As regulatory compliance becomes ever-more complex, so the need for specialist advisors to be more aware of all aspects of supply chain delivery is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, but an essential part of the mix. BIM is a combination of processes, information, people, culture and many different software applications working together. Clients and their project teams need their legal, commercial and sustainability advisors to provide the framework for those elements to work in unison.

The Advisory Group brings together specialists across many disciplines. This offers our input at all stages of a building’s life cycle, while giving us a view of issues, normally, outside of our remit. These issues we pass through to focussed workstreams, which then revert back with solutions- or, sometimes, more questions.

Advisory Group Meetings and Highpoints

If you have a comment or suggestion on a particular meeting, or just in general, please

Chaired By: David Peacock, Debbie Carlton


BIM4Housing Advisory Working Group Meeting 09-11-2022

Recording -

RICHARD Debbie, one of our leaders, is an expert on compliance, so we thought this week we’d do a compliance piece.

DEBBIE I’m actually concentrating more on the competency management aspect, just seeing how aware people are and whether they’ve looked at the competence product competence framework and things like that. i thought I’d set it in some context first. We recently finished an Innovate project on product based building systems. If people are interested in the challenge of competence frameworks, particularly post-Grenfell and what that means in terms of products and product-based building systems and approaches then please stay.

JIM CREAK Are we talking about a specific piece of legislation here, the new legislation, or the overall…DEBBIE the legislation comes into it but I’m talking more about the challenge of the result of legislation is we have what I call a proliferation of competence frameworks and how does anyone make sense of all of this, they’re all slightly different. I’m using this project to set the scene particularly to get to the product competence frameworks which for a group like this is something you should be looking at.

DEBBIE shares her screen displaying the ‘Innovative Product Based Building Systems Project’ document. As I said this was an Innovate funded project led by a Tier 1 organisation (I was one of the partners). You’ll see another logo in this presentation Interlate, they’re a technology partner of mine. One of the challenges of doing anything like modern methods of construction, product-based building systems, is it naturally changes the competency demand profile but we’re not very good in the industry at making that explicit or modelling that. And it’s not really part of the digitalisation agenda or meeting the kind of requirements that have come out in the construction playbook of the need to harmonise, digitalise and rationalise demand - that should include rationalising competency demand but that’s not naturally in the conversation explicitly.

This is what I’m going to cover, just set the scene for the impact of DfMA product-based building systems and competency demand, what is competence, competence challenges and questions we asked in this project, and then get into the detail of competency standards (there’s a number out there). I take you through a bit the product competence standard and the challenge of the need to make competence standards machine-readable and interoperable. We’ve done this, it’s not something that’s impossible, we can make competence frameworks machine-readable and interoperable now, there just isn’t appetite in the sector to do it.

So in terms of DfMA, it just came out of a piece of research that was published in 2021. Really if we’re looking at product-based building systems, this kind of approach, we’re trying to get the impact of productisation platforms, a competent workforce, supply chain management and to get the performance, to make sure that we link what the outcomes and ??? 5mins 07secs to the evidence we are having performed. From a competence POV that naturally changes the competence demand requirements as it changes who does what when, why, to what standards, how it’s done, when and where it’s done, what duties and competences are needed to do the work, who does it (man or machine), who allocates and signs it off and complies with it. This is also part of the Golden Thread of decisions and information. Part of the challenge we set ourselves in the project was to try and understand how can we model and understand the impact of product-based building systems on competence demand.

What is Competence? Has everyone here heard of the BSI Flex 8760? That’s a code of practice. Basically what it means in the industry now is we have a common understanding of competence which is meant to cover these dimensions of skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours. Actually if you’re in the world of machines and making sense of this experiences are a slightly different level of extraction to skills, knowledge and behaviours. It’s still a simple way of looking at it because if you look at the diagram on the right hand side competency management has actually many viewpoints, many motivations and many different other dimensions.

For example, conduct is a critical one (obviously post-Grenfell) and should be part of any assurance piece. And conduct can be in some of the behaviour statements to do with competence frameworks but it can manifest itself in other dimensions of competence as well so we’ve chosen a very simple model but actually from a competency management POV it’s more complex and obviously one of the challenges Dame Judith Hackitt said is everyone’s got to understand how their activities interact and impact on the activities of others right the way from concept to the operations of any asset or project. That at the moment is not generally visible across projects at all in terms of managing competency requirements and ensuring you are selecting and allocating competent actors to do that.

So, getting to a slightly more granular definition, this is competency which is the capability to conduct activities with the right skills, knowledge and behaviours which are dependent on context and they can be on given objects such as products, assets or services and there’s different instruments involved including tools, softwares, equipment according to different requirements etc. So when you get to the coal face and the granular level it’s about actually specifying those competency profiles and requirements that are there so you can see products are a key contextualising factor in terms of changing competency demand as we move to these more modern methods of construction.

This is just another little way of understanding it, we tend to be an industry that likes to be very siloed in terms of disciplines and who actually controls the fiefdom of what territory and who’s going to control and is certified to be competent. But actually competencies are a semantic network, they overlap sectors, activities, occupations, roles, and as we have increased digitalisation, electrification and net zero etc there’s going to be more and more commonalities. So we need ways to understand that, it’s absolutely ridiculous that we still continue to work in those kind of silos and this is just a way of showing you how these things actually link and how you need to wire them when you’re actually in the world of trying to manage competency in these kind of projects.

I’m sure a lot of you have listened to the wonderful Professor Jose Torero and I don’t know if anybody’s sadly listening to the Grenfell summing up sessions. What we’ve had is DfMA and product-based approaches have actually made products more complex. We know a facade can have many different functions, we’ve added much more complexity and ambiguity into the system and a lot of the time although there’s great desire to see the competency demand should go down, actually a lot of the time sometimes competency requirements are higher because of the complexity and we need to ensure that competency is aligned with the complexity and you know what that is. But at the moment no way in the industry are we actually able to do that. Unless organisations have decent organisational competency management systems, unless they are thinking about competency demand right from the conception of a project, this won’t be managed and there will be continued risks in this area.

These are the sum of the questions we set ourselves in the project. Do we actually have the wrong definitions for this type of approach in terms of product-based building systems? Does it create more complexity, more ambiguity? Does it set greater expectations on the workforce and the definitions of competences? And the way we develop competency of the workforce to install things on-site that have come from off-site etc. And, more importantly, how can we optimise the scarce use of resources and competencies and ensure that we redistribute and repurpose and all the rest to do that and how do we evidence all types of performance including human performance? So, that was the nitty gritty of basically what the call to action was on this project. I’m not going to go into much more detail than that, there is a report on this if you want to read it. But within a group like this I think it’s good to be open. This was quite challenging for all the other players in the project, there were about 12 partners, for them to get their head round to try and understand competency from this kind of perspective. It’s not normally in their kind of DNA.

Debbie shares on screen the ‘TCQ_PT Model’ diagram. This is the most complicated diagram. We were trying to model the challenge here and really this diagram is quite simple in a sense, it says if we understand product-based building systems, that products are a key contextualising factor on demand, how do you link the products including the types to the instance of specifics to those tasks and the duties and responsibilities around those tasks, to other performance and competence requirements and qualification and certification requirements. So, for example, we can be very clear, if you are wanting somebody to assemble a particular product on-site we can generate that competency profile and say, right, these are the tasks related to the assembly of this product in this context to these standards - that’s simply what we’re trying to do. Some of the little bubbles we obviously now have things that are overseeing this in terms of industry competency committees from April next year the building safety regulator can go in and ask your organisation can you prove you’re employing competent actors. If you haven’t got this kind of modelling and wiring and thinking it’s very unlikely that you’re going to be able to evidence that properly and have the systems and platforms around to do this.

RICHARD I know we are seeing in other areas of this that it’s not good enough to just be compliant, you’ve got to prove that you’re compliant. How do you do that with competency?

DEBBIE Can i come back to that because that’s a different piece of the puzzle. At this stage I’m looking at making the demands right: can you profile what the demand is, then the question is have you got competent actors and then the question is can you evidence this as part of your conformance process.

JIM i don’t know of an actual offence regarding the competency of an individual. I honestly understand by virtue of contract there are competency issues, but that didn’t take part in Grenfell at all on an individual. So if an organisation would be prosecuted for lack of competency then the evidence that shows that you’ve got a management system is not going to be sufficient if it’s an individual that has effectively made a mistake. So, I don’t understand how ti would actually work in practice.

DEBBIE Let’s take a particular sector, social housing maintenance sector, which I do a lot of work in which is now going to have social housing regulator and even tougher requirements on competency. For the competency of the individual, the individual (if you look at all the competence frameworks) the individual is not allowed to go and do something unless they feel they are competent to do that piece of work. That is now in all of the competence standards, right from Flex through to the others/ So individuals now have to have and manage their own self-preservation and not do work that they are told to do by somebody like a supervisor that they know they’re not competent to do. And you’ve got to manage and track that.

JIM Coming back to the offence, you said you needed to provide evidence, well I’m sure in that particular incidence because he went along and did it…DEBBIE Would the individual be prosecuted vs the organisation? JIM he should be but it doesn’t actually work like that does it? It didn’t work like that in Grenfell. DEBBIE No, it’s not necessarily going to work like that, I think the proof will be in the pudding. It’s early days to see where both the BSR and the social housing regulator in the context I gave, just see what kind of evidence they look for. In sectors like Oil and Gas they do look for the evidence so it may be likely or this may well help you with your insurance,

it could be in different ways but at the end of the day if you understand how to profile your competency demand you know how to manage the competency of your workforce and you can show those things are linked and you’ve got the evidence of it you’ve got a robust system. That’s where I’m taking this, I’m not really getting into the legalities of this. But this much more is also about how can we better rationalise competency demand because we have a problem in the sector at the moment, we don’t have enough people with the right competencies.

JIM I don’t see that, actually, in practice. DEBBIE I see that with a lot of the customers that I deal with. Most of the reports out there say there is this issue. I don’t necessarily agree with all of those reports, I think it depends on what disciplines, what sectors, what type of projects etc. it’s more complex than just saying there are skill shortages everywhere that the sector loves to do. JIM Again, I’m not arguing against the point at all. I believe that a system…but I also believe that ISO BS9990 in terms of the quality management system is also as good as a demonstrator for competency and self-improvement on an individual basis. I’m not arguing about the principle, it’s about the legislation because without enforcement, hard hats - you go into Europe and there’s bit a hard hat on-site. DEBBIE I know.

