While the Building Safety Bill had its second reading in Parliament this week, the government issued further detail on the golden thread.
The report from the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) golden thread working group confirms the golden thread definition and principles that were approved by the government two months ago (as revealed by BIM+).
It states that the government will set out the specific requirements for the golden thread in secondary legislation: “The regulations will set out the information that has to be stored in the golden thread and how the information must be kept. The government will publish these regulations and additional guidance in draft for consultation at a later stage.”
The report clarifies that the golden thread is both the information and the information management process. It notes that the UK BIM Framework “could support the implementation of the golden thread”.
It emphasises that digital standards are key to creating and maintaining an effective golden thread. “To successfully achieve a golden thread which meets legislative requirements, dutyholders and accountable persons will need to have strong, standardised and holistic information management systems in place throughout a building’s life cycle,” it says.
As there are no digital standards that only specifically apply to the higher-risk buildings in scope of the Building Safety Bill and given that current standards focus on the design and construction phases rather than creating and maintaining a golden thread throughout a building’s life cycle, the BRAC working group, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Health & Safety Executive will work together to produce specific guidance.
The report states: “The guidance will detail how the various standards can be applied to work together and how the lessons and processes set out in these standards can be applied to higher-risk buildings. It will explain how those responsible for creating the golden thread for a building can apply the relevant standards in conjunction with existing legacy processes and systems without mandating, or prescribing, any specific technology or software.”
This guidance will also set out:
- the process for agreeing who is responsible for information gathering, production, checking and procedures;
- how dutyholders and accountable persons should plan for what information they will need to share, when they will need to share it, who they will need to share it with, how they will share it and why they should share information;
- practical details to support implementing Common Data Environments and effective information exchange and interoperability; and
- practical guidance on how to ensure your information management delivers on the golden thread principles: ‘accurate/trusted’, ‘accessible’, ‘secure’ and ‘relevant/proportionate’.
In short, the BRAC working group calls on all those likely to be affected by the golden thread to start preparing for it now.
It concludes: “While it will take many years to embed these changes in the sector, it is essential that those who will need to put in place a golden thread for their building understand what is required and can begin to prepare for the legal duty to provide it.
“We want to encourage the sector to begin preparing for the upcoming legislation now, by considering the way they currently manage and exchange information.”