Contractors are wrestling with serious challenges around quality of workmanship, in a cost-driven business environment, where low margins are the expected norm. The Hackitt requirement of creating the golden thread that connects the original specification to products that were recommended, and then what was actually installed, means that there is a need to deliver very efficiently- to avoid additional costs impacting on commercial viability. And this is all before we look into quantifying- and reducing- carbon footprint.

One of the key areas that the Construction Group tackles is to resolve the general reluctance to discuss and implement BIM within the industry, specifically within the construction phase.

Better Information Management, through design and during construction, which will allow for fewer defects, better quality, more efficient programs, and more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of working, is clearly the way to go.

Q & A with Construction Group Leaders.

  1. What are the specific problems your group is setting out to resolve?

    We would like to resolve the general reluctance to discuss and implement BIM within the industry, specifically within the construction phase. BIM can be widely used in the field, although there are many contractors and more so housebuilders that have not yet adopted these new technologies

  2. What will be achieved by the resolution of each specific problem?

    Better information management through design and during construction which will allow for fewer defects, better quality, more efficient programs and more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of working. Going from paper based solutions to digital for example, will save heaps of paper throughout the construction industry. Safer construction sites will be achieved by the use of BIM 4D and clearer more accurate drawings and data will be able to be accessed by all disciplines, remotely.

  3. What process will you employ to find resolutions?

    We are happy to continue research and development as well as push through the workstreams to produce resolutions and outcomes.

  4. How will you test each solution?

    Go out to other industry professionals to gain feedback and look to implement within our own companies. We could also test by showing other BIM4H groups and workstreams to gain feedback

  5. What specific methods will you employ to communicate resolutions to all stakeholders (Incl. BIM implementers, industry, customers, legislators & policy makers)?

    We are hoping for our work to be uploaded to the BIM4H website for all construction professionals to gain access to. In addition we would be happy to push outputs out to other working groups within the industry

  6. What KPIs will you use to measure the success of your a) your solutions and b) the effectiveness and reach of your communications?

    We would see what feedback we are receiving and then check the pros and cons given of each. Should this not be effective, and we do not receive much feedback, we would look to push through other channels and contact other professionals within the industry to help drive our ambitions in demonstrating work produced and discussed.

Construction Group Meetings and Highpoints

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

Chaired By: Paul McSoley

Date HighpointActionsAttendees

BIM4Housing Construction Working Group Meeting-20220615


GEORGE say’s he’s just had a meeting with the Golden Thread Initiative Team and they’ll be producing a final report in the next couple of weeks, they are very complimentary about the work that’s been happening here. This meeting is following on from DCW. Apart from the building Safeties Act this work is being driven by the Defective Premises Act which puts a lot of teeth behind what we’re trying to do here in terms of information: missing information is going to be treated as a defect. He displays a document headed ‘Liability on Developers and Contractors increasing to 30 years’. DEBBIE interrupts to say the only thing that will be different is that asbestos will be 40 years.

The giving of prescribed information is part of the Building Safety Act. The Golden Thread Initiative Team are trying to prescribe what that prescribed information may be. The HSE has pushed us towards doing things from a risk based perspective. Therefore, the gateways will require information to be done much earlier. The big difference is the requirement to establish prescriptive specifications for things by the end of Workstage 4. When we overlay that in the context of the RIBA plan of work and the Gateways the Building Safety Regulator is going to be requiring that all of this information is complete before they give the approval to construct.

DEBBIE interrupts to ask if he has seen the report in the construction management that 50% of applications do not get through gateway 1. STEPHEN COPPIN says they are going to produce a list of all the non-compliance/non-conformances in relation to the Building regulations 2010. LUCY says that competency links into how we buy design so what may be missing from the diagram is about appointments, the RIBA stages of work and the BG6 and how they need to change because it’s about how the design is procured. DEBBIES says it’s more explicit in the Value toolkit about value based decisions of the Construction Administration Hub.

GEORGE talks about the importance of machine readable data. The information is there in the data sheets, but you have to find it by manually reading it. Isn’t the data in the Bim? that’s a common question. Actually, each different software application produces its own data and also the answers are different. Consequently, it’s not machine readable. Naming is also a problem. George has spent years trying to map and standardise all this data. Much of the data in the different dictionaries is similar, but different. It’s a matter of managing all this complexity of information and bringing it together.

The solution to that that allows us to connect into all of these data dictionaries…the different library providers are able to use a common set of information to make it all machine readable . Also, the steer from the HSE and the Golden Thread Initiative is it needs to be risk-based. Risk-Mitigation-Asset Types-Asset properties. We have to drill down into the detail. We have substantial documents with information and we are doing it from the position of all the different stake holders because everyone needs different information to do certain things. George goes through the scenario from the DCW exercise in which a fire breaks out, generates smoke and how are the asset types going to perform .

Today, says George, we’ll focus on compartmentation. The task today is to look at the schedules. To make it simpler, all the data sets have been turned into questions because if we can generate a question we can also produced what the expected answers are to that and then ask different people to be responsible.

Building regulations refer to 800 standards. We’re trying to turn that unstructured data into machine readable data so that we can start to build on it. The principle is to take the data, turn it into reusable libraries which can then be used for different software applications - all the different applications can connect into it. Finally, the Construction Control Plan will allow us to have the specification that can then be tested against manufactured products and also be checked to see if they are satisfying requirements when they are installed. DEBBIE makes the point that it needs to be communicated in a natural language as it is form humans.

They then organise who will go into which breakout room, afterwards everyone leaves this meeting to go into the breakout rooms.

KARIM makes a point about some similar work he was doing on project information requirement with the BIM health & Safety group, it was useful to categorise the questions based on 2 things: the stage, when are you going to ask this question? And also quality sign-offs and ATPs - is this question yes or no, or is this question providing information. He feels these questions need this kind of categorisation. PAUL McSOLEY and DEBBIE agree with him.

STEVE COPPIN’’s breakout group only got halfway through the RACI. he said there was a lot of confusion between accountability and realising they are also responsible at the same time. PAUL says in relation to this that the client and the main contractor’s responsibility varies due to the contract type, that should be segregated out.

