Technology Focus: CertOn | Creating a golden thread – LABM March/April 2021 issue


Technology Focus: CertOn | Creating a golden thread – LABM March/April 2021 issue

Being able to demonstrate compliance and offer full transparency of data on a building project is hugely important, especially with regard to asset management. CertOn PRO stores all important property related documents in one easy-to-access portal.

In the wake of the devastating Grenfell tragedy, it’s more important than ever on every project to be able to demonstrate compliance, and ensure the right building materials/technology is specified, installed correctly and effectively maintained. Keeping a record of all work done is essential.

In the Building a Safer Future final report, Dame Judith Hackitt cited a failure of some of those undertaking building work to prioritise safety. The report stresses the need to create a golden thread of building information for all ‘higher risk residential buildings’ to ensure ‘original design intent is preserved and changes can be managed through a formal review process’.

Transparency of data is hugely important when it comes to the asset management of any property. The report highlighted that ‘access to up-to-date information is crucial when effectively carrying out a fire risk assessment’ and ‘determining whether any action is required’. It also pointed out that the importance of holding digital records to ensure ‘accurate building information is securely created, updated and accessible, throughout the building life cycle’.

Creating a golden thread of building information should be a prerequisite on all projects. Having a digital repository to house all project data and compliance aids transparency. One company seeking to assist councils and housing associations in this regard is CertOn. Boyd and Katie Goulden launched CertOn in 2018. They worked with software partners Twin Technology and Cyber to develop a document management solution aimed at improving safety and demonstrating compliance in properties.

Access to import data

The idea behind CertOn evolved out of desire to create a solution that could aggregate all important property-related documents — for example project handover, maintenance work, equipment installations, maintenance manuals, insurance and warranty certificates etc — into one easy-to access portal stored in the cloud. Storing this type of information digitally negates the need for paper copies, which can get lost or damaged over time. Digital data is much easier and quicker to search. Giving the exact information you’re looking for.

CertOn is aimed at housing associations, councils, construction professionals, and compliance and maintenance teams, as well as those working in the trades. Once uploaded in PDF or jpeg format, the documents can then be linked to a QR code specific to a property. Corresponding QR Code stickers are available and can be placed on boilers or alarm panels, for example. Allowing quick access to the right documents through an easily retrievable scan of the QR code sticker. The QR code provides access to all the relevant signed off and certified documentation, manuals etc, which can be viewed by anyone registered to use the system.

The new CertOn PRO, introduced specifically for housing associations and multi-property estate companies, provides full transparency of documents associated to a building. In relation to fire safety, that would mean plan drawings, location of dry risers, service intakes, fire-fighting lifts, hydrants and fire alarm panels etc.

Regulatory compliance documents such as electrical and gas safety, statutory inspections etc, would also be stored on there, as well as maintenance and repairs records. There is also the ability to report, providing photographic evidence of any damage or defects for example.

New features mean any location or asset in a building can now have its own specific QR code assigned and tagged, providing instant access to all documents associated with it, whether individual or multiple — for example fire doors, fire panels and detectors, lifts and plant equipment.