Virtual testing of the build-ability and maintainability of a construction programme will allow teams to test the building before anyone has even stepped on site.
The impact of Government Soft Landings (GSL) is being felt across the country with the NHS Scotland navigator, Scottish Futures Trust, developing a new standard approach for public sector clients across Scotland and the DfE strategy and navigator used on school building projects across England. The Ministry of Justice and local authorities are also developing new tools as a result.
Using Government Soft Landings (GSL) can help reduce total project timescales by involving the building users from the start. It can also reduce the time taken for a building to reach its optimum performance and mitigate unplanned or unexpected delays.
So far, the evidence suggests that adopting GSL for school building projects will:
- Reduce construction errors through misinterpretation, poor communication or unrealistic expectations
- Reduce total project timescales due to unplanned and unexpected delays
- Reduce the number of project staff returning to site after project handover date
- Improve timescale for the school to reach its optimum performance in the new building
- Improve wellbeing for the building occupants including staff and pupils.
As a result of the Department for Education (DfE) navigator tool and training, all new and refurbished school construction projects will require the Government Soft Landings (GSL) process in programme delivery, making this a critical part of building procurement.
To embed these into DfE purchasing, there is an internal Soft Landings contact who can provide support, help answer questions, receive feedback and provide further information.
Regular Soft Landings updates, training, presentations and review process are offered to DfE Project Managers, Technical Advisors, contractors and their supply chain.
Equally NHS Scotland was able to encourage all hospital boards within its remit to adopt the same process and embed it into hospital building procurement. David Philp, the Construction Innovation Hub’s Digital Impact Director, said “Health Facilities Scotland is helping embed GSL across the NHS Scotland boards and it is already being successfully utilised on several of their flagship projects providing common understanding and unlocking the benefits across the health system."
Whole-life value is at the heart of these projects and at the very core of the Government Soft Landings (GSL) approach as its guidance puts the end user at the heart of the planning, design and construction process. GSL not only means the user needs are incorporated into the design and build stages, but that the handover of the finished building is smooth. Users will better understand the complex digital models that support their new building so they can run, manage and maintain them effectively and get the most whole-life value from them, now and for generations to come.