JIM I’m definitely a person who comes from if it’s not broken don’t mend it. I do actually see a lot of systems to do with competency, very good systems, specifically in specialist contractors areas, would suggest that at the moment we’ve had one incident which is Grenfell, we had a lot of other incidents including Shirley Towers including Lakanal, but the competency side of it was not even a discussion there. So that’s why I’m a little bit concerned about developing very costly systems when we already have systems.

DEBBIE At the moment in a project like this one we were involved in if I asked the lead contractor can you tell me what task somebody’s actually got to do to install that particular product on that site on that day, give me your task statements, they generally can’t. They’re all over the place, they are in Powerpoint slides, in Excel sheets, in visualisation tools, they are not necessarily proper statements, full statements. The product data is getting there but the tasking data is all over the place. Then you get people going in trying to assemble things who either are not quite the correct competent actor or don’t fully understand the tasking they’ve been set. So we’re just trying to help people model and understand this and get a lot of different benefits from it. It also aids things like the Golden Thread and evidence if you need it.

JIM I understand that, but it also needs to be read. So if it’s not available on the shop floor easily accessible, if it stays on the server or in the cloud, in my opinion it’s not that good. DEBBIE I totally agree with you, it needs to be a handbook on your mobile or device or your VR camera etc. But I wasn’t really trying to get into the detail of that today, I was trying to get more to the competency framework mess and challenge.

DEBBIE In terms of competency management you’ve got all of these different types of data sets and things that have a relation to each other, but generally there’s kind of eight perspectives you can look at and products are one of those perspectives, just as responsibilities or occupations are or training and qualifications are for another. You just need a way of making sense of that and we take a particular task-based activity semantic approach to interpret all of this so you can make sense of all of these different data sources and viewpoints. That’s the kind of approach we took in the project, again I’m not going to jump into too much detail.

At the moment we have a lot of different standards that have come out of all the working groups, some of them out for consultation, some of them not done, particularly like working group 2, it’s very unclear when we’re going to see any competence frameworks coming out of that. Then you’ve got all of the other competence frameworks continually coming out, whether that be digital. Offsite MMC, Building Envelope sector are doing stuff now, Netzero/Green Skills. Then you’ve got all of the existing things like National Occupational standards, apprenticeship standards, organisations with their own corporate competence frameworks, so we’re in this era of multiplicity of competence frameworks. I don’t know how many people here are looking at these at the moment. The challenge is with a lot of these things is that they’re all slightly different in structure, definitions, formats.

Debbie shares on screen ‘Built Environment - Proposed Construction Product Competence Standard’ White Paper. This is the product competence standard that is out for consultation at the moment. There’s a good quote from Paul Morrell, he’s set the scene saying products concern everybody in the built environment and to some level people have to have understanding of some level of competence around products. It’s a fairly robust standard, they focus much more on functions rather than roles, it’s got five different levels. The idea is that if you’re an organisation or you might be an industry body you take the core criteria…I’m just going to drill down to some of the actual standard here…and you then generate your own competency profiles from this.

There’s five levels there that they’ve kind of put in terms of levels of competences. It changes from responsibility to accountability which is what you would expect as you go up the levels. And here are the actual statements. But what you’ll see here are ones like hierarchy of competence, some of these are new-type competence statements. In many existing frameworks there is a lot of references to competence and your requirements to develop competence and be competence aware.

RICHARD We cover some of that with our RACI approach to the assets. This competency thing, when we had our roundtables for fire safety it came up time and time again, we actually had a section on competency and how you judge it and what the actual criteria is. It was very difficult because how do you make that judgment when the qualifications that somebody might possess are not that great anyway because they’re not monitored properly.

DEBBIE Yeah. Well what we haven’t had from the industry from some sectors they’ve kind of published a report, if you’ve looked at the installers group (working group 2) they’ve looked across all the different installers and said who does CPD, who typically has qualifications, who has cards, who has these kind of assessments etc. So they’ve kind of benchmarked where the industry is and now they’re trying to set what’s the minimum level. But as you can see here this is the top level in terms of accountability, you can see the statements get quite granular but also have many concepts in them like value assessments.

So, these are still quite high level things which people are going to have to interpret and this product standard is out for consultation and then you’ve got others, site supervisors, there’s the designers one, this is all meant to be also traceable to Flex but you can’t see that explicitly yet because it’s all done in terms of human interpretation, there’s nobody tracking and giving you that, you can’t go and query how does this actually map to anything because everybody’s working in their own silos.

One of my calls for this as a group is if this is something, this standard is worth us looking at and commenting on, particularly as you said, Richard, from when we were doing the fire door work. How useable is this because at the end of the day if it isn’t actionable it’s not useful.

RICHARD I think definitely and it’s this group that would be doing it. Would it be something you ned to set up a work-stream to do?

DEBBIE In doing it you might say well let’s also look at some of the overlap with others like the designers’ one, I don’t know, it’s not for me and this group to suggest that yet, it’s what people think is most useful and relevant to them. Because if you do that then you can see some of the commonality and overlap, some of the standards they are reasonably good the definitions, some of them quite frankly mean nothing. i looked at one on fire doors the other day and basically the requirement was individuals must understand all the regulations to do with fire doors - well how do you measure that?! This is why you have to go from standards to competency profiles because a competency profile really set the context and set what is suitable evidence of competence. If you look in other sectors you’ll see most of the time they also give what are appropriate sources of evidence for these competence statements but none of that kind of work has gone on.

RICHARD Sharon McClure has made an interesting comment via the chat: We do need support to develop fire protection into a regulated trade. The NVQ is deemed to be insufficient even from within the passive fire industry. Again, despite encouraging adding technical elements, the current status is that the passive protection measures are being added to joinery or plumber packages, for example. There’s no proof of competence but the package is awarded regardless. Despite their efforts to educate people and there’s been a huge shift in the understanding of the risks of employing people who are not competent to carry out these tasks, but in my opinion unless the insurance and construction industry works together is there any reason why anyone would go to the bother of selecting a competent individual, even if their parties certification schemes are being undermined. What can be the driving force for change?

JIM i don’t actually see any evidence of this, in fact when I was talking to a group of building managers when this was first mooted around they were desperately concerned around their competency to do the job, as outlined by Dame Judith Hackitt. From my perspective the will to do training and to seek assurances from subcontractors, post-Grenfell has been quite substantial. The provenance of products, I see a complete sea-change in attitude in procurement for instance. So this is where I have difficulty in anecdotal ‘well, he doesn’t know what he’s doing’ type scenarios because I actually see a major improvement in people that are involved. I’ve advised on competency for 30 years, I see major improvements in 3rd party accreditations and training in fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire suppression systems in my own sphere. So whilst there may be real problems in actual nuts and bolts construction I don’t actually see much non-conformance. Fire stopping for instance, I see fantastic improvements in fire stopping.

SHARON Jim, I don’t know if you are dealing primarily with the Tier 1 contractors, there has been a huge shift in questions being asked, but the problem is when it goes out to tender there seems to be a real split with what their able to do, what they’re talking about doing and what they are actually doing. if you’ve got a plumber’s package they’ll commit to fire stopping to be carried out by a 3rd party certified contractor but when we turn up on-site the plumber has been given the package that includes the callers or the dry liners have been asked to do XYZ. I think the problem is the top level strategy…it actually does come down to the nuts and bolts and I think there’s a hug regional variation.

JIM I can agree with some of the statements there in the procurement process and even in this forum. I’ve said about the nomination of specialist contractors should be right up front and not part of the procurement basis. Having said that, procurement specifically within social housing, procurement through framework agreements puts a lot of power in a very few Tier 1 contractors who then subcontract and subcontract. But this has got nothing to do with the competency criteria because there’s only the tier 1 contractor that can then measure that competence. At the moment form what your saying you are experiencing the fact that they’re actually bypassing that. it’s not the system, the system is there, but it’s not actually being…

DEBBIE No, I’m sorry, I would disagree. There’s a great desire in product-based building systems, MMC, to use this wonderful term multi-skilled, let’s use these multi-skilled operatives, or even worse they use de-skilled operatives who they want to do a variety of trades without managing any of that really explicitly. There are actually 12 types of multi-skilling, it’s not as simple as everybody thinks, it’s much more multi-dimensional. Sometimes actually the profile is very different, those multi-skilled people need to be better team players, they need better behaviours, digital skills, better problem solving skills. There’s no management of making that explicit or traceable in these management systems at the moment. They don’t produce a competency profile for a multi-skilled operative that says taking on that plumbing job that Sharon is doing. Therefore if it’s not made explicit then it allows these things to happen and you’re not measuring the right thing or collecting the right evidence or data either.

PAULA As a Tier 1 contractor that’s not my view of it at all. My view is that we leave it too late in the process, we don’t a) figure out what passive fire protection is needed let alone what structure it’s going into early enough and we don’t hold the consultants to account and we just rely collectively as an industry on subys 39mins 10 secs subcontractors??? coming in just to fill in the gaps. What there has to be is a complete mindset shift where we’re doing the hard work the hard miles early on, but we know pretty much in stage 3, spatial coordination, we know where pipes and ducts are going through certain walls, floors, ceilings. We should be able to have a typical set of details we can call on for standard walls/buildups, the difficulty comes when we get into the bespoke elements, but at the minute it's not thought about until the end of stage 4. It’s too late, we need to be looking at it in stage 2, stage 3 coming up with a compliant solution or a series of solutions and then taking responsibility for the Golden Thread to see them through designed approved installation as approved. JIM Totally agree.

SHARON that’s music to my ears. The only other thing I would add is that the 3rd party certified schemes, I am a 3rd party certified contractor and I am going in to a job to rip out another 3rd party certified contractors work because it’s not compliant. So, the scheme on which people are trying to drive towards hoping that it will tick all the boxes and hope that’s the cure all and I’ve ticked the competency box is actually not fit for purpose either.

JIM The reason for that, Sharon, is some of the 3rd party accreditations are to the organisation and not to the actual engineer. 9 times out of 10 when I see non-conformance it’s because of the engineer’s lack of competence, not the organisation’s.

