BIM4Housing Construction Working Group Meeting
RICHARD Chris Waterman advised the levelling Up department, eh was explaining the Building Safety Act to MPs before they went and voted for it. He’s producing an easy reading guide to the Building Safety Act called ‘The Plain Guide to the Building Safety Act’. (Richard shares screen). This is his schemata for the publication he’s doing. The actual text he’s writing for the publication, he’s got a number of BIM4housing people working with him and checking it. This is what he sent to me to get a bit of feedback from you guys, just the way he’s set it out, or if there is anything that is glaringly missing. He’s including the fact sheets which the government issued with the Building Safety Bill, but then withdrew. He says they’re a lot of value and it’s kind of strange they were withdrawn.
STEPHEN There’s one thing that jumps out at me, unless I’ve missed the plot as usual. It does mention about secondary legislation in that scope on the right hand side, but in that flow chart (boxes) it doesn’t mention the regulations. It mentions each section of the Act, which is great, but what about the regulations which we know obviously are still to be coming in succession over the next 18 months.
RICHARD So basically when the regulations come out they should be included.
STEPHEN Absolutely. We need to refer to them. And there will be also guidance replacing the fact sheets in accordance, so the terminology will be changing, evolving as it goes, so that we've got to get that in mind.
RICHARD My understanding is that he sees this as a movable feast, it's something that's gonna be an ongoing development as the thing comes through. But I think it's very helpful that you're pointing that out. STEPHEN It’s not criticism, it’s observations, that’s all.
RICHARD Sure, absolutely. It’s something obvious that needs to be included and he he needs to have that in this plan, doesn't he? has anybody else got anything on that?
CHRIS HALL It would be really useful if he could do something saying how things are now and how they are likely to be in the future. Almost a current state new state, because internally here with our directors, they seem to think that this is something for everybody else to be worried about and not manufacturers. Manufacturing is a tier one, so it almost be like an impact assessment. Everybody seems to think that it's somebody else's problem, if that makes sense.
RICHARD Yeah, absolutely. I’m not sure how far he wants to go in future gazing, as it were. And how much is purely kind of factual as opposed to potentially. I don’t know, I will certainly pass on what you’re saying.
STEPHEN Just to support Chris's absolutely spot on about is, and we know the duty holders which is the client through developer, principal designer, principal contractor. But as what Chris has highlighted, who is absolutely instrumental in the food chain of all this, which is the supply chain. What responsibilities they must do, but also what they need to do regarding upskilling themselves regarding training and all its intricacies about inspection. I think what we need is in 2 pages, it's impossible to put on one page as we've got in front. I think the second page needs to have a structure of…from the hierarchy of the client all the way down to the supply chain, and it's looking at a bottom up approach, not just a top down as we always continue to look at.
RICHARD We, you know, records these sessions and do transcripts and highpoint documents. So he will, I will actually send him literally what you guys have said.
PAUL This is, and I’m going to do this probably in a self-centred way, I think if we all understand maybe how we do in these forums, how you construct, how you do appropriate workmanship, I think the question is really is…I'm really interested in the effect on what happens with Regulation 7. The reason Regulation 7 to me is so powerful is because it doesn't tell you which way to meet the appropriateness of dealing with the hazard, there’s many different ways of doing it. So I'm quite interested in what they're gonna do around CPR, because just because something is CE marked it doesn't mean it's appropriate to put it in certain instances. It's a bit like just because you've got a 476 cavity barrier, it's under an ISO and actually that's appropriate for certain circumstances. But if you've got a linear gap, then 476 is an appropriate ZAN, and that's different ? Regulation 7, but you can't have something on the 476 which is CPR, because it's not European and they’re all under the European system. And that’s the bit I'm really interested in because what I found is that people don't know the difference between EN and BS, they don’t know the difference from what's appropriate and what's not. I'm seeing it all the time and they have a habit of going everything has got to be CPR and CE marked and you go woh woh woh! It doesn't cover everything in labs, it doesn't cover everything probably in in hospitals either, it doesn't cover everything in like tunnel specs because it's different requirements, different practices sit outside of that kind of thing. But that’s the bit I'm really interested because for me the behavioural side of…the duty holders, it’s very copy of PD going back many years ago, but it’s just got more onus put on certain people. So I don't believe suppliers can fix a problem unless someone describes what the problem is for them to fix. It’s no good gong to a supplier and going can you give me a barrier? What for? I just want a barrier. Here’s a barrier, OK I’ll take it, and they go and put it on top of the door. That's what people are doing.
