BIM4HOUSING ADVISORY WORKING GROUP MEETING 20-03-2024

BIM4HOUSING ADVISORY WORKING GROUP MEETING 20-03-2024

GEORGE For people that haven’t been on these calls before, we record the meeting and also it’s transcribed so we end up with a narrative as well. We've been doing that for the last 2 or 3 years, so we’ve got a couple of hundred recordings on different topics and we’re now looking to see how we can make those available. They’re all available on the BIM4Housing website.

GARETH SELWAY I’m based down in South Wales, I’ve got a company FireRite UK Ltd, I’m the ? 1min 03secs for Wales so I do the apprenticeships. We deliver them through a training academy and I sit on the FSA committee.

GEORGE One of the things we’ve been looking at is how we can support, the Advisory group is there to support the activities that are carried out in development, design, construction, manufacturing and operations. They may be project managers or cost managers and things like that, but what we’re seeing increasingly is fire engineers, people like yourselves with expertise in that sort of area. But also things like building control. We’ve got quite a number of building control professionals now involved in BIM4Housing and what we’re trying to do is find the best way that we can bring that expertise together and make it available to the rest of the BIM4Housing groups. I’m wondering, Sasha you're from Ventro?

SASHA ROBERTS Yes, you sent me over the BIM4Housing link when we met back in November, so I’ve been trying to come on them when you guys have them and if and when there is anything we can do to support or if there is any insights we can potentially use as well to support the industry.

GEORGE We had a meeting this morning with the team that are pulling together a Miro board of activities setting out what the requirements are under the new legislation. We’ve been working through that and Jarek, who’s managing that, has offered to come in on this meeting for 10 minutes and show us where we’re at with that.

RICHARD Jarek will be coming in to run you through the Miro board. It’s got a lot of input from Das, he’s an architect that runs our design group. (the agenda is shared on screen). The purpose of the meeting is to look at key questions and discuss forming a subgroup for sharing knowledge and standardisation.

GEORGE Debbie is one of the leaders of this particular group and one of the things Debbie has expertise in is competence. One of the things we’ve been covering over the last couple of sessions was how can we have a methodology of assessing and improving competence, which Debbie can explain later. What i’ve been noticing is the lack of knowledge in the industry, even with subject matter experts, about some of the new legislation that’s coming through and also how to interpret it. For example, what’s the status of projects where they’re going under transitional arrangements? What’s the difference between what’s required for the Building Safety Act and what’s required for the Fire Safety Act?

Because a lot of the things like being able to provide and collect all of the Regulation 38 information is something that isn’t specifically for the Building Safety Act, it’s the fire safety orders. Paul White is a subject matter expert in that area. One of the challenges is that nobody knows everything, there’s a lot of questions being asked and I suspect there’s a lot of people that are providing advice who don’t know all of the answers. And therefore they could be very easily giving clients the wrong advice, but that’s not because those people aren’t keen to provide the right advice, it’s just that there is no source of how to get that information. So people can read the new Act and the provisions and guidance and it can be interpreted in all sorts of different ways. And the Regulator is not being explicit in terms of what is and isn’t approved. We’re thinking that it would be interesting to have within the Advisory Group a group of subject matter experts who are able to talk to each other and share experiences in a safe space because if you are an expert you probably don’t want to be seen to be asking other people what the answers are.

But therefore, if there is an aligned area, Paul White for example, you’ve got a lot of experience on the HVAC area, as far as fire dampers and smoke control etc there are few people that know much more that Paul does. But the context of that in relation to, for example, firewalls and penetration seals, that’s something you’d probably talk to one of the other experts that we’ve brought together in BIM4Housing. So we’re thinking we could have a community subgroup that is able to discuss these things and come up with some standardised and consistent answers for client organisations. So I wanted to table that to see if that’s the sort of thing that we’d be interested in pursuing.

RICHARD Yes, of course, nobody likes to admit they don’t know something, but when you’re actually an advisor on a specific subject you’d have to have a death wish, in a way. We’ve got a list there of questions on number 2, these are the key questions that are particularly relevant right now. And form the meetings we’ve had over the last couple of months, certainly people are outsourcing, resourcing out side of their own organisations to get the expertise in to get that advice, and that’s you guys. So, how are you getting the knowledge and how are you advising people to do that?

PAUL WHITE In terms of competency bits and pieces, I’m doing a lot of work now sub of the working group 2 from the Grenfell situation. The Sector Skills Group has now exploded this and we’ve had a few meetings recently and I’m involved in the group. wouldn’t be surprised to hear about dampers and ductwork, but in terms of smoke control we still don’t have anything because we haven’t actually managed to get our NOS’s in place (National Occupational Standards).

