GSL boosts King’s College

A £40m university scheme has been put forward as an example of best practice for the Government Soft Landings approach

King’s College London’s Champion Hill project comprises the development of 720 student residences across four new-build blocks and the renovation of a Grade II listed building. It is utilising BIM and Government Soft Landings to ensure successful delivery.

Rider Levett Bucknall is providing project management for the scheme, and partner Steven Jenkins presented to over 250 public sector attendees at the recent GSL: ‘Joining the Dots’ Conference to promote the benefits of the approach.

He said:  “Government Soft Landings is an opportunity to ensure that all user requirements are built into the brief. It is focused on outcomes, not outputs, with construction used as a catalyst to address key strategic operating issues for organisations.

“Robust processes are used to make sure that the building is functioning fully at handover and an on-going legacy is provided, with FM and everyday operations embedded from day one and lessons carried into future projects.”

Speaking more specifically about Rider Levett Bucknall’s role on Champion Hill, he commented that it was essential that a BIM and GSL strategy was developed with tangible benefits clearly identified at the beginning of the project.

He added: “It’s fantastic to be working with King’s College London, one of the world’s top 20 universities, on this forward thinking project. From the beginning we facilitated numerous workshops with stakeholders to articulate their varied and detailed requirements which formed the cornerstone of the project brief. Following public procurement rules we then secured a contractor fully committed to delivering BIM and Government Soft Landing requirements.

“Following contract award we have worked with the contractor and College to convert the strategy into a detailed delivery plan, covering the pre-commissioning, handover and post occupancy activities to ensure objectives are achieved.”

Kevin Little, director of capital projects at King’s College London, added: “Using soft landings on this project will accelerate both a smooth facilities management operation from day one and help the development to meet our carbon management aspirations. This state-of-the-art system will help us provide world class facilities to students and staff, attracting the brightest and the best to King’s College London.”

A Government Soft Landings approach ensures that data generated within the BIM during the design and construction phase is fully utilised to enable the building to be commissioned.

It uses the data for the Operating and Maintenance (O&M) manuals, allowing these to be completed prior to Practical Completion, and BIM data is exported seamlessly into the CAFM (Computer-Aided Facility Management) system alongside maintenance information to create ‘data rich’ asset information, Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) schedules and help desk functions.

Full training of maintenance staff has been programmed into the scheme to ensure that building operations are fully understood before handover. This will include the use of the installed energy meters which will feed data into the Building Management Systems (BMS) to highlight any variances between design and actual energy use.

The aim is to achieve both BREEAM Outstanding and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) A Rating for the development.

Champion Hill is one of a number of schemes Rider Levett Bucknall is delivering using a GSL approach, in sectors including education, healthcare and research. The methodology is being used for both new-build and refurbishment projects, ranging from £2m to £100m.



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