CHRIS Invariable, Paul, this becomes a problem further down the line when somebody that does know what they're looking at is looking at something that's installed that's not fit for purpose and everybody's looking and that's when you get the blame game, and it’s just round and round in circles. So for us as manufacturers we have to accept the fact that we've almost become a partially part of the educational process because a lot of our end users, some of them are very, very knowledgeable, but some of them have not got a scooby-doo and we’ve ended up becoming de facto designers.
PAUL I’m just thinking of a good analogy here. it's like going to a grocer and asking for a tomato, then going back and complaining because it doesn't go your fruit salad, isn't it? It's the same thing.
GEORGE I was picking up on what Paul was saying there in terms of people understanding and appreciating the importance of this. And I I was just knocking something together, that's why I was not concentrating when you asked me the question.
RICHARD Before we go off at a tangent, Is there anything else you think for this document that Chris Waterman should be including?
PAUL The only thing for me is how he thinks CPR works with this.
RICHARD That's fine. Then I can give him this section of the transcript, and that covers him rather than the load of stuff that's not relevant to him.
GEORGE shares screen. Picking up on what Paul was saying earlier. So one of the things that we were looking at before Christmas was, from a construction point of view, is my project in scope? If you've got a project that has secure planning approval, demolition work has already started, it’s still at the beginning of RIBA 4, and in this particular case design is going to be completed by this quarter. And then it will; hand over in 2024: is that in scope? And will it therefore be exempt from gateways 2 and 3? Those questions should be relatively clear, you’d have thought. But when we actually asked specialists we found that there was absolutely no consistency with the people who are subject matter experts as to whether it was or wasn't, and I thought that was really quite interesting and of concern. I don’t know whether that sort of ambiguity…I know Jan’s on the phone from Hill, what would you say on that?
JAN STEPHENS From what I gather this is not clear and no one has really been given an obvious picture as to what is going to be expected. I assume anything from October 2022 that hasn't had building control submission that is in scope, as in seven stories and above, will need to be gateway two and three and building assurance certificate. I mean, I've got bigger concerns with them getting the numbers of people required to start doing this process. I don't know what they're going to do, but it's a little bit too…we’ve had two years to sort it out and I don't think it's getting any clearer really. It's just it's fast approaching.
GEORGE I think the view is even if your project may not be called in you've got the backwards liability, so therefore you do it really sort it out. Because people are wrestling with what the Defective Premises Act is going to bring in, so be interesting to understand from tier ones how seriously they're taking this.
PAUL I think Hackitt covered it a little bit in that fire safety conference. She basically said even if you complete before or you’re completing after the bottom line is it’s going to come backwards. My view is if you’re gonna go gateway 3 and start handing the building over at the end (even if it’s before) you’re better off getting it in to and order where you’ve got it threaded out right back to your principal strategy and how the products follow through because when you are at asked, you won't be able to prove provenance. You’ve still got to get yourself into that kind of mindset. The hard bit is I don't think the regulator that looks at this is gonna have the capability to understand all the products, the interface between them and how they all work together. The reliance even up the building control is still gonna be on us to measure that that bit is correct. I don’t think they’ll be able to comment on it.
I think they’re gonna say, well, we’ve seen key standard numbers listed and the rest of it, the coordination still down to you. So that risk isn't gonna get removed by them, it’s still gonna sit with you. So the way I'm gonna try to explain it internally is that, and I still get this now people go, well, building control have looked at it and they haven't made any comment. It’s because they don't understand it, mate, they don't get it. So I think that bits gonna still be there. So if someone's got it wrong at Gateway one with the walls don't work and all the componentry in it, but you've got the right standard list and you could say oh the products we’ve said we’re gonna buy are CE marked, they’ll say that’s fine. They’re not gonna tell you whether it fits or not, if it all works together as a system, that’s for you.
I think that’s the bit that’s going to cause the greatest problem because…I was talking to someone the other day who said ‘everyone always says I just want the solution’. Well they’re not gonna give you the solution, you’ve got to work it out yourself. But all business owners, all they want is the solution, they want it taken off their desk and this isn’t going to remove that. You’re gonna have to still go through the rigour of threading out products, interface them together and looking at how it works as a system. Before that date or after that date, if they come back retrospectively and you've not got it, then they're gonna get you. And I think the same principle apply to stuff that's not in the remit of submitting stuff to them because if building control guys call in the HSE, which is what they'll go to as they're regulator and say we're not happy with this, they want to see the same process anyway.
