Building information management leader comes together with Createmaster to strengthen structured information delivery across the asset life cycle.
Deadlines passed to register higher-risk residential buildings (HRRB) with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) at the beginning of the month. This means that it will be an offence to allow residents to occupy an unregistered building after this date. New buildings completed after 1 October 2023 now must be Gateway 3 compliant (new Building Safety Act decision point) have a relevant completion certificate and be registered before being occupied. All HRRBs also require key information about a building’s structure and fire safety to be submitted to the BSR within 28 days of registration.
For background reading on Key Building Information requirements, read our blog, ‘Navigating Key Building Information: Countdown to Compliance’.
This new BSR deadline has wide-reaching implications and, for contractors, it’s important to keep a robust record of building information and be able to evidence compliance. From October 2023, contractors will have to verify and demonstrate that all construction has been completed according to the as-built design, as well as required standards and regulations in line with new gateway stop/go points, which have been brought into effect as part of the Building Safety Act. If they can’t demonstrate compliance, they won’t be able to secure a Completion Certificate at Gateway 3. Without this, asset owners won’t be able to start moving residents into a higher-risk building. It also means, the information may not be available and present to build a safety case, which is another requirement of the Building Safety Act from April 2024.
This new deadline marks another step towards realising the new BSR building safety framework. Those who aren’t ready will have to get their house in order soon to avoid delayed project completion. So, what are the next steps for those looking to get compliant fast?
New regulations for Higher-Risk Residential Buildings mean that dutyholders are required to exhibit certain competencies and appropriate behaviours. The principal contractor must plan, manage and monitor building work so that it complies with relevant building regulations, including the flow of information to make sure it’s readily available to those who need it. This involves integrating technology into operations and developing dedicated digital systems for the management of key building information. The onus is on contractors to retain accurate and reliable documented information, harness data effectively to make better decisions, and ensure compliance can be evidenced in line with relevant regulations. Here are some key things to consider:
A Fully Managed Service: Enlisting the support of a dedicated team of experts who specialise in data management, information collation, technology implementation, and can support the steps to compliance can kick-start your digital competency journey.
Data Gathering and Structuring: Gathering the relevant information can be a challenge when data and documents come from various sources and in multiple formats, including external partners or sub-contractors, internal databases, and in paper, pdf or excel. This data should be processed, categorised, and structured in line with regulations, and doing it yourself can be hard. Working with a specialist can take this pain away, so you can focus on the work you do best — the build.
A Single Data Platform: Centralisation is key to efficient data management. Bringing all your data and documents into a single, unified platform is crucial when you must maintain a clear record of the work performed on a project or within a building and evidence that it meets compliance ahead of completion. With a single platform, you can manage data more clearly and also see the information gaps.
Understanding Data: Beyond merely collecting and storing data, it’s vital to understand what your information means. When you have your information in place that is structured and categorised you can extract valuable insights from it, drive smarter decision-making and adapt to changing circumstances more effectively. Understanding data also delivers productivity enhancements too.
Step 2 in the journey towards compliance is all about establishing the Golden Thread of Information. It’s about having data accessible in one place able to integrate with different systems and creating dedicated dashboards, workflows, and data management processes to ensure that information flows seamlessly and continuously throughout a project’s lifecycle. By prioritising data accuracy, accessibility, timeliness, collaboration, and compliance, organisations can unlock the full potential of the Golden Thread, enhancing project efficiency, transparency, and success. To do this you’ll need:
Dedicated Dashboards: A real-time view of the project’s progress and status, with actionable information that can be analysed and reviewed to understand information gaps and document and compliance status.
Golden Thread Process: The Golden Thread is not a static concept. It evolves alongside the project or building it supports and is the product of good information management. Organisations must commit to setting up processes and workflows to ensure data and documentation are consistently and accurately captured, updated, and shared as the project evolves.
Data Accuracy, Accessibility, Timeliness and Auditability: Information must be reliable and up to date and be accessible to the right people at the right time, including project managers, engineers, architects, the regulator and most importantly residents when a building is occupied. Maintaining a clear and traceable history of data and documentation simplifies compliance audits and regulatory reporting.
Data Integration: Information within the golden thread will inevitably need to be useful across different systems to meet the needs of different stakeholders. Aligning information to industry standards and schemas provides the first step to connecting information, creating a consistent digital language through all information management activities across the life of an asset.
Gateway 3 is a critical milestone for the construction of Higher-Risk Residential Buildings. It represents a stop/go point where detailed plans and documentation are reviewed to ensure that the as-built structure complies with the as-built design and all relevant regulations and standards. This step is crucial for obtaining Completion Certificates. To get past go consider the following:
Robust Record-Keeping Requirements: As building projects progress, there is a substantial amount of documentation generated. Robust record-keeping requirements ensure that nothing is overlooked, and all necessary documentation is readily available when needed.
Dedicated Gateway 3 Template: A dedicated Gateway 3 template is structured and specifically designed to capture the essential information and documentation required for this stage. This template serves as a standardised checklist to ensure that all relevant aspects of the building project are addressed and reduces the risk of missing critical information.
Progress and Compliance Tracking Dashboard: A dashboard dedicated to tracking progress and compliance is a valuable tool during the Gateway 3 application. It provides a visual representation of how various aspects of the project are progressing, what information has been fulfilled, and whether they meet compliance requirements.
Simplifying Completion Certificate Acquisition: By meticulously documenting information ready for compliance and using a Gateway 3 template and tracking dashboard, organisations can streamline the process of securing Completion Certificates. This, in turn, expedites the transition to occupancy and operational phases.
To learn more about Gateway 3, read our blog, ‘Gateway 3 of the Building Safety Act Explained’.
Building the Building Safety Case is a pivotal exercise for ensuring the long-term safety, compliance, and risk mitigation for a building. It will also be mandatory from April 2024, and involves the careful collection and organisation of critical documents and information related to building safety, structural integrity, and operational functionality and should be able to deliver the below:
Gathering Building Safety Risk Documents: The Building Safety Case begins by gathering a comprehensive set of documents that help to adequately undertake safety risk assessments. This information includes basic building information, construction details, materials, services, utilities, and certificates. It’s important that all safety-related information is systematically compiled and readily accessible. Having a central repository makes housing essential building information more straightforward for contractors, building owners, facility managers, and regulatory authorities alike.
Certificates and Compliance Records: Certificates play a significant role in the Building Safety Case. These certificates may include compliance certificates, building code certifications, fire safety certifications, and material compliance documentation. Demonstrating that the building adheres to applicable codes and regulations is vital for ongoing safety and compliance.
Safety Risk Assessment: A critical aspect of the Building Safety Case is the safety risk assessment. This involves identifying potential safety risks, evaluating their impact, and implementing measures to mitigate or manage these risks. The case should provide a clear overview of identified risks, associated documentation, and the strategies in place to ensure safety.
The digital handover process represents the crucial final step in a construction or building project. It involves transferring all relevant project data, documentation, and information, which is now part of the Gateway 3 compliance process, to the client, who will assume responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and operation of the building. This phase is critical for ensuring client satisfaction, reducing the burden on aftercare teams, and mitigating the risk of non-compliance. This data is also required to support the creation of a building safety case.
Reducing On-Site Workload: Construction projects are often hectic, with on-site teams managing multiple tasks simultaneously. Streamlining data collection using a dedicated team working with proven templated structure and digital tools takes the pain away from on-site teams. By optimising the data collection process and eliminating the need for last-minute data gathering, on-site teams can focus more on core construction activities.