SHARON I think the concern is if we’re trying to bottleneck people down the competency route then the only direction people have currently is to try to go down a 3rd party certified contractors route. My concern would be X? like a pig-in-a-poke 41 mins 29 secs - there might be schemes out there but they have to be fit for purpose, there’s no point signalling people to go down that procurement route when, as Jim says, if it’s only someone in the office that’s got ISO9001 but they can drag 15 people out, say it’s a 10:1 ratio, you’ve got 1 competent person and 10 incompetent. Then you’ve got that repeating problem so if we’re tightening up the industry I put my hand up, I’m an ASFP, I’m chipping away at the back because I’m not happy with the way we are but I can’t stand here and just say yes, guys, go and procure from a 3rd party certified contractor because you will get something that is compliant and fit for purpose when I don’t think our industry is actually fit for purpose. There’s going to be more concerns and more problems , so we’ve got a pincer movement, work form the top and the bottom to try and isolate all those issues.

IHSAN Correct, the organisation might be competent but what we find on-site often is that information on how something needs to be installed isn’t passed down to that individual and often it’s such a fast-paced moving industry where people are leaving and coming in, we’re not looking at who is doing the fire stopping (for example) and given that sufficient training from that high level up from the organisation that’s got the contractor or the package from that Tier 1 contractor. The other element is some of the Housing Associations I’ve worked at on the development side of it they used to employ a 3rd party passive fire protection inspector, so even if it was a 3rd party accredited contractor on-site dong the work we would send our own individual inspector out and inspect the work at certain stages and do random checks. if there was any faults we’d chat with them and try to get them rectified.

But even with the 3rd party accredited contractors on-site a lot of our independent passive fire protection inspectors used to find faults within their work as well. So on paper it’s great to say that they’re competent to do it but when you practically go on-site and see what they’re doing it is often the case that you’ve got a dry liner that’s got the package for whatever is going through that wall and the plumber doing it for the pipes and an electrician not doing it right. We tried to negate that by having an independent inspection of that, bit it comes at a cost. For me the question is as Jim mentioned in terms of the quality management of people checking and making sure the work is being done is correct but for the Housing Association where I am currently they haven’t got that in place in terms of a 3rd party inspection happening. We’ve got our clerk of works checking this and they can’t check every nut and bolt, even a site manager can’t check every nut and bolt.

DEBBIE shares on screen ‘Product Competence Standard’ document. It’s up to people whether they want to consider this product competence framework, I didn’t check when the consultation deadline is, these are just some of the things I’m highlighting. it is seen there’s a call for a action and whether there’s a need to create individual competency profiles for specific types of actors, say your in product specification or product assembly. Maybe it needs to be more collectively done. They give some sort of user cases as an example of these competency profiles to take account of that but it’s also worth noting that it doesn’t necessarily cover all of the competence criteria, particularly some of the behaviour ones that are in Flex. At the moment we can’t see the traceability of it or overlap to other frameworks or to Flex.

The challenge of all of these competence frameworks and standards is many of them reference other standards or regulations or other competence frameworks. They often draw on different bodies of knowledge and then they’ve got to be contextualised to qualifications or certification or role profile requirements and then you’ve got to deal with the evolution of all of them, they’re changing very fast at the moment. if we live in the world of all of these things being machine-readable they’re not very helpful to us, so we have an interoperability challenge around these frameworks because at the moment we’re not making them machine-readable and we can make them machine-readable.

I’ve got a set of questions here. Can we push as a group that there is a need to be a call for interoperability for a rationalisation of these? There needs to even be a standard for what a competence profile is so people are working to the same things so we can do that, there isn’t that at the moment. How do we align some of this stuff that’s going on with the product data sets? And how does that align to the product competence framework? it’s not clear. If people want to see and know how to make these things interoperable I can show them but that doesn’t have to be done today. In this Innovate project we did that and we’ve done it in many other projects, we can make them all machine-readable and comparable. As much as this is trying to get in peoples’ mind set and conversation, also there are some solutions to consider.

NICK NISBET As an outsider to this it certainly looks to me like it needs rationalisation. We saw the product competency framework and I think one could have taken the word product out and put any of the other sectors or aspects in and it would still have been a valid document. This urge to specialise out and make into separate things is an incredible waste of time and effort. What we’re talking about here in those 5 levels are the levels that we would all recognise from the competencies of a labourer and operative through to the competencies of a consulting engineer or specifier. What we need to do is have a single framework that recognises that there are aspects of this that require professional input. Each of those generates method statements which is a phrase that we have siloed into trades working on-site, but the same language should be applicable to professionals. What is your method statement for designing a building? What is your method statement for designing a fire management system? It’s an equally valid question, so what we need, rather than this proliferation I would expect to see some common understandings a common framework that says…

I like 5 step scales because they have the sufficient flexibility to accommodate most realities, but if every topic (and of course you can invent a topic, we’ve heard about MMC, products, particular skills) there’s no end to the number of topics that we could set up a competency framework for and they would overlap and cross-cut to the nth degree. The fact is there’s only one competency framework that’s needed which then applies to any task you happen to think about. If I want to go shopping there is a competency framework implied in that when I was a child I was probably competent to go and get something from a shelf but I wasn’t competent to draw up the shopping list.

The danger of this proliferation is worse than the problem in a way because we’re going to have competing schemes. An individual on-site is going to end up having to have a catalogue of competency certificates when actually, if he’s a site foreman, he might just be competent full stop.

DEBBIE Nick, I’ve got clients coming to me and saying ‘can you just create us that single framework from all of this’ which I can do because I’ve got clever engines that can do it. But doing it manually, they still shouldn’t have to - why should every actor in the supply chain or different sectors all be doing this? or they’re just looking at it and going ‘I don’t know where to start’.

JIM i’d like to add one bit on that. On the occupational health and safety committee at British Standards we looked at psychosocial risks and when we got to the competency for people that were theoretically needed at HR to actually talk to employees about problems that they may have either in work outside of work or as a function of a mental disability you needed 5 different occupational professional qualifications to actually just ascertain what the single problem was with the employee and it just got so complicated, instead of identifying somebody in the workforce that needs help what we actually did was just effectively discount it because it would be so expensive for any employer to have all of those professional people available. if we make the framework agreement for competency so expansive a) we won’t get the staff and b) we won’t get the job done. The thing is it does have to be broken down to something extremely simple.

NICK I hear that going in the opposite direction of what I was saying. if everything has to be broken down to individual tasks then the method statement, which is probably the instruction to go and do something on-site, is going to be two thirds you must…and it’s not going to help the guy charged with doing it to get…i just don’t see how proliferating the competency frameworks is going to serve a multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled, multi-flexible industry.

JIM Well I didn’t mean to disagree because in actual fact I think, to use your analogy, it’s important that the training of how to do the shopping list and how to do the shop can be determined because you can still give competency to do the shopping given a list but you don’t necessarily have to have the competency to draw up the actual list of what you require.

DEBBIE True, yes, that’s one step in the process. At the moment there is also a lack of transparency. There’s been all of these working groups going on, there’s all of this work that the interim industry competency committee is doing, but there’s no transparency of what they’re doing or when we’re going to see something or whether they’re going to help with this need for rationalisation and proliferation. It should be something that the industry competency is leading because you can see now just how much overlap now a lot of these frameworks come out from consultation and why is there the need for more than one of them. It comes back to is this something we want to comment on and feedback as a group, do we feel it’s not in our territory to be worried about this, the group should decide because if we don’t influence it I can’t see that this sort of continuous process of more and more frameworks and standards isn’t going to continue.

JIM I agree with Nick, it needs to be extremely simple, possibly one of the drawings within Debbie’s good presentation maybe is sufficient. DEBBIE Perhaps a practical next step is if we evidence how much overlap and proliferation is that worth doing? Rather than going and saying we believe there is just go back and say actually we’ve done some analysis, we can clearly see there’s overlap. or we look at it in a broader context, if we don’t get this right it’ going to affect the certification and accreditation, the bigger system - we can look at it at the system level or look at it at the proliferation of competence framework level. We need to affect the system as well, going back to Sharon’s point, these certification schemes of organisations really that have limited validity.

JIM i think we do agree with one thing and that is it’s right at design stage that competence needs to be discussed and a real policy statement about how that will be policed through the stages including specialist contractors and everything. And the benchmarks should be set at design stages so that everybody knows what they are.

MIKE SMITH I’m an architect, director for an architectural practice, Multi-D. About the competencies at the design stages. There’s a couple of things I want to talk about, firstly procurement, I think procurement has got a lot to answer for about how we get later down the chains the competencies of team members is then relative to the scope of work they are trying to do. Secondly, just to see whether additional layers of competency are the right thing to do. So, if I’m an RIBA registered architect and I’m doing all of my qualifications to prove all my continuing CPD and everything else, does another layer of competency checking add any value.

DEBBIE I think my answer depends on the CPD, CPD needs to be about allowing people to upskill and discover new areas they want to go into, it’s got to be something that’s progressive, but a lot of the time CPD processes don’t actually fundamentally ask a question saying are you finding your duties and responsibilities changing and if they are where is the evidence you’re competent to take on those new duties.

MIKE So the RIBA’s competency checks now are much more clearer over the last few years. It’s very structured, you have a number of hours you have to maintain and various sections that you have to cover. Obviously then within our industry you will find that you diversify into housing and carious sectors and typically then you preview competency by the experience you get so it does do a lot of the work that’s needed to demonstrate the competency.

DEBBIE Yeah, it varies per institution, discipline and sector in all of that, but also I think competency evolves, you acquire, you apply, it appreciates and depreciates, so if you do it better from CPD managing it from a competency profile perspective you take into account those kind of other aspects of it and you look at it across all the dimensions of competence. A lot of CPD can be very knowledge based and less behaviour based and skills based so it needs to evolve to be more multi-dimensional. Maybe in the CPD certain people if they’re taking on certain things need to be prompted, these are things behaviourally you need to think about. I think it needs to be a bit more flexible and evolutionary in it’s approach.

