Improving the storage and access to documents for Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Anglia Ruskin University, which is headquartered in Cambridge, has several campuses dotted throughout southern England and counts Pink Floyd guitarist and songwriter David Gilmour among its alumni. The university has undergone numerous transformations: several campus buildings have been demolished and others have been revamped and upgraded with modern décor and technology. As, a consequence, the university’s estates and facilities team contacted Cognica, an RSK company, for help with improving digital storage and access for building documentation.
At the campuses in Chelmsford and Cambridge, the estates and facilities team had identified the need for urgent upgrades to document storage and access systems in about 30 buildings. The data for the buildings were stored as both soft and hard copies – a combination of paper and electronic files in various locations that were difficult to access. Cognica made its name on a similar rationalisation project for Severn Trent Water in the late 1990s, so assembled a highly specialised team and travelled to the Chelmsford campus. Once on-site, the team began a pilot exercise in the postgraduate medical institute that involved collating all the available documentation, electronic and paper, for the building. Our desk-based analysts then audited, sorted and indexed the collated data to provide an easy-access digital version of the building’s operation and maintenance manuals.
Following the success of the pilot project, Anglia Ruskin University contracted Cognica to convert and compile the documentation for several other buildings into a standard electronic format. Our inspectors visited the site to audit the documentation. Later, we extracted all the paper and electronic documentation. Our project team then worked through all the records for each building to review, sort and index information and, where necessary, scan paper documents to create electronic files. Because of the established and cohesive strategy we developed for the pilot project, we swiftly and professionally concluded the second project.
Cognica was later given the task of redesigning the university’s ‘design principles’ because of its expertise. These design principles are now updated where relevant but are used consistently across Anglia Ruskin University’s projects.
The Anglia Ruskin University and Cognica partnership continues with piloting and feeding into the development of solutions at Cognica. Cognica continues to be the university’s expert on collecting and collating building operation and maintenance information directly from the supply chain.