PAUL MCSOLEY explains what happened in the Dampers breakout room. The group agreed that the manufacturer creates a product to make a function, you have to make sure that function meets the function you require. he added an image to the document of the prescription of the smoke control damper so the group could refer to it. The commissioner of smoke control systems is the other nuances because all they are gonna do is verify a volume, a pressure drop against what was originally designed by the designer, the specialist trader has done the calculations for it.

GEORGE thinks the interesting point there is that the team needs to do more work on what these questions are in order to end up with clear answers.

SHARON of the Penetration seals breakout room says they used what Alistair Brockett had already filled in as a base document. Changed submissions from his have been marked. Regarding inspection, when you’re looking at penetration seals its very much up to the installer, the trade contractor and the main contractor which is a deficiency. So, we thought the Commissioner role should be highlighted as an addition.

The Fire Doors breakout room had 90 questions to go through, says RICHARD, so consequently didn’t complete them, they didn’t do the last eight. he says there was a feeling that it depends at what stage (gateway or RIBA) as to who is responsible for that information. The manufacturer is often responsible for supplying it, but at different stages there is a responsibility for passing that information on. We need to fine tune not just the questions also the context of the questions. Or, says DEBBIE, what may be needed is provide information/interpretation/action/confirmation. that kind of model - particularly those responsible for interpretation is key.

KARIM thinks there should be different separate tick boxes for who will provide this information, who will use it or check it, and who asked for it. Secondly, related to risk treatment and asset properties, there should be one in the middle: asset properties based upon this question. The question will be the property set which will host the information…to answer for a specific treatment. GEORGE talks about Karim’s contribution and ontologies - taking knowledge and then being able to bottle it in some sort of way that can be re-used.

They start to complete the 8 questions regarding fire doors that there was not time to finish in the breakout room.

JIM is a bit dubious about some of the questions that have already been answered because they do relate to the work stream being referred to - if it’s just referring to new build, that’s fine, but for refurb, maybe not. George said there could be the same thing done entirely for refurb. ELIOT agrees with Jim.RICHARD says the question is actually about who is supplying the information on the frequency. ELIOT says it’s the builder owner thats responsible: the main contractor isn’t responsible for the building once its handed over. GEORGE says there are so many standards (often conflicting) so we need to look at what the best practice is - that would be a combination of the manufacturer and the Operations team. ELIOT says, despite the manufacturer designing doors to perform for a long duration they can in fact be damaged as soon as they are installed.

They continue to work through the remaining questions.

Re the replacement components, ELIOT says that will hopefully form the data capture from the start, it can only be replaced with like-for-like products. ELIOT modifies the question to read ‘any replacement ancillary items must fall within the field of application relating to the supplied door set’.

GEORGE says that we need to make sure we don’t end up with something that is a silo. We need to make sure that all these different survey tools/inspection tools are able to interoperate.

Sharon McClure - Avesta

Richard Freer - Icefire Portfolio

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Jim Hannon - London Fire Solutions

Asif Mirza - Berkeley

Stephen Coppin - SJC Risk Management Solutions Ltd

Paul McSoley - Macegroup

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness

Paul White - Enfield Council

Debbie - Dynamic Knowledge

Christine Milling - L&Q

Karim Farghaly - UCL

Jan Stephens - Hill Group

Andrew Holley - Tower Hamlets

Lucy Craig - Mace Group

Mac Muzvimwe - Arcadis

Paul Wang - Laing O'Rourke

Martin Adie - Balfour Beatty

Elliott Dawson - Fire Door Systems Distinction Doors

Break Out Rooms

Fire Doors_20220615 breakout room


RICHARD finds the document and shares his screen with the group.

RICHARD says that the task is to go through the 30 or so questions and assign who is responsible for supplying that information. The first one: what type of door is it? It’s certainly the Designer, but the architect would also consult the Supplier (so both are ticked).

The Supplier and Trade Contractor would be responsible for manufacture date/installation date - though as the door transitions through RIBA stages different people are responsible for it: the Operator is responsible when it's in use. Ultimately, it’s part of the golden thread, so it should be the supplier who is solely responsible. RICHARD says maybe the Trade Contractor is responsible for the installation date element. Maybe it’s best to assume that the Trade Contractor is a trained and accredited installer? There seems to be a consensus on this. Trade contractor and supplier are ticked.

What about the likely frequency of use of the door? It’s the Client and the Designer. Next, supplying information on the nature of its day-to-day operation? It’s the Designer…also, the door location including x/y/z coordinates is the designer….

Are the fire doors clearly marked on both sides? A fire door is only identified on the hinge side of the door with data tags that ensure it’s compliance - you can only see the tags once the door is opened. The installer would have to pop a tag in to say that it’s been installed properly. The Main Contractor and Trade Contractor are responsible. Ultimately maybe the Main Contractor should be ticked for every item as they should have checked whether the Designer has done X etc.

What is the tenure status of the resident? The Designer and Client are responsible. Someone queries why the Designer would be responsible - does the Designer get involved in tenancy? But there are different design requirements, if it’s for an HA then you have to conform, it’s part of the planning application. Sometimes there are strict planning requirements. Moving on, Q14, is there any certification to ensure what was tested is actually being used? Manufacturer and Supplier are responsible.

Everyone Question from 13 through to 21, they are all confirmed as part of the same test, there are no desktop studies anymore, everything has to be identified and tested.

Is there a question missing here about checking the art of the possible? If you look at the KOBE sheets they won’t have a lot of the information there…That’s the difficulty of going into contract without that level of detail available.

So, it’s the Manufacturer and the Supplier who are responsible down to Question 25. Then from 25 downwards they are all part and parcel, different information at the same time.

Question: if standards you need to match up to change over time what do you do? Do you need an extra question about the new standard? Answer: if standards change sometimes the doors will have to be taken out if they do not comply.

RICHARD: in terms of Materials, questions 40 to 50, who’s responsible? if there is primary test evidence about the material then you will have all of this information within that.

GEORGE adds in to the chat the image of the layout of the flat provided by Paul McSoley.

