Building with Nature

Building with Nature is the UK’s first benchmark for Green Infrastructure, providing a framework for the delivery of high-quality spaces which consider health and wellbeing, sustainable water management, ecology and biodiversity.

As a voluntary accreditation, the scheme enables developers who want to go beyond the statutory requirements, to create places that really deliver for people and wildlife. The scheme brings together guidance and good practice to recognise high quality green infrastructure at all stages of the development process. It has been developed by practitioners and policy makers, academic experts and end-users, and has been tried and tested in multiple schemes from Cornwall to Scotland. 

The Building with Nature approach allows clients, stakeholders and the public to see and evaluate the pros and cons of a project in terms of economic improvements and environmental gains.

If you want to create a high-quality place for people and wildlife, you can use the framework of standards to consider land allocation, master-planning, detailed design, long term management and maintenance. 

The framework of standards is divided into four themes:

  • Core Standards – Distinguish green infrastructure from a more conventional approach to provision for open and green space.
  • Wellbeing Standards – Secure health and wellbeing benefits through the delivery of green infrastructure features close to where people live.
  • Water Standards – Managing water quantity and quality, and maximising opportunities for amenity and biodiversity.
  • Wildlife Standards – Create places where nature can flourish, both within the boundary of the scheme, and at a landscape scale.


There are three levels of accreditation:

  • Design Award – high quality green infrastructure demonstrated at the planning and design stage of development;
  • Full Award (Good) – high quality green infrastructure, delivering benefits within the boundary of the scheme; and
  • Full Award (Excellent) – exemplary quality green infrastructure, delivering benefits within and beyond the boundary of the scheme.

If you decided to pursue Building with Nature accreditation then early involvement of ‘Qualified Building with Nature Assessor’ will help steer the design in the right direction and aim to create designs in which project development and nature are fully integrated from the start. Building with Nature starts with the premise of the natural environment, of the services intrinsic to the ecosystem and how a project can utilise nature and these services to design the infrastructure project. Building with Nature comprises two main principles:

  1. Use natural forces as part of the engineering solution; and
  2. Provide extra opportunities for the further development of nature as part of the solution.

Applications are invited at any stage in the development process: pre-application, reserved matters application, and post-construction/in-use.

If you are successful, you will be awarded with the ‘Building with Nature Accreditation’ and ‘Marque’. You will also be provided with an evaluation report which details the strengths of your scheme. This can be used to support a planning application for design awards or communicate the benefits of your scheme to your network of stakeholders.

Once the entire scheme or each phase of your scheme is completed, the Building for Nature Assessor would also return to conduct a post-construction check. The report from this site visit would then be used to see whether the commitments are being delivered and then reported to Building with Nature for audit.

Find out More

Envision is licenced to support schemes obtain accreditation using Building with Nature. Please contact Zuzana Spicova our licenced assessor for further details on the scheme.


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