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Digital Compliance – D-COM

D-COM will enable a new level of automation in compliance checking, which will help to reduce errors, make cost and time savings, and ultimately improve building safety. Developed in direct response to the Hackitt Report and Building Safety Act, it brings the compliance checking process into the digital age.

Navigating complexity in compliance

Since the Building a Safer Future Report was published, the question of accountability and compliance with building safety regulations has taken centre stage.

In the intervening years, we have witnessed a growing number of regulations, requirements and standards. Businesses also face requirements for duty holders to demonstrate compliance in a transparent, accessible way.

Working under the Information Management Programme, the Hub’s compliance team is helping firms to navigate the increasingly complex landscape and meet their legal requirements.

Working with Cardiff University’s Digital Compliance Network, the Hub has developed a demonstrator project that points to a new era for compliance checking in construction where processes are digitalised and automated.

A vision for automated compliance checking

D-COM envisions a world where:

  • Regulations are digitised to be machine-readable, as well as human-readable.
  • Project teams can use technology to quickly identify requirements relevant to their project.
  • Digital models can be checked against regulations automatically, giving greater certainty that all requirements are being met at design stage.
  • The time and resources spent investigating issues at later stages are greatly reduced.

The goal is to enable a system which will check building plans against regulations and provide project managers with an early view of compliance failures. These can then be addressed at the design stage when making changes to plans is still a relatively simple and low-cost process.

The Digital Compliance Ecosystem

The basis of D-COM is the digitisation of Approved Documents, so they are both human and machine-readable, while being easier to compare against building and product information.

An eco-system of tools has been developed, underpinned by a ‘rule engine’. The rule engine checks product information and building models against Approved Documents to ensure compliance between legislation and design.

D-COM is accessed via a web portal and built upon an open API. This means that relevant, existing tools used in building design can be easily plugged into the rule engine.

The ecosystem also includes tools that create digital audit trails of any compliance checks, ensuring that the principles of the Golden Thread are adhered to. This includes areas such as product substitution or changes to the design.

Read our Eco-System Briefing Note here.

The Benefits of D-COM

From the UK Government’s BIM Mandate, the Construction Playbook and the introduction of the National Digital Twin Programme, to the increasing use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in infrastructure, the direction of travel is steering towards an increasingly digital future.

Digitisation of compliance processes will bring tangible benefits, including:

  • Greater certainty that all regulatory requirements are being met.
  • Reduction in time and resources spent in investigating the root causes of failure.
  • Increased transparency through the central collection, and management of compliance data for the UK construction industry.
  • Improved auditability provided through digitised compliance processes.
  • Clear accountability within the construction supply chain.