Notes of the meeting 5 October 2011

BSRIA User Group Member
Soft Landings User Group
Notes of the meeting
5 October 2011
These notes are not formal minutes, but a record of the presentations and the discussions that
followed. The actions will inform future activities of the Group.
Note that all outputs of the User Group are held on the Soft Landings Resource Share website
( Your login and (initial) password is your e-mail address in
both cases.
BSRIA will host the presentations for Members to download rather than e-mail them. It is always
worthwhile keeping the resource-share as a browser favourite as BSRIA will be regularly populating
the Soft Landings Resource Share with new and updated material.
Alan Knibb, Essex CC
Roger Carlin, Ashford
Roderic Bunn, BSRIA
Sara Farzaneh, ZBP
Gary Clark, Heriot Watt (chair)
Jason Wyatt, MJN Colston
Ian Darling, Atomic Weapons Est.
Bill Gething, FCBS
Bill G
Mark Davies, NG Bailey
Mark Maidment, Skelly & Couch
James Warne, BDP
Patricia Chaput, UBT
Mark Savage, BAS
Tamsin Tweddell. M.Fordham
Miles Thomas, Castle Oak
Steve Symonds, Kier W
Peter Brumby, Wates
Mike Chater, Hants CC
Clive Wainwright, Interserve
Ashley Bateson, HLP
Nick Gosling, Interserve
Clive Wainwright, IES
Lee Hawkins, SRM
Dan Rigamonti, AEDAS
Jeff Pearce, ZBP
David Churcher, BSRIA
Bill Bordass, UBT
Derek Walker, BBCNL
Lee Gwilliams, ESC
Gavin Lang, AECOM
Stephen Gathergood, Interserve
Howard Tinkler, SRMcAlpine
Dave Stanley, BCU
John Whyte, MJN Colston
Alasdair Donn, Willmott Dixon
Lucy Townsend, Atkins/Leeds Uni
Recap: Purpose of the Soft Landings User Group
“User Group members are committed to ensuring that Soft Landings
principles are applied on our new build and refurbishment projects, that
operational outcomes match the design intentions, and that the expectations of
the building’s end users are met”
Regular issues
The User Group should be about sharing good and bad experiences.
Clients are requiring Soft Landings, and the User Group needs to help its
Members respond in the right ways.
Case studies are needed to support the argument for Soft Landings
We need to generate some Soft Landings Core Principles
The government has responded to the call for Soft Landings to be introduced
to public sector procurement by Setting up a Task Force to advise on
In short:
March 2011 - The Innovation and Growth team called for Government
to adopt Soft Landings
May 2011 - Adopted within the Government Construction Strategy
September 2011 - Cabinet Office-led Soft Landings Task Force created
Sept 2012 - Publish ‘Soft Landings for Government Procurement’
The group will be run by the Government Property Unit and accountable to
the Government Construction Board. The kick-off meeting is on 17th October.
The Task Force primary outputs will be:
A contribution to a 20% reduction in construction costs by the end of the
parliament (through energy saving)
Delivering alignment of design/construction with operation and asset
management within government construction, based on the Soft
Landings Framework
Main output: a policy document and guidance for Soft Landings in
Government Construction by 30th Sept 2012.
Case studies to be identified as proof of concept by 31 st October.
Task Force membership numbers more than 60, with 45 down to attend the
launch meeting on 17 October. Membership is drawn from the design
professions, FM and construction suppliers, client organisations and
government departments, and industry bodies including RIBA, BIFM, RICS
and BSRIA.
Separate working groups will be set up to produce specific guidance on a
Soft Landings gateway process, standard construction and facilities
management clauses, Soft Landings performance metrics leading to a set of
key performance indicators, assignment of roles and responsibilities in Soft
Landings, and the tools and procedures for post-occupancy monitoring.
User Group members
have been co-opted,
including Roderic Bunn,
Gary Clark, Mike Chater,
David Stanley, Alasdair
Donn and Steve
Seasonal commissioning
RodB reported that BSRIA has set a deadline of April 2012 to produce
guidance. BSRIA will be shortly issuing invitations for interested persons to
attend a working group.
