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What is Building for Life 12?

This is a guide to assess whether a housing scheme is designing well, written based on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  It is published by Nottingham Trent University on behalf of the Building for Life partnership.  The first edition of Building for Life (BfL) was published in 2012, the latest edition used in this analysis is published in January 2015 as the third edition.

There is a set of 12 questions in total. The 12 questions can be divided into three main parts: “integrating into the neighbourhood”, “creating a place”, and “street & home”.  Under each question, there are sub-questions and supplementary information to help users assess and score.

There is a traffic light system, used as the scoring system for this guide.  Green as good, amber as fair, and red as poor.  A well-designed housing scheme should achieve as many greens as possible, where the possible highest score is 12 greens.

Developer should try their best to achieve high scores, in order to build attractive, functional and sustainable housing schemes.  Prospective residents should also use this guide to find their best place to live.

 

BfL and Alternative Housing

Alternative housing is the main theme of one of our design project in the second semester.  In this project we explored different types of housing methods including co-housing, co-living, and life-cycle homes.

Several housing schemes were used as case studies, helping us practice the application of BfL in assessing the quality of housing schemes.

 

Example: Lancaster Housing Scheme

As one of the study trips, our course visited Lancaster Housing on 28th February.  We got to understand the site not only by walking around, but also had lunch with the residents and talked to them.  We bought all ingredients and cooked a vegan meal in the communal kitchen.  Even though we were joining a very small part of the residents daily life. it was a great experience on how co-housing life would be.

Figure 1: Location of Lancaster Cohousing

Figure 2: Lancaster Cohousing Communal Dining Area (Taken by Author)

Figure 3: Cooking Lunch in Communal Kitchen (Taken by Author)

 

Below is the BfL analysis on Lancaster Cohousing.

Figure 4-7: Building for Life Analysis of Lancaster Cohousing (by Author)

 

 


 

Reference

Birkbeck, D., Kruczkowski, S. (2015).  Building for Life 12 3rd Edition. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University. [online] Available at: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/Building%20for%20Life%2012_0.pdf [Accessed 29 March 2017]

Design Council. (2017). Guide – Building for Life 12. [online] Available at: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/resources/guide/building-life-12-third-edition [Accessed 29 March 2017]

 

Figures

Featured Image: Lancaster Cohousing (Taken by author)

Figure 1: Location of Lancaster Cohousing (https://goo.gl/maps/rTop7eZJXXt)

Figure 2: Lancaster Cohousing Communal Dining Area (Taken by Author)

Figure 3: Cooking Lunch in Communal Kitchen (Taken by Author)

Figure 4: Building for Life Analysis of Lancaster Cohousing – Integrating into the Neighbourhood (by Author)

Figure 5: BfL Analysis of Lancaster Cohousing – Creating a Place (by Author)

Figure 6: BfL Analysis of Lancaster Cohousing – Street & Home (by Author)

Figure 7: BfL Analysis of Lancaster Cohousing – Overall (by Author)

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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