Building for Life assessments

Building for Life assessments measure the design quality of new housing developments. We recommend using assessments before new developments are submitted as planning applications.

How do assessments work?

Assessments are scored against the 20 Building for Life criteria. Developments are given an overall score out of 20 and graded as "very good", "good", "average" or "poor".

Informal assessments can be done by anybody with an interest in a proposed or completed housing development, such as a design team.

Formal assessments are endorsed by Building for Life and must be completed by a Building for Life assessor.

Who should be using assessments?

Local authorities should use assessments to improve the quality of new developments and as part of the annual monitoring report to CLG.

Housing associations should use assessments when applying for funding from the HCA's National Affordable Housing Programme.

Community groups can use Building for Life to assess housing developments using this version of the Building for Life criteria, first used by residents in Devon.

Who are the Building for Life assessors?

Building for Life assessors work in local authorities and are trained to conduct formal assessments.