RICHARD So how do you manage when you’ve got a client and they say what should I do?

PAUL WHITE I explain to them at the moment it’s not clear, I have to admit that the route is not clear. And what I’m trying to do, I have a separate business that I’m looking at providing training and assessment and we’re having to look at how we might initially provide a custom qualification. We’re also looking at working with one of the institutions to look at seeing if we can develop something for some sort of qualification for a smoke control designer.

RICHARD But to do that you’d have to know what you were training them in, so you’d still have to have the answer yourself to be able to train somebody…

PAUL WHITE That’s the point, I do have the answers in the areas that I work because if I didn’t I wouldn’t even set out about it. In terms of things like smoke control, I thought I knew what I was talking about, but every time we talk about it we get new nuances. And you find things on sites where you think this is obvious training material because this couldn’t be much more wrong. Which is horrible thing to say, but I cannot go to a site and I always find something that’s wrong and in some cases it’s not just a little thing that’s wrong. It’s where does refurb become redesign because if you replace like-for-like that’s OK, but some of these buildings are so old now and people have put into place dangerous things, that essentially they can’t just replace them with the right thing because it’s now a design change.

This is something that I don’t know the answer to, but of course if it appears to be a design change then it’s much more expensive because you’ve got to get a designer in, you’ve go to get Building Control involved. If it’s an apartment block that’s over 4-5 storeys we’re into all of that and we’re not talking about processes that are easy. But in theory now on a smoke vent that goes to the outside that now is a harmonised product, it must be CE marked, but if you swap out something that wasn’t CE marked and put this in then is that a design change? This isn’t clear. And if you were to get Building Control involved they’d probably say that it was because you're using a new product.

In theory because if you’d bought exactly the same window actuator and put it on that would be acceptable, but if you buy a different actuator and put it on it becomes not acceptable because those two things should now have been tested in assembly. And these are only little nuances that probably myself and a few other people know, but I don’t know what to advise, I just say you need to speak to a designer because whilst I probably am a designer I can’t afford the insurance to do design work.

RICHARD Anybody else? How are you advising your clients when things are so unclear?

SASHA ROBERTS It depends, it’s like what Paul said, it’s about transparency. We have a technical department that do advising, it’s about clarity. Should we need to change something because of the certification of it and its dangerous at this time and it’s come up on a report and we’re looking at additional options, it’s about getting all of the relevant people, Building Control, sometimes the local authority depending on the building’s listings and things. We’re just quite clear whether it’s a satisfied fix or whether its a betterment fix and things like that, but it is difficult, we spend a lot of time in the industry trying to do free knowledge sharing events and that’s how we try and share this wider knowledge.

And we get different technical people on. I know that George came on and has done a couple of events, I think he’s got one coming up. So that’s how we do it, it’s just about that understanding about backing with what you’re saying as well, so a client can suggest that’s very well but can you just not do this. Unfortunately if we don’t think that’s the right way we won’t do it, we’ll provide them the evidence. It’s all about the data sheets and the technical side of things as well.

RICHARD So, do you think it would be a good idea for us to do a subgroup from this group and get a safe environment where people can be totally open with each other.

SASHA ROBERTS I think they are important, like you say a lot of people sometimes don’t want to raise something because they feel like maybe they’re under pressure. And all of these regulations and changes are necessarily quite a grey area, so it’s about having that safe space. We do run individual sessions with our clients as well where they can just speak to the technical director openly and normally that’s done at the pre-stage. So they come to us with a problem and we’ll go and assess and we’ll come up with multiple solutions and tell them which one is which. For example, we’ve got some AOV replacements coming up with a client of ours, but we have several fixes as an option for them. We’ve got the one we would necessarily do more which is more certified, but that was still a group discussion we went to site, an open discussion I think a forum like that is great, having an avenue where people know where they can go for the answers and they’re not going to be judged for them.

GEORGE If we can establish a bit of a network of relationships. Paul has been involved for the last couple of years on a lot of these sessions, but i think you’ve met a lot of people who if, for example, he wanted to know something about compartment walls we’ve not got people from Knauf and specialists who are installing compartment walls, so we’ve got that community that we can then build on. In terms of that list there I’m hearing all of the time is my building in-scope and in many cases what people are thinking of is just whether it’s an HRB.

But I think Gareth would agree that the majority of the new aspects of the legislation are actually driven by the Fire Safety Act and that’s relevant to all buildings. So a lot of the things that are required, we’ve also got lawyers involved in BIM4housing and they’ve said to us it’s not a matter of whether it’s an HRB or not, it’s a matter of have you followed building regulations because that’s the thing that’s going to catch you out. Yes, the HRBs are going to be more scrutinised and you’ve got to produce the safety case reports, but you’ve got to do the job properly anyway.

