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What is the ‘Golden Thread’ and why is it important?

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Guided Home is property handover software supporting the ongoing handover of Golden Thread property and safety information to managers, owners, and residents.

The ‘golden thread’ of property information originates from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety ‘Building a Safer Future’ report following the tragic Grenfell fire (June 2017) – which represents the greatest loss of life in a residential fire in a century. The government inquiry into the causes of the fire and subsequent Hackitt review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety highlighted significant issues with the record-keeping, maintenance and transfer of building and safety information to Duty holders and residents.

Dame Judith Hackitt, in her Independent Review, called for changes to the building management control process and related record-keeping requirements, recommending a “golden thread of information” for every building. The golden thread is intended to support those responsible for the design, construction and management of buildings throughout the building life so those responsible can understand and operate the building and keep the people using it safely, now and in future.

All property stakeholders will be familiar with issues of inaccurate and incomplete property handover information. Often delivered in the form of multiple ring binders of information, which make the information hard to access when you need it most. A digital golden thread would clearly benefit all operators, occupiers and stakeholders. A technological solution that is cost-effective and, therefore, accessible to projects of all sizes is an urgent priority in light of the changing regulatory context.

While the Hackitt report focused on multi-occupancy, higher-risk residential buildings (HRRBs) that are 10 storeys or more in height; it’s expected that the good practices that emerge from the regulation will spread across all residential buildings. Industry bodies are working towards standardisation and harmonisation, and all market participants are expected to take responsibility and will be held to account under new regulations.

Guided Home is supporting the industry to digitise as-built property information for practical completion handover with an easy, intuitive and cost-effective digital platform that centralises property records and supports the ongoing handover to owners, operators and residents. Property managers benefit from an easy-to-use digital tool that they can maintain and update to ensure the ongoing accuracy of the digital property records – easily pushing updates to residents via the Guided app. Most importantly, residents have an app where they can quickly access accurate and up-to-date building and property safety information; helping them feel safe in their homes, now and in future.

Register or book a demo at URL to see how Guided can help digitise your next practical completion and property handover.

The golden thread principles

1. Accurate and trusted The duty holder/accountable person/building safety managers and other relevant persons (e.g. contractors) must be able to use the golden thread to maintain and manage building safety and ensure compliance with building regulations. The regulator should also be able to use this information as part of their work to assess compliance with building regulations, the safety of the building and the operator’s safety case report, including supportive evidence, and to hold people to account.

2. Residents feel secure in their homes. Residents will be provided with information from the golden thread – so that they have accurate and trusted information about their homes. This will also support residents in holding accountable persons and building safety managers to account for building safety.

3. Culture change The golden thread will support culture change within the industry as it will require increased competence and capability, different working practices, updated processes and a focus on information management and control. The golden thread should be considered an enabler for better and more collaborative working.

4. Single source of truth The golden thread will bring all information together in a single place, meaning there is always a single source of truth. It will record changes, including the reason for change, evaluation of change, date of change, and the decision-making process.

5. Secure It must be secure, with sufficient protocols in place to protect personal information and control access to maintain the security of the building or residents. It should also comply with current GDPR legislation where required.

6. Accountable The golden thread will record changes, when these changes were made, and by whom. This will help improve accountability. The new regime is setting out clear duties for duty holders and accountable persons for maintaining the golden thread information to meet the required standards.

7. Understandable/consistent The golden thread needs to support the user in their task of managing building safety and compliance with building regulations. The information must be clear, understandable and focused on the needs of the user. It should be presented in a way that can be understood – and used – by the users.

8. Simple to access The golden thread needs to support the user in their task of managing building safety, and therefore, the information must be accessible so that people can easily find the right information at the right time. This means that the information should be stored in a structured way (like a library) so people can easily find, update and extract the right information.

9. Longevity and shareability of information: The information needs to be formatted in a way that can be easily handed over and maintained over the entire lifetime of a building. In practical terms, this is likely to mean that it needs to align with the rules around open data and the principles of interoperability – so that information can be handed over in the future and still be accessed.

10. Relevant/proportionate Preserving the golden thread does not mean everything about a building and its history needs to be kept and updated from inception to disposal. The objective is building safety, and therefore, if information is no longer relevant to building safety, it does not need to be kept.

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