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BSRIA launches Soft Landings FrameworkAugust 2018

Michelle Agha-Hossein Sustainable building consultant

BSRIA has launched its Soft Landings Framework BG 54/2018 Soft Landings Framework 2018 Six Phases for Better Buildings – written and compiled by BSRIA’s Dr Michelle Agha-Hossein.

This 2018 edition of the Soft Landings Framework includes a number of “major changes” to better reflect feedback received from industry alongside project and operational practices over nine years of using Soft Landings.

These changes include the introduction of the term “Phase” in place of the previous “Stage”. This is primarily to promote the understanding that Soft Landings is not tied to any particular plan of work, but is rather about groups of activities that may occur at certain phases of a project rather than at a particular work plan stage.

The other salient change is the adoption of six Phases in place of the previous five Stages. This is to separate out the design and construction activities and to strengthen the construction content.

The Phases are: inception and briefing; design; construction; pre-handover; initial aftercare and extended aftercare and POE (post-occupancy evaluation).

Michelle said:

“Soft Landings is designed to help the project team focus more on the client’s needs and expectations throughout the project, to smooth the transition from design to operation and to address issues that POE has shown to be widespread. It is not just about better commissioning, fine-tuning and handover. Soft Landings can be used for new construction, refurbishment and alteration.

A specification and drawings, or a graphical model in the emerging world of BIM, can describe the technical requirements that the eventual contractor is required to deliver at the end of the project. However, the client may have other needs that are difficult to express by these methods.

Also, the purpose of some of the specified requirements may be lost through the delivery process without the understanding of why they have been asked for in the first place. These issues can explain, to a large extent, why many new and refurbished buildings suffer from a substantial gap between their design intent and their actual in-use performance. The Soft Landings approach helps to address these issues.

Above all, Soft Landings is a way to deliver better buildings. I encourage members and industry alike to get their copy!”

Digital download free to BSRIA members: BSRIA bookshop

Soft Landings projects mentioned in the framework:

The George Davies Centre, University of Leicester:

An example of achieving challenging success criteria.

The MRC LMB building, Cambridge:

An example of design to enhance maintainability and business continuity in use.

The Living Systems Institute (LSI) Building, University of Exeter:

An example of high levels of engagement throughout by the facilities management team.

Pancras Square, London

An example of well-coordinated commissioning and pre-handover activities.

Lime Tree Primary School, Manchester:

An example of initial aftercare team involvement.

The Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia:

An example of POE activities.

This version of the Soft Landings Framework was led by a working group made up from members of the Soft Landings Network and the Soft Landings Network Panel (SLNP) convened by BSRIA. The working group comprised: Michael Chater, Hampshire County Council; Daniel Davies, Cardiff Commissioning Ltd; Simon Hancock, Atkins Ltd; Nicholas Neill, BAM Design; Ali Ratcliffe, Pick Everard and Stuart Thompson, R G Carter.

The first edition of the Framework was published in 2009 (BG 4/2009). Minor updates were made in 2014, at which point it was renumbered BG 54/2014.

This flagship publication comes hot-on-the-heels of the Soft Landings Conference – Soft Landings Conference 2018 – Soft Landings – a culture for all projects staged in London in June.

Soft Landings Network

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