NICHOLAS NISBET Rather than mining the experts and undermining the experts when they get it wrong, would the better thing to do to produce a tree diagram of the documentation that’s available, starting with the legislation and then the supporting stuff are going down. So that if people want to get the right opinion they can see what the hierarchy of documents are that are available. any of them are listed here, but if they were in a tree that said there are two things, the primary legislation is this and the regulations, approved documents below it and below that there is this guidance and so on. Then people would be able to see where the definitive answers come from and lower down the tree there is obviously other people who are producing summaries and digests and those could go in the tree. So rather than trying to fix the experts to produce something that is actually a useful map through the maze of documents that we’re meant to be responding to.

RICHARD Absolutely, that’s a really good idea. What we tend to be doing at BIM4housing is further down the tree and that’s giving rather more specific detail to all aspects.

DEBBIE Nick, in the chat here, I went to Future Build and there was BIM Alliance and some other people. This is a Miro board of someone who’s tried to do that with the legislation and primary and secondary, so people are doing this. I agree with you, it’s the right approach.

GEORGE we’ve already started down that track and in a few minutes I’ll invite Jarek on who’s been leading that for us, so we’ve got a number of people now who have been inputting to a Miro board about that.

JON CUMBERLIDGE I’m from a company called C3, I’m an approved inspector though I'm coming from the building regulations regulator side.

GEORGE Your expertise, for example, is very detailed in terms of the building regs and that side of things. We’ve got other people who have got really deep experience in fire engineering, for example. we’re proposing that there could be a group who are able to bounce off each other to learn from each other and tackle some of the problems that are perhaps slightly, you know, when you’re asked a question that is slightly outside the remit of what your expertise, to be able to pull that together. Would that make sense to you?

JON CUMBERLIDGE Yes, it does. I think we as an industry in building control are going through a little bit of an existential crisis as to what does our job look like in the future. I’m on my way at the moment to an architects in Manchester to give a presentation about duty holder requirements, but there’s still a hell of a lot of grey areas. I don’t have all of the answers and were having to go through this process at the moment. So, more than happy to collaborate on something.

GEORGE One of the things I was asked yesterday was if, for example, you’re brought in as an approved inspector for a project that is not an HRB, if you discover something that you don’t think is right presumably your sanction would be to withhold the approval. Is that right?

JON CUMBERLIDGE Yeah, absolutely. There are various enforcement tools that we’ve got, but essentially if something wasn’t right there is still the power to serve, not me as the approved inspector, but for me to serve a contravention notice pass it back to a local authority and stop notices and compliance notices, similar powers to the BSR, for those to be used on schemes. There’s some quite powerful enforcement tools that have been brought in as part of the amendments to the regulations.

JACK DEARLOVE I in my most recent role was a group digital information director for ISG and was responsible for the golden thread. It was a massive challenge and we really struggled with grappling to understand what our requirements were. As a main contractor, we heavily relied on our design partners to inform us as to what the right thing to do was and whether a building fell into relevance. That was a big challenge and I definitely felt that even with getting expert advice from companies like Socatech and others, we felt like we were fumbling in the dark in terms of understanding what was required on projects, which projects fell into a relevant building in terms of high-rise buildings, and also what was our fundamental requirement in terms of the Fire Safety Act on all of our projects.

So I definitely think that the idea of having a group of people that can come together to share their experience, ideas and knowledge freely and ask questions as well in a safe place would be absolutely phenomenal. Like what Jon’s doing today which is brilliant, going around and sharing expertise to specific companies, I’d love to see more of that. But it would be brilliant to have a group where we can share the knowledge and also providing that space to learn and grow. But ultimately we all what to deliver what’s required of us and that’s the bit that the industry is struggling with at large. I’ve just been checking out the Miro board which is a phenomenal piece of work and that quite quickly, even without diving in to the Miro board specifically, articulates the problem.

We can see all of the connections and the links going across between each one of the standards and the following statutes,. Without even being an expert in the space you can quite quickly see how difficult it is to understand, when you’ve got to know all of those different connections and different statutes. I was talking to George because I was obviously following, as I was looking after the golden thread, the Building Safety Act but there were statutes that were being released, one as recent as January, which are great and they give you much more insight and understanding of what you’re meant to do. But however you’ve got to keep up and keep abreast of all of the new statutes and extra pieces that are coming out as they do. So, something like that, which Nick alluded to, but also this Miro board seems to be doing a fantastic job.

