In its broadest sense, the term ‘environment’ refers to all of the things around us. These things can affect our comfort, wellbeing, performance, behaviour, growth and development. In turn, our behaviour can impact on the environment around us.
The phrase ‘external environment’ typically refers to the environment that exists outside buildings or other enclosures. This is as opposed to the internal environment, which comprises the environment inside buildings and other enclosures.
- Ecological units that operate as natural systems (such as soil, vegetation and so on).
- Universal natural resources (such as air and water).
The external environment might be formed by its:
- Size, form, layout, texture, landscape, seascape and so on.
- Acoustic environment.
- Visual environment.
- Thermal environment.
- Air quality.
- Site preparation works.
- Roads, paths, pavings and surfacings.
- Soft landscaping, planting and irrigation systems.
- Fencing, railings and walls.
- External fixtures.
- External drainage.
- External services.
- Minor building works and ancillary buildings.
NB The phrase ‘external environment’ can also be used to refer to the factors outside an organisation that can influence its activities and decision making. This might include; economic conditions, events, policies and so on. Typically, this is considered to comprise a micro environment (such as suppliers and customers) and a macro environment (cultural, political and economic conditions and so on).