RICHARD asks George to help with a point that has been raised - if a fire door has been fully tested, firstly that information would be on the test documentation and secondly, why do you need that level of detail? GEORGE replies its for reasons of safety, the info is needed for the next 30 or 40 years so we don’t know what we need. If somebody needs that information where is it best provided from? ELIOT says it depends what it’s for: if it’s for a complete replacement you refer back to the architect’s plans…but all you need to check is is that door PAS24 accredited and fire-tested? Some of these questions seem overkill.

GEORGE reiterates the point that there are some people who are asking for this information and therefore it needs to be provided to them. It doesn’t matter if 90% of the people don’t need it because those people don’t have to see it: the technology allows us to strip all that out. JIM agrees with Eliot that it is overkill, but it’s typical of the world we are in now, we have had to give answers to all of these questions and we’re always fully prepared to give the answers. The whole idea of BIM is that if this information is there at an early stage we won’t be inundated with phone calls.

GEORGE mentions CHRISTINE’s point that the technology exists to hold all of that information and then to present it back into a simple way for anyone to consume it. Also, to collect the information in a standardised way means it can be put together once and then used many times for different purposes. ELIOT agrees, but he would potentially fill out for the building the dimensions/slab/lipping etc, but if the door is damaged there is no reason it can’t be replaced with a timber version, therefore it would be completely irrelevant what you’d put in at the front as you’d be fitting an equivalent product which is made from something completely different which is still fully compliant.

CHRISTINE queries whether there is something missing from the tick-box options: who can provide the information for the materials? You’d expect the manufacturer would be able to, but it’s another matter of whether you’d actually use that information or not…it’s a nuance she guesses.

Question 52, who’s responsible? JIM says that’s a hard one…who’s done the surveying? The installer? The door manufacturer? GEORGE says it is possible to change the questions. Regarding tolerances, JIM says that it’s the person that has to be the person that has carried out the survey and taken measurements. GEORGE says to assume in this case that it’s a new build (not a replacement). From a Construction perspective it would be the installer…but also the Main Contractor has some responsibility. But what about the designer who establishes intent? It’s about the on-site survey, structure etc In principle, that main contractor is responsible overall but others also deliver information to them. GEORGE thinks it’s about who is able to provide the information rather than who is contractually responsible. JIM thinks, in light of George’s clarification, that it’s the Manufacturer. But X says it’s the Installer….

ELIOT says it’s the Manufacturer because it’s the test evidence that that door has passed to which will give you the gap tolerances for all of the above etc. GEORGE agrees with him. Therefore, for the Construction section it is Manufacturer who is responsible. Eliot disputes this regarding 3 of the questions.

Moving on to the INSTALLATION section, who would be responsible for whether the door was installed correctly, patent sealed, by a competent person with third party accreditation with evidence? The Main Contractor…but they’d need it to be supplied by the Installer. ELIOT says the problem is that there is not currently legislation that someone needs to be accredited to fit a fire door. What kind of certification of competence? Architects would often ask for accreditation…

RICHARD says that often in the BIM4housing workshops they do not come from a position of where it’s got to be legislated for, we come from a position of best practice. On this basis ELIOT says the main Contractor would be responsible. But….it could also be client, designer, main contractor and installer…

ELIOT says installation training is the Manufacturer because the manufacturer sets the installation guideline for that door, it has to be installed in a certain way.

As-build drawings showing fire strategy - X questions whether that is the right question…they should have installed as per the fire strategy and if they haven’t that needed to be picked up. It wouldn’t be as built drawings…the architect should have provided the last construction set of record drawings for the build which would be representative of the build…the question is probably slightly wrong, it should be ‘are the final record drawings showing the fire compartmentation strategy aligned with the installed’…the designer, main contractor and installer are all responsible.

Any evidence of training provided to the customer? Training for what, says ELIOT. Richard puts a question mark for this one as the meaning of the question is uncertain. Are there any details of automation that’s been added to the doors? This means added after installation. The original intent would come from Design, but the supplier and installer are involved. Most things can’t be retro-fitted to a door, so actually this shouldn’t be occurring anyway - no one is responsible (maybe). Is there anything else that’s been added connected to fire alarms/systems that might cause fire alarms not to work? Eliot doesn’t know what the cause might be - only if something has been de-activated or taken off the door. Ultimately you could say ‘always refer back to the manufacturer’. Is there a cause and effect diagram? That relates to BMS so it’s part of commissioning. Also it needs an input for the designer.

Richard Freer - Icefire Portfolio

Jim Hannon - London Fire Solutions

Christine Milling - L&Q

Lucy Craig - Mace Group

Elliott Dawson - Fire Door Systems Distinction Doors

Jan Stephens - Hill Group

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Penetration Seals-20220615_113607-Meeting breakout room


Regarding base material, it’s the base material of what? says PAUL WANG. it’s of penetration seals, replies JISS. SHARON McCLURE asks if it means to determine what the fabric of the building is primarily made of. She says it's the Designer that is responsible. PAUL says she’s talking about the base material of the wall itself, but it’s surely the base material of the actual penetration seals, but it’s kind of irrelevant as long as it does its job. He thinks it’s trade contractor or supplier as they are the ones that would have the solutions. SHARON says it can’t be the trade contractor because that means he’d be taking design responsibility…

GEORGE asks SHARON if she has seen the one that Hilti sent through. She hasn’t yet. he says Alistair Brockett has already gone through and put his view on it and asks her is she can check to make sure that she agrees. They now look on screen at the document where the tick boxes have already been filled in by Alistair. George says they could keep a copy of this document and that if Paul, as a main contractor, has an alternative view there’s not an issue with that. SHARON asks if JISS can do something with the document to show where the changes have been made, he can do that.

They look through the questions and seem to agree with Alistair’s selections as no additional ticks are made. regarding question 15 what supports are needed for continuous support during fire? The manufacturer would test and advise, says SHARON. She thinks they’ve both been ticked because they are both affected by it…PAUL says it’s maybe the designer as well. SHARON thinks that based on Alistair’s point of view is if we’ve been given an anomaly and we had to go to Hilti and ask them for a fire stop detail they would give us information relating to any supports or any additional anchors to counter for any deficiencies in the building…the designer would have the original supports in the original build. The designer has to give us the basics…

GEORGE interrupts to say he’s just put into the chat the layout to give her some context. The Damper group are using the image as a way of relating it. Going back to the ‘supports’ question, PAUL wonders if it refers to the lintels or the structure above the hole itself. SHARON doesn’t think so, it’s for continuous support during fire. They think it should be partly the designer’s responsibility - Jiss changes it to a red box to indicate that a change has been made to the original document.