Regarding insurers taking an interest - From my experience what happens is insurers a summation of what goes wrong in case law or fire incidents, and that’s how they latch on the back of it. You can see that with Grenfell. As soon as Grenfell happened you couldn’t get PI, you couldn’t get consequential loss. So if you had to move loads of people out of a building because of a fire you’re paying for it that was removed from insurance. There may be some upfront stuff they may do, there’s people we can talk to on that, people like Ian Abley who’s FPN and works for the risk authority. As I kind of said at the start, you can have all this stuff in primary and secondary legislation, but you can have a disclaimer underneath that says this doesn't mean you understand how to make things appropriate for circumstances because that’s not what he's telling you, he's telling you we're gonna come after if you don't do that bit.
CHRIS George, definitely the insurance industry of watching and interested. And obviously, with some people from AXA yesterday and Paul suggestion of talking to Ian Abley is a good one because he can kind of synthesise all of the different opinions from the insurers’ viewpoint, so it's worthwhile having a conversation with him for sure.
GEORGE shares screen. So that’s one aspect that we’ve got. The other aspect, obviously the Building Safety Act, we’ve got the Fire safety Act and what has become clear is that those are two different regulators who are looking at things from a different perspective. The other aspect we’re tracking at the moment is carbon. Most of you know we have a partnership with Zero, we’ve now got over 800 members and there’s a lot of activity going on around that. One of the things that's come out of that is that we're collaborating with a company called Materials 2050 to get embodied carbon information using the Templater so that that can then go into product libraries. So the idea being that we've got a mechanism whereby products can be tested for their information requirements. And then if somebody then swap something out, we've got a mechanism to track that those products have been swapped out and therefore we've got the means to then engage with people like Travis Perkins.
One of the things that Paul's gonna come on to in a minute is the work that we've been doing together to track through the specification to the product selection and an aspect of that that we've been working on, this is with Buig, Balfour Beatty, ISG have agreed to collaborate with it, Barclay Group, which is having a BIM4housing library with data sheets. So manufacturers’ data sheets so that we've got a mechanism, at least at a basic level, to be able to have a common library that anybody can access to put together information. So that's something that we're getting underway and we've got Lloyds Register engaged in that process as well. And also I've got a conversation happening later on this month with BSI. So what we're trying to do at the moment is look at the collection of manufacturers’ product data, but in a much simpler way than we've been trying to do with Lexicon. Lexicon, we're very supportive of, we want that to move forward. But in the interim, if we've just got data sheets from manufacturers as PDFs, then if we can create a library of that, it's going to make it a lot easier for people to track things through.
So this is the product library that we've developed as active plan, but it's free and it enables manufacturers to provide their information either as a data sheet or as a document. And this is Materials 2050. These are the people that are going to put their information into the product library, but they've got carbon information on all of these product types. So it's just a different perspective. But the objective here is to conduct…I’m told that constructors are being asked extensively for carbon information. So we've got fire safety, we've got building safety as drivers, but now we've got carbon as well.
You’ve seen this before, but the key thing about this is making sure that we’re getting the right data for the right purpose. If, for example, we’ve got a cavity barrier, what information do we need to know about it? it’s alway ‘it depends’. And because we’ve got so many standards you need to refer to we need to tie it back to some prescriptive situations that Paul’s going to go through. The work we’ve been doing is trying to look at how we can capture the information that’s needed as documents, then as visual records, but then this issue here of how do we go from descriptive specification to prescriptive. We can bring the whole process forward so that work is being done much earlier in the process so that we can address the gateways. Paul, would you explain what you’ve been going through in the Tier one group?
PAUL One of the big things for me, and I’ve been trying to get this working with other people externally as well, there’s a thing been launched called the Passive Fire Knowledge Group. It’s about getting the knowledge out about how passive fire is being selected. I’m focused around Regulation 7, fire stopping is a blasé term, it doesn’t really exist. If you’ve got a linear gap seal it’s a linear gap seal, if you’ve got a damper it’s a damper - it’s got a seal, but the seal is related to that test, nothing to do with penetrations or stuff that’s associated with doors, it’s completely different. Where this all ties in is if you’ve got a process where you enable the industry to behave in a certain way from cradle to grave. An example is if you look at things like CIBSE code M, in that terminology it’s about how people behave around commissioning management in buildings: assign a design team, who’s involved, who’s a specialist, who’s accountable for what, and how it flows through the RIBA stages.
The problem with passive fire (and even active fire) is that there is no such code. There is individual codes maybe, but there’s nothing on code of practice about the whole action of it all. So we’ve put together how a code of practice would work in principle and how a design team should behave, right from stage 1 through to completion. In the same way that Code M works (and very similar to how the Purple Workbooks), putting it into a way that you’ve got something you can follow. All this comes back to things like the Contract group in BIM4housing as well because it’s a contractual flow as well, how people should be appointed, who those people are and who those interested groups are for that process. That doesn’t mean, though, that any of that process tells you how to select a product. if you imagine you’ve got a process that tells you how to act in order to get to classification of products, you need a process of how you select the product. So we kind of broke it into two.
