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BESA, RICS and NBS Unite to Align on Building Data Standards

BESA, RICS and NBS Unite to Align on Building Data Standards
14 October 2022

In what has been described as “a momentous game-changing moment”, RICS, BESA and NBS have created a roundtable collaboration forum, to align the data standards that are used to manage costing, carbon and building and facilities maintenance.

In response to government demand for the public sector to enhance the way it uses digital life cycle costing and carbon assessment, the forum hopes to clear up confusion and shift the digital focus from new build to whole life building performance. 


"Many building owners and occupiers tell us they are sick and tired of not having access to complete cost and asset specific data about how their buildings need to be designed and built in a way that will optimise how they are run and maintained."

–David Frise



The roundtable group will evolve the use of data into a cost and maintenance playbook that will explain how quantity surveyors and facilities managers should set about gathering asset data using digital tools. 

“More than 80 per cent of the total cost of ownership of any built asset is in ongoing operation and maintenance, but many clients find it almost impossible to get a clear handle on how much they should be spending and on what,” said BESA CEO David Frise. 

“Many building owners and occupiers tell us they are sick and tired of not having access to complete cost and asset specific data about how their buildings need to be designed and built in a way that will optimise how they are run and maintained. They now desperately need to cut running costs, whilst make sure their buildings are safe and compliant, and get on with delivering their net-zero carbon reduction targets.” 

The forum includes the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the National Building Specification (NBS).


Data Alignment Across a Building’s Life Cycle


The roundtable data collaboration forum will also encourage the industry to stop working “in silos” and start sharing data to inform better decisions/outcomes. It will also attempt to address the ongoing problem that decisions made at design stage to cut upfront expenditure often led to much higher lifetime maintenance costs, therefore passing on the problem to clients and people further down the supply chain. 

The market for UK building maintenance is estimated at over £60 billion/per annum, but the industry bodies fear that a significant proportion of that money is not being properly targeted to reduce running costs and carbon emissions, with inappropriate funds allocated to keep buildings operating safely and efficiently. 


Adopting FM Asset Data Standards Across Government Portfolio


As part of its Building Better Buildings programme, the Government Property Function (GPF) has instigated a “root and branch” reform, based on the adoption of its FM asset data standards, to provide consistency in how asset data is captured and exploited.

This is intended to improve asset performance, lower running costs, reduce carbon emissions, as well as optimising the level of maintenance carried out to an appropriate budget. 

The Government Property Agency (GPA) has been charged with delivering major efficiency improvements across its vast portfolio. The use of better building information is pivotal to this, and the GPA is working with the industry bodies to embed data standards into its estate, as a “living laboratory” that will use data alignment for specific information purposes across the entire asset life cycle.

Delegates at the BESA National Conference on October 20th will have the chance to engage with this process by taking part in an open forum with representatives from each of the data standard bodies.  

Picture: a photograph of a person using a tablet. A plant can be seen in the background. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 October 2022


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