Improved Handover to Clients: Clients expect a smooth transition when they take possession of a building and it’s even more important now that they have additional responsibilities under the Building Safety Act. A digital handover process that is aligned with regulatory responsibilities ensures that all relevant documentation, including as-built plans, manuals, warranties, and compliance certificates, is readily available and well-organised. This enhances the handover experience, making it easier for clients to assume responsibility for the building and for the regulator to sign off.
Reducing Aftercare Burden: By providing Aftercare teams with a comprehensive digital handover package, the burden is significantly reduced. They have access to all the information they need to carry out their responsibilities effectively, minimising downtime and disruptions.
Mitigating Non-Compliance Risk: Failing to provide clients with complete and accurate documentation can result in non-compliance issues down the road. A digital handover ensures that all necessary compliance documentation is transferred to the client, reducing the risk of regulatory violations.
While many contractors may already have a CDE today to manage project data, they may not be well equipped to manage the Gateway 3 process or be able gather a consolidated data set for a comprehensive building safety case.
CDEs are great for managing project information, but they are not necessarily tailored to meet the changing legislative requirements outlined in the Building Safety Act. Where contractor CDEs may be familiar for stakeholders across the building supply chain, they don’t include templates, forms and workflows designed specifically for Gateway 3, Safety Case and golden thread compliance. Without a mechanism to be able to identify and fill data gaps in accordance with regulations, it will be difficult for contractors to demonstrate compliance.
At the same time, the client or asset owner will not have access to contractor platforms post project completion and just providing multiple exports to be transferred to the client will no longer be sufficient for them to evidence and manage ongoing compliance if documentation is not organised in accordance with regulations.
To find out more and take full control of Key Building Information, download our ebook, ‘Mastering Key Building Information and Digitalisation’, to read your guide to preparing for Building Safety Act building information requirements. Alternatively, get in touch with our expert team to arrange a consultation and demo.
Deadlines have passed to register higher-risk residential buildings (HRRB) with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), and now from the 1 October 2023, it will be an offence to allow residents to occupy an unregistered building. New buildings completed after 1 October 2023 must have a relevant completion certificate and be registered before being occupied. For all registered buildings key building information needs to be provided to the BSR about the building’s structure and fire safety within 28 days.
For background reading on Key Building Information requirements, read our blog, ‘Navigating Key Building Information: Countdown to Compliance’.
This BSR deadline has wide-reaching implications for asset owners. If an asset owner doesn’t have all their building information digitised, they will find it increasingly difficult to account for documentation around Key Building Information such as fire and smoke controls or the type of structure, roof, staircases and external walls associated with a building. Registering HRRBs is one thing, but submitting the supporting Key Building Information is another. Without a solution that can identify information gaps and track document compliance in line with BSR requirements it will make submitting this information that much harder. It will be even harder still to keep information up to date and accurate for when next April comes around when a safety case is required and the BSR starts to call in buildings for assessment, if it’s not stored in a central platform that can help with information management and compliance.
This key building information deadline marks the first step towards realising the new BSR building safety framework. Those who aren’t ready will have to get their house in order soon to avoid hefty fines. So, what are the next steps for those looking to get compliant fast?
New Building Safety Act obligations mean that it’s now non-negotiable for asset owners to maintain a digital record of data including critical fire safety information. In the past, it was the responsibility of the building control officer to find non-compliance, but now the onus is on the asset owner to prove compliance. Being able to account for building information is now a vital pillar of asset management in order to demonstrate regulatory compliance. At the same time, leveraging digital platforms for Building Digitisation to consolidate data and documentation, will allow asset owners to make more informed decisions, reduce risks, and ultimately optimise the performance and value of their properties. When digitising building information, it’s important to consider the following:
Building Safety First: Maintain a digital record of data including critical fire safety and maintenance information on your journey to maintaining a Golden Thread of information. With capabilities to edit records too, your information can always be up to date, with changes tracked and stored. This makes handing over a building to Facility Management easier, creates an audit trail of changes and underpins building safety management throughout the asset lifecycle.
All Your Documents in One Place: Building digitisation involves consolidating all relevant building information into a single digital platform. This comprehensive data management ensures that nothing falls through the cracks and that you have an accurate and up-to-date representation of your entire property portfolio.
Identifying Data Gaps: Ensuring effective oversight of building information across a portfolio can be a lengthy process. By digitising all building-related data, you can easily spot gaps in your information. Addressing these data gaps becomes crucial for maintaining the safety and operation of your properties.
Choosing the right technology for contractor collaboration is a pivotal component of a modern asset management strategy, especially within the context of a new regulatory landscape. By ensuring that the contractors you work with are aligned with your digital handover efforts and strategy by using a common platform for data submission and communication, you can achieve consistency, efficiency, and better oversight across your entire property portfolio. This not only helps with compliance tracking but also sets standards and empowers you to make data-driven decisions, ultimately enhancing the value and performance of your properties. When considering technology, it’s worth bearing the below aspects in mind:
Consistency in Data Delivery: Implementing a standardised digital platform for contractors ensures that they consistently deliver information in a structured format. This consistency is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of your building data across a portfolio. It eliminates the risk of receiving disparate data formats or incomplete information, making it easier to manage and analyse the data effectively and avoid holdups at Project Completion (PC).
Efficient Compliance Tracking: With contractors using the same platform, tracking compliance becomes a seamless process. You can establish clear guidelines and requirements for data submission, including key building information and safety cases so you can deliver an as-built record on every building and maintain a ‘Golden Thread’ of information. This standardised approach allows you to easily monitor whether contractors are meeting compliance standards across your entire property portfolio.
Convenience: Holistic View of Building Information: Typically, today, building information is still siloed, and stored across disparate systems and formats owned by multiple parties, with differing quality and completeness — and a challenge to make sense of it all. Instead, own all your data on a single digital platform that is structured to meet your internal processes.
Registering Higher-Risk Residential Buildings and submitting Key Building Information is now a critical phase in asset management. It involves the processing and categorising of structural and fire safety data so it’s in one place when you’re ready to share it with the regulator to meet regulatory deadlines and ensure compliance. Beyond regulatory requirements, this step provides an opportunity to enhance safety, mitigate risks, and maintain a responsible and proactive approach to asset management. This new legislation has two components:
Deadline Compliance: The 30th of September 2023 deadline was not arbitrary; it was mandated by the Building Safety Regulator to ensure that residential buildings meet essential safety requirements. Failing to have met this deadline can result in legal and financial consequences.
Submitting Key Building Information: Having all structural and fire safety information organised and readily accessible is beneficial not only for meeting the 28-day deadline but also for ongoing asset management. By providing transparent and comprehensive information to the regulator, you reduce the likelihood of safety-related incidents and potential legal issues. Using a consolidated platform and document management solutions ensures that you have a comprehensive record of your building’s safety measures, making compliance easier to achieve.