What areas need to be accessible for inspection? Should the operators not be involved in that discussion, asks SHARON. it’s all very well somebody saying you’ve got to get it from this side but if they’ve got a candelabra hanging in the middle of an atrium they might say ‘no, I don’t want it to be spoilt’ or ‘you can’t get access to something that they would be involved in’. PAUL thinks the operator should also have input as they will have to do it. Question number 20 is deleted as its a repeat of question 15 and question 21 is also deleted as its the same as question 16. Also, 22 is a copy of 17.

What are the limitations? Manufacturer, definitely. With the Lifespan, the manufacturer determines it but the lifespan is dependent of external factors as much as it’s determined by its original testing. PAUL thinks the client and the designer wouldn’t really come into it. SHARON thinks its relevant that the designer needs to be aware of the environment of where it will be installed. They remove the ‘client’ tick on the Lifespan question.

SHARON doubts why Question 27 should even be a question. What are the levels of protection? The decision is made by the designer and the client but the main contractor still has to make sure that the specification is passed on and the trade contractor has to make sure that it is compliant on the build. Question 30, what are the levels of protection? The manufacturer would be involved in that because you might have a situation whereby it’s what’s in front of you: it’s not in the design, it’s not in the drawings or the fire strategy, so the manufacturer might need to get involved because they’ll determine whether or not the product can be used for and provide the protection.

SHARON is trying to look at the questions holistically, to not get bogged down into one thing, to look at it via all the products she’s ever experienced. What are the means of application? the designer would determine how the building was being built and then the trade contractor would install it inline with the manufacturer’s installation guidelines. She says’ they are going on about active systems, so it can’t all be passive - this has obviously been worded in a way that it’s fire protection generally because the dampers are active and penetration seals are passive’. PAUL points out that there is a separate group doing dampers. SHARON says the problem can be there is an overlap. Is there a true cause and effect? Sharon doesn’t know, but imagines the designer would be responsible.

PAUL says the trouble with the seals and all the passive systems is that they are all hidden away so there are a lot of unknowns about them, they are not accessible for maintenance. SHARON says that’s why there’s a plan on an app to deal with this where information is uploaded and before and after pictures. Have installation seals around the outside been checked? The problem is that you don’t have to be third party certified and some that are certified don’t register all their jobs on the system. The Commissioner should be added. SHARON says the last 2 (questions) are key in terms of handover and quality assurance for building owners and contractors - two of the biggest problems in the trade.Question 34 also needs the Commissioner box to be ticked.

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Sharon McClure - Avesta

Paul Wang - Laing O'Rourke

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Smoke Dampers_20220615_102919 breakout room


KAREM has added the coloured plan, he took it from this chat to the other chat, all the other groups can still access it. The groups will notice someone has sent something as it will pop-up.

PAUL McSOLEY shares the document on screen. They look at the Information tab. They are only going to work on Smoke Control Dampers. He indicates the shaft on the diagram. It’s going to be a mechanical shaft, not a natural one. Who specifies the material of the Dampers? PAUL explains that a smoke control Damper is specified against…they are not fire dampers, but they can be used for compartmentation to meet that requirement, the only thing that’s common is the prescription etc…

The basis of the type of material should be the designer, but also it’s the main contractor and the trade contractor - the manufacturer shouldn’t specify anything, they should just give you what you’ve asked for.

The first question is, this has been shown as 60 minutes and its a 2 hour firefighting shaft so it should be shown at 120…DEBBIE says that once we’ve got this kind of information it’s ideal to put into some kind of decision support app. The service maintenance is the designer and the manufacturer and possibly the supplier. The operator would just get the output of that - people agree with him. Paul McSOLEY continues to work through the questions ticking boxes indicating who is responsible.

Something that PAUL is trying to preach is the importance of getting the prescription right: what is it? what is my intended purpose? Am I appropriate? Next question, what is the test evidence of compliance to match the intended use? The designer has some information, the main contractor’s got some responsibility, the trade contractor and suppliers also have to do it -it’s about VEW/VED…

The nuance is because a wall has got its own standard, a damper has its own standard, it’s been identified that it needs to be suitable for a wall. The damper…required to get it into the wall has to be done by the trade contractor or the supplier to make sure its appropriate. We also have to say it depends on the form of contract.

Re ‘no CE marking will be mandatory’, that’s not necessarily correct e/g if you do tunnels or anything with high pressure differentials…only goes up to 1500 pascals. if you do the smoke control system in the underground you’d not be using that CE marked product because it would be an ISO system which is bespoke. Therefore maybe it’s not mandatory. Would the commissioner check that? Fire stopping contractors deal with part 3 and part 4, we are talking about part 10 now.

The appropriateness of the whole installation, who is responsible for making sure it’s correct? Ultimately, says PAUL, it’s the lead consultant because that’s the person who instructs the design team on the work they are undertaking. Is the design approach for damper holistic etc? it’s difficult to say. You have to treat post-Grenfell by contract type as well. The trade contractor has got to check i, the Supplier is going to be sucked into it. The manufacturers just tell you how their stuff works.

KAREM asks if there should be separate ticks for who is responsible and who is accountable? PAUL says smoke control in it’s own right is so complicated. It all comes back down to the information that is appropriate to what you are doing. We’ve been in a situation where architects can’t really design walls because its about the manufacturers information and how the trade forms it to form apertures etc and it’s the same for all the other subjects that are there: dampers, ducts, doors. All they should be is the coordinator of bringing it all together but if the products aren’t selected…when you get to stage 4 and its based upon no products we’ll get the best value from the contractor.

The RACI should be done by contract types.

