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Last edited 18 May 2016

6: Handover and close out

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Handover and close out takes place after the construction has ended. The employer is able to occupy the development but the contractor remains responsible for rectifying defects during a period known as the 'defects liability period' (or 'rectification period') which typically lasts six to twelve months.

If the employer has required adoption of the soft landings framework, an initial aftercare team should be available (and visible) typically for 4 to 6 weeks after occupation, and extended aftercare provided for up to 3 years.


A formal handover procedure should be implemented, perhaps during a handover meeting following an inspection of the site. Keys, fobs and other controls should be handed over along with any outstanding documentation. Defects reporting procedures should be agreed and access arrangements put in place for the contractor. Responsibility for insurance, security and so on should be transferred (see Handover to employer for more information).

If it has not already been done, the project information model in the common data environment may be transferred to the employer, including the final published information and the archive which provides a record of all activities in the common data environment during the project.

If they have not already done so, the employer should appoint an asset information manager to maintain the information going forward.

During this stage, the project information model might be developed to include:

A point cloud or LiDAR survey may be carried out to confirm the completeness of the as-constructed model.

It might also be necessary to update project documentation with the benefit of operational experience, such as the:

Once the project information model has been verified against what has actually been constructed, it should be handed over to the employer as an as-constructed asset information model (AIM). The asset information model is the model that compiles the data and information necessary to support asset management, that is, it provides all the data and information related to, or required for the operation and maintenance of the completed development.

At the end of the defects liability period, the contract administrator arranges final inspections of the works and if satisfied issues the certificate of making good defects. The contract administrator co-ordinates preparation of a final report providing a summary of activities during the construction phase. The cost consultant prepares the final account and the contract administrator issues the final certificate.

End of stage report and information exchange

The contractor prepares an information exchange (or 'data drop') as required by the employer's information requirements. This involves issuing published information into the employer's information environment.

On a traditional project, this might bring about the end of appointments. However, the soft landings framework proposes that extended aftercare should be provided for 3 years after occupation:

  • In year 1, problems are identified, training provided and systems fine-tuned, with regular reviews carried out. Aftercare user meetings might be held to explain how the building operates, answer questions and obtain feedback.
  • In years 2 and 3, performance is reviewed, but with reviews becoming less frequent.
  • There should be regular reviews of energy performance, with a written review of energy and systems performance every 6 months, and a review meeting at least annually.
  • Independent post occupancy surveys might be undertaken annually.

Employer’s decision point:

The table below sets out examples of plain language questions that an employer might ask at this decision point and the information they might require to answer those questions.

Plain language questions Information required
Is the information compliant with employer's information requirements?

Have any remaining defects been rectified?

Is the final account correct?

Should the final payment be made and remaining retention released?

Is the development operating satisfactorily?

Are any changes required?

Are there any lessons learned that might be applicable to other projects?

As-constructed asset information model in native and industry foundation classes (IFC) format.

COBie file.

Any additional testing and commissioning information.

Final report.

Final account.

Post project review.

Post occupancy evaluations.

Next stage >> 7: In use.