Safety Case Report is now a pivotal phase in asset management under the BSR’s new regulatory framework. Essentially it ensures compliance with safety regulations to maintain the well-being of building occupants. For occupied buildings this needs to be submitted by April and involves the consolidation of safety-related information, the use of specialised tools like golden thread dashboards, and efficient document management solutions. A well-prepared Safety Case Report should not only meet regulatory requirements, but also proactively mitigate risks and promote transparency in asset management. Several factors should be considered when building out your Safety Case Report:
Safety Case Components: The Safety Case Report is a comprehensive document that outlines the safety measures and compliance status of your buildings. It typically identifies a building’s major fire and structural hazards and information on how they will be managed and controlled should an incident occur. It includes information related to building design, construction, materials, fire safety systems, evacuation plans, maintenance records, safety inspections, and more. The report serves as evidence that your buildings meet essential safety standards.
Document Management Templates: Efficient document management templates are essential for organising and maintaining the extensive paperwork required for a Safety Case Report. These solutions help categorise, store, and retrieve documents related to building safety, ensuring that all necessary records are readily available when needed.
Information Review and Gap Identification: Using dashboards, asset owners can systematically review the information they hold about each building. This review process helps identify any gaps in the safety case. Addressing these gaps is critical for maintaining the safety and compliance of your buildings.
Golden Thread of Information is about establishing and maintaining a comprehensive and organised flow of information throughout a building’s lifecycle. It ensures that the building is operated safely and effectively, that compliance is maintained, and that decision-making is informed by historical data. By embracing the golden thread concept, asset owners can enhance the value, safety, and sustainability of their property portfolios.
Safety and Compliance: The golden thread of information is particularly crucial for safety and compliance. It allows asset owners to track and demonstrate that the building consistently meets safety regulations and standards over time. This is vital for maintaining the safety of occupants and minimising legal and financial risks.
Treat information as a valuable asset: Information lies at the core of the Golden Thread and is crucial for making it successful. It’s important to start viewing information as an important asset in its own right on par with the physical facility. When parts of an asset register are copied across multiple systems that don’t work together and have inconsistent names and arrangements, it won’t give a solid basis for operating built assets effectively or in accordance with compliance.
Centralised Information Management: The key to maintaining the golden thread is the centralised management of all structural and fire safety-related information that is interoperable with other systems across the supply chain. By pulling in disparate data to manage document collation, actions, approvals, gateways and compliance in a single dashboard you can have all your building information and processes in one place. A well-organised digital repository ensures that all relevant stakeholders, including property managers, facility maintenance teams, and regulatory authorities have access to the most up-to-date information.
Information exchange: The golden thread of information is especially valuable during transitions between dutyholders, from design and construction to managing and monitoring a building. It ensures that knowledge is not lost during these transitions and that the building’s history and operational requirements are seamlessly passed on to the next responsible party.
To find out more and take full control of Key Building Information, download our ebook, ‘Mastering Key Building Information and Digitalisation’, to read our guide to preparing for Building Safety Act building information requirements. Alternatively, get in touch with our expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a consultation and demo.
Building information management leader comes together with Createmaster to strengthen structured information delivery across the asset life cycle.
London – 19th September 2023: Today, Createmaster announces that sister company Bond Bryan Digital has rebranded to Createmaster Information Management under the Createmaster brand. This move brings the two brands together to improve the way building information is specified, delivered and managed across the whole life of an asset.
Combining the multi-award-winning information management and modelling company (Bond Bryan Digital) with the UK number one in brand in Digital Handover (Createmaster) will bring many benefits to players across the building lifecycle. From building design, construction and handover to operations and maintenance, this complementary fit in terms of solutions will support an industry navigating mandatory building information reform.
Today both brands work with clients and contractors from across the UK to define and deliver building information and documentation across the RIBA stages of the building life cycle, supporting customers with information management and compliance.
Bond Bryan Digital rationalises digital building information requirements for its customers and provides information delivery based on industry best practice and international standards, including the UK BIM Framework and ISO 19650.
Createmaster provides digital handover solutions, collating, validating, and delivering asset information and building manuals for customers to support Building Safety Act Gateway 3 compliance and ensure a smooth handover at project completion.
Core solutions delivered to customers won’t change, but the Createmaster brand will be enhanced by adding market-leading information management and building information modelling (BIM) solutions from Bond Bryan Digital.
This move is part of a longer-term goal to provide better connected and structured data to customers, with a consistent digital language as the industry moves towards a golden thread of information. It also means greater joined up thinking around data and how it can be more closely tied to document delivery. Under the Createmaster brand the two businesses can provide a more holistic approach to the specification, production and management of building information, ultimately strengthening the information delivery model.
Commenting on the name change, Gustave Geisendorf, CEO at BuildData Group, says, “With both brands being credible market leaders, bringing Bond Bryan Digital into the Createmaster fold makes sense at a time when building information management is in the spotlight. New and updated standards and regulations, such as The Building Safety Act, put an emphasis on digitised building information, which is not only accessible, but accurate, discoverable and understandable. Therefore, having connected data is critical.
“Not only can we enhance the work we do for our customers but also respond to the changing regulatory landscape and built environment requirements faster. By creating simpler paths to navigate data and the digital ecosystem, we can develop a clear purpose-driven data approach that seamlessly integrates information and delivers more stakeholder trust. This will meet market requirements for a true golden thread of information, supporting compliance that leads to better building outcomes.”
Bond Bryan Digital Limted will now trade as Createmaster Information Management Limited.
The new building safety framework established by the Building Safety Regulator in line with the Building Safety Act 2022, is fast being rolled out. The end of September deadline for the registration of high-risk residential buildings is looming, but what does it mean for you?
If you own or manage an occupied high-rise residential building or are responsible for a building’s design, construction and completion you’ll need to get ready for new roles and responsibilities. Read on for guidance on how you can prepare for building information requirements.
High-risk residential buildings (HRRB) must now be registered with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). The registration of all existing HRRBs began on 6 April 2023 and must be completed no later than 30th September 2023. From October onwards, all new buildings must be registered before being occupied.
Buildings with at least two residential units which are at least 18 metres in height or have at least seven storeys.
In addition, Key Building Information must then be provided to the BSR within 28 days after registration. If the building is occupied but not registered after this date, being non-compliant will be an offence.
Alongside the registration of HRRBs, new responsibilities came into effect on 6th April 2023 for dutyholders — known as principal accountable persons (PAPs) — under the Building Safety Act 2022.
The individuals or organisations responsible for managing fire and structural safety risks in a high-rise residential building are known as “accountable persons” and among them, there is a specific role called the “principal accountable person”. In some cases, they are the same person.
The accountable person may be the owner or an entity legally obligated to evaluate and oversee structural failure and fire risks to people inside and around the building. They must prevent a building safety risk happening (spread of fire and/or structural failure), reduce the seriousness of an incident if one happens and repair common parts of the building.
Each building must have a clearly identifiable Principal Accountable Person, who could be an individual, a commonhold association, local authority, or social housing provider. If there is just one accountable person for a building, then they will also be the principal accountable person.
Additional duties include:
Sadly, a great many factors contributed to the Grenfell Tower Fire and the fact that it was wrapped in highly flammable materials or cladding was just the beginning. Subsequent inquiries uncovered many failures including non-compliant fire doors and door closures, faulty firefighting lifts, and lack of regulation over building materials, record keeping and the transfer of information.
In the event of an emergency, the fire services need to be able to quickly paint a clear picture of a what makes up a building in order to make critical life-saving decisions fast. When the London Fire Brigade arrived at Grenfell, they found that some basic information relating to the tower was either wrong or missing entirely. The Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manual was incomplete missing vital fire safety information and did not contain an as-built fire safety strategy. There was an absence of an operational evacuation plan and no list of vulnerable residents.