PAUL sent through to DEBBIE a document called Fire safety Case and Golden Thread Overview (which he will get George to distribute to everyone). He shares the document onscreen. he says there are 3 things that JCT always has in it which are discrepancy, adequacy and statuary requirements. Statutory requirements will rule all, adequacy will rule discrepancy, so if its adequate but not statuary compliant that will change the requirement of adequacy- this is basically what we are talking about. You have to schedule out contracts in simple forms - its Design & Build, that the Contractors are not really responsible for the adequacy of it of the design team, or it’s traditional when the client and their design team is responsible and Contractor is just delivering it - you have to separate whether its a client responsibility or a contractor responsibility and that depends on the form of contract.

Is there planned works in the building? How they are affected probably comes from the Supplier and probably the Operator…and maybe the client as well. looking back at Clients…think about it the other way round says X, when its finished and someone says ‘who chose this?’ and the designer said ‘it was the client’s choice’ then you would say the client is responsible for that, whereas in other instances the client might ask for it but the designer should say ‘no, you can’t have that because it’s not to standard’, but if there are options then the client might say its an option they can choose - it’s about money, rather than about there is only one right way to do it.

Can the damper be positioned to allow access for maintenance? There are strict codes about how you are supposed to do it that tell you you have to be able to get to the damper, to clean it etc on a yearly basis…

Regarding the Commissioner (who has not been ticked as responsible for anything) the only thing they check is volumes and performance of the system. They verify the volume that the designer says should be there.

The big thing about Clients is, if its Design & Build, a lot of these main contractors are going to turn over to client/developer, whoever is responsible for the contracts and the trades. The Operator is involved…they are responsible about planned working…actually, it’s a hard one, it could be all of them. X says often when contracts go wrong its because the responsibility hasn’t been correctly allocated to the person who can control that. So, if you give responsibility to the person who actually can’t do much about it then thats when it all goes wrong.

PAUL once again shows the Fire safety Case and Golden Thread Overview on screen.

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Andrew Holley - Tower Hamlets

Karim Farghaly - UCL

Paul McSoley - Macegroup

Debbie - Dynamic Knowledge


Post DCW Feedback

Neil Ashdown

Neil Ashdown -Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220608

Neil Ashdown thought that because the roundtable discussion was short it was a bit chaotic, but useful because they now have a sense of the requirements. They struggled with getting all the information about fire doors (data sheets/reports etc) into digital information rather than a PDF…and why?

RICHARD says, in terms of how, that’s actually the whole point of the ‘why’ - it has to be done manually which is why it has to be digital and machine readable so you only have to do that exercise once. If a PDF has to be converted to a digital format there is an element of judgement in the conversion process (due to discrepancies of naming of things within data libraries etc). The human view always makes error possible. The information needs to be consistent, updatable, machine readable and accurate.

NEIL says to cry and cram the vast amount of information into a single document could be a nightmare. RICHARD says that data can be viewed differently in a certain context e.g. the performance of a fire door can vary if parts of the door have been changed. if information about the entire fire door system is not written down then mistakes will be made more often. We have to collect the data and make it accessible to the right people when they need it. This will save them time as they don’t have to wade through a large PDF.

NEIL says that certainly some stakeholders would benefit from the document being more targeted for that particular use. Some door manufacturers will give the end user simplified information about the specific door whilst others will supply a PDF with more global door information, so there would need to be a culture change amongst manufacturers. He’s concerned that smaller manufacturers, who are often making a better quality product, may not be able to provide such specific information and may be frozen out. RICHARD says the more we can specify what is needed the better it will be for everyone, including the smaller manufacturers.

Regarding the RACI approach, NEIL thought his skills were best used to help define who needs what and who provides it. Some of the documents can be common use for everyone (floor plan) but installation instructions may vary depending on who’s using them. He did not look so deeply into accountability. RICHARD says they want to take the learnings from that meeting and then at the next 1 1/2 hour group meeting get everyone engaged and hopefully get it nailed. NEIL unfortunately cannot make the next Construction group meeting. NEIL can certainly help with different uses of terminology.

NEIL asks where does this fit with the golden thread? RICHARD replies that Hackett said that BIM was the solution to the golden thread, but he doesn’t think that’s the case - BIM is just part of the solution. BIM doesn’t address how to make the data updatable and doesn’t specify that data needs to be machine readable.


Post DCW Feedback

Stephen Coppin

Stephen Coppin - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220609

STEPHEN COPPIN thought that DCW went very well, despite his opinion that there was too much background noise as the space was too open and busy.

RICHARD says that people do appreciate the face-to-face meetings, even if it’s just every few months. GEORGE interjects to say that Scott from PRP has offered his boardroom for meetings. STEPHEN was on the construction team at DCW. he though the format was OK, but missing some information they got through in the end to realise what should be focused upon. People approached it with their different knowledge fields and looking at it from their specific angle. Ultimately, they realised there were implications outside of their little silos/their projects. RICHARD said that’s partly due to the new participants on the roundtable.

STEPHEN’s group did not get through the RACI (matrix) dues to some peoples misunderstanding. They realised it was about the what, when and how of procurement - it needs to come back to ‘how is a project is set up regarding strategy, who is responsible for what? what information needs to be captured (re design)?’. You need to capture design change information and consider degrees of risk. Things need to be logged and categorised.

Builders are not as good at maintenance/operation/use of assets as they are at build-ability, they have to pressurised to that. They need to log things and be aware of where the information is. STEPHEN is very enthusiastic about RACI from his time in procurement - it ensured people consulted and informed each other. It took 10 months of RACI workshops etc to make it part of the culture.

Stephen now designs risk management with RIBA and ICE training courses to get designers to be more organised with their spreadsheets. BIM also helps with this process of ‘visualisation’. Identify the significant risks and break it down to build-ability, maintainability and usability of the assets. Also, now, building safety regarding structural and fire - it’s all about life safety (as developed on building projects in the middle east).

STEPHEN thinks they should finish off the exercise from DCW at the next construction meeting, it will help to clarify what it’s supposed to be. The methodology can then be applied to other assets, as RICHARD says. GEORGE thinks it’s worth setting up a construction meeting to deal with completing the DCW exercise specifically. STEPHEN says he’ll be able to shorten his meeting that clashes with the next scheduled construction meeting in order to attend it.

