A Building Safety Platform for Local Government

Low-angle photograph of a tall building under clouds
Photo by Callum Wale on Unsplash

Sprint Zero — Week 1

  • Met with the whole team on Monday to do alignment and admin-y stuff.
  • Met with Barry, one of Southwark’s building safety surveyors, a key stakeholder and potential user or the service, to learn about how Southwark is currently collecting external wall system (EWS) data.
  • Met with DELTA FORCE at MHCLG, to discuss the transfer of EWS data from local authorities to central government.
  • Met with another London borough to share our work to date and what we are looking to do.
  • Met with partners at VU.CITY to re-run the building identification survey from their model of London.
  • how many buildings in Southwark are over 18 metres?
  • how many of those are used (fully or partly) for residential purposes?
  • how many of those are owned by us (the council), housing associations or are privately owned?
  • how many building owners have been sent the EWS questionnaire? And how many have replied and been entered onto DELTA?
  • What is the data quality for those buildings that have a completed EWS? Did they answer all of the questions or is there any key data missing?
  • Also, are these assumptions the same across all stakeholders, or does everyone think something different?
  • Get a grip of the numbers.
  • Establish our regular ceremonies, including our fortnightly show and tells (Invitation to follow).
  • Start booking in users for further research and/or testing.
  • Continue prioritising our priorities.

Sprint One — Week 1

  • Continued to get a grip of those numbers — how many buildings are there, where are they, are they in scope, who owns them, are they already on DELTA.
  • Interrogated DELTA to better understand the underlying data model we’re trying to build upon.
  • Iterate on the building owner’s self-assessment form.
  • Iterate on the database model, to better support the provision of our data to DELTA.
  • Continue to have various conversations around the council, to try and prioritise our backlog of features and potential features.

Sprint One — Week 2

  • Steph and Andrew made good progress working on the database model.
  • Michelle and I spoke with the head of building control, to ensure that what we are working on at the moment, will be appropriate for other uses in the near future, such as building control. Salient points being that ‘it’ needs to be flexible, scaleable and universal.
  • We’ve started sketching ideas for how we can make the admin dashboard add more value to users. We’ve heard that users, in the council, would like to be able to filter buildings by various criteria including what the building is used for and its tenure. Providing some sort of status that indicates whether the building owner has completed an external wall system survey, and whether the data has been uploaded to MHCLG’s Delta system, would also be useful.
Paper prototype of the iterated admin dash-board
  • We’ve also jotted down some early ideas for what each individual building record, or ‘building passport’, could look like. While our initial focus is on building safety data — specifically, the external wall data — we’re also thinking about how this could be broadened out to provide a view of other types of information about a building, perhaps in different sections of the passport, e.g. building control and planning data. In the safety section, we’re also looking at what else could be included as well as the responses to the EWS survey, such as information about whether the building has been served a s235 notice, applied for building safety funding, and their fire risk assessments.
Paper prototype of a building ‘passport’
  • Have further sessions with VU.CITY, Southwark and MHCLG to confirm numbers and ensure that everyone has confidence in them.
  • Hopefully complete the database model.
  • Complete the building owner’s self-assessment (EWS) form.
  • Begin user testing.
  • A technical spike to find and integrate contact email addresses for building owners.

Sprint Two— Weeks 1 & 2

  • Received the latest data set from VU.CITY, identifying those 18m+ buildings.
  • First proper research sessions with users, which helped validate some of our assumptions, but identified some additional needs.
  • Prototyped the concept of a building ‘passport’ and what could be accessible on this ‘passport’ to make it helpful to users.
  • Develop new dashboard features.
  • Hopefully complete the database model, ready for the VU.CITY data.
  • Begin work on developing building passports.
  • Continue user testing and prototyping.
  • Contact the Geospatial Commission.

Sprint Three— Week 1

  • Tested the dashboard and ‘passport’ with an officer at Tower Hamlets.
  • finished the last bit of the EWS form- the materials loop, where they can be added, deleted, reviewed, etc.
  • reworked the “check your answers” section for a clearer summary of the answers.
  • added viewing/filtering on EWS Survey status (completed/not received) and status in DELTA (present/not present).
  • lots of UI tweaks on the admin interface (visual + removing non-essential features).

Sprint 3 — Week 2

  • Received and imported new VU.CITY data
  • Finished the form side of the app
  • Improved the admin interface (filtering/bulk actions)
  • Started prototyping on how to transfer the form data into DELTA
  • Progress the BSP — DELTA flow
  • Continue user testing to validate this flow
  • Contact the Geospatial Commission and Ordnance Survey
  • Go live with the Notify integration
  • Implement user feedback on the admin (i.e: Warn admin users about the cost of bulk-sending letters — £0.39 per letter)




Local Government - London Borough And jackricketts2@gmail.com

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jack ricketts

jack ricketts

Local Government - London Borough And jackricketts2@gmail.com

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