Building for Life 12 is a standard that encourages implementations for well-designed neighbourhoods . It is the traffic-light toolkit that will be used to analyse Sinclair Meadows eco-village in South Shields, the UK’s first carbon-negative street .
Sinclair Meadows fits in with the surrounding land use, but fails to make new connections within its context, as to the singular gateway limits permeability between the scheme and surrounding neighbourhoods.
2. Facilities & services
The scheme is in good proximity to amenities (schools, surgeries, churches, shops and restaurants) within 20-minute walking distance. However, most require walking across a motorway.
3. Public transport
Bus 12 runs along the site entrance, linking to the town centre and interchange. Chichester Metro is within 10-minute walking distance. However, there could be more public transport options (e.g. town centre shuttle), considering the eco-village theme.
4. Meeting local housing requirements
Sinclair Meadows offers 9 three-bedroom houses and 12 two-bedroom flats , all of which are rented . This responds to South Tyneside’s requirement of mixed housing typologies, but fails to meet tenure mix .
Distinct architectural style such as timber cladding reinforces the scheme’s eco-friendly theme, but is not inspired by local character.
6. Working with the site & its context
The scheme successfully utilises building placement as noise mitigation, and takes advantage of orientation to maximise solar panel productivity.
7. Creating well defined streets & spaces
Form and landscaping are implemented to enhance outdoor space, with all buildings facing towards communal gardens to create a sense of privacy within the scheme.
8. Easy to find your way around
The scheme is designed around a central courtyard and shared gardens, and the different typologies are clearly defined, creating good legibility.
9. Streets for all
The site has a no car policy  and provides communal gardens, seating and a courtyard, which promotes social activity. Children’s toys are left within the courtyard, suggesting the space is used as a safe play area.
10. Car parking
The scheme has minimal parking with approximately 10 spaces, however this means it doesn’t dominate the street and is appropriate for its eco-village theme.
11. Public & private spaces
Private gardens at the front of houses are clearly defined as being separate to each other, and to the communal garden and courtyard. These are well maintained and appear safe and attractive.
12. External storage & amenity space
Each house is well-equipped with a storage shed, and all properties have designated self-contained bin points.
Overall, the scheme is given 7 greens and 5 ambers – it successfully considers aspects which create a well-designed neighbourhood, particularly prioritising safety and social interaction.
 Birkbeck, D. & Kruczkowski, S. (2015) Building for Life 12: The Sign of a Good Place to Live, Nottingham Trent University.
 Inhabitat (2012) Sinclair Meadows: Residents Move Into the UK’s First Carbon-Negative Street, Available at: https://inhabitat.com/residents-move-into-sinclair-meadows-the-uks-first-carbon-negative-street/?variation=d. [Accessed on 24/02/20].
 BBC News (2012) Sinclair Meadows: The street that removes its own carbon footprint, Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-20302013. [Accessed on 24/02/20].
 South Tyneside Council (2019) Integrated Housing Strategy, Available at: https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/media/42226/Integrated-housing-strategy-April-2019/pdf/10791_Integrated_Housing_Strategy_v4.pdf. [Accessed on 24/02/20].
 Fitz Architects (2020) Sinclair Meadows, Available at: https://www.fitzarchitects.co.uk/portfolio/sinclair-meadows/. [Accessed on 24/02/20].