The resulting inquiry found the regulatory system covering high-rise and complex buildings was not fit for purpose and The Building Safety Act and secondary legislation, ‘The High-rise Buildings (Key Building Information) (England) Regulation 2023’, introduces new requirements on those responsible for higher-risk buildings to provide the BSR with key building information. The information must be digitally submitted and accessible at all times so that the BSR, residents and interested parties can see that a building is registered and who is responsible for its fire and structural safety.
This regulation a significant step towards improving the handover and accessibility of fire safety information for decision making and consequently the safety of those living in high-rise buildings.
Where previous building regulation and guidance may have been clear about building outcomes to be achieved, it did not include anything about roles and responsibilities. The Building Safety Regulator was established to regulate high-rise buildings in England and hold dutyholders accountable and is currently being led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The building safety reforms rolled out by the BSR give clear accountability and statutory responsibilities throughout the design, build, and occupation of a building, as well as any refurbishment or retrofitting. This helps ensure that buildings are designed and constructed to be safe and built to better standards in line with building safety reform.
The BSR is responsible for:
The HSE are working with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to implement the legislation and consulting with industry bodies and other regulators and partners such as local authorities fire and rescue services and building control bodies to set up the processes the BSA will work to. These will be operational to the below timetable:
30th September 2023
To receive updates to BSR processes you can subscribe to HSE’s BSR eBulletin here.
Contractors now have accountability and statutory responsibilities against the new regulatory framework under the Building Safety Act 2022 when buildings are being constructed. The construction of high-quality buildings must also demonstrate compliance with the below building regulation requirements so that a building is safe to occupy, and safety risks can be managed effectively when a building is in use. Contractors must:
Meet digital competency requirements: Contractors must be able to demonstrate their organisations have the right capabilities, including digital and technology skills.
Create a ‘golden thread’ of information: Contractors must keep a robust digital record of design, construction and safety information in line with Golden Thread duties.
Submit a Gateway 3 application: Contractors must submit a Gateway 3 application to the BSR to demonstrate that the completed construction aligns with building regulation requirements and that a high standard of construction has been delivered. To learn more about Gateway 3, read our blog, ‘Gateway 3 of the Building Safety Act Explained’.
Collate Building Safety Case information: Contractors will need to collate information such as the building’s construction, basic building information, the design and installation of any prevention and protective measures, their current condition, how they should be managed and maintained, and any changes to them during building alterations or refurbishments.
Handover accurate building information to the asset owner: Information must be handed over to the building owner so that a building can be registered, and key building information submitted ahead of occupancy.
Building information across a property portfolio must be digitised to account for documentation. Asset owners must then maintain accurate, good quality, up-to-date information on their buildings so that it is available to the Building Safety Regulator, fire and rescue services or residents. In higher-risk buildings, accountable persons will need to demonstrate that they have implemented effective, proportionate measures to manage building safety risks. Asset owners must:
Digitise building information: Consistent documentation should be easily accessible across a portfolio of building stock. Asset owners should be able to identify information gaps and track document compliance in one place.
Register high-rise residential buildings: The Principle Accountable Person (PAP) must register all high-risk residential buildings (a building that has at least 7 floors or is at least 18 metres in height) that residents occupy or could occupy by 30 September 2023. It is an offence to allow residents to occupy an unregistered building after this date.
Submit Key Building Information: When applying to register a high-rise residential building with the Building Safety Regulator, PAPs must submit Key Building Information containing documentation about the building’s structure and fire safety.
Produce a Safety Case Report: As the principal accountable person for a high-rise residential building, you will be required to produce a safety case report in order to demonstrate that risks have been identified and assessed associated with the spread of fire and structural failure.
Maintain a ‘golden thread’ of building information: Asset owners must ensure all building information and processes are up to date, accurate and stored digitally to manage action, and audit documents for gateway approval and compliance.
The successful management of key building information will mean different things to different people. For contractors looking to achieve Gateway 3 compliance and build out additional robust building safety information to deliver to the client without slowing a project down, the ability to integrate a solution to sit alongside existing systems that talk to each other and enable a single source of truth may be a requirement.
For asset owners who now have new responsibilities as PAPs, being able to transfer and trace information easily across different stakeholders and systems, from planning to construction and the operation of a building, will be necessary.
For everyone involved with the requirements set out by the BSA, it will be important to consider the way documentation and data work together. Today, typically, building information is stored as documents or data on multiple applications. By digitalising building information, it’s possible to not only see all documentation in one place, but also make decisions based on data. For example, with Createmaster’s fully managed service and dashboards from Zutec, you can get all your documents and data in one place and get real-time visibility of your information to track project progress, find out what is missing or identify risk, while also understanding levels of compliance.
Information within the golden thread will inevitably need to be useful across different systems to meet the needs of different stakeholders. Aligning information to industry standards and schemas provides the first step to connecting information, creating a consistent digital language through all information management activities across the life of an asset.
For example, something as simple as standardising how files are named (using BS EN ISO 19650-2) reduces the time required to find information. And when timing is critical, such as the fire services needing to assess a building quickly for their firefighting strategy, it should be easily findable.
As a platform that enables a single source of truth through data and document storage, discoverability and interoperability, Zutec can deliver a solution to address the requirements outlined in this blog.
To find out more and take full control of Key Building Information, you can watch our latest webinar, ‘Making Building Information Digital: Post-Grenfell Impact‘, to gain valuable insights into the critical role of building information provision, and how digitalisation will help create safer homes for all. Alternatively, get in touch with our expert team at email@example.com to arrange a consultation and demo.
The construction industry was historically slow in adopting technology, falling behind other industries in terms of digitisation. However, in recent years, there has been a significant increase in technology uptake within the sector, as the industry moves toward digital transformation. Some of this shift can be attributed to regulatory changes which have put mounting pressure on stakeholders for greater data transparency and communication, as well as renewed emphasis on processes and productivity in light of changing working dynamics and skilled labour shortages — making the trend towards digitisation gain momentum.
According to research conducted by McKinsey, the investment in technology within the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector has shown a substantial increase. The report states that between the years 2020 and 2022, an estimated $50 billion was invested in AEC tech, which is a remarkable 85 percent higher than the total investment made in the previous three years.
A key part of this move to embrace technology is finding new ways of digitising buildings. Building digitisation is the process of transforming physical buildings into digital ones. This has been fast-tracked to meet standards and regulatory compliance, and involves collecting, integrating, and utilising digital information about a building’s design, construction, operation, and maintenance throughout its lifecycle — whether that be a new building or pre-existing building stock. Having the right data available for decision-making is of paramount importance for the built environment and everything it touches.
The construction sector has a far-reaching impact, influencing all aspects of our lives. It plays a fundamental role in our economy by constructing the homes we live in, the schools and hospitals we depend on, and the offices, infrastructure and manufacturing that enable us to work and sustain our progress, driving investments into our future. If we don’t understand our built environment, then that can create huge risks.
Building digitisation has long been seen as a means to make more informed decisions that unlock greater efficiencies and productivity, provide collaboration and communication, reduce cost and waste, as well enhance maintenance, safety and risk management. However, there has been little to drive a significant shift in changing process, until now.
For building owners who now need to account for building information and documentation across a property portfolio and demonstrate building safety at all stages in the lifecycle to meet regulatory compliance, building digitisation is no longer a nice-to-have.
