|Construction projects, whether commercial developments, housing estates, infrastructure or public sector projects all have the potential to damage natural habitats, threatening wildlife and plant species. The construction industry therefore has an important role to play in protecting sensitive sites and minimising damage to ecology. However there is generally a poor understanding of biodiversity issues within the construction industry.
To help the industry tackle this, BRE and CIRIA have developed a set of three complementary Biodiversity Indicators that allow the impact of construction projects on biodiversity to be measured:
1. Impact on Biodiversity: Product
2. Impact on Biodiversity: Construction Process
3. Area of Habitat
A wide range of stakeholders including ecologists, developers, constructors, consultants and construction clients were involved in their development. This has enabled the indicators to be developed so as to be as appropriate as possible to both industry users and environmentalists. They were also developed so as to be simple to use and applicable to a wide range of construction project types. A piloting exercise that was conducted with current or recently completed construction projects showed this generally to have been achieved.
The Biodiversity Indicators have been adapted for inclusion in the DTI/Constructing Excellence KPI Pack, published in June 2003. DTI will collect and publish data on the three Biodiversity Indicators annually, enabling ongoing industry improvement to be monitored, and demonstrated to stakeholders. This will also ensure that the benchmarks against which projects are measured, remain current.