BIM’s role in achieving a single source of truth in construction

single source of truth in construction
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Michele D’Andrea Rodrigues from Mail Manager explores the role of BIM in achieving a single source of truth in construction when it comes to building safety

Traditionally, building and construction projects have been lumbered with fragmented, inaccessible, incomplete and unclear recordkeeping. This inevitably resulted in a lack of clarity around whether the finished building matched the original design, which posed a major impact on its safety.

However, new technology, the role of BIM and government legislation are forcing the construction of a building to be clearly accountable in live digital documentation. As a result, construction firms can step into the digital era with more accurate, up-to-date recording of building design, build and maintenance records.

This process, more commonly known as the “golden thread of information” or the “single source of truth”, addresses building safety concerns by providing clear accountability at every phase of the construction process. It is crucial to record the original building design and monitoring renovation processes through to the demolition of the building.

How can we move towards a single source of truth in construction?

The single source of truth is a concept based around ensuring everyone in an organisation has access to all information they need before making any business decisions. The term “golden thread of information” was coined in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy by Dame Judith Hackitt, which is essentially a digital record of securely created, updated and accessible information covering the entirety of a building’s lifecycle.

In your BIM role, the golden thread has no doubt already provided you clear benefits in the way you and your team operate. Particularly when it comes to tracking amendments, scope changes and ensuring any revisions are well documented and easily accessible by everyone on a project. With a single source of truth, you can have peace of mind that all your project information is easily accessible in one ecosystem, without silos.

Plus, you can understand when your systems are lying to you, or you’re presented with incomplete or inaccurate information. When you don’t have all the relevant information to hand, you have a compromised view of your project and client work, and the biggest risk to any company is a false sense of security. It can cause massive problem with compliance as you won’t be able to report on processes that are being followed quickly and it can be challenging to determine where mistruths are.

Making data discoverable is the first step to creating a single source of truth in construction

The first step to creating a single source of truth is to ensure that all project and client information is easily discoverable as and when you need it. And, given the vast majority of correspondence is stored within email systems, from project agreements and scope changes to complaints and contracts, it makes sense to establish email as the foundation of the single source of truth. Email’s ongoing prevalence is hard to debate. Majority of people use email for more than 80% of their project correspondence and it is the preferred communication method of 73% of business professionals. As a result, the average professional receives 88 and sends 33 emails every day. This adds up to one email every 12 minutes!

Using technology to increase business visibility

Finding specific data within this mass of email communication is a difficult task that increases in complexity upon completing projects and client information work, and as people move on from the company. This issue certainly isn’t helped when businesses don’t have the tools they need in place that enable them to discover and unlock information.

Businesses can address these issues and pave the way for a single source of truth by ensuring necessary project data is saved in one central location that is easily accessible and provides simple search capabilities. Plus, it’s time to move away from traditional document and records management where information is occasionally saved to a server or on the cloud, or paper documents are filed in physical folders, to a more modern view, with a complete document, records and correspondence management.

If you’d like to hear more about why BIM leaders need a single source of truth, check out Mail Manager’s latest interactive guide, Unifying Your Information: The Need for a Single Source of Truth today. Alternatively, download a free trial of Mail Manager today to see how we can help!


Michele D’Andrea Rodrigues

Creative Manager

Mail Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3039 3764



Please note: this is a commercial profile.


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