The business case for digital construction has been relatively unchanged until recent years, with a focus on decision-making, cost savings and improved efficiency. While these have always been valid pull factors, the cost-effectiveness of projects can be largely out of a contractor’s control. A typical residential project can take up to several years from design to handover. During this time changing economic, political or social factors can often make inflated budgets and extended project times the norm — with or without digital intervention. With these expectations in mind, there was never any real incentive to digitise and why digital construction was often seen as nonessential.
Aside from a lack of perceived urgency, many contractors felt traditional ways of working still sufficed. They could go on as they always had, everyone was familiar with the process and contracts were being fulfilled regardless of their tech stack or how overrun or expensive projects were. Why change something that isn’t broken?
Unfortunately for the industry, the accessibility of data and information for buildings was broken and much needed change was required, which was exposed following the Grenfell Fire, when information wasn’t accessible to make decisions that could have saved lives. Additionally, industry-disrupting factors like COVID-19, climate change and The Building Safety Act 2022, which has come into effect post Grenfell, have changed all this. The need to do more offline work online, the legislative drive towards a net-zero future and the aftershock of the Grenfell tragedy is making digitisation and improving the value of data non-negotiable.
We have found that as regulatory change and a focus on building safety gather pace, they are at the centre of a drive for building digitisation and getting people on the technology adoption curve to ensure the process of digitising is easier.
With the implementation of the building safety reform as an example, which mandates the collation, accessibility, and currency of digital building information, the significance of building digitisation has reached new heights. It will soon become an offence to allow residents to occupy an unregistered high-rise building after September 30, 2023, and new buildings completed after October 1, 2023, must be registered prior to occupancy. Concurrently, Principal Accountable Persons (PAPs), those responsible for buildings, are required to provide essential information known as Key Building Information, as well as a Building Safety Case, to the Building Safety Regulator to comply with the Building Safety Act 2022. To do this, building information digitisation is critical.
These developments have also spurred a heightened focus on transparency and accountability in building management. This extends not only to the maintenance of buildings but also to the provision and communication of information to tenants.
We are finding the adoption of solutions in line with regulation and compliance are already making a meaningful impact on the businesses of our customers. Added structure and standardisation to digital handover and asset information has been helping Peabody remove risk and improve compliance by making sure that everything is done the same way across all their owned estates and information is in one place.
But to extract the true value of technology within this regulatory framework, an understanding of the provisions in The Building Safety Act 2022 is required which is not always easy to decipher.
The Building Safety Act 2022 introduced several provisions aimed at improving safety and accountability with an emphasis one building digitisation, and a focus on higher-risk buildings (buildings over 18 meters tall or at least 7 storeys or more). Key provisions include:
The provisions aim to ensure higher-risk buildings are properly managed with clear responsibilities assigned to various stakeholders, and to enhance the overall accountability and transparency in the design, construction and completion of all buildings.
When fire fighters arrived at the scene of the tragic Grenfell fire, they were unable to obtain vital building plans which should have shown key fire safety information such as where hoses could be attached or gas pipes. The only document they could surface was an old photograph of the tower that didn’t show the flammable cladding system because it had been installed after the picture was taken. Not having this key building information endangered firefighters and cost lives.
Now the PAP must keep key building information up to date and accessible in digital form as part of maintaining a golden thread of information on a higher-risk building. This information includes basic building information that outlines when it was built, number of storeys, flats, staircases etc., details on a building’s construction, e.g. materials used, means of access and escape, the primary load bearing system etc., a resident profile to highlight those who cannot evacuate without help, any information on refurbishments/changes to the building, any fire prevention and protective measures, building structure information, e.g. findings from any previous structural surveys or inspections, information about all connected services and utilities, and details on maintenance and inspection.
The PAP must collate all this information and ensure it is shared with the regulator within 28 days of submitting an application for registration of the higher-risk building. They are also responsible for notifying the regulator within 28 days should there be any change to the building and its supporting documentation. You can read more about key building information in our blog, ‘Just 6 Months to Register Higher-Risk Buildings with The Building Safety Regulator’.
Additionally, a safety case report must be produced to demonstrate that fire safety risks in a higher-risk building has been identified and assessed, as well as showing that reasonable steps have been taken to reduce the severity of any incidents that may occur.
The journey to digitisation can be daunting especially in an industry that lags behind on technology adoption in general. Many organisations lack the knowledge to upskill and educate workers to be able to effectively implement a new solution. If upskilling workers is a challenge, there are fully managed solutions that can ensure much of the work is not dependent on internal expertise, making building digitisation successful.
However, without an execution plan that aligns project teams on goals and scope by defining roles and responsibilities with a schedule and deadlines, a software project will likely fail. Refocusing on the practical applications technology can offer rather than just the technology itself, stakeholders will be more motivated to use it to address real problems and tasks.
Those companies already willing to adopt technology may now have data silos in disparate systems across the building lifecycle where documentation varies between digital and paper-based formats. This can also make it harder for organisations to justify another investment and the change management it would require.
Gathering information for legacy building stock or live projects across a portfolio can be time-consuming, especially if work done was completed by different contractors and documentation of varying quality is spread over multiple systems or in filing cabinets. Fortunately, retrofitting information from in-use buildings does not have to be that difficult.
The first challenge is to get all building information across disparate systems and formats into one place. Then it’s possible to identify gaps and fill them. Createmaster’s fully managed Building Digitisation service turns your building information into digital form and consolidates it into one single source of truth structured into industry-proven templates ready for use under the Building Safety Act, and visible within a dashboard. By processing documentation and adding metadata so they can be easily categorised into Building Safety Act guidelines, it’s easier to see what information is missing, fill the gaps and progress data collation to completion. Once a final assessment has been done and all documentation is accounted for, duty holders will have the right information to hand at the right time and have the tools to understand data requirements and document renewals to ensure ongoing compliance. With Zutec’s Golden Thread dashboard, it’s possible to manage document collation, actions, approvals, gateways and compliance across a property portfolio all in one place.
Making sure all building information is digitised in line with the Building Safety Act framework and readily available to relevant persons will ensure data is findable, decisions can be made and identifying and addressing potential safety hazards much easier. This will result in improved safety standards, more control over building operations, and a reduced risk of accidents or incidents.
Digitisation streamlines regulatory processes, including allowing you to ensure design, planning, and building documentation such as operations and maintenance (O&M) manuals, fire safety certificates, and health & Safety file are compliant. It facilitates better collaboration, data sharing, and communication among stakeholders, leading to better understood procedures, increased efficiency, and reduced rework.
Digitisation of building information provides an up-to-date view on the condition of a building, providing insight into where maintenance is required, or inspections are needed to sign work off or renew certificates. This data helps in proactive maintenance, asset management, and facility optimisation, resulting in improved building longevity, safer housing, reduced complaints, and better resident experiences. Moreover, it also facilitates accurate information and documentation that is available to residents and the regulator so that compliance checks and quality requirements are met. And should the worst happen, the fire services will immediately be aware of evacuation protocol and have an as-built record of the building so that they can take the most effective steps to control the situation and preserve life.
The Grenfell fire raised the stakes in building digitisation and there has been some positive work in rolling out safety regulation relating to high-rise buildings, but more needs to be done across the industry to fully embrace digital transformation for the betterment of the built environment.
If you’d like to find out how our team of experts can make it easy to process, structure and categorise all your building information across your property portfolio in one platform, get in touch for a demo. Or for more information, download our Building Digitisation booklet or catch up on our webinar, ‘Key Building Registration Information Unlocked with Digital Retrofit’.
