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Why to Build with Nature?

The Building with Nature (BwN) approach offers a solution to making engineering designs sustainable, cost-effective and more adaptable in a world of changing climate, growing population and decrease in available living space. Designing with natural material and natural processes helps to create a cost-effective and resilient solution. The BwN approach includes different ecosystem services, and stimulates a mutual interest and shared commitment of multiple stakeholders, thus creating a multi-functional, sustainable design which adds value for people, profit and planet. 


How to use Building with Nature Guideline?

This Guideline contains knowledge gained through a number of Building with Nature pilot projects carried out by the EcoShape partners over the years. This Guideline aims to help users to choose and implement the best Building with Nature solution for their challenge. Several BwN opportunities are possible in different environments, each providing a variety of ecosystem services to society. You can start exploring the Guideline by choosing the environment in which you are interested, which will guide you to a selection of Building Solutions (specific design elements or procedural considerations). You can also directly access relevant Building SolutionsProjects or useful Tools. On the right - hand side of each separate page, you can find related links helping you to explore the topic you are interested in and the Guideline in depth. For the latest news on BwN activities, please visit the EcoShape website.

In which environment are you interested? 

Learn about our practical building solutions 

This section contains Building Solutions, grouped in Design Themes, based on knowledge generated within the BwN projects. The term Building Solution refers to the notion that any conceptual Building with Nature design consists of a number of elements with specific design or procedural considerations. The information in the Building Solutions pages should facilitate rough design estimates that can serve as guidance for area selection and design. Based on experience from previous projects, they should also help you to come up with rough estimates of construction cost.

Sandy solutions


Muddy solutions

Green-grey solutions

Sandy solutions

Sand nourishment, perched beaches and

ecological-oriented seabedscaping

Muddy solutions

Multiple benefits of mud e.g. flood risk reduction,

smart handling of fine sediments, etc

Green-grey solutions

A combination between BwN and more conventional

solutions, e.g. soft foreshores and rich revetments

View solutions

Ecosystem engineers

Shoreline zonation strategies

Governance – BwN in society

Ecosystem engineers

Habitat requirements for shellfish, mangroves, corals,

seagrass and salt marshes, which can be used for BwN

Shoreline zonation strategies

Strategies such as managed realignment, coastal

buffer zones and inland shores to reduce flood risk


Involving stakeholders, embedding BwN in the legal

framework and finding innovative finance and contract solutions





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