Building with Nature

Building with Nature

CEC now offers developments the ability to achieve a new benchmark for the design and maintenance of green infrastructure, in housing and commercial development.

Building with Nature has been designed to support the creation of high-quality green infrastructure throughout the planning and development process. Green infrastructure includes parks, play areas, nature reserves, and street trees, as well as rivers, ponds and other water features.

Why do developments need the Building with Nature benchmark?

  • Opportunity to de-risk the planning process for new developments by following a quality standard
  • Helps to meet policy requirements
  • Potential to reduce objections from members of the public.
  • Improved outcomes for water management, public safety and individual health and wellbeing.
  • Works efficiently with nature not against it.



Green infrastructure is as important as buildings, roads and power supplies in providing the essential ingredients that go into making places work effectively.

CEC’s ecologists and landscape architects can work with you to design Building with Nature spaces. Cornwall Wildlife Trust provide an assessment and accreditation service. There are different levels of support available to suit your needs.

How does it work?

There is a set of core standards, which define the basic approach to green infrastructure. They include alignment with the local policy context and a commitment to long-term maintenance.



Core standards

Distinguish green infrastructure from a more conventional approach to provision for open and green space .

  1. Multi-functional network
  2. Contextual
  3. Policy-responsive
  4. Climate-resilient
  5. Future proof


Wellbeing standards

Secure health and wellbeing benefits through the delivery of green infrastructure features close to where people live.

  1. Accessible
  2. Inclusive
  3. Seasonal enjoyment
  4. Locally relevant
  5. Socially sustainable
  6. Distinctive


Water standards

Managing water quantity and quality, and maximising opportunities for amenity and biodiversity.

  1. Quantity
  2. Quality
  3. Amenity and biodiversity
  4. Innovative
  5. Resilient
  6. Locally distinctive


Wildlife standards

Create places where nature can flourish, both within the boundary of the scheme and at a landscape scale.

  1. Bigger and better
  2. More joined up
  3. Locally-relevant
  4. Nature-rich development
  5. Ecological networks
  6. Sensitive construction

Benchmarking success

As an applicant for Building with Nature accreditation, there are three possible outcomes: Candidate status, Achieved and Excellent.

It’s possible to apply for an award at any stage in the development process. For phased developments, the award can be granted for each phase as it’s completed. It is also possible to apply for accreditation of a scheme which has already been built out, or for a policy document which has already been adopted.


Candidate Status

Candidate status recognises that development or document has met the Building with Nature standards, subject to sign off post-completion/publication.


Building with Nature Achieved recognises that your development or document has met all of the core standards and nine standards across the three themes.


Building with Nature Excellent recognises that your development or document has met all Achieved standards, plus six additional standards across the three themes.

User Guide

The user guide explains in more detail how the benchmark works. It explains the aim of the standards and describes how to meet them.

CEC can assist those responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of high-quality green infrastructure to use the guide as a tool for meeting the benchmark. There are 23 Building with Nature standards in total. This includes five core standards, six wellbeing standards, six water standards, and six wildlife standards.

Building with Nature was developed by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, in partnership with the University of the West of England, Bristol. CEC is a trusted consultancy delivery Building with Nature designs and Cornwall Wildlife Trust is an assessor and accreditor.

Find out more

If you are interested in Building with Nature accreditation for your development or policy or have any questions about the benchmark award, please get in touch with Jenny Stuart on telephone: 01872 302314or email

Download the policy guides below:

Building With Nature User Guide¬†‚Äď Version 1.2

Building With Nature User Guide for Policy Makers¬†‚Äď Version 1.2



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If you require any further information please call us on 01872 245510 or contact us to discuss your project and requirements.