Gateway 3 applications are to be introduced in October 2023 as part of the Building Safety Act roadmap. The Act specifies that regulators will require building information and evidence to support these applications including building safety cases. This can be particularly challenging if the information is scattered across disparate systems and stakeholders. In some cases, documents haven’t even been digitised yet and are still in hard copy or are in electronic form such as pdf, and it can be unclear what information may be missing when you don’t have a clear picture of what you have.
This blog discusses Gateway 3, what is required at the application stage, and how best to collate information ready to submit to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and secure a Completion Certificate, all within the context of the Building Safety Act 2022.
The Building safety Act 2022 marks a groundbreaking step change in the construction, maintenance and safety of higher-risk residential buildings. The Hackitt Report and resulting enquires after the Grenfell fire recognised that the UK was in a building safety crisis, and that competency, quality assurance, and roles and responsibilities across every stage of the building lifecycle were falling short.
The changes to regulation aim to promote better building management by owners, and offer the home-building industry a clear and effective framework to deliver high-quality homes that are safe to live in. This new regulatory framework requires that those responsible for the design, construction and completion of higher-risk buildings must:
Implementation of the Act’s detailed provisions is occurring over an 18-month period through secondary legislation. For example, on 6th April 2023, ‘The Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) Regulations 2023’ legislation came into force.
Now, the Principle Accountable Person (PAP) — the person responsible for the repair of the structure and exterior of a building — will have a duty to both register Higher-Risk Buildings (HRBs) and provide high-level information (Key Building Information) to the BSR. For in-use buildings this has to be done by the 30th September and information must be digital. As a result, we’re finding that asset owners are trying to painlessly digitise all their building information in one place so that they can easily account for all their information and submit it to the regulator to demonstrate compliance.
As stakeholders prepare for upcoming changes in legislation including Gateway 3, come October 2023 they are having to define new ways of working to fulfil their obligations, and this is across the construction value chain. Three gateways were established as part of the BSA 2022 to provide three key stages or checkpoints for delivering against requirements in design/planning, pre-construction and handover.
In order to gain more oversight and regulatory control over higher-risk buildings (residential buildings, care homes and hospitals which are 18 metres or more in height, or at least seven storeys), the Building Safety Act introduces the implementation of three gateways strategically placed at crucial points of design and construction.
Gateway one: at the planning application stage
Gateway two: before building work starts
Gateway three: when building work is completed
Crucially, Gateways two and three act as a stop/go decision point. All construction must be verified and demonstrate that it has been completed according to the as-built design, as well as required standards and regulations.
Having a Gateway review system in place ensures that safety is prioritised at every stage of the design and build. Critical safety considerations must be taken into account, addressed and met. By introducing stop/go decision points, the gateway process enables effective risk management throughout the project lifecycle. It allows for thorough inspections, evaluations, and assessments of the design and construction process, minimising the potential for safety and quality-related risks, as well as facilitating early identification of issues of non-compliance. This way, any potential safety risks can be identified and rectified before they become a major issue or prevent delays and additional costs that could arise in later stages of construction.
Most importantly, gateway consultation and oversight strengthen competency and accountability among all stakeholders involved in the building process. The involvement of specialists, technical experts, industry veterans, local authorities and fire and rescue services ensures that the right competencies are in place among accountable persons. While regulatory oversight safeguards compliancy with established codes and requirements.
In addition, gateways not only serve as vital checkpoints for assessing compliance with regulations, but it also sets new standards and best practices that will help maintain and improve the overall quality of design and construction reducing the likelihood of errors and ultimately providing better homes for people to live in.
This results in safer buildings for occupants and demonstrates a commitment to building safety and quality so residents can feel assured that the place in which they live is safe and prioritises their wellbeing.
Gateway 3 acts as the final checkpoint at the completion stage of a building acting as the decisive stop/go point before asset owners can start moving residents into a higher-risk building.
When all building work has been done, contractors must submit a Gateway 3 application including a building safety case to the Building Safety Regulator to demonstrate that the completed construction aligns with building regulation requirements and that a high standard of construction has been delivered. Additionally, signed declarations from the principal designer and principal contractor stating that the building is compliant with regulations must be submitted.
Once all accountable parties are on the record and the Building Safety Regulator is satisfied that the design and construction of the building are compliant or any breaches of building regulations have been addressed, they will issue a Completion Certificate, therefore, deeming the building safe to occupy and fulfilling the requirements set forth by the Building Safety Act 2022. After this, information must also be handed over to the building owner so that a building can be registered, and key building information submitted ahead of occupancy.
The Gateway 3 application should contain as-built drawings of the building, including records of on-site changes to engineer and architect drawings, as well as what has been installed on site including locations of all the mechanical, electrical and public health systems and components installed.
Additionally, as part of handover, contractors must prepare a Safety Case Report that demonstrates that a building is safe and meets all the relevant safety standards. This should include a building’s major fire and structural occurrences to ensure potential risks have been identified and mitigated and detail on how they are being managed and controlled.
All this information must be kept up to date and handed over to the building owner to support a golden thread of information and ongoing safety management.
In order to submit the Gateway 3 application, the contractor is responsible for providing the key building information, as-built records and safety case documents in a digital format to the asset owner. This information is crucial for the contractor to obtain a Completion Certificate, as well as ensuring that when information is handed over to clients, they always have access to accurate, high-quality, and up-to-date details about the building to help them manage building safety risks.
Traditionally, handover information is captured in various formats, systems, and platforms, including Common Data Environments (CDEs) or Quality Management systems. While these systems effectively manage construction project data, they do not offer a consolidated data set specifically tailored to the Building Safety Act requirements and Gateway 3 or have a template for bringing together a building safety case and the golden thread of information. Having a dedicated platform for this means they can readily understand the information they have and how compliant they are.
The digital handover service by Createmaster provides a streamlined approach to managing building safety information and helps contractors bring together and understand the information required to fulfil obligations set out by the Building Safety Act at the handover stage of an asset. By working closely with our customers and information management consultants, we have defined a template to deliver requirements set out in Gateway 3. Our team will manage the data upload for the contractor into a dedicated Gateway 3 platform and dashboard extracted from all data sources, including their own CDE, so they can focus on project delivery.
Bringing all Gateway 3 data together in one place, using the Gateway 3 template, contractors and building owners can get access to a holistic view of all building information and deliverables in a single dashboard that demonstrates how compliant your documentation is, and aligns with building safety and a golden thread. Embracing innovative technologies and digital solutions with a fully managed service like this can significantly enhance the handover process while making Gateway 3 approval management simple.
Stakeholders can obtain real-time visibility of a project via the Gateway 3 dashboard to track progress and compliance, while also being able to identify and analyse gaps in information so these can be filled to manage risk.
With this instant overview, contractors and developers can quickly identify what is expected, what’s in progress, or validated, and the level of compliance reached. Ultimately, this will simplify gaining Completion Certificates while enhancing overall project success and building safety management.
To take a tour of our Gateway 3 Solution, book a demo with one of our experts or download our Gateway 3 booklet for more information. You can also catch up on our webinar, ‘Mastering Gateway 3 Compliance’ to learn how you can streamline digital handover and building safety case collation and approval.
Helping deliver compliant building information at project completion and handover. Taking the pain out of Building Safety Act Gateway 3 regulator approvals.
