Greening Construction for Nature and Biodiversity

A REPORT detailing construction and property industry trends on nature and biodiversity in the UK has been published by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

The report, ‘Insights into Nature and Biodiversity: Industry trends, commitments and best practice examples’ features a snapshot of current ecological metrics; an overview of the UK policy context; and best practice examples of the integration of biodiversity into development.

The UKGBC launched the report at an event to promote the importance of nature and biodiversity in urban environments. Urban ecologist Professor Menno Schilthuizen, addressed over 150 built environment professionals gathered in central London. In his speech, he explained how urban environments create conditions that accelerate the pace of evolution and described how urban designers are uniquely placed to help nature thrive in our cities.

Attendees also heard from Wildlife Trusts’ CEO, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, who provided an overview of the state of biodiversity in the UK and discussed current UK policy context.

The increased focus on nature and biodiversity from UKGBC comes as the Government consults on Environmental Net Gain – a growing topic in the construction and property industry as the government seeks to legislate for new developments to deliver environmental net gain.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at UKGBC said: “The built environment industry has a critical role in preserving and restoring our natural environment.

“Evidence shows that nature makes humans feel safe, connected, restored, and happy. It also provides much needed space for recreation and contemplation, removes pollutants from the air, filters water from the ground, provides natural cooling and gives us the food that sustains us. Nature is fundamental to our physical, mental, spiritual and cultural health, and to the resilience of our built environment.

“We now also know that increased natural space can increase property and land values by as much as 25%. Developments with biodiversity strategies have a greater chance of planning approval from local authorities, enjoy greater inward investment and faster property sales, and even reduced building energy costs.

“By emphasising both the societal and business case for helping nature to thrive in urban environments, UKGBC is encouraging the industry to take bold steps and accelerate action to deliver greener, healthier places.”

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