- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 Mar 2019
Ecology and the built environment
Ecology is the study of the relationship between organisms and their physical environment. It provides information about the benefits of ecosystems and how humans can utilise the earth’s resources in a sustainable way.
- Physiological ecology – the response of a single species to environmental conditions.
- Population ecology – the factors that affect the abundance and distribution of organisms.
- Community ecology – species found in a location and their interactions.
- Ecosystem ecology – the structure and function of the ecosystem and organisms within it.
The term ‘ecology’ was first used by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel and comes from the Greek word oikos which means “household”, “home”, or “ place to live”. It evolved from the natural history of the ancient Greeks.
- Appreciation of the world we live in.
- Economics and the exploitation of natural resources, for example in fisheries, forestry, agriculture etc.
- It provides an insight into human societies and the way we live.
- It helps provide an understanding of how humans are changing the world.
Planning authorities have a duty to consider biodiversity when assessing planning applications. When a planning proposal is reasonably likely to affect species or habitats, an ecological assessment will be required. The ecological assessment will consider the development site with an appropriate buffer zone and should identify features including:
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Biodiversity net gain consultation.
- BREEAM Enhancing site ecology.
- BREEAM Long term impact on biodiversity.
- Ecological baseline.
- Ecological survey.
- Protected species.
- Biodiversity offsetting.
- Ecological impact assessment.
- Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.
- Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Environmental plan.
- Environmental policy.
- Habitat Suitability Index.
- Japanese knotweed.
- Natural capital.
- Preliminary ecological appraisal.
- Strategic ecology framework SEF.
- Tree preservation order.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The real impact of late payment.
How to tell which infrastructure projects will work.
The government announces the biggest change in building safety for a generation.
Key messages from the UN COP 25 conference.
Reducing the risks of buying off-plan
A lighthouse history from Eddystone to Fastnet. Book review.
Telling the story of the Government Code and Cipher School.
Are you an experienced writer with a practical understanding of the industry?
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.
New Dwelling House at Grange View.
The causes of sinkholes.
The growth of megacities.
The restoration of Big Ben.