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Now that cladding remediation is underway – a single source of digital building data is not only necessary – it’s fundamental.
Provisions of the Building Safety Act came into effect in June 2022 – meaning leaseholders are now protected from the rising costs associated with required cladding remediation. The act qualifies that leaseholders will pay nothing to remove dangerous cladding on buildings – and the amount they can be asked to contribute to fixing other historical building safety defects is firmly capped.
Alongside this, the Government’s Building Safety Repairs Pledge has seen 47 housebuilders in England sign up to action the remediation of cladding, with contracts sent out to ensure commitment. With the Act and the pledge, the change that is required for the safety of tens of thousands of people is only now beginning to come into effect.
This extensive work is estimated to be around the £8 billion mark, if not more, with tens of thousands of buildings thought to require dangerous cladding to be stripped and replaced with safe materials. Work has started, but the next 12-24 months will see these projects really get underway. However, the construction sector is perpetually in motion and fitting in this life-saving work will demand efficiency and process clarity. Cladding remediation also requires photo-evidencing to demonstrate that the work has been done properly using the right materials, and to ensure invasive re-assessments are not necessary and EWS1 certification from assessors can be achieved.
As this is extensive work to plan for and to fit around current projects – housebuilders and developers will need digital tools designed specifically to simplify processes, store and share critical data and information, and to assemble the correct evidence of work completed.
Guaranteeing properties are fit for purpose in the most efficient way – this is at the root of the cladding remediation regime.
By digitising the data for legacy buildings, it means a better quality of data is at hand to ensure safety remains paramount. Assessments, records, plans and blueprints can be made forever legible and easily located. While this sounds like a basic requirement – it’s no surprise to anyone in the industry that the construction sector is one of the least digitised industries and inadequate paper trails and confusing, antiquated Excel sheets are still commonplace.
The construction sector demands collaboration too. With many companies combining their skills to ensure project completion – a single platform to assess, track and record all work, which can then be subsequently shared to all relevant stakeholders, including assessors, is a tool that should have be considered by those undertaking cladding work.
To align with these new regulations, adopting a centralised, uniform process is integral. A process that binds all teams, stakeholders, data and information.. Together, accessible and transparent.
Cladding will need to be inspected, remediated, assessed and approved. A quality management tool, like Zutec, can make sure everyone is on the right track so on-site hours are optimised. This will also help ensure the right materials are being used in the right place, before being submitted to assessors and inspectors – which means costs stay in check thanks to avoiding needless re-inspection.
But cladding remediation requires more than a management tool. Photographic evidence needs to be compiled, stored, tagged appropriately, and made readily available.
In short, with so much data to be acquired and shared, evidence to collate, assessments to pass and collaborators to work with – a single location to successfully achieve this would not only speed up processes and control costs – it would be a driver to a higher rate of success.
At Zutec we have worked to develop a platform that is tailored to these demands. By including quality management, photo-evidencing capabilities, pre-structured checklists to trace work dynamically inspect data in one place, our solution can provide the single source of truth that cladding remediation requires.
The platform can be used offline in the most remote of environments – with all data the securely stored in our cloud. The platform also integrates with any other construction technology, with recording or editing documentation as easy as tapping on a screen – making adoption on site easy.
Our platform delivers a raft of out of the box features to simplify the cladding remediation process.
At the planning stage:
Once defects are identified and photos have been used to supplement the checklists, projects can be assigned within the platform for remediating cladding. As progress is made, this can be reported, shared and photographic evidence can be captured showing work done, so it can be checked, progress reviewed, and feedback provided – by both stakeholders and assessors. Duty holders not only get an overview of a project but can filter data by site or by individual block to monitor inspection feedback faster. Powerful dashboards can also be created so data can be digested by all.
The next step is crucial. Photographic evidence , which can be done intuitively via the Zutec platform. Not only this, but the images captured can be tagged with geo-location data and time-stamped too, for easy tracking and traceability. This is then ready to be sent to the Fire and Safety Assessor. Certification is therefore supported, and compliance is easier to achieve.
A tool is only as helpful as the data inputted and, as each project and team work differently, we make sure that our platform can be configured for any building assessment requirement. Tasks can be added, applied to different team members, completed, notes and pin drops added and plenty more.
Being able to trace back every step of the audit trail is a major rung on the ladder toward accountability and ultimately – achieving building safety. A single port, accessed by all, for all parts of the building assessment process – Zutec helps platform to plan, assess, assign, report and successfully close all assessments.
And by doing so provides a single source of truth, where countless hours and cost can be saved – as well as lives.