The value of integrating the natural and built environment has been understood for some time, and has perhaps been brought to the forefront of minds by our recent situation.  With access to other forms of entertainment, a trip to the shops, the movies, the pub, all temporarily curtailed, we have all been re-discovering every public footpath, our nature reserves, our common land and parks.

Will this create a fundamental shift in the way that we approach new development?  Well there’s a question, we are fickle creatures after all. But combine the lessons that we are currently learning with those that we were beginning to appreciate before the Covid19 crisis – the widespread declarations of ecological emergencies and climate emergencies, the need for flood resilience – and there is an excellent case for development that integrates with responds to our natural environment.

Building with Nature is a mechanism by which this can be achieved and demonstrated.


What is Building With Nature?


It is a newly established standard for green infrastructure within new development that encourages positive use of natural systems and landscapes. It focuses on the interplay between wildlife, water and wellbeing – demonstrating the comprehensive environmental services that carefully considered development can bring. Building with Nature is particularly interested in local trends, such as landscape character, heritage features and traits and local species of conservation concern, to embed development within its environment.

Whilst not a substitute for Biodiversity Net Gain calculations, Building With Nature offers synergy with the Good Practice Principles which are core to the Biodiversity Net Gain concept.

The Building with Nature process is managed by a qualified assessor who takes a coordinating role to encourage technical design that meets technical, environmental and social needs, making best and ideally multifunctional use of available spaces.


When can it be applied?


Building with Nature is intended for residential, commercial and mixed-use developments and can be applied at various stages of development.  Design certification can be gained during early stages followed up with full accreditation on completion (including phased). Retrospective accreditation is also possible as there are fortunately many schemes out there which have already woven in the core standards they may just not know it yet. Schemes that are signed-off post construction will be invited to apply for a Building with Nature National Award, an example scheme is Lower Mill Estate (Building with Nature Full Award (Excellent).


How can we help?


The Landmark Practice is very proud to have an in-house Qualified Building with Nature Assessor.  For any further information relating to the scheme opportunities and assessment process, please contact James Sleigh (Senior Landscape Architect)