Organisations also, it’s their responsibility to also ensure that you are acting within your competences when you are doing your own work and that there are checks and balances in that. Competency and compliance systems and other quality systems are important and unfortunately a lot of the time these different systems are very siloed and they don’t talk to each other, but that may change over time. If you look at competency in the gas industry and competency management all organisations have very granular competency and compliance management - is that where we’re doing to go as a sector? I don’t know, but it didn’t stop Piper Alpha so hey ho.

JERRY COLLINS My experience with competency, I’ll give you a couple of examples. One was just post-Grenfell I looked at a single storey block of flats with some issues with cladding. We started to open up some service ducts and found quite a lot of fire stopping missing so that led me to open up all the service ducts photographing every element of fire stopping that was needed within the communal areas, arranged to get competent contractors in to actually do the fire stopping. Asked them have they completed the works,’yes, we have’, went back and checked every single space again and found that 50% of the fire stopping hadn’t been completed. Went back, had a go at them, brought them to site, went back again and then a 3rd time to find a couple of spots they’d missed where a few pipes had gone through walls. For me the whole issue with competence is at the sharp end. the guys doing the designs generally are really good and know what they’re doing, it’s at the sharp end. When you get a guy on site who’s possibly competent, he’s been trained and knows what he’s doing, he’s not aware that if he doesn’t do it properly sometimes of the implications, so the other thing is getting him to take ownership fo these things.

This goes back a long way. If you look at the way the construction industry has changed over the years by de-skilling people, there’s no proper apprentices (I know there’s a big effort to try and do this). You’ve got certain trades and multi-traders, to me I don’t understand this phrase because you can get a plumber who can do a bit of tiling, he can maybe fix a kitchen cupboard but he can’t swing a door. So then you have to get someone else, he can swing a door but he can’t fix a sash window because he’s never had that competency so with multi-traders I don’t know how you’re ever going to get competency because they’d have to have so many tickets, a bit like the CSCS scheme which started off originally with the NVQs which was excellent and I managed a load of apprentices and they were quite successful and got through.

RICHARD yeah, this is what Nick was saying, it has to be simplified rather than made more granular. Debbie, you were saying there were basically maybe 2 options for moving forward. 1) looking at where we’ve got overlap 2) looking at a more general level of things.

DEBBIE I think just more at the system things, influencing how accreditation, certification and the competence frameworks and stuff like this fit together and what needs to be managed or changed or considered. Those two things and also the third thing was whether we specifically want to make a comment on the product competency framework as it’s out for consultation, or it could be the designer’s one. Picking up on what Jerry said in terms of the multi-skilled bit, I entirely agree with you, this word is completely misused and misunderstood. In the social housing sector what we try to do is be very clear about what those common tasks are and what the competences are, get that as aligned and simplified as possible and then be very clear about what operatives are able and approved at their competence to do some of those multi-skilled tasks and to have some compliance checks every time they’re preparing to do the work and afterwards. That seems to be working and quite liked on the project I’m doing at the moment with Six Social Housing. So that’s one way we’ve dealt with the multi-skilled way but it’s not the only way. it is a danger this multi-skilled approach, if it’s not well thought out it leads to chaos.

The group agrees that it’s got to be worth having a good look at one of Debbie’s options in terms of competency and competency management.

RICHARD So there’s 3 possible options that Debbie has identified: 1) looking more at the systems side of things 2) overlap 3) to specifically comment on the competence products.

DEBBIE I’m a specialist in my domain and I was an engineer a long time ago. I’m very interested in people in the industry whether they think this product competence framework has any use or validity at all.

RICHARD Shall we start with that one on the basis that there is something there for us actually to look at, we’ve got a framework for our discussions already there.

PAULA I think there is a step before we start looking at the competency. I would see competency from a completely different POV than Sharon or Mike and the people I need to have faith in and demonstrable comfort that they can do the job I’m appointing them to do will be different to the others on this call. I think we need to look at each stage, whether we split that into RIBA stage for the sake of clarity and we do a RACI - responsible, accountable, those who contribute input into the process, through each of our spheres of influence and then from that we can then develop a competency matrix that sits behind those deliverables. I think we have to do that first step. I agree with what Debbie is proposing in terms of the competency piece but I think there’s a first step before that where we need to plot that out.

JIM I agree. DEBBIE That sounds sensible. PAULA I’m not quite sure how we do it, maybe we go away in our own spheres of influence and we try and plot out at each stage who we’d expect to feed into the process, who’d be responsible and accountable, because Mike or anybody else on this call might have a different view from me. as I alluded to in the chat a lot of stuff we historically would have done under the banner of lead designer gets chucked into the contractors design portion bit and that’s too late down the line to make sure we’re properly set up to go into the build.

JIM i think that answers most of the non-conformance I see. if it was done at an earlier stage, most of the non-conformance is because someone has had to fudge something to get round a particular problem and I heard that yesterday in the Manufacturing with both fire door and securities being added to fire doors that nullify the…I also heard it in the smoke control arena in terms of finishing problems after the smoke control had been fitted, lack of date details being given because it was too late. So I totally agree with you.

RICHARD Why don’t we have maybe 2 or 3 volunteers to get their heads together and come up with some sort of schemata on that.

DEBBIE That sounds sensible and I may touch base individually with Paula and I’m also interested in Sharon’s particular scenario. Working out this kind of competency RACI type matrix because I do think a lot of this stuff should be more risk-based and driven around competency, it makes more sense, the way risk management is done in some sectors needs turning on it’s head, it’s so old fashioned. With that we can then say well where are these frameworks publishing at the moment playing into this or not, or whether there’s overlap. I haven’t seen anybody else doing that.

RICHARD We can review before the next meeting and then circulate the findings prior to the next meeting. JIM A quick question to Paula about framework agreements because I’m asked sometimes by sponsors of framework agreements for groups of purchasers to write specifications on my own which is escape route signing and obviously now to do with social housing, to do with fire and rescue deployment. Obviously there’s a whole bunch of consultation with stakeholders that are required prior to making arrangements for that building. So in terms of looking at the numbers of bullet points that needs to be considered it’s very similar to this competency criteria because procurement just want to know a list of what’s required. But all of this within the framework you need to choose a supplier that’s prepared to go through the process of consultation, right down to fire safety strategy.

I’m concerned that quite a lot of that framework gets completely and utterly disjointed because in my experience it doesn’t happen because it’s a question of logistics in terms of going back to the people that designed the building, what their thoughts were regarding evacuation strategy, consultation with fire and rescue, those types of things I’m writing in framework agreements that are just literally chucked out. So I know it’s to do with competency loosely but it is a problem, for me it’s a non-conformance because the next thing I hear they are buying the products from a catalogue or off the internet.

DEBBIE I had a worrying conversation with somebody at BSI who leads the competence standard work. They couldn’t understand what products had to do with competence. If products have a function, if they do something and have something to do with something else there is a competence relationship, but they didn’t understand what products had to do with it. If we have all the data on a product, we know what a product does, we can interpret what competences are associated with that product. It wasn’t even in their mindset, there’s so much siloed thinking going on here. Part of this is also getting people to understand the relationship of these things such as why we spent time modelling this in this Innovate project.

JIM i totally agree with you. I can just give you one instance, having written an application standard the most important thing about any safety sign is the size because the viewing distance is critical. It’s in the standard the way that you would effectively procure the right size for the right position. That detail is not necessarily on the drawing, it’s down to the subcontractor that should have the competence to look at the drawings and work that out.

DEBBIE I think we’ve got a way forward. If anybody is interested in the machine-readable stuff around competency contact me separately. The machines expose all the chaos and that’s what i told Graham Watts when he set up all the working groups. I said if you don’t do this with a common methodology and a way of trying to systemise and rationalise it then as soon as you produce all these frameworks the machines will expose the chaos. Didn’t want to know, didn’t want to have the conversation. Bloody shocking in my view. It’s extraordinary they didn’t want to do that, they missed the opportunity, and I think now everyone is paying the price of it and it’s just not right.

JIM have you thought, Debbie, of producing a PAS with British Standards?

DEBBIE Yes, I am in some discussions on that, but as a micro SME I’m not sure how much I can take on. I rally think a PAS for the competency profile thing would be a good idea because in the building safety manager PAS they have a slightly view of a competence profile, different from the product one. There are other things to consider as PAS’s, where would you want to focus most on a PAS?

JIM No, I thought the document is absolutely fantastic for a thought process which is what I get from PAS on the risk assessments. I’m saying that in terms of looking at a system that effectively is a tick-box, I don’t mean to be derogatory in any way, but where we have a situation where somebody is going to be expected to answer yes or no, they’ve got this and it happens to be on a computer system somebody’s going to get given the job that has probably got very little competence to know what the difference is between any BAIF system for instance, they’ll see a logo and they’ll tick the box. That’s what I’m frightened of. But having said that if you read about it, like we’ve had the discussion today, without your paperwork we couldn’t have a discussion to identify a way forward. I think that’s what’s good about a PAS, it allows you to have all of those eventualities and possibly pick maybe 50% of it into your system.

And that’s what I think I would propose. I’m an absolute devotee in terms of Edwards Deming in terms of his management systems and the way that he looks at comments, not complaints, comment and non-conformance and he creates a system to make sure that that doesn’t happen again.



Sharon McClure

We do need support to develop fire protection into a regulated trade. The NVQ is deemed to be insufficient, even from within the passive fire industry - again despite encouraging adding technical elements. The current status is that the passive protection measures are being added to joinery or plumber packages for example, and there is no proof of competence, but the package is being awarded regardless. Despite our efforts to educate people, and there has been a huge shift in the understanding of the risks of employing people not competent to carry out these tasks, but in my opinion, unless the insurance and construction industry works together is there any reason why anyone will go to the bother of selecting a competent individual - even the third party certification schemes are being undermined - what can be the driving force for change ?

Why should you have to double check a trade, when you would not QA the electrician?

its a cost that should not need to be incurred IMO

Paula Chandler (RDD)

Out of interest, do we share an understanding about who is responsible for designing/specifying the PFP in the first place? We have to agree on this fundamental principle as the prerequisite for verifying what has been installed on site is compliant and in accordance with the approved detail.

