- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 24 Jul 2020
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 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 needs to be reconsidered. The assessment is intended to stimulate further dialogue between communities, the project team, the local authority and other stakeholders.
- 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.
 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
- Inclusive design.
- Localism act.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Smart cities.
- Supplementary planning guidance for London.
- Zero-carbon homes.
Featured articles and news
Reports and factsheets for 2018, 2019 released.
Finding the right landscape maintenance contractor.
As organisations investigate options for return to work, WaaS may gain popularity.
CIOB prompts Government to include in its Industrial Strategy.
Aspects of daylighting design covered by EN 17037.
His life, art and legacy. 1 min book review.
An ambitious Victorian new town that was not delivered as planned.
Using weather and climate information to support infrastructure planning.
Chemicals can slow - and ideally stop - the spread of fire.
Consultation begins on once in a generation changes to the planning system.
Making the case for breathing new life into existing buildings.