10 September 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
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 latest 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 post-occupancy evaluation (POE).
Agha-Hossein 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 post-occupancy evaluation 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."