Building with Nature refreshes Green Infrastructure Standards for the UK built-environment sector

July 1, 2021 Off By Wild Anglia

Building with Nature  ( ) launched an update to their great green infrastructure standard for new development guidelines.  The updated framework is intended to give an easier task for residential and commercial developers to design and deliver long awaited really high-quality green infrastructure.

Summary from website

There are two new standards, focusing on the climate emergency we all face and on ‘place-keeping’ or communities another leg of the sustainability stool which are now included to ensure that the potential for green infrastructure to make places and people more resilient to the impacts of climate change and create a opportunity for adaptation and for long-term management and stewardship.  For more information on the new standards

Five years on from creating the UK’s first green infrastructure benchmark, we are delighted to be releasing our updated Standards today. We have refreshed our guidance to ensure it remains up to date and continues to define ‘what good looks like’, whilst simplifying the framework to make it even easier for industry to use.

The Standards retain the four themes of Core, Wellbeing, Water, and Wildlife, however there are now only 12 Standards in total, making it easy for residential and commercial developers to design and deliver high-quality green infrastructure. Two new Standards, focusing on the climate emergency and on ‘place-keeping’, are now included. These new Standards capture how green infrastructure can make places and people more resilient to the worst impacts of climate change, and explicitly define good practice relating to long-term management, maintenance, monitoring, and stewardship of green infrastructure features.

Dr Alister Scott, Professor in Environmental Geography and Planning, University of Northumbria and Chair of the Building with Nature Standards Board, explains the background to the refresh:

“In the wake of the Covid pandemic, this is a moment to encourage a cross-sector commitment to ensuring everyone has access to nature and to support a green recovery. We also now have new environmental legislation on the horizon for first time in decades – so this is an opportunity to encourage industry and the sector to meet the challenges of the ecological and climate emergencies. The Building with Nature Standards can support industry in rising to these challenges. The Standards provide a clear definition of what good green infrastructure looks like and have been ‘road-tested’ on the ground for 5 years, on schemes from Scotland to Cornwall. In refreshing the Standards, the Building with Nature Standards Board used its expertise and experience, and the Assessor network’s knowledge of what’s working well in practice to make some decisions around which Standards needed a refresh. We also used the opportunity to reflect changes in legislation, policy and good practice so the Standards are fully up to date.”

 Dr Gemma Jerome, Director of Building with Nature, welcomes the update to the Standards:

“As the ‘go to’ green infrastructure Standards for industry, Building with Nature want to make our framework as easy as possible for a wide range of end-users to understand. This Standards refresh represents a great, collaborative, cross-sector endeavour. Having a Standards Board, comprised of green infrastructure experts and representatives from industry, government, professional bodies, and other key stakeholders, ensured that the Standards were rigorously reviewed from multiple viewpoints against the current industry and legislative environment. I am delighted with the forward-thinking approach our Standards Board has taken to the review process, ensuring that Standards continue to define high-quality green infrastructure, whilst simplifying the process for Assessment, making it easier for industry to adopt an approach that puts nature at the heart of decision making.”

Richard Heath, Landscape Architect and Building with Nature Assessor at Lockhart Garratt also welcomed the update:

“It’s great to see the Building with Nature Standards updated. The new Standards continue to define high-quality green infrastructure, whilst making the benchmark even more accessible to developers and planners.”

To ensure continuity, the new Standards will be ‘phased in’ over the next 8 months. Current schemes have the option to continue to be assessed against the old Standards or start using the new Standards. All new schemes registering from 1st February 2022 will be required to use the new Standards.