The whole landscape is changing in terms of Consultant scope - you only have to mention safety critical elements of the design and we are regularly hearing that Consultants no longer have PI covering anything to do with fire. IMO the role of the Architect as Lead Designer needs a reset to restore the nobility of the role - not everything can be pushed down the line to CDP. We need to work together to pull the threads together and create a RACI matrix for whom is responsible and accountable for each element at each stage (from a building safety perspective) - a Competency Matrix can then sit behind this.

Jim Creak - Jalite Plc

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Debbie - Dynamic Knowledge

Brett Hibbitt - Aster

Mike Smith - Bailey Partnership

Daniel Luckett - L&Q

Patrick Flynn - Network Homes

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness Partnerships

Jerry Collins - Richmond and Wandsworth

Nicholas Nisbet - Aec3

Sharon McClure - Avesta Group

Paula Chandler (RDD) - Wates

Steve Wyper - Taylor Design Consultancy


BIM4Housing Advisory Working Group Meeting-20220713_110352


RICHARD beings by saying that the first BIM4housing steering group meeting took place last week. Participants include the leaders of all the working groups and the workstreams, meeting approximately every three months, and working on deciding how strategically BIM4housing moves forward. The first meeting looked at what’s been done so far, the methodologies being used (which are evolving all the time). It was agreed unanimously that what we are doing is broadly speaking right, consequently we’ll carry on like that with an ethos to improve as we go along.

GEORGE believes that the knowledge is growing incrementally by working together, significant things are being identified that, when tested in discussions, can be recalibrated or added to. A challenge is to keep everybody involved aware of those new ideas. The meetings are documented and recorded, but nobody really has the time to review those things. Therefore, we’re trying to instil them into some examples that we can then work with going forward. Considering that everyone in this group works in an advisory capacity (to other stakeholder groups) it would be useful if this advisory working group becomes knowledgable across the board about what is needed.

GEORGE aims in this meeting to instil down what’s been learnt up until now and to them agree how to go forward. DEBBIE suggests it would be a good idea to engage with ACE (Association of Consulting Engineers) as their members would be people worth targeting with this information. She will send ACE contact information to Richard.

GEORGE says that one of the challenges is that there are so many different institutions/membership organisations, all of which have their own perspective. That’s both helpful and a barrier because they look at things very much from their members perspective rather than holistically. NICHOLAS NISBET says many such organisations have pretty much declined to engage with the digital agenda in a shared way. DEBBIE says that ACE did a consultancy called ‘Consultancy 4.0’ which is very much about how they need to work with the clients and change the clients mindset to understand this.

GEORGE, beginning his presentation by sharing the Buildings Safeties Act 2022 on screen, states that we are now in a regulated industry. A further 30 or so regulations will be coming through on the back of the Act which is challenging. He would like everyone in the group to think about ‘Is my project in scope?’ - do I have to comply with the Gateways? He gives the Context of a project which has secured planning approval, started demolition work (June 2022) and is still at the beginning of work stage 4, Bsria feasible generic design. Consequently, the design may not complete until Q4 2022 or Q1 2023. handover will be 2024 or 2025.

The exam question is will it be exempt from gateway 2 and will it be exempt from gateway 3? He asks group members’ opinions. JIM CREAK and IHSAN HOQUE say yes. The question is clarified: will they (or will they not) have to do the gateway 2 review? NICHOLAS NISBET states that 18 months after royal assent Gateways 2 and 3 come into force - that’s not yet as royal assent only happened in April, it will be October 2023.

The reason GEORGE is asking the question is that he’s asked subject matter experts about this matter and he can’t get a common answer. Despite this being a regulation, somehow it is not clear. JIM CREAK is not stating they have to do it as a fact, but in an advisory capacity he would suggest that they carry out the review (despite it not currently being the law to do so). NICHOLAS NISBET absolutely thinks that they would have to go through the regulator in 2024/25. There’s no suggestion that you can claim that you first thought of your scheme a year ago and therefore you don’t have to do any of the transferring to occupancies Gateway 3. By October 2023 you’ll have to have your golden thread in order..

GEORGE notes that big law firms disagree about this matter. he believes this advisory group has something to contribute here because it’s not clear. The Act talks about ‘prescribed information’ - there is no indication that we’ll get anything more detailed than that. George and Nick’s work on the Golden Thread Initiative has been looking at what information is actually needed. Out of that they’ve produced the asset and survey information schedule of the documents/machine-readable data that people that are producing safety case say need to be in place.

NICHOLAS thinks the ‘prescribed information’ is a list of 18 fairly random bits of information, the preliminary list has been published. It asks a lot of information about external cladding systems and not a lot of information about anything else. It’s hardly a digital record of any kind. The digital element of the expectations seems to be being watered down.

It’s necessary to go back to the Hackett Report and the published definition of the golden thread and to hold the Department to account as they pass the secondary documents because at the moment it’s the Health & safety executive taking it’s conventional passive-aggressive position of following around and saying ‘impress us’, rather than saying anything other than there has to be a safety case.

If they get away with that (starting with their refusal to define digital) the industry will have to make its own business case for anything digital.

NICHOLAS thinks that one of the things this group might want to do is to connect up with the Golden Thread initiative to independently start to think about the business case for doing it anyway because it will have to br ready so that at least the industry can make its own choices. GEORGE is taking this approach and thinks ‘we can’t look for legislation to force us to do things’. Digital will mean digital because if it’s going to be analog then it’s going to be possible for anybody to deal with all of the documentation. We have to collectively come up with a code of practice/playbook to say this is how we are actually going to address it.

DEBBIE notes that other sectors golden threads are digital, so why should construction be any different? GEORGE says that what’s resonated with people so far is putting together scenarios including the information that needs to be digital. One of the things that came out from the GTI was that the design/specification group determined that we need to switch to a prescriptive specification at the end of workstage 4/gateway 2. Therefore the products need to be identified at that stage. George worked with Nick on a consolidation of the different working groups and they were consistent in saying that products and systems should be identified at Gateway 2, Some of the work that George will be highlighting that needs to be done is a combination of a data workstream and also fire safety and sustainability. The HSE said to concentrate on looking at things from a risk perspective. At the moment, the publications that we have created are just documents - what we’ve got to do is to turn them into proper information. Therefore, as an advisory group we need to put together a playbook with what information is required, how much can be documents, what must be machine-readable, which types of assets are relevant to, which systems, how to organise models.

Additionally, what information is it reasonable to expect from manufacturers, how is their IP protected, what information should we expect from installers, how do we assess and verify competence and how is the safety case demonstrated. if we can draw some of these things together we’ll have something we can use to advise the other working groups and also our customers in the market place.

DEBBIE thinks that in terms of defining machine-readable it’s necessary to be aware that the BSI has a program called Smart Standards where they are defining machine readable. NICHOLAS thinks this is a good agenda and what needs to be added to this is a business case best practice pre-amble to say what we’re recommending will meet the regulatory requirements that will be recognisable as quality by business leads in an organisation and insurers (irrespective of whether the HSC is going to sign up to it).

He would like to change the order of what George read out from the Golden Thread Playbook powerpoint and the last layer of the cake is evidence and that’s where documents come in. maintaining lists of documents and contacts is where the virtual world anchors itself. Nick’s Risk, Information and Asset Management paper (co-published with Chris Lees) goes quite a long way to answer quite a lot of these questions: Risk and Built Asset Management 1.pdf

NICHOLAS would like to move the question about the safety case up to near the top. And then supplementary questions like the role of individual participants, manufacturers, installers, building managers can be described. As for IP he thinks it’s a load of nonsense. There is no difference to the IP in a BIM model to the IP in a drawing.

GEORGE interrupts to explain the context. There’s a lot of uncertainty as to what is a tested and approved product e.g. the fire door example used at DCW. All asset managers want to know about a fire door is that it’s certified. He question this because, from an asset management perspective, what happens in the future when a hinge or closer needs replacing, then we’d need to know what the product was. We also need to know the various different test criteria. Some Door manufacturers are not willing to share this because its commercially sensitive information and they wouldn’t want their competitors to know how their product was tested. PRP are even, when they are asking for detailed product information, being asked to sign NDAs. Safety critical information should not be secret.

IHSAN has said he’s had to sign NDAs in his work at Guinness. It’s the manufacturers who have primary test evidence who do not want to give the information over easily as (he believes) it’s not a regulated industry as you can go and get a global assessment (desktop study by IFCC etc.) done. Primary tested evidence means they’ve paid a lot of money to burn/test their doors, hence they don’t want to give out the information as someone else can then use it. It’s commercially sensitive because of the large amount of money they spend on it. GEORGE says it’s about field of application, a critical context in which the particular item was tested.

GEORGE says another challenge for the industry is that there is probably too much data, standards and guidance. Building regs refers to 800 standards. What we need to do is make it all machine readable. Fire rating information is presented in different ways in the data sheets of different door manufacturers. Manually checking this information is not practical. There is a perception that all of this data is in the BIM model (which is incorrect). There are many different data dictionaries (IFC, Uniclass, Sibsey BImhawk, BS8644 etc) in which terminology varies - consequently there are many different ways of describing the same thing.

A solution to this is to use the means of capturing the information that we would normally want for asset management and then just add to that the safety information. If we do that we’ll then have the opportunity to just add the embodied carbon. One way of doing that is by using the Templater. We have an instance of the Templater that we can connect into all these different data dictionaries and therefore make it so that that information is consumable in many different ways. For a door you can have different classifications according to the context that it’s being used.

Also, you can have groups of properties (e.g. IFCs) that are held against that item and you can drill into that for further info. You can define when you want that information and also who needs it. Particular information can be accessed at the specific workstage the information needed to perform that function. The problem is it becomes locked up in BIM objects when actually its fantastic data that can be used in lots of different meaningful ways. EPD information was populated into Templater as an exercise which means you can look at the groups of properties e.g. climate change and we can hold the information against that particular asset/type of product and all of its other information as well. It can then be used to generate a data template/set that can then be consumed.

NICHOLAS says it’s important to distinguish between the dictionary initiatives to define the terms that we need to use, it’s a separate question about the actual values for particular products and how they are delivered. Anything that can handle synonyms is going to be vital for the industry for the foreseeable future to have friction-free information logistics. Only then can we think about the data libraries that we want.

