The Golden Thread

Storing your building’s information – the golden thread

This guidance is for anyone responsible for a building’s information throughout its life-cycle. This includes, building companies, principal designers and principal contractors, and local authorities.

The information you will need to manage

Your building’s information must be:

  • kept digitally
  • kept securely
  • a building’s single source of truth
  • available to people who need the information to do a job
  • available when the person needs the information
  • presented in a way that person can use  

The information you will need to keep

The information you keep must be proportionate and will depend on what stage the building is at in its life. If you keep too much information, it might be difficult to find the information you need when it is needed.

While the building is being designed and built you will need to keep information that describes the building and shows how it complies with building regulations.

Design and construction

The building safety reforms introduce decision points during the building’s design, construction and completion.

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will become the building control authority for high-rise buildings. Applicants will no longer be able to choose their building control body. BSR will assess whether dutyholders are considering both:

  • building safety
  • regulatory compliance

BSR will have a range of new enforcement powers throughout the design and construction of a development.


Building safety risks will need to be considered from the initial design phase so that buildings are:

  • safe to use or live in
  • safe to build

RIBA Plan of Work

Before building work starts

Before starting any building work, applicants will need to submit a design application to BSR. The application will include information that shows how the design will:

  • meet the building regulations
  • manage change control
  • help dutyholders meet legal requirements, including on:
    • competence
    • golden thread of information about the building

The application will need to show the assumptions that have been made about the occupied building once built. Any assumptions and proposals must be reasonable and justified

During construction

Building work must not start until approved by BSR.

There will be ongoing requirements, including:

  • site inspections at key milestones
  • reporting certain occurrences
  • managing change
  • identifying and storing the golden thread of key information about the building

Some changes in design may need further approval from BSR before works can proceed.

When the building is completed

At completion, BSR will:

  • assess the application against the building regulations
  • undertake final inspections of the completed building work
  • assess the documents to be given to the building owner

On approval, BSR will issue a completion certificate.

Before occupation

After a completion certificate is issued, the building will need to be registered. An application to register the building should be made to BSR.

Residential units must not be occupied until the building is registered.

Developments that are built in stages

Any proposals for phased construction or occupation should be agreed at the design stage.

Construction work should not start on a phase or stage without approval from BSR.

When the building is lived in (occupied) you will need to keep information that shows how you are assessing and managing the building safety risks:

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