The commonality of all of this which is really key is that the only way to kind of nail this is to get the BIM information completely right. You’ve got to make it so full-proof that when someone asks for a product it’s not a case of ‘I just want a 120 minute cavity barrier’ it should be ‘I want something to meet this specific condition’. And that condition should be like something as follows: I’ve got a building X height, this is the substrate being used, this is the rating that’s been given to use for the fire engineers report, and it might be an EI number. It’s got to last this amount of time, have durability of X, be resistant to the ? 32mins 43secs, it must have an impact damage of Y, the substrates used are concrete and aluminium. Whatever it is it’s got to be described properly, but there’s got to be a route for how you got to that description. It’s also access installation, how you maintain it, because you can give them something that meets it, but can you install it.
What I’m gonna show you is what we (PFKG) presented at Build Expo. George will be heavily involved in this, I’m trying to get the right project platform to run it on with George. Paul shares screen. These gateway points come from George. This is all about change management within gateway 2, because that is never going to go away. It’s this bit here which is key around all this BIM information. The purpose group of the building is the key one, is it high-rise residential, is it a student block, a big high-rise hotel, what’s the shape, height, depth, the form of it. This depicts what goes into it. Lesson’s learned from other projects that you’ve done. Then you’ve got to assign a safety review team, no different to Code M. Establish who’s gonna look after all of it and who’s gonna be the lead in making sure it’s strapped together. Then you’ve got to look at the risk of the space, the space risk depicts what the systems inside it should do, whether it’s a door, damper, duct or flue, whatever it is, and establish what those ratings are.
Then you can start looking at all the classification types of a new building because the problem is when you go to planning at gateway 1 it’s all very nice, I’ve got one staircase, I’ve got this escape route, PEEPs and the rest of it, one thing in that tells you all the different classifications of fire risk and what systems you need to deal with them are in those reports, it doesn’t go into that level of detail because it’s not always a fire engine that’s capable of doing it on their own, hence you need this in practice. Then you can start looking at all the seals in the building and how you can classify the products that you want. How you look at the compatibility of the substrates and what you’re building into, the supporting constructions. Then you look at the descriptive of the seal types that are appropriate to what you’re doing, because it all depends on what’s been tested and what functionality trying to do. Then you can look at the access to the installation, then you can start forming very high level schedules of where these things fit. Builders, work, so where they go, so you’ve got some rules about how this all fits as a system into the building. Then if you want you can go to manufacturers and they can confirm it against it.
Anything you select in a building, and this is what I’ve drilled it down to, someone’s got to establish the fire safety type of risk type that building. Those risk types, it’s all about the space risk and the building type. Then you’ve got to look at how those things operate because whether it’s a cavity barrier, a damper or a door, they’ve all got different operational states. A damper is static, it does not move out of the wall, it just sits there, it will just shut. That’s a fire damper. A door is transient, you can walk through it. That is a barrier that is there for compartmentation, it can swing both ways, it can be dual leaf, single leaf, powered, locks in the door. Smoke control systems are dynamic, they perform a function, they extract smoke. They take compartment through a building to remove something. Then you come onto how those things are then classified. So this is a damper, ti could be opposed blade, it’s classified like that, it would be different for barriers or doors. Then you can look at the different wall substrates that exist, because there really is only two. There’s brick and there’s standard flexible symmetrical. Then you can look at how these things are actually installed and accessed. So I went through and said, look, if you look at the key duty holders who holds the knowledge, a fire engineer might hold that bit. An architect knows bits about this and this, but not all of it. They know parts, they don’t know the whole picture.
Same with this. If you look at dampers a building services consultant will know bits about dampers and smoke control, they don't necessarily understand how those systems work depending on the space risk, there's a bit of a problem with some of that because they're not the whole knowledge holder of that because it depends on the type of building, the depth of building, the period of fire that’s required for protection. It effects those operational types. Same with doors, it's security related. There's a security consultant who will know more about about the function of the door in practice then the architect, or the building services consultant will. Just to put it out there, principal contractors (no disrespect to us), we tend to pass this down the line, right? So it's all out of our knowledge really because we rely on specialists. That's why Chris, when it goes wrong, we'll blame you. Then you can look at the specialist trades, if you got a drywall company they’ll know how to build a wall, but they don't know any of this. And you look at the people that install the fire dampers or the smoke control dampers, they'll know how you install that, but they don't know any of this. They can't tell you that is right for this.
