The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has set out to “demystify” the practice of measuring the social value of buildings and places with the release of a guide.
Releasing the guidance, UKGBC explained that better social value measurement can help to support decision-making which drives high quality, sustainable development. Despite there being numerous measurement tools widely used across the public sector for measuring social value, it noted there is not yet a common methodology for real estate nor is there an industry wide framework to support to provide consistency. Through its guide, UKGBC said it is hoping to encourage more organisations to measure social value, and understand which approach is most suitable for their circumstances.
It set out when it is useful to measure social value during the development lifecycle, as well as how that information should be tailored to the audience and decision-making process it will inform. For example, during the planning stage, UKGBC said local authority and city council leadership will need to know how a development will provide benefits to the local community and wider city. High-level information should be communicated quickly and effectively with local councillors, the media and other interested parties.
Elsewhere, the guidance outlined key principles for measuring buildings and places, including take a bespoke approach, embed across the lifecycle, make wellbeing the ultimate goal, and recommending that measurement should be as holistic as possible. This would see any social value assessment consider economic, environmental and social factors, with UKGBC noting too often social value assessments exclude environmental interventions.