Case Studies
RodB had not heard from Siemens about a possible case study. GaryC said he
would chase his contact at Wilkinson Eyre.
GaryC to follow-up
SL for contractors
RodB reported John Whyte’s frustration at being unable to convene a
contractor’s working group to develop some specific guidance for
contractors’ appointments, roles and responsibilities. The reason for User
Group members’ reticence is unclear, but might be linked to the competitive
nature of contracting.
RodB said that the guidance might now be generated by a working party on
the Cabinet Office-led Soft Landings Task Force. Priority is for guidance and
content for pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQ) and invitations to tender
(ITT). The User Group commented that the PQQ and ITT should focus 60/40
in favour of people over process (getting the right people is more important
than sticking to a process).
AlanK said that whatever guidance is generated for contractors and builders,
it must achieve consistency, and be related to specific requirements in the
Soft Landings Framework so clients can challenge a builder’s claims.
RodB to ask the User
Group for examples and
advice on SL-related
(PQQ and ITT questions
and answers)
Soft Landings in the Republic of Ireland
GaryC reported on the visit to Ireland with Bill Bordass. Gary reported that
SL was very well received at an inaugural SL event and that a local User
Group may be set up.
Soft Landings and the Association of University Engineers
Gary C gave a presentation on SL to the AUE in September. Every major
university is a member of the AUE. The Chairman of the AUE is keen to
adopt Soft Landings principles and will be invited to attend the User Group
next meeting. The Estates Directorate may also be involved.
GaryC to keep SL User
Group informed on
Invitation to the next User
Group to be extended to
the chairman of AUE,
who will be invited to
share AUS’s intentions
with the Group
GaryC said that AUE has budgets to produce AUE-branded Soft Landings
Case Studies
RodB has augmented the Soft Landings feedback forms with a spreadsheet
designed to record projects either adopting or planning to adopt Soft
Landings. This spreadsheet will be revisited at each meeting, but will also be
available via the Resource Share for User group members to update
Soft Landings training and accreditation
RodB outlined BSRIA’s plans for an accredited SL competency scheme. In
 Heriot Watt and BSRIA have been discussing the possibility of a
collaboration to develop SL training modules
 Training would be geared towards an understanding of the Soft Landings
process and how to manage it
RodB to upload s/sheet
onto the resouce share
Core competencies are to be identified and covered by specific modules,
for example on facilitation, team building, POE methods including
occupant surveys, energy targeting and monitoring, reality checking,
planning, communication skills, and documenting the process on live
Training modules will be developed, and licenced to other training
Proof of competency will be mostly by demonstration rather than by
exam. It will be more a CPD approach, whereby skills are built up over
time, and possibly linked to competency standards (silver, gold and
platinum levels for example).
The competency scheme will be for non-domestic projects. (Note:
Sheffield University may be invited to help construct a competency
scheme for domestic projects).
MarkS said that the LEED scheme is structured along similar lines, whereas
BREEAM is less flexible and far more tick-box driven. RodB assured the
User Group that any SL competency scheme would avoid creating a
profession of licenced SL assessors. The industry doesn’t need it.
IanD said that the AWE is launching a behaviour/culture change training
initiative for project teams. The pilot event is on 18 Oct.
RodB to attend as an
GaryC noted that other universities could link to the BSRIA scheme, such as
Cambridge University’s Interdisciplinary Construction Masters course.
(RodB: Adrian Leaman’s Masters course in Design Brief Management might
be resurrected at Sheffield by Prof Fionn Stevenson.)
The Association of Project Managers ‘core competencies’ might have a role
here. The APM is on the Cabinet Office Task Force.
MarkS said that the Partnering PPC 2000 CM (Association of Architects
Form of Contract) style of procurement fits quite well with SL. NEC has a
similar Form of Contract, geared towards much larger projects.
Mark S said that the low Carbon Workplace, a Carbon Trust / Stanhope
collaboration, is buying up old / low performing properties and converting
them into low CO2 and better working environments. The client is refusing to
recognise “Soft Landings”, although they do want to follow the principles of
SL. CO2 targets are being included in tenancy agreement.
