In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster, The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has recently released a 192-page consultation document entitled “Building a Safer Future: Proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system.” The consultation will take place from 6th June to 31st July 2019 and follows on from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (and relates to England only).

The Golden Thread

As part of the raft of safety measures they aim to introduce in order to improve the safety within high rise buildings, they are mandating the use of BIM and BIM Companies on residential projects that consist of six or more storeys. In Part C of the consultation document, entitled ‘Duties that run throughout a building’s life cycle’, the central theme is concerned with a ‘golden thread of information’ which will run through the lifecycle of the building, from the design stage through to occupation. This ‘golden thread’ relies on digital tools and systems to be able to store the necessary information and enable it to be used effectively.

BIM Standards

Paragraph 201 states: “Whilst we do not plan to mandate that particular software is used to store information as part of the golden thread, we may choose to mandate that the golden thread of building information complies with Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards.” It then goes on to state that, “Government guidance would then refer to BIM Standards.”

BIM Mandate

The document also reveals that the Government believes that the use of BIM will make it easier for any changes in the design of a building to be logged as well as a more accurate record of materials and products used in construction to be kept as well. “Mandating BIM would make the best use of ongoing work to promote digitalisation in the construction industry, consistent with other Government and industry initiatives such as the Transforming Construction programme and the Construction Sector Deal.”

Common Data Environment (CDE)

The document also sets out duties for those responsible for the whole lifecycle of a building – from design to demolition, and places “much greater responsibility on those designing and constructing buildings to demonstrate how they are managing safety risks.” Creating the golden thread will ‘require the use of a common data environment” (CDE), which will then allow everyone involved on the construction project to be able to work on maintaining and developing the information collaboratively.


As part of the consultation, the Government are asking whether they should also mandate BIM standards for new buildings in the design and construction stage, new buildings in the occupation stage, and existing buildings in the occupation stage. The standards that should be considered when using BIM are also discussed in the consultation process, with the standards under consideration, including:

  • BS 1192 – ‘Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information. Code of practice.’
  • PAS 1192 – ‘Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling.’
  • BS EN ISO 19650 – ‘managing information over the whole life cycle of a built asset using building information modelling (BIM)’
  • BS 8536 – ‘Design and construction: Code of practice for asset management (Linear and geographical infrastructure)’
  • BS EN ISO 19650-3 – ‘Organization of information about construction works – Information management using building information modelling.’

As part of the consultation, the Government also advises that a ‘key dataset’ is maintained through the lifecycle of the building as well. This dataset will be a subset of the information contained within the ‘golden thread’ and may include information on building purpose and type, current and past duty holders, materials used for areas such as cladding, and the number of storeys, for example.

As you can see, the Government are committed to the use of collaborative 3D BIMon its public sector projects. If you would like to outsource your BIM needs to a company who will share its knowledge with you freely, then please get in touch with the team at The CAD Room today. You can call us on 0161 427 0348, or drop us an email at