RICHARD As you say, it’s got to be something that is updatable on an ongoing basis because things are changing all of the time and people’s knowledge and understanding and, to some extent, interpretation is changing all of the time.

JACK DEARLOVE They always say a legal act is only as good as the last case that tested it. We haven’t had those tests just yet, other than obviously Grenfell being the precursor to this. I was working closely with the legal team in ISG and that was one of the things, there said we just don’t know what we’re meant to be exactly doing because it hasn’t been tested yet. So that will be quite interesting when those tests do come along.

GEORGE (referring to Jarek’s Miro board).This is an initiative that’s been lead by the design group within BIM4Housing, but Jarek’s created this, Jarek and largely Das from David Miller Architects that have been inputting to it. But we’ve had quite a lot of input from some other people.

JAREK WITYK What you can see now on the screen, that’s all the comments we received from people. All of this is tracked, so there will be a reference and we obviously will make sure that everyone’s input is recognised. And all of the comments you can make will be really helpful. If you’ve got something like this it means it has been resolved and then if it’s open basically it’s open and when you click on the comment you can add to it and see what it is and so on. And so you understand what has happened so far let me just describe. Das created a document, we then made a few revisions and had this idea to create a process map and we’rε doing it in Miro. George will share with you the link, you can then add your comments, you don’t need to be logged-in.

This is very much a work in progress, today i added a key following one of the comments of the process map symbols itself. There is a supplementary information, one of the comments was from Darren to move this aside and then we went to do something about it. I have an idea that we may want to break some of this into parts, we’ll see how much it will grow. if we  can keep it as one workflow then that would be good. But we could also break it into parts, so it could be then used for a specific purpose. This part what you see now is the first stage of checking whether your building falls into the requirements of high-rise or high-risk buildings, So there’s a few comments, there’s two comments outstanding, actually this is resolved but Ι’m asking Joe to comment whether he thinks this is now resolved, basically in a workflow, in a process.

The answer to this question was yes, which was incorrect, because this is inclusive gate. You’ve got basically two questions which both can be answered yes, so I’ve changed that. If you go through it and see errors you can comment. Darren here asked to add action to notify the client which I just did now, I added that and i’m asking him whether he’s happy or if he has any more comments. The idea is that we build a really robust informative process map which can then guide us and then the next step is going into building regulations, fire safety, building Act and so on. There’s a lot of work done, there’s a few comments still open, a few resolved. What this big circle represents that all of this process needs to be part of the golden thread of information. And obviously this is very complex because many different parties are involved.

Some of it is beyond our control, but they will have their own system and they have to have the system to track this golden thread of information. So all of this forms, it sits in it, then this part represents a project, or after the project has been completed the operation part of the asset as per ISO 19650. We’ve got various sorts of information, there is an update log and also you’ve got hyperlinks to relevant information throughout this diagram. So if you click on it will bring you to a relevant part of the government information or any other information. If you have that symbol you will have a hyperlink to the guidance or the source of the information which is quite nice because it becomes kind of live.

RICHARD Nicholas was saying earlier that it would be good to have a tree at what’s actually out there, starting at the top of the tree with the Acts and then the guidance and secondary guidance then moving down. So, what you’ve done here should cover that, shouldn’t it?

JAREK WITYK It kind of does, it is kind of a tree, but it’s a work in progress and it may look completely different when we finish, unless everyone likes the way it is.

RICHARD It’s never going to be finished, it’s always going to be a work in progress, it’s the nature of the beast.

DEBBIE Yeah, and it will be interesting to compare this one to the one I put in the Miro board which is another group that have done something similar, but I quite like the process flow in this. I think going back to the point that Jack made about how do we enable people to understand what those critical requirements are that they’re responsible for. And I think things like an outcome which is notify a client, is that enough? Does a client need to respond? Because you could notify a client, but they don’t do anything with it or they don’t understand it.

JAREK WITYK Debbie did you say there is another mind-map somewhere on the Miro?

DEBBIE Yes, there is another mind-map, I’ve just put it in chat. It was presented in Future Build a week or so ago and they want people to look and use it. If you want the contact I can facilitate that. It’s always good to have something to compare to.

JAREK WITYK Or merge, if we can work together then it would be easier than the same group of people working on two different mind-maps if we are doing the same thing.

DEBBIE I’ll take it as an action to contact him and then we can get in touch.

GEORGE I know him very well. It’s Jason Whittle.

