New design principles require infrastructure to ‘celebrate nation’s ambition’


Sadie Morgan, president of the National Infrastructure Design Group, challenged those behind large infrastructure projects like HS2 to bring principles to the fore at the start of a significant decade of investment.

The release of the group’s design principles comes just a month before the expected unveiling of the government’s national infrastructure strategy.

Besides Morgan, who is also a founding partner of RIBA Stirling Award-winning dRMM Architects, the group includes lead engineer Hanif Kara of AKT II, ​​Clare Donnelly, director of Fereday Pollard Architects and Madeleine Kessler, co-curator of this year’s British Pavilion. at the Venice Biennale and co-founder of new practice Architecture without stage.

“We are entering a pivotal decade for our infrastructure,” Morgan said. “The design of every major project should celebrate our country’s ambition for thriving communities and an enriched environment. “

She added, “By incorporating great design into planning and delivery from day one and encouraging everyone in the industry to embrace it as part of their role, we can ensure we leave a proud legacy that inspires people and helps the UK meet our climate goals. . ‘

The very first principles of national infrastructure design set out four key considerations:

  • Weather Infrastructure must help set the UK’s trajectory to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier and be able to adapt to climate change.
  • People Projects must be on a human scale, instinctive to use and seek opportunities to improve the quality of life of the people who live and work nearby.
  • Places Programs should provide a sense of identity to communities, support the natural and built environment, and enrich ecosystems.
  • Value Value must be added beyond the primary purpose of infrastructure, solving problems well and achieving multiple benefits.

The principles are intended for all economic infrastructures – digital communications, energy, transport, flood management, water and waste. They can be used by anyone planning, building or maintaining infrastructure thanks to a decision support toolbox (see below).

They were developed by the NIC Design Expert Group created in April 2019 and made up of leading figures from the worlds of architecture, engineering, landscape and transport.

The design group is calling for the principles to be adopted into the government’s infrastructure strategy, as well as the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Assessment for all projects of national significance to have design champions and committees for design. exam.

Last year, Morgan said the design group will help shape the planning and delivery of the country’s infrastructure and fight for designers to get “a seat at the table at every stage of the lifecycle of the business. a project”.

The National Infrastructure Commission was established in October 2015 by then Chancellor George Osborne. The commission is sponsored by the Treasury and aims to provide the government with impartial and expert advice on key long-term infrastructure challenges.

Decision Toolkit: Network Adapter Design Principles

Decision Toolkit: Network Adapter Design Principles


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