Then when you look at the product supplies like yourself, Chris, you can tell us I've got something that meets the classification number. You can't tell us where it's appropriate to put where you can install it because it’s a site condition and it's a summation of fire engineering. The conundrum is t solve that problem where you go, how it's all strapped together it is about knowing the installation is prescriptively in a digital format is what you gotta get out of this. Then your quality parameters because you've gone through this process for a product, then you know the benchmarking of it because all the previous bits set. Then you can do the acceptors and you can do digital records and you can have future information for change management. This is all gonna rely on good templating of all those properties for BIM and how it's recorded in that model as well. Some of it, you have PDF held information, stuff that's all about the asset which can go into the template and you'll have stuff which affects the geometry. All these things are gonna be important for each product to record. But again it's all on the basis of what that risk is, what the operational type is, how it should be classified, how it's compatible. And that isn't just about one product, this is about all products going in one wall (the wall being compatible) and how you install and maintain for future. That’s really how the whole thread works for construction, it should be no different.
When you look at dampers, doors, whatever, if you’ve got all of those in one wall that wall’s got to be working for the summation of all of those parts. So you go, well, that's compatible, it might be tested and working that, but the type of installation might not work in that. That might only work in that it's not tested in that. So you gotta get the kit and all this stuff in like a Rubik's Cube order to get it right to work with the one that you've got. And that's the bit that's kind of all messed up because not one person from one discipline (services, fire engineer, supply chain) can do it on their own, someone’s got to bring it all together. That’s the world we kind of live in and that’s the bit that’s not happening. The key bit for me is getting description and prescription right, which is where this comes into it, about how you do workbooks to get there. Some of these diagrams I’ve been through with Paul White, the expert on smoke control, and I’ve had to make them a lot simpler, I’ve added nice pictorials to make it easier for people to understand.
So you’ve got that where you can describe it and then you can prescribe the medicine to fix it. Then it's about how this is all recorded, about how you've got there. So it's all within, you’ve got a seller, you’ve got PDF held, you got geometry and you've got asset information held and what though that information is for one asset. Because it's not just REI, it's not just S, there’s other things that are in there that are really critical to that product. Then you got a process about how you perform that in builders work because everyone was going to me originally ‘Ohh the builders work processes don't work, nothing fits in walls’, but it's not that it doesn't work in that it's that, it’s that this bit was never done. So you didn't even know what you were putting in the wall, whether it was, right, wrong or indifferent. But then when it comes down to how you you put this stuff into builders work, you can't put it all into one schedule, because unfortunately the test added is different for the products, it's got different boxes for classification to record what you're doing. The common part which you have to make sure is on all of them is that. You got a builders work for that, a builders schedule for that. The commonality is the wall number that it goes in because at least then you know the minimum size of the wall and the type of wall was compatible with the product.
You could put it all on one, it gets lost in translation. That's the key part to it. Then you can look at how you digitally record it when you install it the first time. Then how you do your records of checking in the future. Because for me the first installation is the big one: it's the wall types compatible, the seal types compatible, the support rod, the fixings correct, it’s in the right place. The last part of it is the damper opens and shuts correctly and for future years all you 're checking is the damper opens and shuts correct with the door functions properly and the surroundings haven’t changed from what was recorded originally. And it’s the only way you can kind of do it. Here’s an example with fire dampers. If you take a fire damper in a protected space, so you’ve got things from Part B, things from the test standard and there’s things in BS99 as well. Basically you’ve got ES category stuff that’s required in protective corridors because smoke risk is the biggest problem. So let’s just tackle it in those terms, what it actually looks like if you’re gonna select it. There’s the same diagram, let’s concentrate on this bit first, what does it look like?
So, the purpose group of the building, the shape and the form, then you can start with what it looks like before you go on to the actual space risk. I did it in a very simple diagram that said these are all your purpose groups that exist: multi-storey residential, dwelling houses and duplexes, prisons, schools, hospitals, student blocks, dining out retail, cinemas, factories, storage and (again the biggest one at the moment) car parks. Then the heart of the building is important and so is the fall, because if you’ve got big basements and big heights it effects the systems you have to put in them. Then you’ve got space risks. Refuge has got a specific risk, there’s smoke risks, fire risks, sleeping risks, evac, lighting, power critical supplies, primary secondary supplies, fire-fighting services. So if I picked a refuge, shape and form of the building is important because it effects how many escape stairs you have, how many refuges you’re gonna have. But they have the refuges the risk, fire risk and smoke risk, that’s what’s in there and what I’m looking at for that space.
