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  • 3 minutes
  • 26/11/2021

We have released new guidance for design teams

Social Value Portal have released new guidance for design teams entitled 'Maximising social value in design' to combats a lack of engagement in social value.

Our new guidance for design teams combats a lack of engagement in social value. 

Maximising social value in design

Maximising Social Value in Design,’ contains an overview of how the real estate sector can create social value and how it can be effectively measured and reported. As well as providing various ways to maximise social value. The document features 15 examples of best practice from across the UK. These range from a graffiti competition in Sheffield, to modular housing for the homeless in Cambridge. And the creation of an indoor and outdoor learning environment at a primary school in the Peak District. 

The National Social Value in Design Taskforce

The National Social Value in Design Taskforce, which was set up in March 2021, has identified key challenges that design teams currently face when embedding social value at the design stage of a project.  

The challenges highlighted include a lack of:

  • Buy-in from clients
  • Industry-wide best practice guidance
  • Clarity on how to measure and report social value creation

As well as the perception that including social value into design will add to the cost. As a result, we have released a guidance paper for all professionals involved in the design stage of a new project. 

Social value checklist

There is also a ‘toolbox’ consisting of a series of checklists, linked to the RIBA Plan of Work. Additionally, there is an action plan to help designers maintain their focus on incorporating social value into their work.  

The extensive checklists cover every aspect of social value. From needs-based design to economic, social and environmental factors including affordability, flexibility and carbon reduction schemes. The action plan provides ideas for every step of the process. These include; questions to ask, reporting methods through and how best to hand the project over. 

“We want to enable designers to confidently bring social value into the creative mix. This will in turn, help to guarantee a positive legacy for a new building or place that will not only enrich the lives of those who use it but will also be something for communities to be proud of.   

“This goes on to guarantee that asset owners stand to benefit from an increase in value in the longer term also. 

“With COP26 fresh in our minds and the resulting acceleration of new initiatives and pledges to embrace carbon reduction plans, now is the time for professionals in the property industry to focus on social value creation. Building back better, greener and fairer.” Guy Battle, CEO at Social Value Portal

Our guidance provides access to additional good practice advice for design teams. Furthermore, it has been devised to run alongside existing toolkits and frameworks, such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Sustainable Outcomes Guide. These provides members with the tools needed to strengthen their position as sustainable leaders of the built environment.