Ensuring Building Safety Compliance: How to make this a reality

With the next deadline for the UK’s new building safety regulations looming, owners and operators of high-rise residential buildings face mounting pressure. Daniel Foryszewski, Director of Investor Solutions at MRI Software, explores how embracing technology can streamline compliance efforts and unlock broader benefits.

As the 1 April 2024 deadline for the next phase of the UK’s building safety regulations draws near, owners and operators of high-rise residential properties cannot afford to delay. While most owners and operators of residential properties understand how crucial the Digital Golden Thread is to compliance, many are asking how to make it a reality by April.

Capturing the Digital Golden Thread
Defined by the government as “the information that allows you to understand a building and the steps needed to keep both the building and people safe, now and in the future”, the Digital Golden Thread provides a comprehensive audit trail of property data accessible throughout a building’s lifecycle. It captures all pertinent information needed to construct a dynamic summary of safety risks and their management over time. Technology serves as a critical enabler in this endeavour. 


If they have not done so already, under the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR), landlords, freeholders and managing agents of high-rise residential buildings must make it a critical priority to pull together a Building Safety Case Report (BSCR) – demonstrating they have done everything they reasonably can to reduce any risk of fire or structural safety through the Digital Golden Thread.

Overcoming Challenges with Technological Solutions
Navigating the complexities of building safety compliance presents numerous challenges, exacerbated by the fact that BSR guidelines are still evolving. Yet, the imperative to initiate the Digital Golden Thread cannot be overstated. Non-compliance not only invites penalties but also jeopardises project timelines, particularly in the build-to-rent sector, where failure to secure BSR approvals will result in delays.

Common hurdles include the fact that data is not available or accessible, as well as gaps in knowledge and in the systems and tools needed to generate the necessary data for BSR compliance – resulting in a break in the Digital Golden Thread and an increased workload for those within organisations that own or manage largescale residential properties. 

Overcoming these obstacles demands a thorough gap analysis, identifying existing data and pinpointing areas for improvement. Adopting appropriate technologies is essential. Owners and operators need to be able to tap into data on the state of each building and the residents it houses, including shared utility providers’ history of refurbishments and resident profiles (first language, resident disabilities) in case of evacuations. They can then determine how to close these gaps, which can involve bringing in new processes, people with the necessary knowledge, and technologies.

Leveraging Technology for Compliance and Beyond
Technology lies at the crux of successfully implementing the Digital Golden Thread. Tech tools facilitate accessibility, speed, and the accuracy of building data, ensuring that the owners and operators can more effectively assess, monitor, and manage risk within their properties through digital touchpoints. These tools not only produce a full audit trail but also provide workflows for actions and a means of flagging priorities to the right people in the organisation.

Having the necessary tools and processes in place is critical for the ‘Accountable Persons (APs)’ – individuals, partnerships, or corporate bodies that are legally responsible for repairing and maintaining the common parts of a building, such as the exterior and structure, corridors, or lobbies – to carry out their duties.

The technologies that owners and operators can draw on include property management systems, facilities management solutions, resident and maintenance portals, and leasing software – which together enable a comprehensive view of each property and its occupants. It is critical that the data generated across these diverse systems is consolidated and integrated through open and connected technologies, combined with data capture automation where possible. 

Unlocking Broader Benefits
Beyond compliance, embracing the Digital Golden Thread opens doors to broader benefits for owners and operators of high-rise residential properties. They will find themselves adopting new ways of working that provide more and more easily accessible information on the property, residents, and contractors – making the whole process of managing and maintaining a building more transparent and digitally driven. By harnessing data-driven approaches, landlords and building managers can optimise energy management, anticipate maintenance needs, and enhance overall efficiency.

As the April deadline approaches, the Digital Golden Thread emerges not merely as a regulatory requirement but as a pathway to safer, better-run, and more desirable residential properties. The time to act is now, weaving together compliance, innovation, and progress to shape the future of building safety in the UK.

Daniel Foryszewski, Director of Investor Solutions at MRI Software

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