Last edited 18 Jan 2015

Technical guide

The soft landings framework is a joint initiative between BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association) and UBT (Usable Buildings Trust). It is an open-source framework available from BSRIA that is intended to ‘…smooth the transition into use and to address problems that post-occupancy evaluations (POEs) show to be widespread’.

The government considers that soft landings sits alongside building information modelling (BIM).

Amongst a number of strategies intended to improve the performance of buildings, the soft landings framework proposes that building owners and operators should be provided with a technical guide to help them understand how building systems are supposed to work and enabling them to operate and fine-tune those systems.

This is in addition to the traditional requirement for a building owner's manual (sometimes called an operation and maintenance manual or O&M manual) which contains more detailed information required for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of a building, and in addition to a non-technical building user’s guide which explains the principles behind the design of the building and how these affect its operation to building users.

The soft landings framework proposes that the technical guide is not aimed at individual users.

It should be written in plain English and should include information about:

  • How the building and its systems work.
  • The performance that is expected.
  • The building log book, which is a requirement of part L of the building regulations and provides information about building services to help ensure the building is operated properly and efficiently.
  • The strategy for energy metering.
  • The requirements of any energy rating schemes used, such as LEED, BREEAM or Ska.

The soft landings framework suggests that the technical guide should be developed during design and construction and that two pre-handover meetings should be held between the project team and the facilities management team to explain the content of the technical guide and the systems it describes.

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