Then you go on to look at how can you put that into a shape and form where you can look at how that space risk sits with that example. So we put this together. If you look at a protected corridor which has got ventilation in and out of it and a refuge in it, you’ve got to protect against fire and smoke which is E and S categories. The time period varies on what the protection of the heart of the building is, but because of Part B it’s automatically closed by fire alarm activation, so they're always automatic, they’ve always got a power supply and a fire alarm interface. The big thing that gets missed is that you gotta pick the appropriate blade type to meet your Part L calculation because it’s the other add-on that affects it. So when you classify fire dampers you can't just go: it’s ES 120 S, 300 pascals and C 10,000 ? 47mins 53secs. You gotta go: it's got a blade type of X to meet this, it’s all those other bits that come into it.
Obviously the orientation comes into it as well, which I get onto in a second, so if you come to the next bit to look at how you classify that properly. Well, the same diagram, but I've just changed it. I said actually it's now an ES, it could be 30-120 minutes only be left for four which is automatic, but direction of fires both ways the plane of orientation is a vertical wall, so it's that, and the siblings up to 10,000 cycles it's tested against. That's my classification number for the product that I need. It doesn't mean it fits, I’ve gotta pick pick one to make that condition. But before I do it, I need to do a bit of a comparability against how the walls work as well. There’s only two types of wall, flexible and rigid. You go these are all the type of frames that exist in fire damper terms on the market, I already know that bit of it because I've got it from above. So if I pick a flange one, I know they work in that type of wall. These ones have got other things like casting, you kindly put it in brick. This one you can put it in both, but the wall I’m going for at the moments that. This one works in either, that one works in either, that only works in that, that only works in that that, work in either. because flexible goes to rigid, not the other way around.
But even though that's tested in flexible, the studs and things are in the wall so you can't put it in rigid, it would never work, same as that, it only works in flexible. So you gotta have a working knowledge of the kit that you're using. This kind of makes it easier for people to understand, at least ask the question. So anything else is classed of other, it's got to have been tested in it anyway, so I can't do all the other types of wall, it’s impossible. So the biggest thing is you gotta check the wall thickness against all the other components in that wall. is that wall type that you’re going for in thickness, this works in, does it meet the requirements of all the other kit? That’s the seal types, and the reason I put the seal types on is important because if it’s EN520 board for that particular type of installation (which is generally what they are, they’ve got mineral wall on them) what’s that got to do with a passive fire protection company? Are they really the appropriate people to be putting EN520 on a wall when it’s a dry wall and putting mineral wall in it? Then it's about installation, access and maintenance. So you go how does it work? Well, I know what that bit is because I've now drawn it all out, so I can see I've got that type of damper that frame, it's that blade, it's that position, it’s that type of wall. I can determine that by going through all the other wall types to get to the 122 mil determination.
I know the seal type, but then I look at the access requirements. These need access both sides and this is important because what's happened is everyone puts shaft walls in from an architectural point of view, they’ll put a shaft wall in because it’s a shaft. As a builder, is shaft wall appropriate for all the products I want and actually how I want to install the product? Because you put a sharp wall in, this stuff isn't necessarily tested with shaft wall, still only need 500-600 mil on the inside to safely install all of this stuff, screw it in, get in and out. I still need the door. t is the same for the stuff in the floor. I've still got access doors that need access for future for cleaning. And someone’s got to form a breakaway joint as well. Some dampers are quite narrow, some of them are very long. You’ve got to pick what’s appropriate for the condition as well. Then you can get to that's what I want and that's the classification number of it. And that's my whole thread and now I've got there cause I've recorded it. It’s interesting that even with all the regulation, primary and secondary that comes out, it's not gonna make people any better at doing this.
GEORGE Every time you go through this, Paul, more of this sticks with me. I think what we’re doing here is identifying how complicated it is. As you say everybody wants a simple answer, but actually the the task itself isn't simple. There are many different decision points that have got to be taken and you need to be able to inform each of those decision points with the right information at the right time. So even people that have got all the knowledge, they still need the right data to make those decisions.
PAUL My view is getting procurement right would solve a lot of the problem. It won’t solve the problem where…if you're a project manager, you look after a complex package like building services. It doesn’t mean you have the capacity to select or to verify that products have been selected correctly. Because you're a project manager of a package, doesn't mean you're technically competent to get it right. So if you relying upon, and this is where these diagrams are prevalent, the fire engineer to have got the damper selections right, you think again. If you're relying on the architect to get the wall to work with it, you think again, right? Because it's about site specific case. They don't know what you wanna use because the drama has been that everyone pushes selection down the chain because that's where the best value is. The best value is getting the right description, hopefully a prescription at the earliest possible stage to meet that condition and everything else then becomes a lot easier. take dry wall, minimal distances depend on the type of wall you’re using between where you put holes. But that’s specific to all the things you’re putting in the wall. If you know the thing you put in the walls right in the 1st place, that's one less drama to worry about.