London – 25th May 2023: Today, Createmaster, a leading digital handover and building manual solutions provider, introduces its ‘Golden Thread: Gateway 3 solution’. Underpinned by the Zutec platform, the solution combines the Createmaster fully managed digital handover service with a dashboard that enables contractors and developers to understand the information required to fulfil obligations set out by the Building Safety Act at the handover stage of an asset.
Gateway 3 refers to the completion or final certificate stage (equivalent to RIBA stage 6), when a building safety case is submitted for review and approval. As a stop/go point in the handover process, building control approval must be obtained from the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) before registering and commencing occupation of a higher-risk residential building (HRRB). This means getting building safety case approval from the BSR before project completion and handover to an asset owner.
The dedicated Gateway 3 dashboard gives contractors and developers real-time visibility to manage their building information deliverables in one place. Users can quickly see what information and documents they have, what is expected, what is in progress, what has been validated for compliancy with agreed information requirements, before handing over to a client.
Commenting on the Gateway 3 solution and why it is suitable for contractors who may already have a common data environment (CDE), James Cannon, Commercial Director at Createmaster, said: “Today handover information required by contractors is likely captured across multiple formats, systems, and platforms, including the contractors and subcontractors’ CDE or Quality Management system. While these systems are widely used for effectively managing construction project data, they do not offer a single, consolidated data set for handover to a client and the regulator.
“As a single source of truth for digital building information, the solution provides a clear and defined mechanism for collating the evidence required to support a building safety case, and helps our contractors ensure compliant building information and manuals are handed over to a client. This takes the pain out of the handover process and information digitisation on the path to golden thread conformance.”
That’s not all. A standard template within the dashboard aligns with the new requirements for a building safety case and golden thread, including digital O&M, H&S File and Fire Emergency File forms, but also adds the full suite of information now required to demonstrate compliance. This means users can easily bring together the right information and identify what is missing to help manage risks on a project. Additionally, with the ability to grant permission-controlled stakeholder access, for example with client teams, consultants and third-party approvers, everyone can input information while managing priorities and data gaps.
For contractors looking for support with Gateway 3 compliance, please contact a Createmaster representative or book a demo here.
Ensures key building information is available and accessible for Building Safety Act compliance ahead of higher-risk building registration deadlines with the BSR
London, 11th May 2023: Today, Createmaster, the leading digital handover and building manual solutions provider, announced the availability of its new Digital Retrofit solution. Aimed at asset owners and building duty holders, Createmaster brings together existing siloed and disparate building information from in-use higher-risk buildings (HRBs) into the Zutec platform, providing a user-friendly dashboard to manage documents and data.
Information is processed, structured and categorised by the Createmaster team in a flexible and industry-proven template to provide consistency in information and facilitate the creation of a building safety case. Crucially, users can evidence Building Safety Act compliance ahead of deadlines to register and deliver key building information to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) by the end of September.
Commenting on why Digital Retrofit maybe a requirement for a some asset owners, James Cannon, Commercial Director at Createmaster, said: “With huge volumes of information and documentation for legacy building stock all over the place — so disparate systems, formats, and states of completeness and quality — preparing for building safety obligations can be lengthy and difficult for the majority of asset owners and duty holders. Building Safety Act requirements now stipulate that HRBs are not just registered with the BSR by the end of September, but key building information is provided within 28 days of a building being registered to demonstrate and evidence building safety and BSA compliance.
“With Createmaster and Zutec providing a single source of truth, all building information can now be accounted for in one cloud-based platform, using our comprehensive template to allow you to demonstrate regulatory compliance across a property portfolio, and support a safety case being built out. It achieves a digital record of current and historic data, including critical fire safety information, operations and maintenance (O&Ms) manuals, as well as inspection reports and certificates, which can be reviewed, maintained and updated when required, on the journey to a ‘Golden Thread’ of information.”
The Zutec platform underpins building safety management throughout the asset lifecycle and makes it easy to identify missing documents and gaps in data so information can be edited or populated where needed, is always up to date, and changes are tracked for auditing.
Platform permissions can also be granted to stakeholders, including internal compliance teams, third party consultants or the BSR for easy access, which also makes handing over a building to Facility Management easier.
With a specialism in bringing handover information together, getting started with Createmaster has never been easier. As a fully managed service, documents are reviewed and uploaded by a team of experts that professionally collate, deliver and host building information in a dashboard designed to support compliance requirements underpinned by Zutec, Createmaster’s sister company. This gives firms and duty holders a simple and visual digital representation of a single building or property portfolio that can be used by asset owners, facilities managers, the BSR and other stakeholders to make informed decisions, as well as communicating with tenants.
Cannon concluded, “We take the pain out of digital retrofitting building stock and putting data in one place for document management, and tenant communication. Only when you can fully understand building risk through accessible information can you put adequate measures and controls in place to ensure building safety, while supporting compliance and the path to golden thread.”
To find out more join the Createmaster webinar ‘Key Building Information Unlocked with Digital Retrofit’ on 11th May at 3pm.
For clients, asset owners, housing associations and build-to-rent developers looking to take the next step, please contact a Createmaster representative or book a demo here.
Over recent years, the construction industry as a whole has gone through a huge period of change. From adopting new technology and services that help build smarter and more efficiently, to utilising data to drive better performance and productivity, as well as deliver more informed decision-making and safer housing. The construction industry is adapting rapidly towards a more agile and digitised model that can help navigate market pressures, is more aware of its surroundings and can create more sustainable built environments.
On top of this, reforms in legislative regulations that have been updated or come into force over recent years, have spurred on change in how construction firms work and build. With an emphasis on digitisation, many new regulations require digital data and information for compliance to validate that buildings are built and operated safely and are performing in a way that supports sustainability. With information being so important, creating, collating, evidencing, reporting and demonstrating that you have the right data is becoming the new norm. It’s now high on the agenda whether you are designing or planning a building, on-site constructing it, or in the office helping maintain a property.
However, more needs to be done. Not only to make sure this data is present, correct and accessible, but to ensure it is available to the right people, kept up-to-date, traceable and auditable. As mentioned in the Building Safety Act 2022, a ‘golden thread of information’ will help ensure that data is maintained on a property across its life.
Every stakeholder in the construction value chain needs to play a part, which means improved cross-team communication and collaboration. This will also improve performance, productivity, and faster project completion time too — all part of the industry’s progress and evolution.
In a climate where there is a level of uncertainty and no doubt challenges ahead, this blog delves into the benefits of collaboration in construction to build and maintain properties better through better building information.
The Construction Industry is one of the largest in the UK market, with Statista Research predicting revenues to be £476.6 billion by 2027.
The Office for National Statistics [ONS] reported in 2021, that there were 353,365 registered construction firms across the United Kingdom.
At the beginning of 2022, The Construction Industry Training Board [CITB] recorded that there were 2.69 million construction workers in the UK.
With these numbers spotlighting the size of the industry, where firms and people work across multiple projects and segments, collaboration to create quality building information should be king.
Within the construction industry, the approach to data and information management is often disjointed, with information being provided from design teams, contractors and subcontractors, and stored in different systems and formats. With a typical construction project having approximately 30-40 subcontractors to procure and manage, this can lead to fragmented, incomplete and unstandardised data which is dealt with in silos, and can lead to costly outcomes such as delaying project completions, particularly when handover is done.
