Soft Landings

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Soft Landings
  • What is Soft Landings?
  • Soft Landings and the Government Construction Strategy
  • Contractual considerations
  • Soft Landings and BIM

Soft Landings

What is Soft Landings?

Soft Landings was a concept proposed by an architect, Mark Way, based on practical issues he noted arising following building handover to users of buildings. It was then further developed by him in a project at Cambridge University and in 2004, preliminary documentation in the form of a scope of service documents was produced.

In response to the move towards more sustainable buildings, the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) became involved and convened an industry task group. That task group produced the Soft Landings Framework for better briefing, design, handover and building performance in-use in June 2009 (BSRIA BG 4/2009). It is available to download from the BSRIA website.

BSRIA's Introducing Soft Landings (available to download from the BSRIA website) described Soft Landings as follows:

'Soft Landings' means designers and constructors staying involved with buildings beyond practical completion to assist the client during the first month of operation and beyond to help fine-tune and de-bug the systems, and ensure the occupiers understand how to control and best use buildings.'

In its description of the background to Soft Landings, the BSRIA Framework refers to the need to improve sustainability, energy efficiency and the overall performance of buildings. However, the reality, it says, is that there are large gaps between expectations and actual performance, particularly energy performance. One problem identified was that designers' and

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