What is Meant by ‘Golden Thread’ in Construction?

The term “golden thread” is a concept which emphasises the importance of maintaining clear records related to a building’s design and construction, the materials that went into that construction and building maintenance requirements. The term first came into the public consciousness in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017. In that case, there was precious little accountability regarding the building materials that contributed to how fast the fire spread, its intensity and the tragic loss of life that resulted.

Key Elements of the Golden Thread Approach

The following represent the fundamental aspects of the Golden Thread concept as it relates to construction:

  • Effective Information Management: The entire Golden Thread approach rests on keeping detailed records related to the design, construction and maintenance of a given structure. This information must be comprehensive, offer a clear audit trail and be in an accessible format.
  • Risk Management: By maintaining comprehensive data regarding how a building was built, modified, and maintained, associated risks can be much more easily managed, potential hazards more easily identified and rectified and overall building safety greatly enhanced.
  • Accountability: One hugely concerning aspect of the Grenfell Tower tragedy is that no one, as of this writing, has been held accountable. It is imperative that this type of appalling situation is not allowed to repeat and the Golden Thread emphasis on accountability aims to ensure it does not.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Golden Thread principles can help ensure we never have a repeat of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Golden Thread compliance requires keeping a clear record of every aspect of a building’s construction, including materials, to ensure they satisfy current safety and performance requirements.
  • Asset Management: The Golden Thread approach doesn’t end when the building opens. Detailed maintenance and renovation records must also be kept and made accessible. In addition, operational procedures must adhere to current best practices and leave a reliable audit trail.

Summary

The Golden Thread is an approach that is long overdue. From a safety perspective, it represents nothing short of a paradigm shift regarding our relationship with buildings, but has the added benefit of helping to ensure construction companies do their part in achieving Net Zero 2050.

If you would like to learn more about our solution and how we can help make the implementation of the Golden Thread of Data easier and more efficient during the construction and refurbishment phases, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact form.

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