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Sustainability

Sustainability

Biodiversity & Ecology

‘Biodiversity’ simply refers to all living things. Every species, no matter how small, has a role to play.

Species diversity is integral in maintaining our ecosystems.

The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 provides protection for Barn Owls and most other wild bird species in England, Scotland and Wales.

All plants, animals, insects and microbes contribute to our planet’s biodiversity with each individual species playing its own unique part.
Without biodiversity, we would not have clean air, water or soil. Our sources of food, raw materials and even our climate is affected by diversity of species, or lack thereof.

Development and the increased modernisation of our lives have caused a decrease in biodiversity worldwide;

  • The pressures of urban expansion place an ever-increasing demand on natural resources and available habitat
  • Globalisation has led to the spread of invasive species which can outcompete native wildlife
  • Pesticides from agriculture can be linked to a decline in 40% of all insect species

Halting biodiversity loss is a huge challenge, particularly in  light of climate change, which will exacerbate many of the adverse drivers.

There are numerous pieces of legislation and many site designations in place at a local, national, EU and UN level to help conserve and enhance biodiversity. While ensuring compliance is a great place to start, good sustainable development should take a ‘beyond compliance’ approach that contributes to and promotes biodiversity.

The Sustainable Construction Strategy sets out that all construction projects over £1m should have biodiversity surveys carried out and necessary actions implemented. BREEAMCEEQUALLEED and the Home Quality Mark help contractors to measure and report on biodiversity impacts as part of wider environmental assessments.

Understanding biodiversity

In this quick toolbox talk video, review what biodiversity is, why we need to be aware of it in the construction sector, and key species to be aware of if we find them on site.

Biodiversity

Green roofs can not only promote biodiversity, but also help reduce a building's heating and cooling costs

Enhancing biodiversity on site

Biodiversity enhancement isn’t limited to new developments – refurbishment projects can also take steps to promote biodiversity. Through the incorporation of ecological features and management regimes, spaces can be improved to provide habitat for wildlife.

Initiatives can include;

  • Green roofs
  • Living walls
  • Bird/bat boxes
  • Plant low-maintenance native species on site
  • Plant butterfly/bee-friendly species on site
  • “Bug hotels” and beehives

 

Latest biodiversity resources

Here are a selection of featured resources on biodiversity and ecology. We have plenty more in our full resource library.

Biodiversity and Ecology
Biodiversity and Ecology
Biodiversity and Ecology
Biodiversity and Ecology
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