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14 Feb 2020 | Industry Insights

Golden thread of data in construction

Following the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, Dame Judith Hackitt outlined a ‘Golden Thread’ in her independent review on building regulations and fire safety.

The recommendations in the report centred around a need to implement a more collaborative process of sharing information about high-rise residential buildings (HRRB).

Other sections of the report called for the mandated use of building information modelling (BIM) across the construction sector. This is due to the assertion by the BIM4Housing steering group that the use of BIM would have significant benefits for the construction industry.

These benefits include:

  • Improved decision-making due to the sophisticated level of available data
  • Improved quality and compliance due to record-keeping and contract management
  • Improved efficiency due to the level of collaboration and innovation involved

In relation to the golden thread of information, Dame Hackitt laid out the following recommendations:

  • The government should mandate a digital standard of keeping records for the design, construction and post-construction of high-risk residential buildings. These records should also include information about any refurbishments to the building.
  • These records should be saved in a format which is “appropriately open and non-proprietary with proportionate security controls”
  • The government should work with the industry to decide exactly what information will be held in these records.

In addition, Dame Hackitt recommended that there should be a duty holder who must “hold, transfer and update” information throughout the building’s lifecycle.

The duty holder must also identify where gaps in the required information exist and also design a strategy for making sure that gap in information is filled.

This process will be made much easier with the data available through a digital twin. Having a digital twin will enable the team responsible for the physical asset to see all of the essential information in one place and allow for constant monitoring and maintenance of the asset.