GEORGE, regarding the format, says that in principle the idea of RACI is of value. They should use the example of the flat layout again. Also, take the questions about two of the asset types (doors/floors/walls)…the relevance of whether the things that were going into the walls were of the right specification. GEORGE thinks that all of the information that there are RACIs against should be turned into questions. e.g. type of the door is a reasonable question, and also the age of the door. Actually, George says, a lot of them are already questions…

STEPHEN says they are prompts and if they are not there something will be missed.

GEORGE says that to create machine readable data they are going to need material call and a list of answers. This was a problem at the DCW that everyone was concentrating on the ‘compromised’ tab.


Post DCW Feedback

Paul McSoley, Lucy Craig

Paul McSoley, Lucy Craig - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220610

PAUL MCSOLEY says that it’s interesting how different working groups talk about the same assets from different points of view. Sometimes an asset is only looked at from a compartmentation point of view, not taking into consideration it’s a smoke control system.

He thinks that DCW went very well. However, there was a problem with the diagram - the firefighter’s shaft is treated like an internal wall. It’s looked at from the drywall POV (compartmentation) not from the smoke control POV - it has to be treated as a whole system. It’s a 120 minute function and a 120 minute shaft.

LUCY CRAIG says, regarding the smoke shaft, designers get away with not designing it properly and there is a 60 minute shaft on the drawings. There are no dampers tested in any of the situations which are applicable.

PAUL MCSOLEY shows on screen a fire safety case and golden thread overview slide. There are adequacy discrepancies. He considers that these slides show everything that is wrong with the industry. If there is something discrepant in a contract….

He talks about a fire shaft as an example of a situation where a discrepancy is noted in regards to the wall adjacent to the fire shaft, as often the wall is not built to endure this kind of pressure. We’re dealing with the adequacy (or lack of adequacy) of certain installations/assets and if that is recorded on any kind of level. He also notes how these kind of issues create problems with the sequence of stages of design/construction. He considers that, in reality, Gateway 2 does not finish at the end of stage 4, it finishes at the end before going into close-over and handover. Also, it’s important to look for changes at every stage, to keep refreshing software on a regular basis to track down changes entered by other users. There may be, consequently, coordination problems.

LUCY CRAIG says how shaft walls are sometimes compromised by cost cutting and the use of cheaper materials. PAUL MCSOLEY also points out the challenges involved in combining different materials and assets/products that need to be installed e.g. a door, with different standards of adjacent materials/products. Partly this is due to the fat that architects and designers are not particularly specialised in calculating such details. A Tier 1 contractor is responsible for bringing it all together (it needs to be standardised).

LUCY CRAIG thinks, regarding the DCW, that given the time limitations it may have been more productive to have looked at one option (the same scenario). Taking a smoke shaft as an example would enable everyone to see the problems and the different perspectives that everyone is coming from. Or flight 5 projects could be used, showing how they are wrong but actually in use. She says in the UK there is not the culture to have early contractual engagement and she’s unsure as to whether contractors have the right information to feed into it.

PAUL MCSOLEY says that a lead consultant should be coordinating information which is not happening.


Pre-DCW Roundtable Input-20220505


GEORGE says that at the roundtables at DCW they will provide workshop participants with an A4 sheet of paper for each of the stages and they can write (inspired by the conversation) what are the key things that they think they need as a developer or installer etc. Secondly, to look at what do people do to those assets to prevent them from working? Examples: fire door being painted over (internally) which compromises fire safety, and also installing a new carpet which means the door won’t open properly, consequently having to trim the door on the base (causing a fire protection problem). Additionally, installation of broadband penetrating firewalls etc., people putting condoms over smoke detectors so they can smoke in the flat.

Having identified these experiences and recognising that a particular mitigation treatment has been compromised therefore there would be a great reliance on the smoke control system working. PAUL WHITE adds that there’s also the issue of the doors used in the smoke control system not being fire door sets.

GEORGE states another issue is the escape process itself: how do people get out of the building? There can be a situation where a fire risk assessor doesn’t check an escape door because it is not classified as a ‘fire door’, meaning that people wouldn’t be able to get out (if the escape door is not functioning properly).

GEORGE says that the purpose of this session is to see from a construction group perspective what information the construction team will be looking for to ensure mitigating the risk of the spread of smoke and also to digitally record that it's been done. Paul Mcsolley has created a floor plan where he’s running the scenarios and George plans to have a drawing for each of the tables for reference and then they can write down any information that’s needed, Assa Abloy, the fire door manufacturers, will be attending the roundtable.

RICHARD FREER says the purpose of this is to partly showcase what Bim4housing is doing (maybe getting more members and publicity) and also to promulgate the risk-based approach to issues. The outputs (via A4 pages) are less important than the visibility. The group needs to define as much as possible in this meeting so it is ‘pre-done’ for the actual roundtable.

PAUL WHITE shows a diagram on screen (Paul Mcsolley’s floor plan???). It is a typical plan with regard to compartmentation and smoke control. There is a colour coded key relating to duration of time. There is different levels of compartmentation - between the flats its slightly less. The main escape route (which is the stairs) is 120 minutes, with some 90 minute construction inside it. If there is a fire the AOV will open to draw smoke out of the stair lobby. There will be a digital record of the compartmentation. You can check if holes have been drilled in the wrong place. Is the AOV the proper product? Is it the proper lift? Have the doors been modified? Do they meet the original design specifications? etc These are the things to be looked at for the digital record.

RICHARD FREER asks whether the clear guidance for these to be checked is actually followed. PAUL WHITE says it is not. It is guidance, not mandatory. PAUL says it's likely that a smoke control system has not been checked in 10 years. He’s found bikes and prams in smoke control shafts. Having a digital record is the first part (of dealing with all this).

CHRISTINE MILLING says that it may be able for each of the tables to print out what the purpose of the groups are…because otherwise, with the short sessions, it may be difficult ‘not to go down rabbit holes’. RICHARD agrees, saying it needs to be very tightly controlled.

ALASTAIR BROCKETT says the people who usually do procurement for local authorities/housing associations have never really been up to speed on fire requirements. Their first priority is budget management (because the budget is so limited). Because of procurement agreements they may buy products that are not adequate for the purpose. Do the fitters know how to adjust it etc.? In terms of records, fire risk assessments should be done every year.

