New British Standard provides guidelines to help streamline design of key infrastructure

24 October 2016

Engineers, designers, architects and asset owners are among those set to benefit from BSI’s latest standard, BS 8536-2

BSI, the business standards company, has launched BS 8536-2, Briefing for design and construction - Part 2: Code of practice for Asset management (Linear and geographical infrastructure), a standard which has been developed specifically for individuals and organizations involved in the design and construction of energy, transport, water and other infrastructure.

Currently the design and construction process of a typical asset does not prioritize day-to-day operability with an eye on the long-term costs. As such, the industry discovered a need to fully exploit efficiency savings during the all-important design and construction stages of infrastructure.

BS 8536-2 uses data and information compiled by experts to improve efficiency ensure that the operating costs of the asset are minimized. The standard provides a structured, systematic approach to briefing developers and designers. This evidence-based approach maximizes the long-term value of the asset.

Improving the focus of the supply chain at the critical handover stage of an asset was paramount in developing BS 8536-2. This standard extends supply chain involvement through to operations and clearly defined periods of aftercare, ensuring that supply chains are active, not passive, participants in the design and construction process of an asset.

This new standard is the follow-up standard to BS 8536-1, which issued a code of practice for individuals and organizations dealing with buildings infrastructure. Like last year’s BS 8536-1, BS 8536-2 was designed to benefit both public and private sector companies, with the main beneficiaries of the new Standard expected to be those involved in the transport, energy, telecommunications and water infrastructure industries.

Anthony Burd, Head of the Built Environment Sector at BSI, said: “BS 8536-2 was created specifically for engineers, designers and architects to provide guidance during the design and construction stages of their infrastructure project. Our standard provides them with expert information and data so that they can make an informed decision about the operational lifespan and performance of the asset, whether that is a pipe to transport water or engineering a train track to withstand decades of use.

“Our new standard is the only standard in the market which provides evidence-based guidance and recommendations for the design and operational performance of infrastructure assets. As well as new projects, the standard will also benefit current owners upgrading an existing asset, and organizations procuring a new asset.”

The Government Soft Landings Policy and the introduction of BIM Level 2 were also influential in shaping the standard’s focus on designing for asset operation and measuring the operational performance of the asset.

Rob Manning from the BIM task group, said: “The standard encourages a construction industry culture that seeks not only to deliver an asset on time, on budget and to the specified quality but also to deliver a constructed asset that delivers the required value in operation. The standard emphasizes the need for employers, designers and constructors to instigate a behaviour and process for defining, delivering and measuring operational performance.”

During the development of this standard, BSI received support from a steering panel of experts from blue-chip public and private sector organizations including The Environment Agency, London Underground, Carillion and EDF Energy.

Anthony Burd concluded: “It’s an exciting time for infrastructure in the UK, with more and more large and small scale projects being given the green light. Knowledge is power, and our latest standard uses proven data and information to empower the men and women who design and construct our infrastructure.”


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