The Golden Thread of Information 

The Golden Thread of Information, as proposed in the draft Building Safety bill, is a live digital document with accurate and up-to-date information of the building data. With the aim of promoting transparency, the document allows you to access details on how the building was designed, built and is being operated at any point of time during the lifecycle of the building.  

“A ‘golden thread’ of good quality information will also enable future building owners to better manage their buildings safely.”

Building a Safer Future by Dame Judith Hackitt

Through this concept, the Regulator or residents will have access to the data that would allow them to, if necessary, hold the right party responsible for any mishaps. The Golden Thread of Information will not only standardise but also regulate the way that the industry stores and passes on imperative information. 

The Golden Thread of Information includes the fire and emergency file (FEF) and a digital record. The FEF is where all the critical fire safety information for the building will be collected and stored. It is suggested that this document would need to be initiated and updated throughout the design and construction phase by the relevant duty holders and then handed on to the building owner. Once approved, the golden thread of information will need to be updated before passing through to the next stage. By doing this, all relevant data will be updated, including the weak points and the problems that arise along the way.

“This is most definitely not just a question of the specification of cladding systems, but of an industry that has not reflected and learned for itself, nor looked to other sectors. This does not mean that all buildings are unsafe.”

Dame Judith Hackitt

Gateways and The Golden Thread of Information 

There are three gateways during the planning, design and construction phases of the building. The first is the planning gateway that focuses on the planning permission process. Gateway two, design, must be met before the construction begins, whereas the third gateway, construction, needs to be met before the occupation of the building. At each gateway, the Golden Thread of Information will need to be updated to get to the next stage.  

Gateway Points – This is the key stages in the building life-cycle of which the dutyholder has to satisfy the Joint Competent Authority (JCA) that their plans are robust; that their understanding and management of risk is appropriately detailed; and that they can properly account for the safety of the as-built building.

What does this mean for the industry? 

While the concept of a Golden Thread of Information is promising and will be possible to assemble for new buildings, while it will be challenging to compile data for existing buildings, it is more than possible to create a fully traceable build file. One of the most important things required will be a shift in the culture of the industry and identifying the person responsible for creating the information chain.  

What does it mean for leaseholders? 

The Golden Thread of Information will allow leaseholders to access the data accumulated over the lifespan of the building at any given point, promoting transparency and trust in the industry. This, along with the other provisions in the draft Building Safety Bill, may translate into an additional monthly fee to ensure the smooth functioning of the proposed systems.

How to comply with the Golden Thread for your project

The route to compliance with the Golden Thread includes all parties from the client through to the final resident, it’s important that everyone does their part to create a future proof record complying with building regulations as set out in the Approved Document B (ADB)

1. ClientNeed to do relevant research on the building type, you can use the Government Fact Sheet for this. Ensure using architects with correct PI cover, see link here to Valcan’s Architect request form.
Is a record being created of materials specified through out the process and being updated for what was physically installed?
2. InsurersIs the proposed building designed and specified in a way that you can cover on your insurance, does this meet the requirements of ADB?
3. ArchitectNeed to ensure that materials meet the requirements set out with in ADB? Are you only meeting the requirements or going above and beyond? Make sure that specifications are drawn up correctly using NBS and BIM.
4. ConsultantsEnsure qualified and trained consultants are in place for assessing the building from both a fire engineering and building regulations stand point.
5. ManufacturersAre materials being supplied that meet the requirements of ADB? Are they fully tested and certified to EN 13501-1 for façade materials? Are the covered by BBA or similar agreements? Please see our Technical Centre for more information or view our Partner’s page at certifix.co.uk .
6. Distributors & FabricatorsHave fabricators and distributors had correct training in how to process the materials in order to meet the test and design requirements? Visit our Fabrication Guidance page.
7. Main ContractorsEnsure specification meets the requirements of ADB and that materials are being installed and supplied correctly in accordance with the manufacturers details. Are the sub contractors for both installation and design recognised & trained by the manufacturer? Visit our Installer Centre
8. InstallersEnsure specification meets the requirements of ADB and that materials are being installed and supplied correctly in accordance with the manufacturers details – have you been trained by the manufacturer? Correct training helps to ensure materials meet the tested installation method and can be warrantied by the manufacturer. Visit our Installer Centre
9. Residents

Valcan and their recognised partners supply materials that have been tested and comply with Approved Document B for high rise projects.

What does this give you?

By keeping a record throughout the build process of specified and installed materials, you enable the Golden Thread to be created giving peace of mind for all parties. If these materials are chosen using NBS specifications and correctly installed to against the manufacturers guidance based on tested systems, the requirements of the Approved Document B would also be met.

  • Create a record throughout the build of specified and installed materials
  • Traceability of supply of what has been spec’d and then supplied/installed
  • Labelling of materials
  • Link to associated partners i.e. Certifix

“We are dedicated to ensuring that the Golden Thread is maintained by via our ISO9001 record management systems.”

Valcan Directors