NICHOLAS NISBET Having seen both Miros quickly, one is a hierarchy of what takes precedence over what and this is a decision tree. I just want to caution against the idea of merging things just because they’re both on Miro. Actually a thing that could be done with this, once it’s stabilised (and I know it’s never finished) then rather than existing in Miro board if it existed as a BPMN diagram then it could become an interactive set of questions and you start at the top and answer the questions and it talks you through it rather than having to experience all of these notations.so it doesn’t have to exist as this massive diagram, it could exist as an interactive tool and just answer the questions needed to get through the tree.

JAREK WITYK That was our goal, it’s just a start and once we have enough information and comments and we know this is 100% right and robust we can then simplify and make it more useful. Just to give you an idea, for example, please put any comments or questions you may have because I found this one interesting: how people know if the regs have been changed? How others are dealing with this? I suspect someone in the business is tasked with that. That’s a good question and that person Joe is asking for more feedback and that would be good to know as well. There’s a few others like this one that are open. If you could just get in and read that and whatever comments you may have  I’m sure they’ll be valuable.

GEORGE Obviously we want as many people as possible to engage with this because I was with a client last week and we’ve been working on a large development with them for probably 18 months now and there are 8 blocks being developed. Now, when they started they weren’t in the HRB because they’d started before the new timings came in, but there was a question then. Some of the blocks they’d not started and in fact they’re just starting. So therefore they’ve missed the October deadline for when they should have been started, but it wasn’t clear as to whether they were or not going to be part of the Regulator because it’s also the transitional arrangements which are in place accordingly.

So it was only when we checked it out with some people that we’ve identified that of the 8 blocks 2 of them are having to go through the gateways. But even if they’re not going through the gateways you’ve still got to be collecting the information. And that’s the sort of expertise that, for example, somebody like Jon Cumberlidge would be able to bring in. But it’s not desperately clear and certainly the developer and the main contractor, they didn’t know, they were a major organisation, but they were having to ask the questions.

Gareth as a specialist on the fire side of things, is this the sort of thing that you’d find useful also?

GARETH SELWAY Yeah, I think there’s a lot of misconceptions and a lack of understanding right from the start to the finish. We mentioned earlier the golden thread of information, that’s critical, your Reg 38 fire strategy as your starting point and then everything going through. I feel what’s being discussed, what’s being proposed is all going in the right direction, obviously the working groups are setting out what competency looks like for the people working in the wider construction industry, but also then the maintenance of the systems thereafter. It would be a big step in the right direction, I feel once they lay out what the competency of each area looks like everyone is going to be in a far better place, there is still a lack of understanding when we’re doing the design of buildings.

There’s architects on this call and it would be interesting to hear some of their opinions on this because when we’re doing a Reg 38 strategy, I’m coming from quite a unique position, so although my background is fire detection and alarms and that’s where I sit within the industry on different committees and advisory bodies, but as company FireRite UK then we’ve got a consultancy division so we look at all of this from fire risk assessment. We’ve got a passive division so we’re looking at compartmentation, fire doors. So I’ve got a broad holistic understanding across the fire industry, but then that ties in with building control and how we work.

What I’ve just seen is definitely useful and you see people with residential social landlords, they’ve got titles of compliance and facilities managers etc. and when you actually dig not too deep beneath the surface then all of these questions are raised and they want to put it back on a specialist like ourselves to actually hold their hand and guide it through. Which I guess in essence is what we’re there for, but that organogram that we’ve just seen perfectly illustrates where you look and there is a minefield with all of the legislation.

DEBBIE I just wanted to raise the point that I’m well aware of what’s going on around all of the competency frameworks but a lot of mistakes are being made in these new frameworks that are being built at the moment. They’re all being done manually in Excel sheets and Word documents, but I am in the process at the moment of making the NOS machine-readable, we’ve made IfATE occupational standards machine-readable and it looks like we might get the right incumbent to have something that is a knowledge base for all of these competence frameworks which we can then link to this knowledge base. Because these things need to tie together and we need traceability.

GEORGE There’s obviously some new people on the call and therefore I wonder whether it’s worth me taking a couple of minutes to explain what we’ve got in BIM4Housing, the approach that we take. (shares screen). The methodology that we’ve followed, we’ve been running roundtable workshops and a lot of this is to drill down into the detail about what information a subject matter expert would suggest for what information do we need to know about AOVs or cavity barriers or whatever because really that’s the critical thing. This is the approach that we’ve taken, we’ve looked at the individual asset types and we’ve tried to break that down so that people who are non-experts can understand that a fire door set is actually an assembly of a number of critical items each of which requires its own information (and possibly certification as well).

