Facilities management briefing standard is revised

25 August 2015

BSI, the business standards company, has revised BS 8536-1 Briefing for design and construction: Code of practice for facilities management (Buildings infrastructure).

The standard has been included in the Level 2 BIM package of documents which the Government expects companies to demonstrate they are using when tendering for Government contracts.

The standard has now been brought into line with the principles of the Soft Landings Framework and Government Soft Landings (GSL)*, post occupancy evaluation and BIM requirements. Soft landings enables the smooth transition from design and construction, into operation and use of an asset/facility. It advocates close collaboration during briefing, design, construction and handover between the design and construction team and the operator, operations team or facilities manager, as appropriate, in matters affecting operations and end-users.  

Both BS 8536-1 and Soft Landings recognize that the impact of on-going business performance, maintenance and operational cost of a building during its lifecycle, far outweigh the original capital cost of construction. The need to optimize in-use performance from a social, economic and environmental perspective is recognized and sought through strategic target setting, learning from previous experience, early engagement with the operators and end users in the design and construction process, post hand-over support, in-use performance evaluation and benchmarking.

Anthony Burd Head of Construction at BSI said: “By working closely with operators and users, the operational costs and impacts of a building can be better understood and considered in both design and construction, and can reduce whole life cost and support improved operational delivery. The principles of supply chain collaborative working and engagement - in a structured process throughout the whole lifecycle - underpins this standard. It also encourages the data output created during the design and construction process to be made available using BIM for use in the operation phase. Creating one document enabling clients to achieve better performance outcomes from their facilities, is a huge step forward.”  

The standard will be applicable to all new build projects and major refurbishments and is of particular benefit to architects/designer firms, structural engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers, real estate managers and facility managers, asset managers (owners/operators). 

What BS 8536-1 does:

  • Helps users to achieve the performance outcomes specified at the outset of the project
  • Addresses operational needs and running costs adding to the efficiency of the business
  • Enables user and operator needs to be assessed throughout the design process so assets become cheaper to construct and operate, and do not require changes after handover 
  • Allows assets to meet their optimum performance much quicker because designers and the construction team will be involved in optimizing their operation• Makes assets more sustainable

BS 8536 was developed using a collaborative consensus-based process with expertise from such organizations as: BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Managers), BIM Task Group, BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association), BSRIA Soft Landings user group, Buildingsmart, The Facilities Society, Government Soft Landings Stewardship Group,  ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers), Ministry of Justice Estates, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)/ NBS (commercial arm of RIBA) and University of Bolton.

This standard is available as a free download sponsored by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) on behalf of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) Task Group. 


Note to editors

- *The principles of the Soft Landings Framework (published as BSRIA BG4/2009 by BSRIA/UBT) have been adopted by the Government  who have adapted them for use by the central government construction client, as Government Soft Landings (GSL)