Using Soft Landings during construction provides the opportunity to mobilise new joiners to the project providing the appropriate briefing around the key sustainability deliverables and principles, bringing in Net Zero priorities so that all participants in the construction are aware of how their work aligns and what their responsibilities are.
At the same time, preparing for commissioning now for immediately before and after handover puts the project delivery at greater advantage with regards to operational energy and carbon and provides foresight on potential issues and establishes an in-operation mindset that is key to whole life performance and carbon impact.
Soft Landings can provide the opportunity for review of key design elements and value engineering approaches. Ensuring these are in line with the Net Zero obligations and sustainability commitments and not being removed to save money at the expense of quality and performance.
Having regular reviews and interventions can provide valuable collaboration and discussion on any real time issues that come up impacting specific sustainable design vs construction elements. Enabling the right solution to be identified that achieves the desired operational requirements. This can save, time, resources and money impacting not only operational but embodied and construction related carbon.
Encourage a ‘get on site’ ethos to understand what is going on, to see how complex and uncommon systems are being installed and how they will work within the building parameters. This will also provide the opportunity to identify potential problems or witness a positive change in approach to deliver the desired outcome in a better way. Utilising tours with stakeholders and operational teams will provide valuable insight for when the building is in use and addressing energy efficiency factors. Sharing successes will be beneficial in post completion reviews and lessons learned. It will also generate a culture of innovation and collaboration to achieve Net Zero performance.
Agreeing a sign off programme for key elements that could impact the operation of the building and require additional attention during construction also provides another layer of control of the whole life carbon impact of the building. Allowing key stakeholders of these systems to be involved and informed of the programme to ensure correct installation is carried out that aligns with overall objectives and deliverables.
The construction phase is an ideal time to bring in the Facilities Management (FM) team to review the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) plant and infrastructure services. This provides the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between delivery and operation. This also can provide valuable insight on accessibility to HVAC and systems to ensure a sustainable approach to maintenance. This is going to be important for the FM team and project team to review so that the long-term sustainability performance of the building and how it impacts the users as well as the environment can be considered. If the building cannot be maintained properly, it will fail on every success criteria and poor performance and satisfaction will be evident.