and present the aspirations of the development scheme to the local planning authority.

The Building with Nature standard provides an independent assessment of the development’s delivery of good green infrastructure, using an evidence-based approach.

The Building with Nature benchmark was developed through a collaboration between Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the University of the West of England; it was born out of a mutual desire to have a proactive approach to nature-friendly development that is sensitive to location and context, and cares about long-term maintenance and management.

The assessments comprise 12 standards divided into four elements:

Core – the fundamental basis of all green infrastructure designs. This set of five standards reviews the multi-functionality, relevance, design, resilience, and long-term management of the scheme.

Wellbeing – assesses the public benefit in terms of accessibility, and the promotion of healthy living and lifestyles.

Water – assesses how the sustainable drainage is incorporated into, and enhances, the green infrastructure network.

Wildlife – how the design deals with nature: protection, delivery, and enhancement of habitats, consideration of relevant species, and the connectivity of surrounding habitat networks.

Lockhart Garratt are now able to formally assess and accredit projects through the standard, to provide the independent evidence-base to demonstrate how projects have gone beyond the mandatory requirements for biodiversity net gain to deliver real gains to the wider green infrastructure.

This voluntary approach provides a demonstrative and collaborative approach to planning applications, and ensures that multifunctional greenspace is delivered in a meaningful and relevant manner.

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