To follow this makes things a lot easier because you're going through an actual process which should bring it back into an order about how people should behave to get there. I’m still trying to work on this process for each individual product selection. So doors will be different, but it's similar flow on this with the same. But the selection of classification and things when you come down to this part here, these diagrams will be different on here because you look at doors specifically. It might be they swing open, do they swing both ways they swing one way, are they dual leaf, single leaf. That kind of stuff's gotta be declared what it is for the location. If you did a door schedule that door schedule really should become a builders work schedule in the future for the doors and it should have on it the wall type number which is then the same as the wall type number on the damper schedule. Back at my days at Canary Wharf, door schedules and damper schedules were quite specifically common to the wall types they were going in. I haven't seen that for about 15 years. People rely on a passive fire company to come in to do all of this on a schedule. It just doesn't work. You gotta do it by individual schedules. That’s the only way you can narrow it down.
If you do it on one schedule, the classification is different. You’ve got to look at human error. if you have a situation where you’re relying on one person…if you’re gonna give a builders work schedule to someone you don’t give it to the top engineer in an architectural practice. You give it to the junior to strap it to give and you might go and check it. But the bottom line is it has to be set up in such a way that it’s right from day one as there’s always that fallibility that occurs.
GEORGE Coming back to the door schedule, are you saying that what people have done to in theory try and simplify things, they’ve tried to put all of the door schedules in a single format, whereas what we actually need is one that’s specific to that particular context?
PAUL When you look at a door schedule they may have a door number and it might tell you ironmongery (if you get one, you don’t always get one). You’ve got to have the risk category for the space as well and what its classification is to that space, and all the other stuff that goes with it. The commonality is the wall type that’s used has got to be the same wall type that’s used on damper schedule so you know in that wall those two things are consistent with that wall. You know everything that’s in that wall and the minimum thickness that’s required for that wall. if you haven’t got a product when you do it then you don’t know what the minimum thickness of wall type is because doors are either tested in flexible or rigid, I don’t think you can go from flexible to rigid on doors (I don’t think that rule applies) but it does to dampers. it doesn’t apply to life doors, flues. It does apply to pipe work. So you’ve got to get to a system where you make it a lot less infallible for people to get it wrong. The starting point is the builders work is only a summation of not doing the whole selection process correct in the first place. That’s all this really describes, how you would do a selection for one piece of kit for one risk base. All that is is taking that complication and putting it into that process tree (re The Process required for descriptive fire dampers displayed on screen). So ti makes it easier to follow what this means in practice by using the diagrams. I’m gonna try and get through all of them. The big thing I need to do is just agree how the Templater looks for BIM. Chris, if you had a manufacturer and there was a sheet that described everything that needs to be known about one cavity barrier and one location, and you just tick off what you want, it’s a lot easier, isn’t it?
CHRIS What you’ve done, Paul, though not for our particular product group, you’ve taken me through all the highs and lows of the journey of getting to the right product to the right application. It looks at first glance to be quite complicated, but it’s not. But what this would give is a little bit more rigour. All manufacturers want to know is ‘what is it that you want to know about my product? What is it that will help you select the appropriate product?’. And if this is the route to go down, then absolutely fine because the answers are there, you’ve just got to put them in a way that’s systematic and everybody can understand them. Because at the moment we have every project that goes down a different route in a different way. Someone comes to the door and says ‘I want a cavity barrier’ and then this process that you’ve highlighted starts, probably not to the same degree of rigour because there comes a point where some of the questions that have been asked, the people that are posing them and seeking the product don’t know the answer to them either. They’re always working under time pressure so there comes a point where they make sacrifices or kind of judgements that they might not have made had they gone through this process in the first place.
This work has to be done. What this gives to me is that you are front loading the decision tree so when it gets to site a lot of the problems are ironed out. When it does get to site there are some things that have happened that you can’t change, like the all type is wholly inappropriate for what you’re trying to do, or things aren’t in the right place or you can’t get access to fit.
