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Last edited 29 Mar 2021
Building for life
Built for Life is an industry standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods which is endorsed by the government. Accreditation gives consumers confidence that important aspects of design have been considered.
The scheme is led by three partners:
It 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 issues, helping gauge the quality of proposed and completed developments. The aim is to produce beautiful, functional and sustainable places to live.
It 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 needs 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 the main considerations of 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.
Diamond status is awarded to new developments that meet all 12 of these requirements.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building for a Healthy Life BHL.
- Changing lifestyles.
- Design Council CABE.
- Design for Homes.
- Design quality.
- Draft housing strategy for London.
- Healthy Homes Act.
- Inclusive design.
- Localism act.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Smart cities.
- Supplementary planning guidance for London.
- Zero-carbon homes.
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