Five years after creating the UK’s first green infrastructure benchmark, Building With Nature has refreshed their guidance. Elaine Cresswell, the Landscape Institute’s representative on the BWN Standards Board, talks about this exciting new collaboration.

    Last week, Building With Nature launched their refreshed green infrastructure standards.

    The update aims to define ‘what good green infrastructure looks like’ in an era of climate, biodiversity and health crisis. The refreshed standards are condensed and free of technical jargon, ensuring they are easy to use both as part of a formal Building With Nature assessment, and as an open-source set of principles that all developments should follow.

    Building With Nature’s mission is to put high-quality green infrastructure at the heart of placemaking in the UK, as well as maximising benefits for people and wildlife. To this end, the 12 new standards focus on the key themes of wellbeing, water and wildlife. Guiding the documents is the principle that all green infrastructure should be holistic, multifunctional, and contextual; that it should maximise site potential, promote long-term outcomes, and embed real community engagement into development.

    Building With Nature’s updated standards represent an exciting step change in the way we quality-assess and deliver green infrastructure in the UK

    The Landscape Institute technical committee has been working with Building With Nature to ensure that the new standards meet the needs of landscape architects, their clients, and the environment; and that they make a real difference to the sustainability of projects on the ground. As such, our contribution has focused on ensuring that the standards are deliverable as part of the design development process, easily understandable to non-experts, and consider the challenges of long-term management and maintenance.

    These standards are the product of many years’ extensive research into why green infrastructure is not delivered robustly in the UK. Developed in collaboration with academics, built environment professionals, and developers, the updated standards seek to address these issues, and represent an exciting step change in the way we quality-assess and deliver of green infrastructure.

    You can download the new standards at If you’d like the LI technical committee to consider you for any future update of the Building With Nature standards, please email

    Building with Nature National Award 2021

    The LI’s Building With Nature National Award 2021 recognises excellence in Green Infrastructure and is open to any recipient of a BWN accreditation.

    Due to high demand, the LI Awards will remain open to entries for one more week. The new deadline for submission is 11.59pm on 15 July 2021.

    Find out more and submit at


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