JIM CREAK Regulation 38 asks who’s job is it to dissect all of the information from the drawings and only make that which is being used in the project pertinent to the building manager because the last thing he would want as a building manager is to find the door set that he has in amongst 150 other door sets with different attributes and to have to go back to the actual door to understand which one his is.

GEORGE replies that’s a critical part of the BIM process. You can define at the beginning of the project a unique identifier for every asset type. You can determine that from the beginning (before the design work has been done) and it becomes that data key which flows through the whole process. JIM, when talking about BIM, has always been shown huge amounts of information but the Regulation 38 ends up by being an analog amalgam of manufacturers information.

NICHOLAS replies that the direction of travel for the industry has been to move from a push model which manufacturers are wedded to (they choose what information they think we can be trusted with) to a pull information where client and operators actually give expression to what information they need and then the industry can respond. That’s the lean and efficient way of doing it and its the way that those with the needs, requirements and knowledge as to what information is critical can influence the industry. Jim, with his team, needs to work out what it is that he needs and the industry is increasingly equipped to deliver it.

GEORGE, continuing his presentation, says we’ve got lots of different Stakeholders that need different information for different purposes. The evolving methodology is saying we’ve got lot of data. The process we’re operating is to add structure to this data which then allows you to apply experitse to it and then used that in a particular context to then capture that in reusable information. Then, we can use reusable libraries that can be used for particular functions.

The DCW context was a building in scope, we used that to apply a particular scenario that a fire breaks out in one of the kitchens. Then looking at how does the building enable the building to escape. We examined all the different elements of compartmentation, smoke control and detection. We want to try and make sure we have the right information about these products to protect against that particular scenario. We have a particular challenge (spread of smoke) solved by compartmentation. Of all the 2 or 300 bits of information on a fire door what are the six items relevant to that particular risk and have we got them?

There is a group of Tier 1 contractors who engaged with BIM4housing last Autumn. The major driver they got to collaborate was the liability they have through the Defective Premises Act. Part of that is understanding how they are going to get everything done by Gateway 2 so they don’t get delays. What they want to do is move Contractor design portion from workstage 5 to workstage 4 which is a massive change.

What we could then do is put in place a methodology where products could be tested against the requirements to make sure you’re only using products from a supplier that have got the data we need. When the designer is picking from a curated set of products, when they issue that the the supply chain, if there is a need to change, that technical submittal process needs to be really robust. When that is then approved we need to make sure we are buying what was actually agreed . Again, this requires digital information.

JIM CREAK responds by saying he is still uncertain how the systems that are done by specialist contractors and the components within that system are encompassed, the potential change of contractor over the lifetime of a building. Some life critical systems are really reliant on competent engineers and contractors to make that system effective and efficient in the lifetime expectancy.

JAREK says that the idea that the commercially sensitive information needs to be digital and then it can be shared in a secure way is a good idea but practically very challenging. Either the technologies are not there or there is a problem with integration between platforms, also people using the information may share it. He liked Nick’s comment about pull instead of push which simplifies a lot of things and is possibly the way forward for the industry. Dictionaries mixed up with classification methods is challenging because we have different dictionaries and different classification methods, but possibly this ‘pull’ will simplify things.

He’s not sure that George’s example, in which he pulled all this information together, is physically possible. He’s thinking about Google as a model of management of information: the information is everywhere, it’s not centralised. It’s copied multiple times and interpreted in a number of ways.

GOERGE replies that if we can add structure to the data then within data libraries its straightforward to be able to identify permissions for certain people in certain roles to see certain information and that can be done through the applications. He agrees with Nick that it has to be pull based rather than push based and we therefore have an ecosystem of data that is being managed and kept up to date from many different sources. But as a user you just want to know information about a particular asset or product, someone like Jim might want to drill into the detail of how it was manufactured and installed, whilst someone else might just want to know how much it cost - both of those could be commercially sensitive information.

JAREK asks how do you search for the relevant information, how do you filter for the project specific and relevant information? GEORGE replies that you create that through queries that are tied back to the applications that are looking for that information. He thinks probably a data workshop is necessary to explain this in more depth. JAREK says the BIM library is trying to be reinvented at the moment and the biggest problem is with management classification of the data to make it useful and shareable and to create an interface to make it useful. JIM and DEBBIE mention the problem of the knowledge competency gap.

JIM mentions a 360 camera which is able to identify the assets within an existing build environment. GEORGE is doing a lot with 360 with various different specialists. Image recognition is the holy grail but George has not come across anybody (yet) who can actually do it in a significantly complete way to make it useful. Build-ups don’t do it - what they do is compare elements to the model, if something isn’t already modelled they can’t do anything.

DEBBIE, picking up on Nick’s point regarding the definition of what is machine readable, suggests that perhaps before the next advisory group there should be a small group looking at what is meant by machine readable. JIM suggests that all proposals should be done in a machine readable format.

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness

Jim Creak - Jalite Plc

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Nicholas Nisbet - Aec3

Debbie - Dynamic Knowledge

Jarek Wityk - Winter Electricals

David Peacock - TÜV SÜD

Steve Wyper - Taylor Design Consultancy

Sharon McClure - Avesta Group

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing


BIM4Housing Advisory Working Group Meeting-20220511


GEORGE clarifies what he wants to happen at DCW, which is to define what information is needed by each of the different stakeholder groups to ensure that 1) the element they are particularly interested in will perform when it needs to perform and 2) how is it possible to ensure that’s recorded in a digital form that therefore can provide the evidence that it’s been considered. This is important because e.g. fire door manufacturers realise it’s important to have a record of where their doors have been installed (and how).

They are working on this in isolation away from the rest of the BIM process, therefore it will be difficult to tie in their software with the detail of the dry lining and dampers etc. This is not trying to stop people using any other application, it’s more to ensure we’re actually locating it. The information and form must be accessible.

GEORGE checks with the group his assumption (re the risk of spread of smoke scenario) that the smoke control system shouldn’t really be needed if the compartment works. There is some uncertainty about this (from Jarek). Given the complications with all the fire doors GEORGE suggests restricting the perspective by saying ‘the fire door we are talking about is the entrance door to the flat.

PAUL WHITE states there are various other issues because there are maybe cross corridor doors because a lot of this is to do with the length of escape routes. If you were to move a door you might increase the length of an escape route and that’s not allowed - there’s a lot of 3 dimensional stuff going on here.’ He seems to agree with George’s idea that it’s possible to focus on a specific door and get all the required information about it.

DEBBIE asks if it would be possible to do some design compliance checks, to define what should be in the compliance check, this would be helpful and a practical way of implementing it. GEORGE feels that maybe the document Paul Mcsolley has been working on maybe goes into too much detail (considering the amount of time left before DCW next week).

JAREK shows a graphic design he made. There is an image of a door set within a corridor. He has made comments on his graphic design about what things may be needed. He can share it and people can add comments.

JAREK WITYK via chat:

What I need to know about the fire Door – Electrical Perspective

  1. Is there vision panel – it impacts the qty of emergency luminaires
  2. Position of door jamb – should be avoided at high level above ceiling
    1. Perhaps good practice would be to add requirement for provision of
      clearance; zone as part of door design set – something we could do clash
      detection against
  3. Is there door opening mechanism
  4. Is door hold open required
  5. Is door access required

JIM CREAK comments on Jarek’s graphic, making a correction: over any externally illuminated sign they all need to have emergency lighting over them. A lot of people believe photoluminescence needs emergency lighting over it - they don’t. They can effectively work without emergency lighting. PAUL WHITE says that the services above the ceiling (like shown in Jarek’s graphic design) could include lots of different stuff (depending on what type of door it is) - Jarek has ably fitted it all in, giving everything more space than is usually the case.

GEORGE is concerned, regarding the workshop, about information: what information does the developer need? What information does Balfour Beatty need to ensure that they’ve got the digital record that they need to evidence the job’s been done properly? It’s about how the individual assets types work to provide that compartmentation. He thinks perhaps they have to move away from Paul Mcsolley’s focus on the fire shaft because maybe it’s broadening the discussion too wide.

JIM and MATT think JAREK’s suggestion to include a clearance zone above the door as part of the door design package that could be used to avoid clashes with services above.

GEORGE shows on screen a distillation of the individual sheets/documents already done (smoke dampers, doors etc). He has copied all that information on to a spreadsheet so it’s possible to look across the different asset types - fire doors, smoke dampers, dry-lining, penetration seals, detector, AOV. Included on the spreadsheet are the items that came out of the roundtable sessions. It lists things that go wrong and the information about those things that need to be collected. George is looking at each of the properties and looking at who should be providing that information. He thinks this is useful for the asset types that are part of the exercise as then they can allocate some responsibility against those things. The group approves of his idea…

PAUL WHITE reiterates a point he’s made in previous sessions about space availability. Space has to be allocated directly at the beginning, otherwise problems develop. This 3 dimensional problem is critical from the start. MATT TAYLOR shows a photo which illustrates the point that PAUL made. GEORGE says the spatial coordination needs to be done by Gateway 1 and then the detailed element needs to be done by Gateway 2.

CALLUM KERR says that if spatial coordination is done early and get the tested details available early and the tradesmen follow those details a lot of the issues go away. He thinks George’s approach can be simplified and there is too much detail in the forum at times.

GEORGE says that some of the information gathered is business critical and therefore needs to be digital because it needs to be certain that it's there. He cites Matt Taylor’s ‘weight of the door’ example from a previous session to illustrate this. The only people who can answer as to which properties are critical is (people like Jim and Matt).

JIM CREAK considers that risks are currently very heavy on zero risk and wonders how to build in a proportionality to actually move forward and make it a valuable tool rather than getting bogged down in conversation about it. MATT TAYLOR says there is limited opportunity of advice in the risk (assessment) process. Spatial coordination has to be considered earlier on in the process e.g. almost all the high-rise residential projects he works on there is insufficient space for the ceiling construction underneath the services to meet the ceiling height, due to service obstruction.

