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What is GSL

Government Soft Landings

“The Government objective is to champion better outcomes for our built assets during the design and construction stages through Government Soft Landings (GSL) powered by a Building Information Model (BIM) to ensure that value is achieved in the operational lifecycle of an asset.

The Government Construction Strategy was published by the Cabinet office on 31 May 2011 in which it was announced the Government’s intention to require collaborative 3D BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) on its projects by 2016. The key objective is reducing capital cost and the carbon burden from the construction and operation of the built environment by 20%.

Alongside BIM Government Soft Landings has been developed as a key approach within the design and construction process to improve the performance of buildings, to meet the requirements of those that use the, and help to deliver the efficiency savings envisaged by the Government Construction Strategy. It has been adapted from the existing Soft Landings approach developed by BSRIA to complement the approach to Building Information Modelling.

In essence, Government Soft Landings is a structured approach to ensure that end-users and building/facilities managers are engaged as early in the project as possible and throughout the design and construction process so that their requirements for the use and operation of that building are met.

By implementing Government Soft Landings alongside BIM, it gives provides the opportunity to use BIM visualisation capability to test users’ and operators’ perceptions and assist with ongoing planning modifications to asset use and impact on lifecycle costs. With BIM providing a fully populated Asset Information Model into facilities management, Government Soft Landings helps to ensure that the Asset Information Model can be used effectively by building users and managers.

More effective collaborative working across the supply chain, which is central to BIM, will be fundamental to the delivery of Government Soft Landings along with co-ordinated stakeholder engagement at all stages of the process. The key objective is to deliver buildings and assets that meet both their end-users’ needs and intended performance specifications thereby ensuring that maximum value can be derived during the operational phase of the building or asset.


The GSL policy has applied to all new Central Government projects and major refurbishments since 2013 with a further mandate for GSL to be implemented in alignment with Building Information Modelling (BIM) in 2016.

The Cabinet Office, the department leading on its implementation, has produced a Government Soft Landings Policy and accompanying guidance.

Further information on Government Soft Landings can be found on the following links:

Cabinet Office GSL Policy:

BIM Task Group: http://www.bimtaskgroup.org/gsl/


Departmental guidance on GSL: http://www.bimtaskgroup.org/gsl-department-guidance-documents/


BSRIA: https://www.bsria.co.uk/services/design/soft-landings/government-soft-landings/