We are all aware of the recent surge in digital adoption that is helping to raise building standards.
But in a sector where technology is moving quickly, asset owners can sometimes feel ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to the digital tools being used by building contractors, many of which are delivering great improvements in terms of safety and compliance.
For those who consider themselves in that camp, now is the time to get up to speed. As we have seen over the past year with the announcement of the Building Safety Regulator, the Building Safety Bill will usher in major changes and owners will need to prove that their structures are safe for occupants and that the proper processes have been followed during construction.
Understanding the types of digital technology available can offer multiple benefits. Importantly, a deeper knowledge of tech, particularly platforms used for inspections, can deliver a more granular overview of the build, giving detailed information on which inspections were made and when, while providing a digital, tamper-proof audit trail, complete with dates and timestamps. From a compliance standpoint, this information is invaluable, offering peace of mind that a building meets industry standards.
Secondly, as handover documentation becomes more complex and more often includes asset information models, it is key that owners do not waste information collected during construction, instead using it for the long-term benefit of their properties.
An owner-led approach can also help standardise contractor processes. Ensuring that everyone involved in a project has the same goals and uses the same technology reduces the risk of error and quality issues. A minimising of variation can lead to more consistent ways of work and ultimately higher quality. By working more accurately, fewer building materials are also needed and, in turn, less labour time, which can have a major impact on the bottom line and profitability of a project – and these benefits can then be replicated in the management of a property post-handover.
In a difficult economic climate, understanding how technology can be harnessed will be of huge benefit, not only in terms of industry compliance but also overall cost-effectiveness.
Matt Ryan is country manager, UK and Sweden at PlanRadar