GEORGE asks the group what information to developers/designers/contractors etc need to know about the elements that go to make up compartments that will mitigate risks? He shows the spreadsheet on screen once again. Would some of the information come in declarations of performance? And also commissioning certificates? Or also data sheets? If so, it needs to be ensured that the declaration of performance is obtained from someone. What are the essential characteristics of an e.g. AOV? Can the information be obtained in a machine readable form so that we can automatically test to see if it’s been provided? We’re trying to move away from a document based culture…

STEVE ALDRIDGE says that a fire risk assessor goes in to assess the risk in the already occupied building. You should do a desktop study on that building before you go in there of how that building has been designed, what’s been put into it, what standards has it been designed to. That’s really difficult information to get hold of. How are we going to continue to manage that building to the specification it’s been designed to?

BEX GIBSON says the information she would need from her side (client based building safety) is the fire safety and structural information. Fire strategy and changes should be addressed in the gateways. STEVE says that on new builds now the information is easier to get hold of but collating it all together and to make a judgement a readily available document (or, even better, data) would be helpful. BEX GIBSON mentions a problem with the interface between the different materials in the building.

CALLUM KERR refers to the ‘lessons learned’ area on George’s black box site and how he thinks spatial consideration should be added there. His ‘lessons learned’ database sees each lesson assigned to a subject matter expert who has to do something meaningful with each lesson. In terms of data ‘sometimes we don’t know what we need to know’ and this is an opportunity to drive the data capture across the industry. Regarding competence and compliance, he looks at compliance at every stage. Many times the commission certificates are caveated, they couldn’t get access to something, so was it ever done? There’s always information that’s missing.

DEBBIE says there are new competence frameworks being developed and this group needs to influence this. Spatial coordination is an issue here.

JIM CREAK thinks risk assessors will seek assurance from others if records are incomplete.

GEORGE shows his spreadsheet again. He asks Matt if he could look at the information on dry lining and go through the items and it could be issued ahead of the meeting so there is something to focus on. Matt can do this. Pau White will go through the smoke dampers and AOVs. PAUL OAKLEY thinks the first thing to do is to look at the list of actors/parties and then the racey approach to those.

GEORGE says maybe they could put information into an individual spreadsheet for fire doors with four boxes and write (for example) the AOV: this would come from the manufacturer, this from the installer. PAUL WHITE says to have a separate line per item with the four boxes after it. Debbie says this is a good idea.

GEORGE talks about the ‘work being done with the BRE and the Templater which allows us to take information and create standardised data templates for capturing information which is currently being used to compile manufacturers’ product information, but also other data sets. There is an R&D project taking the building regulations and turning them into a digital format - a big step forward. Parts L and M are already done and also part B (for schools). That work is being added to the Templater so it should be possible to see some of that by the end of May, therefore some of the building regs will be machine readable.’

DEBBIE says another related project is the Value Toolkit encouraging value based decision making across projects and programs. Its used in the public sector in terms of procurement processes. She says if a special session across the groups is organised the best person to invite is Robert isles from CIHS who’s responsible for beta testing it.

GEORGE will issue the spreadsheet to everyone. He asks if Paul Mcsolley’s example of the protected staircase will maybe take them down the wrong track next week? George thinks it will. Paul’s paper is about the issue of different services being put through a protected staircase. PAUL WHITE says ‘it depends if we’re looking at the route of the smoke (or something else). ‘The scenario is the fire is likely to start in the apartment and not the common areas. The persons lets a little bit of smoke out of the apartment, hopefully shuts the door behind them. Nobody else knows that there is a fire. They leave, the little bit of smoke that gets into the corridor triggers the smoke control system. Then, the fire brigade comes up and if any other smoke escapes its extracted either naturally or mechanically through the shafts or there is a stairwell pressurisation and it blows it into another shaft or out of a window. It comes down to what you want to talk about.’

PAUL WHITE’s suggestion to George is to have those drawings of a useable size with him and maybe also Jarek’s examples (in A3 or A2). If somebody doesn’t know what a system is you can show the larger drawing of the system.

GEORGE says they will get the Whatsapp group going in order to exchange things over the next few days and people can make suggestions there.

Richard Freer -IceFire Portfolio

Jim Creak -Jalite Plc

Matt Taylor -Sovereign

George Stevenson -ActivePlan

Jiss Philip Mukkadan -BIM4Housing

David Peacock -TÜV SÜD

Debbie -Dynamic Knowledge

Paul Oakley -ActivePlan

Jarek Wityk -Winter Electricals

Patrick Flynn -Network Homes

Patrick Wilson -PW Architects

Bex Gibson -Livewest

Paul White -Ventilation Fire Smoke

Steve Aldridge -ACMS-UK

Steve Wyper -Taylor Design Consultancy

Calum Kerr -Balfour Beatty


Roy Buckingham

We are happy to assist with the forum at DCW, apologies for the delay in sending my follow-up to the meeting.

As you could probably tell both Pat and I are passionate about ensuring escape compliance is achieved in buildings which in my opinion is actually equally as important as the compartmentation.

My colleague has provided a copy of one of the documents I was going to provide and I have provided the other that I had written.

Issues that I see are.

  • Too often there is no coordination between the M&E design and the Fire doors/door hardware specification. This means that when access control is applied to the project there is often issues arising with incompatibility of hardware to be installed on the fire doors (lack of fire test evidence to support the electric locking defined) and of clashes between the hardware defined in the access control spec v the general door hardware specified in the ironmongery package.

  • Too often the installation of access control as part of the security strategy for the building is decided on or added late in the project and this has a profound impact on the fire & escape strategy of the building. This causes delays and conflict and often for the end client to have to compromise on their requirements to satisfy either security or safety. An escape door does NOT have to fail unlocked in order to provide escape. An electric lock solution that is performance tested to provide an escape function to EN 179 or EN 1125 can provide for a fail locked door that provides an escape egress, easily and safely via the manual operation of a lever handle, push pad or exit device (exactly what App Doc B states an escape door should provide – single operation to unlock and open)

  • Lack of understanding of current escape regulations and best practice. I am regularly astounded by the lack of knowledge of escape regulations and how to achieve safe and secure doors that will provide for escape. Architects, consultants, contractors, and end clients appear to have limited knowledge and the fact the industry seems to focus on just talking about fire doors and fire compartmentation fuels this ignorance. App Doc B clearly defines the need to provide for escape yet this is often a lower priority than ensuring test evidence exists for the hardware and the doorset. Building control regularly signs off on non-compliant solutions fitted to escape doors. For example - I have visited a number of hotels where I have found general electric strikes fitted to the doors leading from the escape stairs. These are linked to the fire alarm and intended to fail unlocked when the fire alarm activates, however as they are not designed for escape doors and do not release under any side load these would not release to allow escape if there was any side pressure applied by either a damaged seal jamming in the door, a stone in the threshold or someone already pulling on the door before operating the green BGU. Completely unsuitable for the application and has not tested to provide an escape function. Under current best practice, regulations, and standards any electric strike would have to be tested and certified for use on an escape door in accordance with EN 179, EN 1125 or EN 13637 to be suitable. 95% (Appx Estimate) of electric strikes in the market are not tested to these standards and are NOT suitable for use on escape doors.

  • With regards to magnetic locks, one of the most commonly installed electric locking solutions available, there is a misconception that an escape door fitted with a magnet is a safe door. However a typical UK green breakglass, fire alarm interface, and magnetic lock system solution cannot be tested against any performance standard to prove its suitability for use as an escape solution. Each project installation is likely to consist of a different mix of manufacturer’s components and be interfaced and connected differently to any other project (and sometimes to other similar doors on the same project) and is, therefore, a bespoke system with no proven durability of the ability to release. Therefore the ‘escape system’ is of unproven performance and completely reliant on the quality of hardware used, the competence of the designer and installer, and the interpretation of the requirements defined by the designer to achieve safe functionality. We now have a performance standard that specifically covers this application (EN 13637) yet the construction industry and wider security industry completely ignore this in favor of the unproven solution, despite numerous publicly available documents which will refer to the EN standard.

  • With regards to the action asset types that you identified I firmly believe that equally as important would be to ensure escape compliance for the project. Getting people out of a building is a primary requirement in most applications, even in high-rise multi-occupancy buildings and in particular where an EACIE is installed to alert occupants to the need to escape. To achieve this safely requires reliable operation of appropriate hardware, which is correctly installed and designed for the purpose of providing escape egress.

I will review the defined requirements detailed in your email, detailed below for reference and I will respond with a formal reply in direct response to these points separately. I will try and get this to you before the meeting.

I would like you to provide your suggestions for what information/evidence the different stakeholder groups – development, design, construction, manufacturing and operations – might need to collect to execute their responsibilities to ensure nothing goes wrong and then, if it does, how the risk is mitigated.

Looking at this through the prism of evidence and therefore what needs to form the Digital Record for the Golden thread.

I will be attending the forum discussion and I have registered for a seat at the event.

I look forward to meeting in person and participating in the debate.

Neil Hughes

Great to speak with a likeminded person this AM and hopefully we can assist in your endeavours regarding Emergency/Panic Escape and Fire door Hardware compliance.

Our usual message is based around EN179 and EN1125 (2013) and the CPR for escape plus EN1634 for tested and certified product for Fire Doors.

However, there is also a 3rd standard BS EN13637 ( see below)

I’ve also attached details of our CPDs which we run regularly online and face to face if clients can get enough numbers together.

Pat also regularly runs the full day foundations course which can be found here Foundations Course | ABLOY for Trust

BS EN 179 emergency escape doors are applied to areas of a public building that are non-public areas with trained staff, such as a University Lecture building for example.

BS EN 1125 Panic escape doors are applied in public areas or assemblies. Assemblies are when we have too many people or are unfamiliar with the building. If a building changes its use at different times for example a school building is rented to a local Judo club on the evenings it will not have trained staff and becomes a public building.

"Graphical user interface
Description automatically generated"

BS EN13637 Electrically Controlled Exit Systems for use on Escape Routes

We now have a third Escape standard !

This covers any door which is Electrically Locked that has to be Electrically unlocked to allow escape.

Key Points:

It is not new – Published in 2015

This will eventually become a Harmonised standard (hEN)

CE Marking will be Mandatory under CPR

Performance test applies to the WHOLE System

(System Comprises of Initiating Element, Blocking Element & Controlling Element)

Introduces Concept of Blocked or Delayed Egress and also has additional criteria that must be met.


Interim Advisory Group Meeting-20220509


GEORGE says that one of the Bim4housing members had removed fire extinguishers from common areas because they were concerned that the tenants might use them to fight the fires rather than concentrate on escaping.

