14 June 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The 'golden thread' of information proposed by the government's consultation into building safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire would transform FMs into "guardians" of tower blocks, according to a digital data firm.
James Connolly, head of partnerships at EviFile, speaking to Facilitate on the second anniversary of the fire in 2017 where 72 lives were lost, said that the proposed "golden thread" had to improve transparency and often depended on sophisticated technology.
In its Building a Safer Future document the government puts forward new duties of care that apply during the entire life cycle (called a golden thread) of a building from design to construction, management and occupation including evidence gained through regular inspection, reviews and maintenance. The document refers to "the golden thread of information and key dataset that will enable building safety information to be available to the right people at the right time during design, construction and occupation; a new mandatory occurrence reporting regime; and competence of key roles in the new regime."
Connolly said: "The reality is that one day the golden thread of information will need to apply to all significant commercial, residential and leisure buildings."
He said the insurance industry was already beginning to drive this.
"Many questions are asked of facilities managers and asset owners when a property is being bought or sold, such as location, local environment, condition, energy efficiency and running costs. However, over the last 12 months insurers have begun asking more detailed questions about a building's fixtures and fittings."
He argues that more "high-quality digital information" that is available to FMs will enable them to better manage building safety.
Connolly added: "It is vitally important that the lessons of Grenfell are never forgotten and new ways of working become embedded across the supply chain to make our buildings safer."