Andrew Grant, founder and director at Grant Associates, is one of ten expert members of a design group tasked by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to develop quality design principles for national infrastructure projects.
Launched by the Design Group on 5 February, the UK’s first ever Design Principles for National Infrastructure seeks to embed four key considerations – climate, people, places and value – into the planning and delivery of projects to construct and renew nationally significant infrastructure:
● Climate – infrastructure must help set the trajectory for the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner and be capable of adapting to climate change.
● People – projects should be human scale, instinctive to use and seek opportunities to improve the quality of life for people who live and work nearby.
● Places – schemes should provide a sense of identity for communities, supporting the natural and built environment and enriching ecosystems.
● Value – value should be added beyond the main purpose of the infrastructure, solving problems well and achieving multiple benefits.
The publication of the principles comes just a month before the expected publication of the government’s National Infrastructure Strategy and at the start of a decade in which a number of high-profile projects are set to be undertaken.
The Design Group, chaired by Stirling prize-winning architect Professor Sadie Morgan, is calling for the principles to be adopted in the government’s infrastructure strategy, alongside the National Infrastructure Assessment’s recommendations for all nationally significant projects to have design champions and review panels.
Andrew Grant, founder and director of Grant Associates, says: “It has been a privilege to be a member of the NIC Design Group, helping to ensure that the importance of landscape and ecological design is embedded within the Design Principles for National Infrastructure.
“We are now urging the government to adopt these design principles in its National Infrastructure Strategy. We’re also calling on anyone involved in planning, designing, constructing or maintaining national infrastructure to use these principles as a guide. Our aims are to help minimise the environmental impact of major projects, add value to our national identity and deliver a better quality of life for all.”