Government plans to mandate the “Soft Landings” handover protocol across all central government projects by 2016 – to be closely aligned with the planned BIM roll-out – will be on the agenda at a CIOB Facilities Management conference on November 27.
The Cabinet Office is understood to be on the point of announcing that “Government Soft Landings” will form part of the public sector procurement process from 2016.
The process is likely to be tied in to the Construction to Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie), the data management protocol that forms a key part of the government’s plans to achieve Level 2 BIM from 2016.
The expected move marks a closer link between the government’s Soft Landings team and the BIM Implementation Group, both part of the Cabinet Office.
GSL will also draw on the Soft Landings framework, published by BSRIA and the Usable Buildings Trust in 2009, as a guide to how project teams should stay engaged after practical completion – hand-holding the client during the first months of operation to fine-tune the building.
John Eynon FCIOB, an independent BIM and design management consultant, and one of the speakers at “Soft Landings – Delivering Buildings that Work from Day One” said the move to align Soft Landings with BIM made good sense.
“Public sector procurement will be driven by COBie outputs. In other words, the long-term view is that any public sector procuring agency becomes an intelligent buyer of asset management data, managed through COBie.
“COBie helps public sector managers identify their requirements at briefing, design, construction, completion and aftercare stages, and Soft Landings helps achieve a smooth handover and commissioning process. Together, they will form an integrated system for asset management.”
As with BIM, it’s thought likely that government will set out its expectations on GSL, without specifying exactly how the industry should deliver them. But Eynon said he thought main contractors would be ideally placed to develop GSL.
“The great stumbling block for loads of people is doing a great job to get the project finished, then seeing it messed up when the client doesn’t get good aftercare. So a really good handover process – like Soft Landings – gives you a happy client and repeat business.”
Eddie Tuttle, policy manager at the CIOB, welcomed the news. “Government’s intentions are clear. We’ve been discussing this with the Cabinet Office and the BIM Implementation Group, because the closer we work with government on what they’re doing, the more it helps us with what we’re doing [on membership and training].”