Increasing building safety through digitising product component information


Clarion Housing is making its homes safer by digitising information for all components of higher-risk buildings that impact fire and structural safety.

To meet new legislative requirements imposed by England’s Building Safety Act in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, Clarion Housing initiated a project to digitise information for all components of higher-risk buildings that impact fire and structural safety.

Based in Southwark in south London, Clarion Housing Group is the largest housing association in the United Kingdom with 125,000 properties across more than 170 local authorities providing homes to more than 350,000 people.

Their initiative will increase the safety of higher-risk buildings through enhanced asset management, improving and demonstrating the safety of Clarion’s stock. The project presented significant information challenges when gathering and coordinating siloed, unstructured, missing and inaccurate data. Clarion wanted to develop a fully operational digital estate of their portfolio of properties and needed flexible technology to create a smart, dynamic asset platform.

Clarion established an intelligent system of components and building parts across all higher-risk sites with all relevant assets linked to a physical model. Using the Bentley-based solution, AssetWise ALIM, Clarion’s project identifies an asset within a building with all related asset data stored, including outcomes of inspections and completed works, providing cost-effective asset management, better prioritisation of risk and safer buildings.

Through their smart, digitalised system, Clarion can provide 100% of floorplans and data required to meet the new building safety regulations.

Jack White, technical manager of Clarion Housing Group, said that the organisation needed to be flexible and agile in its approach and it has effectively reimagined asset management by developing a system which has collected enhanced data for its higher-risk buildings. The benefits of the system include better evaluation of risk, holistic thinking, understanding of design intent, new data types, outstanding usability, enabling responsibility to be tracked, greater accessibility and the provision of more up-to-date information than ever before.

All the above has resulted in safer buildings, efficient management, increased agility and the development of a system that others in the sector can use, including housing associations, local authorities and other organisations in the private sector with multiple buildings.

As a business for a social purpose which reinvests any money it makes back into its homes and communities – and also one which is transforming lives and improving communities by delivering one of the UK’s biggest social investment programmes – it is clearly crucial for Clarion to have a cost-effective asset management system.

The one they have now developed, with Bentley’s help, is certainly that and is also one that is set to be used by others to improve the safety of buildings where people live and work.