The 20 criteria

The 20 Building for Life criteria embody our vision of functional, attractive, and sustainable housing.

The Building for Life criteria are a series of 20 questions which are used to evaluate the quality of new housing developments.

Watch our video explaining the 20 criteria or browse them individually below:

Environment and community

01. Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such as a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafes?
02. Is there an accommodation mix that reflects the needs and aspirations of the local community?
03. Is there a tenure mix that reflects the needs of the local community?
04. Does the development have easy access to public transport?
05. Does the development have any features that reduce its environmental impact?

Character

06. Is the design specific to the scheme?
07. Does the scheme exploit existing buildings, landscape or topography?
08. Does the scheme feel like a place with distinctive character?
09. Do the buildings and layout make it easy to find your way around?
10. Are streets defined by a well-structured building layout?

Streets, parking and pedestrianisation

11. Does the building layout take priority over the streets and car parking, so that the highways do not dominate?
12. Is the car parking well integrated and situated so it supports the street scene?
13. Are the streets pedestrian, cycle and vehicle friendly?
14. Does the scheme integrate with existing streets, paths and surrounding development?
15. Are public spaces and pedestrian routes overlooked and do they feel safe?

Design and construction

16. Is public space well designed and does it have suitable management arrangements in place?
17. Do the buildings exhibit architectural quality?
18. Do internal spaces and layout allow for adaptation, conversion or extension?
19. Has the scheme made use of advances in construction or technology that enhance its performance, quality and attractiveness?
20. Do buildings or spaces outperform statutory minima, such as building regulations?

Watch our video guide to the 20 criteria

If you can't see the video(s) go to www.buildingforlife.org/redirects/videos

Read the transcript of the video.

The 20 Criteria

Environment & community
Character
Streets, parking & pedestrianisation
Design & construction
Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such as a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafes?