Unlocking vital insight in less time

How North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue used OS Select+Build to reduce data analysis timeframes

Following the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster, the Government led a programme of work delivered by Fire and Rescue Services across the country; to make high-rise residential buildings safer, and provide a better understanding of high-rise residential buildings.

  • OS Select+Build


As part of the Building Risk Review (BRR) programme, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue needed to know the numbers of buildings within its area that were over 18 metres or seven floors in height.

This would normally have entailed obtaining several datasets using database and Structured Query Language (SQL) statements, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) skills, to join datasets on common fields. Then, filter them to obtain the data required.

This effort was estimated at three days.


The GIS team at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) had recently attended an online Ordnance Survey (OS) briefing which had included the newly released functionality called OS Select+Build.

OS Select+Build allows Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) members to download specific data that has been tuned by the customer for specific tasks.

The NYFRS GIS team felt that this was an ideal opportunity to use the OS Select+Build functionality, to see if it could reduce the effort and time to obtain the data, and produce a quicker answer to their questions.


The GIS team had looked at OS data before and consulted with NYFRS colleagues to confirm that the requirement was confirmation of the Relative Height Max.

Logging onto the OS Data Hub, entering the criteria, and downloading the data took approximately three minutes. 

Once the data was received, again within minutes, this was then loaded into a GIS system. The resulting output showed the locations of buildings in North Yorkshire over 18 metres high. An accompanying spreadsheet allowed for further analysis.

Since this first view, the GIS team and operational NYFRS colleagues are looking to further enhance the use of OS Select+Build.

"The additional functionality provided by 'OS Select+Build' will be invaluable in time saved to Fire & Rescue services around the country, to help us keep up to date with our build stock, and work with building owners and residents to ensure their safety."

Pete Gregory, BRR Project Lead in 2021

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Products and solutions featured in this study

  • OS Select+Build

    Simple and direct access to the OS National Geographic Database (OS NGD). Source the data you want direct from the OS NGD and get a customised view of GB.