Hinges, for example, they’re critical things, door closers. The methodology that we’ve used is to say what risk, and this really came through from the HSE. The HSE were sitting on our sessions because this was part of the Golden Thread Initiative, to actually identify what risk is a fire door mitigating. What risks do fire doors have themselves, so what do people do to a fire door to stop it from working which is possibly one of the most important things to know. Then what information is required. So this was the deep dive of the information that subject matter experts would say well, we need to know where it is, we need to know what its specification is, what its fire rating is. And that’s from a point of view of specification, construction, installation and also then going on to maintenance and the like. So the able to say what do we need for that side of things.

And then levels of competency that’s required to carry out the work and what sort of criteria, it might be BM Trada or whatever. And then how do we record changes. So this was the industry’s feedback and we fed this back in to the government, the team at DLUHC, and that went into their thinking. And what we’re doing here, what is it about? It’s to guarantee that things have been done in accordance with building regs. Selecting the right products that satisfy specifications, recording what was installed, recording when products have been changed. And what we’re trying to do is overcome this thing of saying well, it will be in the O&M or it will be in the BIM model, or it will be in the Regulation 38 pack. If it’s gone through Building Control it must have been provided. So what we’re really saying is that that quite possibly isn’t going to be the case.

What we’re really trying to encourage people to realise is that you can’t simply transfer risk and the client organisations have got to hold the information to ensure that risk is being dealt with. What we’ve done within BIM4Housing over the last four years, we’ve got six working groups which meet every eight weeks and they determine what information is required to basically deal with a lot of the problems that we’re having. And we then create workstreams for carrying out the work, so we’ve got people working on data that have produced standardised data templates and standardised information requirements. We’ve done the same with processes and one of the things that we’re really pushing for is to try and make sure that everything is fully classified and coordinated. The fire safety work has been very significant, for example we’ve produced  a guide to fire door inspections that has actually come out of work that’s been done extensively within the NHS, but we’ve applied it to residential. We’re doing the same at the moment for dampers and penetration seals. And the same with carbon and procedures.

So what essentially we do, mostly it’s Teams meetings like this one, but we do this annually (we’ve got another one coming up in May) at Digital Construction Week where we pull together an in-person meeting. That group there is the Design Group, there’s a group on manufacturers, operations, and we’re really trying to get to the nub of what information is really needed by the subject matter experts. And then we’re using that to then apply that to the gateways because I don’t think anybody else is really looking at things in that level of detail. It becomes and opinion and if we can have something that’s a bit more rigorous it’s going to make things a lot easier. What we try and do is to provide a context in which people can understand why they’re being asked the question. So rather than saying tell me everything you know you can provide somebody with a context.

You say a fire breaks out in this kitchen, what measures are in place to stop the spread of smoke? The likelihood is there’s compartmentation, so it’s getting people to think about that rather than have we done a fire door inspection or have the dampers been checked. The whole point is that unless the whole compartment works there is an issue. And then what other measures are in place, like smoke control and detection. Andrea, from your point of view the asset information, it’s not just about the individual assets, it’s now they are then performing to provide the protection that is needed to support the safety case. And one of the aspects of this is that it needs to be digital otherwise everything has got to be checked manually.

And this is an example where there is a tick in the box to say that there is a fire stopping drawing, but actually it’s illegible because whoever has created the drawing that went into the O&M hasn’t realised that you need to make that scaleable because you can’t make anything out there because they’re all overlapping each other. So it’s ticking the box that there’s a drawing of the fire stopping, but it’s useless because it doesn’t tie back to anything. So the important thing now is you’ve got to demonstrate that even if you don’t have information that you’ve done something to find it. Broadly where we’re going with this is to have a situation where we can have confirmation that the client has got to confirm that they’ve actually received everything.

I was talking to Jarek earlier and he was saying that he’s got a project that a colleague ash told him about where its an office building that has been open for three years and they’ve realised that they don’t have any certification on the emergency lighting for the building. And now they’ve got a major issue, they’ve got to try and track it down. So it’s important that the clients are validating that and confirming that they’ve actually received what they’re supposed to receive for Reg 38. We’ve tried to make this a little more explicit to say what information is actually required and then we’re going through the exercise of then trying to determine that so that can go into Jarek’s Miro board.

GARETH SELWAY It was good to get that overview, I appreciate that and it’s good to see how you bring it all together in a network.

RICHARD It’s good for people to know, you get an invite to this meeting but what’s actually going out there in the wider group because a lot of it is going to be of value to all of the people in this meeting as well. It’s good to know what resources we’ve actually got out there. As George said earlier, the contacts that people have made, you’ve got somebody to go to in a different field and they’re here. It’s not just a safe environment it’s also a trusted environment and that’s very important to us.

