The handover of a construction project marks the point at which the main contractor formally delivers it to the client. A detailed, thorough and well-planned handover is essential for the client to not only operate the building as intended, but also to plan and carry out maintenance in the future.
In the paper era, the process could involve hundreds of documents, drawings, plans and certificates, and this meant the handover was vulnerable to confusion, miscommunication and lapses in safety or compliance.
By contrast, digital handover management assembles all the necessary documentation in a final cloud-based package that can be accessed and shared by multiple users across various locations.
In a nutshell, the client receives a comprehensive list of what assets they need to maintain, where they are, and what action is required to do so.
Who Needs A Digital Handover During Construction?
At the final point of transfer, the digital handover will primarily be from a main contractor to an asset owner or developer.
However, all parties involved in the project have a stake in the success of the handover, from designers, architects and subcontractors on the construction side, to owners, facilities management teams and tenants on the client side.
A cloud-based solution makes this possible because it gives users easy access to relevant categories of information accumulated during construction.
These might include:
- Logs and records of site activity
- Initial design and drawing concepts
- Compliance and health & safety documentation
- Inspection certificates and fire standards
When the digital handover is complete, the client has quick access to information confirming the building has been built to spec, is compliant with all necessary regulations, and has the correct warranties in place to plan maintenance.
By extension, those involved in carrying out maintenance once the project has been delivered require an up-to-date, fully transparent picture of the documentation supporting the site. Whereas a paper trail provides only a retrospective snapshot of the site at the point of handover, digital handover management allows for a collaborative, real-time view.
When Does a Digital Handover Take Place?
As the term implies, the digital handover is the final step of the construction process. It is the moment when the main contractor releases the site to the end-user with the proof that everything has been reviewed and approved.
However, all stakeholders and subcontractors should have the digital handover in mind from the outset, with a process in place for accumulating the necessary documentation.
Because tasks and deadlines can be assigned, digital handover management makes it easier for teams to accumulate and submit the necessary information in time for handover. For the client, any gaps, duplication or conflicts in information are easier to identify and resolve.
Why Are Digital Handovers Important?
Clients and owners require full visibility of the status, condition and standards of the building. Previously, the paper-based handover system introduced an element of trust into the exchange, but with a digital handover both sides can share information in a seamless, transparent manner.
Furthermore, a digital handover eliminates the bottlenecks that occur at the project’s conclusion, when contractors find themselves scrambling for documentation in order to meet the deadline. By gathering documentation throughout the construction process, and storing it in a single, shareable repository, contractors can avoid delays that may be costly.
For the client, digital handover management is an important tool for safeguarding the value of the investment. A single source of truth enables the owner to future-proof their asset by implementing maintenance in time, meeting compliance and regulation obligations, and managing expenses and cash flow.
Above all, a poor handover experience can be a decisive factor in overall client satisfaction. Misunderstandings or unresolved issues can tarnish an otherwise successful construction project, so the benefits of a smooth digital handover cannot be underestimated.