What is “Soft Landing “?

Every project team should run its Soft landing process mapping out roles and responsibilities for all the members of the team.

The major aims of the soft landing process is to improve the operational performance of buildings also providing valuable feedback to the project teams. An important part of the process is the creation of a constructive dialogue with the client as well as set expectations and performance targets on energy and end-user satisfaction. Furthermore, soft landings is a good means in order to assess the building performance in terms of energy and occupant surveys and assessments such as Design Quality Indicators and BREEAM.

Soft landings can be defined as a generic framework that can applied to every design and evaluation process of a building. Nevertheless, a school will have a different set of Soft landings requirements compared to a swimming pool or residential project. It is included in the role of the project team to identify the different requirements to sort out also considering the necessity to hire other professionals. A revisit of the information should be an important part of all the process in order to identify additional duties and the details that should be included in the tender document.

The Soft landings process can be divided in the following stages:

1         Inception and briefing. Constructive dialogue between the designer, constructor and client.

2         Design development and review. Underline the strategies and review insights from comparable projects and detail the building operation considering both the manager and individual use point of view.

3         Pre-handover. In this stage operators are enabled to spend more time on understanding interfaces and systems before occupation.

4         Initial aftercare. Lessons learned and occupant satisfaction surveys in order to involve client, design and building team in the process.

5         Years 1-3 extended after care and POE. Close the loop between design expectation and reality.

The Management section (M01) of the BREEAM states that embed the principles of this framework within a project should ensure that the evidence is available to demonstrate compliance with the BREEAM issue. Furthermore, the BREEAM 2011/ Soft landings interpretation note for clients and design teams has been produced by BSRIA.

Syntegra Consulting is a leading energy consulting company in the UK- for further information about soft landings, please telephone +44(0)8450091625 or e-mail: mail@syntegra-epc.co.uk.