Colouring London's twelve data categories

We’re planning to collect data across twelve categories.

This is the place to discuss what could and should be included - the main constraint is that we would like to focus on quantitative data - numbers, labels and cross-references.


This category covers postal addresses and coordinates, but also cross-reference to other unique identifiers, like the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) and Ordnance Survey Topographic Identifier (TOID).


How is the building used? We plan to capture usage data using categories from the National Land Use Database (NLUD), including some indication where a building is being used for several different things.


What was the building’s original purpose? This category should help indicate how building use has changed over time.


How old is a building? This may involve some simplification and approximation, drawing on a broad range of possible sources.

Size and shape

What size is a building? Here we might be interested in number of storeys, both above and below ground; floor area; height to eaves or apex; frontage width; plot size. What form or shape does a building take? Roof shape, building footprint shape and positioning (detached/semi/terrace and so on) all contribute to the character of the built environment.


How is a building built? What is it made of? What materials and construction methods have been used?


Who designed a building? Who built it? Who was the developer behind a project?

Sustainability and energy data

How energy-efficient is a building, and how environmentally sustainable? Here we’re looking at linking buildings to their Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) ratings.

Greenery and shade

How is a building situated in relation to green space, plants and trees? Here we might be interested in gardens, parks, trees, shade, and green roofs and walls.

Planning and protections

How does a building fit into the planning system, and is it classified in a particular way? For example (non-exhaustively), is it listed or scheduled, or in or near a conservation area or site of special historic or scientific interest?


Demolition has two aspects, current and past. Current status: is a building currently proposed for or pending demolition? Has one of the buildings in our records recently been demolished? Site history: what is the history of rebuilding on a site? Does that relate to changing use over time?

Like me

We’d also like to ask which buildings are liked - everyone gets one vote per building, with the option to abstain!

Also to let you know we’ll be releasing this category in a few months. Colouring London is collecting statistical data. However we thought it would be interesting to also test capturing information on the architect, developer and builder as their role in creating beautiful, sustainable,well- functioning buildings for the city is so crucial. This information could then be seen in relation to energy ratings and our ’ Like me’ category to encourage and celebrate high-quality sustainable new build. We know that many people are involved in the building process and we need to keep it simple, but if you think we should be including other members of the construction/design/development team, or phasing the choices in a different way then do let us know. We’re also very interested to hear from professional bodies representing different areas of the construction industry. If there’s general consensus that other subcategories should be added then we can try these out.