Soft Landings

About Soft Landings


Soft Landings

Soft Landings is a methodology championed by BSRIA, the Usable Buildings Trust and the Government (GSL) which is utilised by project teams to develop better performing buildings. The aim of Soft Landings is to ensure that clients, designers, contractors, building managers and end users work together to achieve better outcomes for projects.

Soft Landings BSRIA (BG61/2015) …..‘A primary objective of the Soft Landings Framework is to encourage project delivery stakeholders to be more engaged with end user and building management stakeholders during all stages of project delivery from the briefing stage through to design development, construction, handover and project evaluation’.

This approach is particularly important when working on sophisticated research buildings regardless of scale. Interaction with the facility managers and researchers is crucial to understanding how the building's services infrastructure will be utilised to create the necessary environment for the research and for the construction team to learn about the reasons behind the regulations and guidance.

Researchers are not architects and vice versa, so a common understanding has to be developed through structured interaction to ensure that the project team deliver a facility that ticks all the boxes.

Our process is based on the BSRIA Framework which was first published in 2009.

Government Soft landings (GSL) is to be implemented for all centrally funded projects from 2016, it is not mandatory for other projects. This government strategy document states that "end user engagement is delivered through the role of the GSL Champion who will be embedded into the project team".

CCTech Soft Landings Champion

In several projects including the delivery of specialist science and healthcare facilities CCTech have been appointed as Soft Landings Champion for the construction team. This appointment has enabled the construction team to access our specialist knowledge and experience in dealing with the client and end users. In turn we ensure that the end user / facilities management (Estates) concerns reach the design team and that meetings and workshops are conducted to facilitate constructive discussion and agreement on how these will be achieved.

Soft Landings Process Steps


Each stage concludes with one or more "reality checks" to ensure that all of the learning from each Soft Landings stage is assimilated and made available to the work of the next.

Step 1 - Briefing and Planning

CCTech will work closely with the design team, working through the key topics that will influence the design and operation of the research facility.

During this step we will also work in partnership with the end users and building management team to determine the operating, equipment and performance requirements for the facility. It is important to identify these upfront, so that a significant contribution and understanding of the commissioning and future-proofing of the facility is achieved.

Step 2 - Design, Development and Review

Including specification and construction) Ensuring that the research requirements as identified at Step 1 are observed, reviewing the likely performance against the original expectations to achieve specific outcomes. It is vital that the requirements from Step 1 are also used to understand the requirements and to form the basis of operational performance targets/KPI’s for the research building.

Step 3 - Pre-Handover and Commissioning

To strengthen the operational readiness of the research building with greater involvement of the designers, builders, operators, specialists, BMS, commissioning team. At this point, the building is measured against the agreed targets/KPIs as part of the process to ensure readiness and fit to specification.

Step 4 - Initial Aftercare

During the user settling in period – up to 1 year - with a resident representative or team as required to inform users and maintenance, pass on knowledge and respond to problems.

Aftercare in years 2-3

CCTech will continue to provide on site attendance after the first year for meetings, reviews and to carry out building systems performance analysis, in addition to managing warranty issues. This typically needs a lower resource requirement in comparison with year 1, monitoring and assessing reports on performance, following up queries and maintenance issues, ensuring continued operational success and identifying lessons learned.

Key Points for Soft Landing

The design of the facility will undergo extensive discussion and modelling to ensure it meets end user requirements and contributes to the project’s environmental and whole life aims.

The maintenance of key components will be included in design reviews and considered during the procurement process. This ensures best value whilst taking a whole life cost view of the facility.

Realistic and achievable performance targets will be agreed in terms of energy, water and waste. Since a facility may use a lot of energy, it may have a significant impact on the sustainability of a reasearch institute.

Carefully specified Building Management Systems, Energy Management systems / combined BEMS are critical to the successful operation of sophisticated research buildings.

The past experience of the design team, specialists, estates and end users must be considered in the design and selection of systems and equipment.

In addition to the implications for the capital cost, the selection of systems at design stage will have a significant influence on the performance and reliability of the building and services.

Key systems for the facility will be reviewed through Life Cycle Costing to ensure the selection is weighted towards system performance.

Following the Handover and immediate Post-handover period the Soft Landings programme moves to become the Aftercare process.

The Soft Landings Aftercare process will provide a solid link from design and construction through to successful operation and optimum performance

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