STEVE ALDRIDGE, a fire risk assessor, gives his opinion about this matter: he deals more with commercial than domestic and works a lot with primary fire authorities (for commercial) with consistent rules across the UK. He doesn’t know of any primary authority within housing, which is needed. Currently, it’s variable from region to region.

PATRICK FLYNN of Network Homes: ‘we have already removed extinguishers from the majority of our stock…unless there are staff on site that are trained to use them.’ It was Patrick who first brought up the matter of the fire extinguishers.

CALUM KERR says that on his projects he would always take into account the insurer’s view which has an impact on the premiums and the cost. After Grenfell there was a big focus on fire safety and we’ve had specific audits by the insurers just on fire safety. The insurers perspective on whether to have or not have fire extinguishers is not totally clear. It’s project by project dependent, and somethings they try to impose on us almost makes projects uninsurable.

GEORGE says there should be a national strategy for this. BRETT HIBBITT disagrees, saying it should be based on advice from the fire risk assessor and there should not be a blanket approach. STEVE ALDRIDGE says how good or bad fire risk assessors are is variable. Consequently, he thinks they would benefit from guidance (note, not legislation). A client asks him ‘tell me what i need to do’ and this is difficult if there are no general standard operational procedures for things like fire extinguishers - what is the fire body’s view? PATRICK FLYNN says the challenge with housing is that you need to be associated with a particular local primary authority (there is not a common one). Advice may not be aligned between different authorities.

STEVE WYPER has taken out some fire extinguishers (mainly because they were propping fire doors open). Im mixed/residential there are extinguishers in the commercial parts (as designated by the fire risk assessor). He thinks maybe PAS 79 leads to a common approach to assess risk. STEVE ALDRIDGE thinks he’s right and that PAS 79 is great, but sometimes there will be ‘not applicable’ written in some of the fields (when actually it may be applicable). With software we’re making now it’s mandatory that if ‘not applicable’ is written there has to be an explanation as to why.

RICHARD talks about the 5 roundtables at DCW…this meeting is a practice run-through.

GEORGE (showing a document on screen) talks about the scenario for the roundtables, the risk of spread of smoke and how it can be mitigated (by compartmentation, detection and smoke extraction). All parties will need information specific to their needs. Advisory does not have its own table (due to the allocation of only 5 tables) but it goes across all the key stakeholder groups. Anyone (in the group) who is attending is welcome to join the tables.

GEORGE says they’ll run 2 scenarios 1) on the basis of everything working as expected and that methods of mitigation work when called upon. What information do we need to know about each of those elements that will prevent the spread of smoke? What information do duty holders need to provide for tenants and emergency services? What format should it be in? How should it be provided. recorded and audited? The plan is to have a 15 minute discussion around these points followed by a wrap-up 5 minutes. Each of the tables will then come up with the top 5 things they consider important to them in terms of answering those questions.

Scenario 2) one of the measures fails and smoke spreads. e.g. the fire compartments breach and therefore there is a reliance on the smoke detection system and the AOV to kick in. We want to discuss the sort of things that people might do to a e.g. fire door that will prevent it from working properly.

JAREK WITYK wonders what is the method of presentation (maybe some visual elements?) that will help to have the discussion? He says how he can’t relate to the PAS 1192 framework panel. He thinks if it’s possible to have an image or elevation creating a volume strategy of all the parts it could show below the ceiling level the fire smoke detector, exit signs etc, above you could show the volumes for individual systems and then talk about it. GEORGE thinks this is a great idea.

GEORGE shows on screen a document about fire fighting lobbies/ fire scenario. JAREK thinks it looks good, but he’d like to add to it an elevation of a door and also a door (using BIM360 for collaboration) and people could make comments and share it with interested parties. He says you need to think about the services passing above the door. JAREK will send something (his own diagram???) through tomorrow.

GEORGE shows on screen Paul Mcsolley’s document which focuses on fire fighting shafts. He talks about how different roles will require different knowledge (to do their work).

MATT TAYLOR, expert in dry lining, resopnds to George’s question ‘what information is needed to demonstrate that the job has been done properly?’: There are co-ordination issues, requirements for re-working which lead to defects. He gives an example of a frame coming in that wasn’t the same width as the wall and consequently a piece of stud was exposed and therefore was not achieving the fire performance it should have done. So, there needs to be more coordination between the dry lining package and other trade packages.

GEORGE says there is a common theme that the manufactured products that are going to be installed need to be determined before design is completed. MATT TAYLOR adds that it needs to be ensured that products are suitable to work together. STEVE WYPER says that, from a maintenance point of view it’s often the case that they order stuff to replace something and if it’s not available they are sent an apparently correct item which is not correct.

PAUL WHITE shows a photo on screen which relates to what Jarek described. Beneath the photograph is a fire door and they have battered through the top, there’s not enough space to put the services. JAREK says photos like this are helpful for him.

DEBBIE writes this via chat:

when considering performance we need to consider inter-relationships.

Performance of:

  • Task or work performance
  • Qualification/Certification for performance
  • Agent of performance
  • Performance in project
  • Procedure in performance
  • Instrument in performance
  • Product in performance
  • Deliverable of performance
  • Past or planned performance

She explains that the specifics of ‘performance’ has to be clarified, there are many different facets of performance. It may change and help and organise what data sets, what roles and actors and decisions are made.

GEORGE says, regarding the digital record, it’s really relevant who did the work? what’s their evidence of competency? is there a schedule of the tasks? MATT agrees. GEORGE says there is a range of different methods that are essentially just providing a QR code/reference code to go back to some data. This group needs to contribute to what particular data that is.

DEBBIE says that the draft report from working group 2 on installers deals with a lot of this, but its light on compartmentation and light on behaviours and informations - she may do a draft response to it. She thinks they need to comment on it.

Jarek, Dave, Paul and (possibly) Matt will be attending DCW.

GEORGE says that Matt Taylor’s comments bring into sharp relief the significance of the weight of a door and the impact on the drylining. If the door is physically a different size that’s not something that can be fixed easily on site if the dry lining has already been put in. Therefore, there is a responsibility for contractors to select products much earlier in the process even before specialist trades are appointed. Otherwise, there will be more building work done in the wrong place and coordination issues. PAUL WHITE says all these same problems apply to dampers as well.

GEORGE asks is it’s possible to pick 3 or 4 different attributes from Paul White’s smoke damper paper to highlight on the day. PAUL WHITE indicates ‘yes’.

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Brett Hibbitt - Aster

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Joanna Harris - Sodexo

Debbie - Dynamic Knowledge

Jarek Wityk - Winter Electricals

Patrick Flynn - Network Homes

Steve Aldridge - ACMS-UK

Steve Wyper - Taylor Design Consultancy

Matt Taylor - Sovereign

Calum Kerr - Balfour Beatty

David Peacock - TÜV SÜD

Clare Williams - Hackney

Paul White - Ventilation Fire Smoke


BIM4Housing Advisory Working Group Meeting-20220309


George: Presentation of Data standardisation, organisations, and community.

Presentation of templater application/tool that finds relevant info about assets.

The goal is to create a number of standardised data templates to draw all information together for products and activities.

Duty holders group – decides what information is required regarding assets.

Identify risks, how to mitigate them, and assets type and properties so that they can feed them back to the manufacturer in order to create an item with correct assets but have to be careful with replacement procedures.

46 mins It is important that they take a step back and maximise space for services eg. Pipes/cables/things hidden in ceiling etc that make a building work – these things need to be accessible for replacement and repairs. Space is the key thing –leave more space to allow for co-ordination.

George: There are different priorities that drive specifications. There are 3 specifications: performance, descriptive and prescriptive. At gateway 2 we should be at a point where all the elements are named and selected. There are practical challenges due to design co-ordination issues and a difference in stages between work packages.

Jarek: Industry has forgotten principles of how to coordinate services. They should divide space into zones and then coordinate. What about the usability of the information in George’s presentation? Maybe we need an excel database so it can be used easier, extracted, and analysed?

George: we have a database platform in templater, but how do we take this information and interpret it in the right form?

All the attributes of something electrically powered (ISC) is already in the templater, but maybe we can add additional properties for safety inspection and use with other items.

Sally: There needs to be a wholesale re-imagining of the information we need to capture in the model – what needs to be signed by whom and who's responsible to sign it off. We have to proscribe who is responsible for tracking assets.

George: We have the 12 asset types and we’ve created synonyms and added in Uniclass and IFC to have a common taxonomy to compare things. We’ve drawn out the risks (from word doc) and suggested mitigations, what can be compromised and what tasks need to be done, and also competency (who has the skills to do it?).

We are currently creating a self-evaluation process to assess competencies.

60% of the problems faced by Balfour Beatty are about compartmentation.

George: In black box we have asset risk reports giving example of things that go wrong.

Jarek: You could write about it in the format of ‘lessons learned’

Neil: No one has approached the big players in the sector and asked if they want to work together to build an asset information architecture down to attribute level and actually implement it. GEORGE replied: that’s what we’re trying to do with the Data Group.

George will get together with Debbie and Dave and work out what the next steps will be for participants to contribute in the future.

Jim Creak - Jalite Plc

Paul White - Ventilation Fire Smoke

Richard Freer -IceFire Portfolio

Joanna Harris - Sodexo

Paul Marsh - Metropolitan Thames Valley

Graham Cann - Catalyst Housing Limited

David Peacock -TÜV SÜD

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Paula Chandler (RDD) - Wates

Paul Wooldridge - Haringey

Jarek Wityk - Winter Electricals

Ishka Heart - Network Homes

Sharon McClure - Avesta Group

Kelly Lee - Orbit

Dolan Sean - Hull City Council

Debbie - Dynamic Knowledge

Ian McLackland - Gateshead

Clare Williams - Hackney

Lysa Nicely - Origin Housing

Simon Bowker - Onemanchester

Neil Yeomans - Orbit

Mark Pratten - Airey Miller

Calum Kerr - Balfour Beatty

Steve Wyper - Taylor Design Consultancy

Matt Taylor - Sovereign

Lenesa Browne - Brockley

Sharon McClure - Avesta Group

Bex Gibson - Livewest

Sue Wilbraham - Metropolitan Thames Valley

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