Friday, 8 November 2013

Soft Landings Framework saves costs and adds value

“The rigid separation between construction and operation [of buildings] means that many buildings are handed over in a poor state of operational readiness and suffer a ‘hard landing’" (UBT/BSIRA 2009, p. 10). The Soft Landings Framework deals with this problem, enabling architects and contractors to improve the performance of buildings by involving them for the first three years of occupation. While most people would probably agree that this is a good idea in principle, a crucial question is – how much does it cost?

The report How to Procure Soft Landings, launched at Arup’s London offices on Tuesday, attempts to answer this question. AMA Director Joanna Eley, who has been involved in the development and dissemination of Soft Landings to construction projects for many years, was delighted to hear at the launch that anectodal evidence shows that the Soft Landings principles is cost effective and adds value.  When questioned, people who have used the tool suggested that troughout a project it might cost 0.1% of construction costs, and ‘you can do a lot with £30,000’. The benefit of the Soft Landings approach is that communication and consistency close the gap between intention and performance and help meet client objectives. The next task is to collect more real evidence, show the clients that it works and educate the industry to do it properly and as a matter of course.

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