ANDREEA FARD I just wanted to say for about 30 minutes on this presentation I was wondering if I’m the right person to be here, or should it be someone within the technical team of Places For People. I’ve been involved in the Building Safety Act and trying to support Places For People to translate that in data, to put those requirements into data. And the bit that I’ve suggested to the group was the fact that we need to move into a more granular space of looking at data. So now we’re talking about components and how we’re actually maintaining the fire doors, not in the way that the asset systems have done it before which is to say I’ve got a block here, I’ve got a building here and these are all the documents I’ve got, and that’s compliance done.

We need a more proactive, a better system in place to be able to cater for this. So the suggestion was that we’d identify all of the components that are subject to the Building Safety Act and then try to link them to their parents, be that a block, their communal areas of the flat or whatever it is that they are. So that we can create a system by which we maintain the data up-to-date and it also is easy t extract and put within the safety case. There are significant challenges in doing that, one of the most significant being that we’re talking systems like NEC, for example, Northgate, that aren’t really catering for that granularity. So the scaleability, the bigger the portfolio you’ve got the more granularity you add, the more issues you’ve got in terms of data.

GEORGE One of the things that we’d recommend is that within the BIM world, and I appreciate that because you’re working largely with existing buildings you may not perceive that BIM is relevant, but it absolutely is. Because BIM isn’t about 3D modelling it’s about information. And what we’ve got in the BIM world which has been very well tested and developed over the years is something called COBie. COBie is a data schema, not a spreadsheet which a lot of people think it is, which allows you to go down to that level of granularity and also allows you to manage things at the individual asset type level and indeed the asset level. But you can then group things together because it’s a relational data base so you’re able then to say these assets are part of these systems and the assets are located in these particular locations.

So you’ve got the spacial context, but you’ve also got the ability to slice and dice the information in different ways so you can then use that to find where that particular asset type has been used across a portfolio of 100 buildings. But you can also then drill down and say where is the individual asset that’s been used in maybe a stairway. So by following that methodology it means that we’ve got the opportunity to glue those things together. From your point of view, we’ve talked about Origin as well because you’re just merging or taking over Origin. I can show you some of the examples that Origin have been doing in that particular regard, but I think that’s a good way of looking at things. Does that help?

ANDREEA FARD Absolutely. I know about COBie, but as I said we’re really stuck at this point in terms of the old setup that doesn’t really help for the new requirements.

NICHOLAS NISBET I’d like to raise a caution. COBie has a very good way of helping you collect information, but it’s not a tool for managing the asset going forward. It’s a really important point. I do a lot of training around CObie and someone came in and folded their arms, passive aggressive, I said what’s the problem? He said COBie stands for you can’t operate a building in Excel. And he was absolutely right. Just to alert you that there is a new version of COBie available which is intended to be a vehicle for transferring asset information from one operator top another, so it’s intended to include the operational records of when things were last maintained etc. That’s called COBie 3. It’s only really being discussed in the US at the moment. So COBie 2 is great for data collection and it introduces people very gently to the idea of schemas, but it’s not an asset management tool as such, it’s a data collection tool.

GEORGE I absolutely agree, COBie is an information exchange standard, that’s what it stands for. The point is though the structure of the data that’s in COBie is exactly what can be used in applications going forward.

NICHOLAS NISBET It’s the suitcase, not the holiday.

SUE WILBRAHAM I’m speaking to you from South Africa, I’m still dabbling on the edges of building safety if you can do that halfheartedly. Actually a very interesting conversation, t would have been very useful if NEC had been more open to progressing, being able to facilitate COBie information in their environment. When we spoke to them when I was at NVTH three years ago now they said they were working on trying to find a way to help us manage and deal with out COBie information and I still see nothing out of them. And then in terms of the resource information I just want to ask if you’re aware of, I have a connection on LinkedIn, Matt Hodges-Long. He’s got a library that he’s made available, a resource centre for the Building Safety Act and resource centre for the Fire Safety Regulations which has been really useful. He’s been happy to dish out the link and add people into it, so there is a repository of information in there which I found really useful. If you guys wanted to access that just connect to Matt and ask him to add you guys into his repository.

RICHARD Absolutely, we’ve done a couple of joint events with Matt, we know him very well. (shares screen). I think the general feeling of this meeting is we should go forward and set up the subgroup. If you’d like to be involved put your name in the chat to say you’d like to be involved. What about timeline?