Information collation is just one area that demonstrates a lack of collaboration within the construction sector. It burdens teams who might not have the right information or insight to hand, impacts productivity and quality, while also compromising assets.
In 1994, the Latham Report delved into procurement and contractual arrangements in the UK construction industry and identified that performance issues can be improved through effective teamwork by designers, contractors, subcontractors and manufacturers. Fast forward almost 30 years, and Latham’s suggestion of using co-ordinated project information and collaboration has yet to be fully implemented. While the industry is getting better, there is still room for improvement in terms of having a joined up approach.
When collaboration doesn’t form part of your process it can result in several issues, including:
Bringing together information and understanding data can be a laborious and time-consuming task, especially if there has been a lack of collaboration and requirements have not been scoped sufficiently from the start. This distracts teams from what they should be focused on — building work and bringing a project to competition.
When clients are not part of the feedback and collaboration loop, it can also hold things up, for example:
It’s important that contractors and clients engage and collaborate early to ensure projects are scoped and expectations and working practices are set from the beginning.
In order to ensure a more collaborative approach, a scope of work should be agreed early with teams talking to each other at the right stages to ensure information is gathered, delivered and being used as expected. Outsourcing projects such as Digital Handover to a specialist like Createmaster means you can manage, coordinate and collaborate on your project more effectively without being spread too thinly to deliver information requirements
As a contractor, if you outsource you can bypass distractions such as emails and follow-ups about operations and maintenance manuals (O&Ms) in the final stages of a project and leave it to an experienced team to deliver your building manual, so you have one touchpoint to work with and can collaborate more with your teams and client when you need to.
Taking this approach ensures a standardised format across all documentation between subcontractor, contractor, development and asset teams. This, in turn, creates an environment where stakeholders are engaged at the right times and documentation can be delivered on time, in a concise format which adheres to client requirements.
Facilitating a collaborative environment between outsourced and internal teams, including subcontractors and asset owner, means construction projects can be driven to completion with everyone on the same page. Collaboration within your projects can also increase safety and ensure compliance, streamline workflows to regularly update stakeholders on the next steps and ensure that deadlines are met, on time and to budget.
Additionally, by utilising a cloud-based construction software, like Zutec, Createmaster’s sister company, you can bring all your data into one place for real-time project reporting, as well as document storage and management. This gives you a clear picture of project progress, by bringing all users together in one platform, and ensures teams are in the know of what the next steps are in order to ensure the project is complete. Similarly, this can avoid duplication or missing work and so you can make informed decisions based on the data presented across the board. Post project, handover documents and information can be managed centrally in one system, enabling a golden thread of information.
Put simply, collaboration can mean teams are working together towards one project goal, and everyone can get the information they need, when they need it.
To see how Createmaster’s structured data solutions can help you, not only work more efficiently but collaborate more effectively, book a demo today, or download our Digital Handover Brochure for more information.
Last July, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published draft regulations under sections of the Building Safety Act 2022, that would help to clarify the high-level information about a higher-risk building (HRB) and who is responsible for what. Now in force, the Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information) (England) Regulation 2023 marks a big step forward in improving the safety of HRBs further to Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations for a systemic review of building regulations.
Hackitt, who led the independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell fire, had a goal to establish, “a process that ensures there is effective oversight of materials, people and installation.”. With this legislation, she can now see the beginnings of a more accountable future where building owners and landlords are able to have clarity around building safety roles and responsibilities. And by making this information digitally accessible and up to date, sets in motion her vision of implementing a golden thread of information in the construction industry.
Under the Building Safety Act 2022, as of 6th April 2023 to October 2023, Principal Accountable Persons (PAPs) must now both register all HRBs and provide high-level information (Key Building Information) to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).
This means that every HRB must be registered with the Regulator by 1st October 2023. This includes any new buildings which are partly or fully completed, as well as existing residentially occupied buildings, leaving asset owners or PAPs just 6 months to register their buildings. The registered higher-risk buildings will be published by the Regulator so that residents and other interested parties can see that a building is registered and who is responsible for its fire and structural safety.
At the same time, the PAP has just 28 days from submitting an application for registration to provide Key Building Information. A PAP will need to do this for every building in their portfolio. And far more than a one-time exercise, whenever structural changes are made and key building information changes, updates must be submitted — again within 28 days.
The purpose of the Key Building Information is to empower those responsible for a building to make informed safety decisions, as well as provide “robust and proportionate oversight” so that everyone can take ownership and be held accountable for doing the right thing. Furthermore, this high-level information will help the Building Safety Regulator analyse trends more easily. If issues emerge in one building, they will be able to identify similar buildings that pose the same building or systems failure.
The high-level Key Building Information as defined in regulations 3 to 18 of The Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2023 is summarised below:
Use: The principal use of the higher-risk building, any ancillary buildings, outbuildings or storeys below ground must be defined, as well as whether there has been a change to the principal use since its construction.
Materials: A description of materials used in the external wall of the higher-risk building, as well as the roof, including the covering, layers of insulation and if it’s pitched or flat.
Fixture on external wall: The type of fixture and the material from which it is composed.
Structure: The main material used and the type of structural design the building has, which must comply with the Building Regulations 2010.
Storeys and staircases: The number of storeys below ground level, as well as the number of staircases and which storeys they serve.
Energy: The type of energy supply and energy storage system installed.
Emergency planning: A description of the type of evacuation strategy that is in place, as well as a list of the fire and smoke control equipment within the building and where it is located.
To be able to update their key building information easily, PAPs must ensure they have a robust digital and data infrastructure so that the Regulator has accurate and timely information, while duty holders can upload and update data as easily as possible in order for them to meet legal deadlines.
Requirements to identifying information about the entire building and collating it so that the right people have all the right information to ensure the safe management of a building during occupation will follow in further legislation. This will support compliance for maintaining a golden thread of information.
If you have a portfolio of legacy building stock and multiple developments or live projects on the go and none of your project handover or building information is digital and easily locatable, you’re likely struggling to account for all this information. With new legislation around the registration and delivery of high-level information for higher-risk buildings now in force, there’s never been a more important time to have all your documents in one place, and digitisation is the best route forward to build your building safe case.
But achieving consistent documentation that is easily accessible for your portfolio of building stock and developments can be a lengthy process. Adopting a fully managed service such as Createmaster’s makes it easy to process, structure and review all your documents for older and new buildings, in one platform. Experts can take your files and ensure your documents are templated, organised and categorised, and any information gaps or documents that need significant changes can be identified and reviewed.
By having all your documents hosted in one place, previously siloed building information of differing quality can be structured and standardised in a single digital platform, but also be structured ready for sharing with the BSR. When you have all your manuals, drawings and documentation in one place, including key building information, you no longer have to navigate disparate systems. When you have metadata that makes documents easily searchable, it’s far easier to submit required information to relevant parties.
Beyond the ability to make informed safety decisions, a golden thread of information will soon need to be maintained by those responsible for HRBs throughout occupation. Building owners and landlords will need to ensure all duty holders have the right information to hand at the right time to support ongoing building safety compliance. This will not be possible without a digital solution. Having a Golden thread dashboard that puts all building information and processes in one place to manage document collation, actions, approvals, gateways and compliance will no longer be a nice to have, but a non-negotiable.
If you’d like to find out how our team of experts can collate your information and standardise how you receive your documents, while linking documents to your BIM models with metadata so you can find them easily, get in touch for a demo. Or for more information, download our booklet about our Digital Retrofitting Solution.