Future-proofing data ownership with cloud storage amid the Building Safety Act

written by
Tra Hoang
Mar 22, 2024
minutes read

The shifting regulatory landscape requires architectural firms to implement optimal data management strategies where the enduring ownership and accessibility of information is critical. Cloud storage systems, such as Microsoft SharePoint, can provide forward-compatible solutions that allow firms to retrieve important project data seamlessly and reliably overtime.

Building Safety Act and the importance of data ownership

The 2022 Building Safety Act marks a pivotal shift in the built environment sector, emphasizing the significance of data ownership. Currently, the Act’s scope is restricted to buildings over 18 meters in height. However, it’s predicted that the act will extend to buildings of all types in the near future.  

The Building Safety Act’s inevitable impact on all originators of information, design, materials, consultants, and contractors within the architecture industry underscores the importance of meticulous data management strategies.  

Ensuring longevity of documents is critical

In architectural document management, the location of information storage is less critical than the ability to retrieve information decades into the future. As the digital landscape is ever evolving, what firms are using today might be obsolete tomorrow.  

For example, servers used to be the backbone of data storage. However, firms must undoubtedly replace and update servers multiple times to keep up with technology advancements, meaning the robust file structures that they established on servers are subject to change overtime.  

Another example is when information is stored on tapes or disks and accessed with software that no longer exists, such as Windows XP. In this case, how can firms ensure that the information they need in 20 years’ time can be easily available using the future’s technology?

The cloud: a future-proof solution

The inevitable progression of technology prompts architectural firms to question the practicality of traditional storage mediums. To safeguard the availability of their project information, firms must adoption future-proof technologies – those that are adaptable, scalable, and forward-compatible.  

In recent years, cloud storage emerges as an optimal solution for enduring accessibility of architectural project data. Platform-agnostic systems such as Microsoft SharePoint can offer a flexible and scalable environment where project information can survive technological shifts. Moreover, Microsoft’s world-class reputation solidifies the reliability of SharePoint, as it is less likely to face discontinuation. This reliability is crucial for architectural projects, whose life cycle extends far beyond the usual shelf life of software and storage platforms.  

Enduring storage facilitates data ownership

Reliable storage is the cornerstone of data ownership. In urgent situations such as fee claims or legal disputes, the process of defining which particular stakeholder or team member owns and has access to certain documents can be time-consuming, with the risk of overlooking important evidence. A robust storage system provides firms with the confidence that they can access information seamlessly without disruption, ensuring immediate availability when required.  

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