You can asset tag anything you want (with QR codes), even fire doors. When it's scanned it calls up a photograph of the original installation.

RICHARD asks ALISTAIR ‘in terms of the construction group, what information do you think you need to supply? ALISTAIR says that depends on the particular asset. It’s about granular information (as Richard says). MARTIN ADIE thinks it’s a development from what you get at contract handover or hand over from the designers. If that’s been done properly you’re halfway there,. And you have to understand the maintenance regime that’s gonna be required going forward. If you own the building, you need to know how to look after it.

RICHARD says that what keeps coming up is the change management side of things: as soon as you change something, changing something totally changes the dynamic.

JERRY COLLINS believes that any operatives that are engaged in carrying out any work in a communal area should be fully briefed, competent, and possibly certified to work in an area including fire doors. RICHARD says this issue of 3rd party certification often comes up at roundtables.

PAUL WHITE agrees with ALISTAIR that all the fire stopping needs to be recorded the fire dampers need to be recorded, and the components of the smoke control system. If a specialist inspects these they will have an app (similar to what Alistair described) with pictures from multiple viewpoints/damaged/open & closed - there could be up to 9 photographs for a fire damper. The key thing with the fire risk assessment/any other reports is ‘these are the actions you’ve got to do’. The amount of time it takes for anyone to take action is up to them, it’s their decision as its their risk assessment. MARTIN ADIE is hoping to attend the roundtables in person. PAUL WHITE, as a mechanical engineer, is here to help make sure that the right data is captured and not leaving anything out. ‘The program of putting it right is going to be a long, painful and expensive road.’

JAN STEPHENS asks what exactly will happen at the roundtables. PAUL WHITE says they’ll look at it from the different workstreams, to have a look at the diagram and everyone will work through that and see what information they would need in a BIM system to allow them to address the specific points of each part of it from the point of view of design/operations etc. That gives an idea to the BIM people to know what information they have to capture. It’s a discussion group.

Richard Freer - Icefire Portfolio

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Paul White - Ventilation Fire Smoke

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Mike Richardson - PRP

Harshul Singh - UCL

Christine Milling - L&Q

Martin Adie - Balfour Beatty

Jan Stephens - Hill Group

Jerry Collins - Richmond and Wandsworth

Alastair Brockett - Hilti




GEORGE highlights the fact that there is cross disciplinary engagement in each of the working groups. Underneath the working groups are the work streams which tackle individual tasks. He then gives information about the activities of the various working groups.

RICHARD gives information about the BIM4Housing website. He shows the construction group subsite. After every meeting the leaders of the group will get the video/transcript/high points of the meeting which they can send out to attendees/non-attendees with any action points put on it. Engagement with the website is encouraged.

RICHARD shows the BIM4housing Black Box site which includes 6 sections. The ‘lessons learned’ section provides solutions to problems (photos included). The ‘publications’ section includes all the reports that have been produced, available for download and comments can be made.

GEORGE shows information about the potential implications on developers and constructors of the Defective Premises Act. He says the group needs to work on satisfying the needs of the new regulator, to develop and provide structured digital information. This information needs to be ‘intelligent’ and machine readable, as opposed to PDFs which have to be interpreted by people (with potential mistakes). Of particular importance is the moving away from specifications being performance specifications after work stage 4 to having to be prescriptive.

For the construction group, Gateway 2 is the critical gateway in the golden thread for the regulator requirements. A handover certificate will not be given unless it can be proved to the regulator that the building is going to be safe. At gateway 2/work stage 4 they will expect the design to be complete. The process taken (which has been published on the website) has been to look at things from a risk perspective.

Within BIM4housing there are the duty holders (working in housing associations and local authorities) who have the legal liability to make sure that buildings are safe. Also, the Tier 1 contractors who want to try and address ways they can help their supply chain supply them with better quality information.

Different people have got different ways of looking at information and what we are then doing is bringing that together into the BRE Templater. We are standardising the way product information is being created so that we can use it in all sorts of different ways.

‘On the 19th May we’ve been asked by BIM alliance to run five round tables to track a particular risk (spread of smoke through different asset types)’. GEORGE wants to prepare for this over the next few weeks.

MARC BRADFIELD talks from a Tier 1 contractor perspective about completing stage 4 design (the end of the process) ready to be submitted at gateway 2 is so far removed from what most people are used to doing: the majority of schemes have a heavy overlap between stages 4 and 5. He’s worried about the design program being squashed down at the front end.

GEORGE points out that the UK BIM alliance guidance is problematic (despite being good work) as it’s too high level and no one has the time to go through it and understand it.

ANDY MULLINS: ‘nowhere have I about any opportunity for us to have early engagement with the building control body that the building safety regulator may appoint (or as a body itself) prior to gateway 2. It’s a huge risk to have a fully completed design without any engagement prior to gateway 2. There’s going to have to be a softening of these government restrictions (because construction delays cost money).’ He says the staged approach the government hints at is useful.

GEORGE: ‘we’re becoming a regulated industry and the impact of that regulation is huge. The regulator will be reluctant to sign off (on a project) without good quality information. We’ve applied information management to a traditional process (this has to change).

PAUL McSOLEY: ‘we have to understand as a group all the questions we should ask ourselves before we give it to them. We tend to rely on someone else to give us advice (e.g., the manufacturer).’

PAUL CONNOLLY shows the Building Safety Landscape Group.

ANDY MULLINS, in response to Paul Connolly’s slide the Building Safety Landscape Group) makes a point about how things should not be overcomplicated. He compares the complexity with the mere 4 regulation changes that were instigated after the sinking of the Titanic.

PAUL McSOLEY says they’ll have to change how they procure because you can’t keep postponing it until it’s too late (and you’re at the fitting stage). (You have to apply) early engagement of products.’

GEORGE asks if there are any ‘data geeks’ who would like to get involved with the Templater tool and if so they can be included in the work being done on that in the design group. CHRISTINE volunteered.

ASIF will sit on one of the tables at the Digital Construction Week.

