The yardstick for nature-inclusive building

November 10th, 2022
Nature inclusive fiberglass housing

Grass tiles, a nature dam and fauna sensors; on the basis of a number of guidelines, small structures can be transformed into a green oasis. But how? Knowledge Naturally! Has developed a table for nature-inclusive construction on behalf of telecom provider KPN. Now you can easily test where you stand on the ladder of nature inclusivity and see how it can be done even better.

How nature-inclusive do you build?

Use the table below to test how nature-inclusive a small building is, make it concrete with the checklist, and inspire yourself and others to act nature-inclusive. The table will be available in Dutch on this page from November 10.

Test the framework

Use the checklist

Inspire others and share the poster

What is
nature inclusive?

Sustainability, biodiversity and climate are high on the list of priorities of many organisations. But how do you incorporate this into your work in concrete terms and how do you acquire the right knowledge? KnowledgeOf course! helps organizations and companies with this. In the collaboration, young researchers answer knowledge questions about nature-inclusive or climate-proof living, living and working for clients from society. The first question is: what makes a building nature-inclusive?

Green,
greener, greenest

The knowledge question comes from telecom provider KPN. They want to use their infrastructure as effectively as possible for biodiversity, and hope that by answering the knowledge question they will get a grip on nature-inclusive action. The answer comes in a user-friendly table that helps you determine where you stand on the ladder of nature inclusivity. The table provides specific criteria to find out whether you are on the way towards nature-inclusive, have achieved the threshold value, or are already working as fully as possible on nature-inclusiveness. In other words: do you make gray green, green more diverse or do you connect green?

In order to make the question manageable and practical, the focus is on nature-inclusive construction, with fiber-optic local exchanges as an example. “KPN has a network throughout the Netherlands and can therefore strengthen biodiversity on a national scale. Because our buildings are also scattered throughout the country, there is no single generic approach in the context of local biodiversity. That is why we are very happy with the framework for nature-inclusive construction, so that we can do the right thing in the right place,” says Joost Steltenpool, responsible for KPN's fiber optic network. The table is of course also suitable for small private buildings, such as sheds, an extension or garages, both new and existing. But until we get to practice, first the basics: what is nature-inclusive?

Threshold value nature inclusive small construction works

Nest box
and green roof

Fleur van Duin of Naturalis can elaborate on this, as she was involved as a young researcher in answering the question. “Nature-inclusive building is more than putting up a nest box or installing a green roof, it is proactive action for the benefit of biodiversity. You have to avoid damage to nature and promote local biodiversity,” says Van Duin.

On to practice: when is a small structure nature-inclusive? “Building with nature can be done in different ways,” explains Van Duin. “First of all, you can create basic quality and leave room for natural development. For example, by ensuring that the soil quality is in order and leaving room for natural processes and vegetation”. If the appearance of the building is also important, option two is a good choice. Option two is to select target species, i.e. species whose conservation, recovery, or return is seen as a conservation objective, and then meet their needs. This means that 'decoration' can be applied immediately, such as plants. “You can create a food supply with specifically chosen plants, or preserve nesting opportunities by leaving dead plant stems.”

Green
haven

“The frame for nature-inclusive construction helps you determine how nature-inclusive a small structure is. It can also serve as a guideline for nature-inclusive construction,” explains Van Duin. The table is a helping hand, but hopefully also a source of inspiration to promote biodiversity in new ways. “We never thought that a fiber optic local exchange could look like a green oasis,” says KPN client Daan Helming. “We are very enthusiastic and are making concrete plans to install the first over-the-top nature-inclusive fiber-optic power plant in Leiden in May.”

About
Kennis Natuurlijk! (Knowledge Naturally!)

Kennis Natuurlijk! is a project of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, which in collaboration with ASN Bank and a.s.r. has been established. ASN Bank and a.s.r. together with Naturalis, we want to make an important contribution to making society more sustainable. The project focuses on making our living, working and living environment healthy, nature-inclusive and climate-proof. The research required for this is financially supported by ASN Bank, which makes 2% of the insurance premium available for this. This collaboration enables us to jointly answer knowledge questions that would otherwise remain unanswered.

More information

  • Getting started yourself? View the table (in Dutch) for nature-inclusive construction. The table is applicable to buildings of approximately 10 to 15 m2 in size.
  • Also interested in working with Kennis Natuurlijk! ? Contact project leader Zina Broeksma via zina.broeksma@naturalis.nl, or read more about the collaboration at www.naturalis.nl/kennisnatuurlijk.