In 2016 Berkeley Group made an industry-leading commitment to ensure that all their new housing and mixed-use developments create a net gain in biodiversity. In other words, that all new projects have a positive impact on the local environment by leaving biodiversity in a better state than before the project began.
Berkeley Group have developed a ‘Biodiversity Toolkit’ that provides their approach to measuring, implementing and monitoring biodiversity gains. Concurrently, the Ecology Consultancy prepared simple guidance: The Nine Concepts: Making space for nature and beauty showing how good landscape design can help to create places that are rich in wildlife. The guide enables Berkeley Group to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussion around achieving biodiversity net gain for all their new developments, and helps to inspire and empower all stakeholders to adopt a holistic approach to biodiversity as part of the design process.
The guidance describes nine concepts that can be applied to design to create ecologically rich habitats, and which are underpinned by three interrelated: people, biodiversity and the built form. The application of each concept is demonstrated through practical advice and examples of successful projects. The concepts are relevant to all stages of project development from pre-planning, through to technical design, detailed design and the way that new homes are marketed.
We have subsequently worked on several of Berkeley Group’s developments, including Thamesmead West Gateway, where biodiversity net gain has been achieved through the application of the nine concepts.