GEORGE: ‘we’re approaching things is a point of view of what’s the risk? What are the mitigations that might alleviate that risk? And also, looking at what is a system. A system might just be compartmentation, but a system could be the whole building. We want to get to a situation where the interrelationship between elements can be simulated so that we can ring the changes and use that to show the regulator that we’re delivering a safe building’.

RICHARD will send out an invitation for a couple of weeks' time on a Thursday morning. the work stream on change management needs a couple of representatives from each working group. Paul McSoley and Jan volunteer. Paul is taking over as co-leader of the construction group.  

PAUL McSOLEY is going to work on rearranging the purpose groups, follow them through the different tasks, so that there is a better flow.

Richard Freer -Icefire Portfolio

Maxine Beadle -Willmottdixon

Asif Mirza -Berkeley

Jiss Philip Mukkadan -BIM4Housing

Marc Bradfield -Bouygues

Paul Connolly -Mace Group

George Stevenson -ActivePlan

Jerry Collins -Richmond and Wandsworth

Paul McSoley -Macegroup

Andy Gordon -Metropolitan Thames Valley

Paul White -Ventilation Fire Smoke

Jan Stephens -Hill Group

Andy Mullins -Hill Group

Chris Hall -Siderise

Christine Milling -L&Q

Lysa Nicely -Origin Housing

Christopher Ogbogu -Redbridge

Andrw Scott -C-Tec

Paul White -Enfield Council

Sharon McClure -Avesta


BIM4Housing Construction Working Group Meeting-20220216


  • George: how do we compare one product with another product? Testing regimes are different for each standard. And what is each product tested against?

    [Tom Cannon, hill construction, left working group, so George is leading this session]

  • BIM4HOUSING six working groups. Development, design, construction, manufacturing, advisory, operations. Construction working group not all constructors but various relevant specialties to combine knowledge.

  • Idea of individual groups is to focus on a particular topic and then they can relate across the board. Each group meets once a quarter.

  • WORKSTREAMS work intensively, take instructions from working groups and do things eg on SUSTAINABILITY or ACCESSIBILITY, then workstream is closed.

  • WORKSTREAMS: Data, MMC, Fire Safety.

  • DATA STANDARDISATION WORKSTREAM WORKED WITH MIM4HA, BRE and others, machine readable data critical (we cannot rely on people only) we make sense of different standards by working with BRE who have a free resource called Templater so we can gather together all the information /attributes and provide it to product manufacturers who can then describe their products in a standardized way.

  • SUSTAINABILITY WORKSTREAM GROUP report being produced by Cambridge University academic (phD). Purpose: to understand what community was doing in terms of sustainability – using a questionnaire presenting roles, type of project, what relative importance of sustainability in your work etc. Then fed back to Cambridge University to create final report.

  • Will merge this with new group: ZEROCONSTRUCT. Purpose: members of wider BIM community will also contribute.

  • MMC GROUP engaged with design working group to look at various aspects from an MMC perspective to be delivered through better practice. (38 mins)

  • Also Supply Chain Sustainability offers free training material.

  • Liability on Developers and Contractors increasing to 30 years. Responsibilities for defective premises act seem to be changing, we are trying to tackle this.

  • BUILDING SAFETY BILL we need to be looking at structured digital data, we need to have in machine readable way so non-COBie attributes can be tested.

  • FIRE SAFETY WORKING GROUP questionnaire with all information re data to inform a safety case. Working with 360’ photos and Specifications. Purpose: What information will be needed to clear gateway 2 then gateway 3?

  • Change management – are products that are being supplied are actually satisfying the performance requirements. Therefore, when something does get changed it will be picked up, so that procurement goes smoothly: what gets ordered is what gets delivered. So there is a correct record of what is installed. All registered by experts in each field.

  • Purpose: all stakeholders can see the same data but see only info that is relevant to them.

  • MASTER RISK LIBRARY, a standardized data catalogue- it is part of the fire safety group. One can go into each asset and can create more managed data. (End of George ~46:23)

  • Term (data scientists): ONTOLOGY something being used in a different context. E.g. if you have one type of product has to be used differently in different environment.


  • Martin: Golden Thread Tier 1 IQ group have done 3 meetings sharing experience/ understanding/ knowledge, now about to split into 3 workstreams, will now drill into exercises/tasks.

  • Mark: conversations about data and understanding it. Link between earlier stages and the gateways. How many people have validated stage 4 before moving on construction stage 5? In Dec 2023 we’re gonna have to be working with gateway 2 and gateway 3.

  • George: it’s important to have sustainability/accessibility information at, for example, work stage 3 even though you will not have the serial number until work stage 6. The Templater enables you to do this, to know which actor should do what action at which time.

  • Mike: important that constructors get the info they need to actually build the buildings. How much data is really useful and how much data gets in the way?

  • Asif: going round and round in circles with pre-construction element. (1:02)

  • Martin: we have a responsibility towards clients, who are not responsible for knowing – we are- the experts.

  • All data needs to be machine-readable. Danger: the fragmented data problem. A following-through process from start to finish. That s the purpose of BIM4Housing

  • Responsibility Matrix: knowing who is responsible for what data. A common way to access risk.

  • All the data standards are made by private companies, competing entities. How do we unify these? There are 800 standards in building regulations. George wants to identify what are the 3 things we need to know about for e.g. a fire door if we want to buy it/inspect it /install it etc. How can we take this complex set of knowledge and make it consumable?

  • TEMPLATER: BRE have made videos re what it's about. If you have a smoke detector it appears in different Uniclass tables but you have to know where to choose from. So based on what you want to do e.g. maintenance you go to the relevant one.

Fionn O'BRIEN -Bouygues

Nick Leach -Sir Robert McAlpine

John Locko -L&Q

Asif Mirza -Berkeley

Mac Muzvimwe -Arcadis

Andy Scott -C-Tec

Charles Morriss -Kingspan

Chris Hobbs -Graitec

Mike Smith -Bailey Partnerships

Dwayne Florant -L&Q

Bex Gibson -Livewest

Sue Wilbraham -Metropolitan Thames Valley

Sharon McClure -Avesta Group

Lysa Nicely -Origin Housing

George Stevenson -ActivePlan

Richard Freer -Icefire Portfolio

Marc Bradfield -Bouygues

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