Last edited 12 Feb 2015

Building for life

Building for Life is an industry standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods which is endorsed by the government. Building for Life approval is intended to give consumers confidence that the important aspects of design have been considered during the development of new housing.

The Built for Life quality mark is 'the sign of a good place to live with new well designed homes & neighbourhoods'

The Building for Life scheme is led by three partners:

The scheme has developed out of policies in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the government’s commitment to construct more homes, better homes and to involve local communities in the planning process.

It guides the local community, local authority and other stakeholders in design related discussions, helping gauge the quality of proposed and completed developments. The aim is to produce beautiful, functional and sustainable places to live.

Building for Life is based on a traffic light system. The more green lights a development attains the better it should be. Amber suggests areas of a development that could be improved and red warns that an aspect of the development need to be reconsidered. The assessment is intended to stimulate further dialogue between communities, the project team, the local authority and other stakeholders.

Building for Life 12 (BfL 12) sets out twelve main considerations under the scheme:

  • Connections – integrating the development into the surroundings by reinforcing existing connections and creating new ones. Respecting the land and existing buildings of the site.
  • Facilities and services – ensuring the development is near to parks, schools, workplaces, community facilities and so on.
  • Public transport – good access to different modes of public transport to reduce dependency on cars.
  • Meeting local housing requirements – a mix of houses to meet local demand.
  • Character –a place with a locally inspired and unique character.
  • Working with the site and its context – making use of the local landscape, climate and existing topography.
  • Creating well defined streets and spaces – plots organised to form an attractive development.
  • Easy to find your way around – well thought out layout to encourage walking, and making it easy to locate and find things.
  • Streets for all – creating streets that can be social spaces and that encourage lower vehicle speeds for safety.
  • Car parking – providing enough parking for residents and visitors so that vehicles do not dominate the streets.
  • Public and private spaces – clearly defined areas, well governed and safe.
  • External storage and amenity space – providing space for vehicles, cycles, bins and recycling.

Building for Life diamond status is awarded to new developments that meet all twelve of these requirements.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki