Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG)

CIRIA's aim is to provide knowledge sharing and best practice across the construction industry. To help us achieve this in biodiversity we formed the Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG). This represents a wonderful opportunity for our members to come together and share information, discuss key topics, network and help shape CIRIA's work in biodiversity and beyond.


In 2012, CIRIA established the Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG) with the aim of sharing knowledge on biodiversity from various sectors within the construction industry. Members of BIG include a wide range of built environment industry experts such as clients, consultants, contractors and ecologists. One of the main outputs to arise from the group was the BIG Biodiversity Challenge.


BIG Aims

We see biodiversity as a key issue that needs a clearer understanding within the industry; that should be an integrated part of a construction project.


Currently, unless a protected species or habitat, biodiversity enhancements are voluntary and are often seen as a 'nice to have'. We want biodiversity to be thought of as 'essential' and aim for a real improvement in levels of biodiversity throughout the built environment.


We want organisations to incorporate biodiversity into their budgeting and operations and we aspire for biodiversity enhancements to be seen as simple, affordable and achievable. The BIG Biodiversity Challenge gives the industry the opportunity to become leaders in biodiversity enhancement and to encourage new ways of incorporating biodiversity into our towns and cities.


What does the BIG group do?

The BIG group, a face to face network of industry experts from clients, contractors and consultants, enage with biodiversity developments, achievements in the industry, government initiatives and more. The group shares knowledge from different sectors and focuses on what tangible outputs can be delivered such as guidance, knowledge sharing, training and capacity building. A collaborative initiative, the group works for the greater good and is altruistic in its activities.


Several meetings have been held to date with discussion issues covering biodiversity offsetting, how to achieve good value for money, how to integrate biodiversity into projects and more. Future topic areas will include:


  • BIG Biodiversity Challenge and Awards Launch - 27 February, London

  • BIG Biodiveristy Challenge and Awards Launch - 28 March, Glasgow

  • BIG Biodiversity Interest Group meeting - Date TBC, London 

  • BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards 2019 - Date TBC, September, London 


Please note that event dates and locations are subject to change



How can you get involved?

If you would like more information about the BIG group or would like to join, please contact CIRIA, by email:, or tel: 020 7549 3300.