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Using Qualityreviewer with Building for Life

08th April 2011

By Rob Cowan

Urban Design Skills has had a great response from local authorities interested in using Qualityreviewer. One question that has arisen is from a few planners have said that they use Building for Life in assessing design quality, and wonder why Qualityreviewer might help them.

Our answer is that Qualityreviewer is a simple method of focusing on quality throughout the planning process, from briefing to assessment. It can be used for all types of development. Building for Life is a sophisticated method for scoring design quality, mainly for housing. The Building for Life questions fit within the structure of Qualityreviewer, and the two methods can work together.

A Building for Life assessment scores the design quality of a planned or completed housing development against 20 criteria. A formal assessment may be carried out only by an accredited Building for Life assessor, who will be a person with previous design training. By contrast Qualityreviewer is intended for use even by people with no design training, and without specific training in the use of Qualityreviewer.

If the development proposal is for housing and a Building for Life (BfL) assessment has been carried out, the BfL questions can be fitted in to the Qualityreviewer structure. In some cases the Building for Life assessment can take the place of the whole of Qualityreviewer's section on design quality.

This approach avoids any risk of seeming to carry out two appraisals for the same development proposal. It makes the most of the two methods' respective strengths: Qualityreviewer's simplicity and range, and Building for Life's sophistication.

For more on this, ask me to email the note Using Qualityreviewer with Building for Life.

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  • Audrey Gaff... 18th August 2011

    Hi can you email the note Using Quality reviewer with Building for Life, thanks

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