Alongside the Yorkshire and Humber Construction Best Practice Club, YORhub were delighted to welcome over 80 representatives from the construction industry and local authorities to Leeds Town Hall on Tuesday 26 November to the first event in the region to provide a clearer understanding of the Government Soft Landings policy and best practice for its successful delivery. YORhub recognised that many in the region’s construction industry still have little or no knowledge of GSL and what this means for them in practice, although Soft Landings is mandated in line with BIM (Building Information Modelling) and is recommended for all public sector organisations to ensure that asset delivery costs are reduced and performance improved to achieve value in the operational lifecycle.
The morning’s proceedings were hosted by YORhub Head of Operations for the North and East Regions, Steve Baker, Group Manager of Construction Services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, who welcomed key Central and Local Government and Construction Industry speakers.YORhub’s newly appointed BIM Champion Tom Oulton, also Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber CIC BIM Hub, BIM Manager for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, on the ThinkBIM steering group, and involved with the BIM Task Group’s BIM4LG, began by refreshing delegates on the origins, drivers and key benefits of delivering BIM, and how this fits in with the Government Construction Strategy targets for achieving lower costs and faster delivery of projects.
Roy Evans from the Cabinet Office BIS BIM Task Group presented a thorough explanation of GSL and its application at key project stages, from inception through to handover and aftercare, to maintain a golden thread linking asset management decisions around asset purpose, design, delivery, operation and performance once a building is in use. Roy recognised the challenges and crucial importance of understanding exactly what a client wants.
Andy Ward and Derek Walker, Directors at YORbuild framework contractor Mansell / Balfour Beatty, presented the key principles and stages of their organisation’s approach to deliver a soft landing, in their terms ‘Perfect Landings’, illustrating how this process had worked in action on the £48.6m Sirius Academy and Ganton SEN School project in Hull which was handed over in August 2011 and opened the following month.
Steve Longhurst, National Framework Development Manager at YORbuild framework contractor GB Building Solutions gave an overview of how his organisation have been offering Soft Landings on projects in principle for many years by implementing their Total Solution approach, ensuring early involvement of client teams, client team training, aftercare and defects management and asset management. Steve illustrated how this GSL programme is currently working in action on the King’s College London project.
The audience were invited to submit written questions to the panel of 5 key speakers, giving the panel the opportunity to answer key concerns and issues both for construction industry professionals and local authorities, leading to a lively debate. Queries included how GSL fits in with procurement process, what project tender questions around BIM will look like, a dynamic shift from the contractor to the client as project lead, when BIM/GSL best practice guidance will be available, what information will be given to contractors to initiate BIM, and what client resources and expertise are needed after handover to maintain the BIM model.
Roy Evans also invited delegates to take the opportunity to tell him what they thought were the main challenges to delivering GSL that the Government and BIM Task Group should consider.
What did the delegates think? These are just a few of the many positive comments received so far…
“The presentations from Roy Evans, Andy Ward and Derek Walker were particularly interesting in terms of practical advice and optimisation for end use/business function/KPIs/Desired outcomes and was not something that I had thought about before.”
“Excellent speakers with a really good mix of practical contractors implementation and the Government drivers.”
“Clearly presented with excellent case studies.”
“A very well organised and enjoyable event.”