Opinion

Ten Steps to Soften any Landing

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From BIM Journal. Click Here to Read Issue 5

As it is critical to champion even better outcomes for our built assets by facilitating a Soft Landings approach, it is a pleasure to invite Deborah Rowland (Director Public Sector Affairs, Sodexo) to quickly offer her ten tips when seeking to ensure that value really is guaranteed during the operational phase.

Before I offer my ten tips, I feel that it is important to dispel the two main myths that I regularly hear when it comes to GSL.

Number one - Government Soft Landings really is included in the UK Government BIM Level 2 mandate (to be applied to all projects) and number two - a Soft Landing approach does not need to add cost to your project. Providing you follow the next ten steps:

  1. Identify your soft landings champion for the project and embed them into the project team. As this is about true collaboration, then preferably this will be the FM responsible for the ongoing operational management of an asset - with the skills and ability to challenge the design/construction decisions that impact on operational outcomes.

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  2. Ensure that you are involved in the strategy (ideally Stage 0) and that you have input regarding the OIR (Organisation Information Requirements) and EIR (Employer’s Information Requirements). Getting it right at this stage is essential as it sets the tone, the vision and the outcomes of what is trying to be achieved. It also aids the provision of certain key performance indicators to be measured upon delivery. Better operational outcomes equals better business.

  3. Read BS 8536 – Part 1: Code of practice for Facilities Management (Buildings Infrastructure). This briefing for design and construction focuses on those aspects that are concerned with achieving the required operational performance of a new or refurbished asset.

  4. Identify your baseline operational budget  – service cost per m2 – use existing data on current assets as a baseline to determine the cost for new service design. From this you will start to develop your own reference class to enable reliable future forecasting.

  5. Remember that BIM is a process that enables soft landings to obtain varying degrees of asset information at each stage. Test and challenge (where appropriate) throughout the design/construction process to ensure that the design continues to meet the operational outcomes.

  6. Be prepared to validate and receive asset data – have your AIM (Asset information Model) developed (PAS1192-3) and agree any data definitions.  You will not need all of the data that comes out of the BIM, so be clear on what data you actually do need. The data will be used for; asset operation and condition; understanding asset performance; defining better project briefs and lifecycle cost forecasting; forming the basis of the contracting model.

  7. Engage and source your supplier base early. Ensure that they input, where appropriate, to the design of the spaces that they will be responsible for.

  8. Ensure that the training for commissioning and handover is early and thorough and with the right people who will run the asset, including the FM team and FM suppliers.

  9. Develop a post occupancy evaluation model – who will be responsible for auditing? What is the remedy of not achieving the outcomes set down in the strategy? Is it contractual or reputational? Identify and capture any lessons learnt for future projects.

  10. Remember that the asset will change over time and it is important to keep the BIM model up to date periodically, with changes identified from the asset management/CAFM system.

Read BIM Journal in full here.

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