Business case approach for Building with Nature

The majority of BwN solutions still find themselves in the phase of pilot projects: a concept needs to be tested, optimized and evaluated on efficiency and effectiveness before it can become mainstream in policies and in practice. To support this process of implementation in policy, Business Cases are useful to outline the arguments for investing in these types of solutions.

Business case development is part of EcoShape’s Building with Nature research programme and also of the European Collaboration project ‘INTERREG Building with Nature’. In the latter EcoShape leads the Work package for Business Case development. [article continues below picture]

Business case approach for Building with Nature
Business Case development process

Within the EU project work package, the business case approach for BwN projects Is developed in phases. In the initial phases lessons learned from previous experiences have led to advice and guidance on a Business Case approach. This guidance is tested in later phases to develop/describe the business cases for several cases at a high level, followed by a more detailed description on three cases: the Twin Dike concept (NL), the Eddleston case (UK) and North Jutland/Hjørring (DK). All experiences and inputs from the example cases will be fed back in the final update of the guidance document and in input to an opportunity mapping effort: it is a way to see if a certain solution is a viable option at a certain location. This should assist project initiators to quickly identify the possibilities for BwN at a certain place by answering a number of questions to determine the possibilities of a building with nature solution at a certain location. Finally, the detailed case descriptions will assist in optimizing the design, to make the final solution match local and project specific conditions and opportunities.

Erik van Eekelen, Programme manager at EcoShape and leader of the Business Case development: “In the INTERREG project we study business cases at the policy level and we develop guidance and tools for policy makers. However, as EcoShape consortium we broaden our views and look at questions like: What defines a good BwN business case? What kind of information do decision makers need to choose a BwN solution? How can the business case assist in assuring financing for the BwN solution?”
This spring EcoShape will start a new project to bring BwN business case development further. A projectplan is currently being set up by representatives of the various EcoShape-consortiumpartners. The result will be presented in 2020.