AlanK said that Soft Landings should require a number of people to offer
different SL competencies, such as skills at facilitation, or skills and energy
targeting. On one project the architect might be in the competency area, while
on another that role might be led by the engineer. The minimum would be a
team with a minimum of core competences (say, five or more approved
persons on a scheme).
AlanK also said that it will be important to try and use existing courses that
would mean that providers and the industry would be more willing to
embrace it. RodB said that existing courses would be awarded Soft Landings
credits. GaryC said research is needed to identify those courses.
MarkD said that would give the SL scheme more credibility and would be
more cost-effective. It would help to formalise competencies based on
experience. PatC said while there should be opportunities for one-off training,
there is also a need for project team training, where the whole team is
educated – as they are going to need help to do it. FMs will need to be
RodB to visit Heriot Watt
to construct SL
competency modules.
educated on what they need to do. This could be in the form of a single day’s
tuition on the SL process, with Q&A sessions and workshops.
JasonW said there is a increasing worry that SL is being mis-sold, so unless
there is a competency scheme, people will assume authority that they should
not have, particularly among builders and contractors.
MarkS said that maybe a set of technical competencies are required. As a
minimum people would need to be professionally qualified and able to
demonstrate experience. So we should break down the competencies into
technical requirements, such as understanding of controls. and non-technical
requirements, such as skills at facilitation.
Discussion moved on to testing by examination or by ‘course work’. Peter
Brumby supported a multi-choice exam for technical things. GaryC said
people should be able to demonstrate knowledge of a particular process. PatC
said the scheme needs to take into account existing competencies and make
allowance for existing qualifications.
RB to table these
contributions during
discussions with Heriot
GaryC favoured a light touch, with a mix of CPD, education on common
principles. Not sure that we need to test individuals. Seb Macmillian at
Cambridge might be able to help via the interdisciplinary course at
PatC said it will all come back to the client checking for competencies during
interviews whether the tendering organisation has named people with
competencies and ask what courses have been attended. We need guidance
for clients to interview and know what is required. Perhaps we need to
develop an “educated client” document. AlanK agreed that we need matching
competency in clients.
This needs to be covered
by PQQ quidance.
RodB said we could revisit the APM core competencies and identify ones that
can be beneficially duplicated.
Soft Landings projects
RodB tabled a spreadsheet where known Soft landings projects could be
logged by User Group members. This spreadsheet will be held on the
Resource Share. User Group members are encouraged to add projects and
amend entries.
The ensuing discussion is covered by the spreadsheet held on the Soft
Landings Resource Share.
AlanK said that Essex is now including SL principles in its future Framework
Bill Gething presented work in progress on putting a ‘green overlay’ on the
RIBA Plan of Work (PoW), improving the environmental aspects of the Plan
and introducing Soft Landings principles to work stages.
Questions raised from the floor on how the proposed update will cover:
Controls philosophy and strategy
Through life analysis (not just whole-life cost)
Seasonal and continuous commissioning
Plan for unregulated energy loads
Presentation in PDF
uploaded to the SL
Resource share
An energy declaration earlier / as early as possible.
The work is being co-ordinated by Alan Dobson of the RIBA Practice
Deep questions are being asked, such as whether the PoW should be
completely re-written rather than simply modified. (Interestingly, the 1963
version describes the work stages rather better – ‘detailed design’ rather than
today’s more opaque ‘technical design’ stage. In any case, design carries on
throughout the construction process. )
Current PoW has planning at Stage D, but the localism element is right back
in the early stages. BREEAM and DEC overlays need to cut right through the
process to the end stages.
Plan is to change the PoW as little as possible. Thus far changes amount to 39
words, with the objective to change as few words as possible.
The PoW needs to reflect changes in the way we analyse and report energy
use. The energy declaration at Stage D needs to be clear on simulations,
calcualtions and predictions, which are not synonymous. Also regulated and
The revisions need to be completed by the end of November 2011.
Date of next meeting
To be advised, but likely to be early January 2012.
Meeting focus: Costing out Soft Landings
Ian Darling suggested a presentation on AWE’s plans and experiences with
Soft Landings.