GEORGE The demand is going to be strong. One of the aspects of this, you can see we’ve got in there that’s largely come from Debbie, the evaluation of advisors competence. Because rather than naming and shaming people it might be a useful thing within the trusted group to be able to identify where people are giving maybe incorrect advice, but help them by informing them, bringing then in rather that criticising them.

SUE WILBRAHAM  I've done that CIOB level 6 building safety management course, a review of what i thought. It was pretty good, it covered most things, and to be fair to them it’s difficult to put the content together when it’s a changing landscape. But in general it was a really good course, well delivered and a great level of understanding of what we have to do.

GEORGE When did you do it Sue?

SUE WILBRAHAM I completed it at the end of last year. We did it within out working day, we had lectures all morning on a Wednesday and we had assignments to do during our working week which was extremely stressful, but we managed to all get it done. That was the other thing, we did it when I was still at NTVH and we all helped each other and worked through it together which was really useful. All in all it was a very good course. i think there was some discrepancies around the marking and funnily enough I think their competence around some of their lecturer’s marking was questionable. But they seemed to have ironed that all out now within themselves. I think we were the second cohort, so let’s be fair to them, it was all brand new.

GEORGE Sue, the reason I asked when you did it was that one of the people that was behind the setting up of that course for CIOB was Steve Coppin who’s one of our experts in the contractual side of things. He’s been wrestling with the CIOB and I think eventually he’s given up, in terms of some of the courses. He wrote the course, but they’ve changed it now.

SUE WILBRAHAM Yeah, I think they probably have. A lot of the feedback from our group was that it was difficult because they were making references to the bill and it’s since been the Act and there were lots of nuance changes that they hadn’t kept up-to-date on. I think it’s very difficult for them because they’ve obviously got together a whole bunch of slides and lecture notes and questions and with it constantly changing it’s very difficult. So I felt their pain, but nonetheless as a student who was paying quite a lot for the course I begrudged the fact that it wasn’t completely up-to-date and current. And it’s a little frustrating that they’re teaching you stuff when you know it’s no longer relevant or has changed since they told you about it.

So I can understand where he’s coming from, but I think it will level out, at some point all of the changes will start slowing down and I think we’re already getting there. I think that what it did was give you some really interesting insights into what your thinking has to be around building safety cases and buildings as a system and what the building safety manager’s roles as a critical friend. Some really interesting stuff about how to review risks in a building and stuff like that which I found invaluable.

GEORGE I’m going to show what we’ve done in terms of the new publications. For example, we’ve got the fire door inspection. (shares screen). We’ve got two publications that we’ve released. This is one that quite a big team worked on over the last year or so. We’ve put together, we covered a type 1 inspection, a Type 2 inspection and a Type 3. The difference between them is Type 1 inspection is what you do with a new door, a Type 2 is what you do with an existing door and then Type 3 is the ongoing inspections. So this is something that’s freely available to anybody and the purpose of it is to try and have a more standardised way, in quite some detail as it’s a 74 page document, to actually go through what the subject matter experts say should be checked. So hopefully you’ll see that being of some value.

And then these publications, we’ve got four workshops tomorrow looking at the different aspects of certain questions that we’ve been dealing with: how do we ensure how asset information is managed through the process? We’ve had workshops on this and this is the publication that’s actually coming out from it. We’ve got a meeting tomorrow to finally refine and validate it.

RICHARD These are the points that people have raised on the questions. Tomorrow’s meetings and also in a couple of weeks time are to say, OK, fine, how? How do we actually do it?

GEORGE This are resources that are all available on the BIM4Housing website. The events that we have are all recorded and then there is meeting notes for each of them as well. At some stage we’ll probably use some AI on these things, but for now we’ve got this information here. Al of the meetings that we have are recorded. These are the four questions that we’re covering tomorrow: How do we make sure that building safety data is live rather than just a report? How do we prevent the incorrect design selection of fire safety products? How de ensure that building services not being complete when construction starts is going to be addressed? And then the asset question that I mentioned earlier.

Across the top there you can see the working groups. If you wanted to join one of the working groups, the design or manufacturing or advisory. We’ve then got the workstreams that are covering different topics, like fire safety, and we record all of those meetings. And then we’ve got the publications. Any of these can be available. The area that we’re trying to grow is the blackbox. The idea of the blackbox is where we can actually get people to feedback the information and we tie it in with LinkedIn. This is providing experiences of what people come across and what they’re learning.

RICHARD I hope to see you all in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be in touch about the new subgroup.

CHAT

Debbie

Paul we need to catch up as I am building an AI enabled competence knowledge base of NOS in construction domain...WG2 aware of this

This was presented at Futurebuild - Miroboard of Regulations - https://miro.com/app/board/uXjVNs5rHUc=/