PAUL When you take your mental cinema and you put it to paper and you go subconsciously whilst I was doing big projects this is how my brain was working for that particular item. If I was doing heat pumps I’ve got a different way my brain goes around it in relation to occupancy because it effects the type of kit that you need. It’s a different subject, but the same process goes on. When things go right no one every looks at why they went right, in industry and business it’s just oh, that jobs gone wrong. Why has it gone wrong? They didn’t get the right kit. All the jobs that go right they don’t go how do they get to that summation. If we all did this right we wouldn’t be talking about it. When you run it on a job and it goes right, and this is the barrier that kind of exists, to get someone to follow this on one project (including using that flow at the top). I’m gonna run this on a project coming up and I’m going to force the teams to follow, because there’s a RACI that exists to follow and use that philosophy. If I’ve got a job that’s coming here and it’s already gone through gateway one I’ve still got to verify all of this, that’s the bit that’s gonna cost time and money. But out of it I need to have good templates for the kit that’s selected, good schedules, everyone’s got to be onboard to do the hard graft at the start.
GEORGE The point is it’s also a way of evidencing that the decisions have actually been taken in an auditable way. Can we open this up to a wider audience?
PAUL Yeah, I’ve got a meeting on the 31st January. I want to get it opened up in such a way that we’ve got you recognised in the process side of it, George. The key bit is there and with the Templater you can unlock it because even with the 8644 thing it doesn’t do all of this and that’s the issue with 16950 as well, it doesn’t understand this. Back to Jan’s point earlier, if you think the regulator is going to do this for you, think again. I’ve got a guy that’s done a fire audit, it won’t work proactively, it will only work reactively. I don’t care if the damper is CE marked, I want to know if it’s appropriate for the circumstance, that’s a different question.
GEORGE One of the things where hopefully the penny is starting to drop is under the new legislation you’re not going to be able to transfer risk, whereas that’s the way the industry works, everybody transfers risk. That’s right isn’t it, Steve?
STEPHEN It’s supposed to be in CDM but it’s not being policed properly, and this regarding high-risk buildings will be policed based upon what Paul is flagging up and we all realise will the building safety regulator have the resources? let alone an individual knowing what they’re looking at. Hence the situation that the client and the design team, everyone on that project to come out, this is what we’ve selected and procurement is the Achilles heel. If we don’t plan the project properly with sufficient time, selecting all these products selecting all these products that are workable, and in an ideal world we’ve got the who’s gonna be running this building alongside to how they’re gonna operate, maintain. That’s absolutely crucial.
GEORGE On that point, we’ve got Andrew Holly from Tower Hamlets and Bex from Live West on the call, would either of you have a view on it?
ANDREW I think I know a lot about some stuff, then you meet people like Paul and actually I know nothing. But equally on the other side we’ve got people going what’s wrong with pink foams. As I understand it the regulations say stop trying to do what Chris was saying I think, which is you get called to site to a wall that’s already there and go fix it and go well, I can’t now, it’s too late. the regulations say we all need to get together very early on and so the architect says I want to put this wall in here, it’s a lot cheaper and quicker and easier to put up and we want to save some money. In that wall is going to be a door, is it going to be secure enough or is it too wobbly, or for security and is it right to put a damper in it. The everyone should be there around the same table saying if you change that wall to this it will suit my product and that twill be fine. And the other guys go that won’t work for us because it’s an issue. And you solve all the problems at that point and instead of saying what is the wall type you say my wall type needs to be. So you do that much earlier on and say, look, if this is going to be a wall that has a damper in it then the wall needs to be at least this type.
Solving the problem afterwards is classically the problem. But Paul’s process, there is a lot of detail in there which to me just comes down to and the specialist needs to tell us what we need to do there. It’s too specialised, even for me, I understand it, but it wouldn’t be a process unless I have that detailed knowledge of working on it all day everyday that I’d really understand it. At the end of the day the HSE are going to do the usual questions, so this is not about the planning process, this is the HSE under the Building Safety Act and they will just say how do you know? How do you prove it? And you have to go back and back and back and we picked this wall because of this, we picked that there because of that. And you make sure that the specialists are involved at the earliest stage.
GEORGE And that you’ve got the evidence that they’ve done it properly.
ANDREW Yes, and that’s the thing. And someone like Paul’s thing, look, I picked this because of that, it’s in this wall because of that, and as the person that picks the damper, they have done due diligence and I know they’ve done due diligence because they’ve done that and they’re not just relying on, well, the bloke in the wholesalers said it would be OK.
GEORGE I’ve discovered in the last couple of years the perspective that as long as we go to a certified and approved supplier of fire doors we don’t need to do anymore than that, we don’t want anymore information than that because we don’t want to be exposed to that. That’s clearly and patently not working. The reason I say that, we’re working on a large scheme at the moment and the constructor has done an analysis and fewer than 25% of the brand new fire doors that have been installed have passed their criteria, so 75% of the newly installed doors have failed. As far as fire doors are concerned you’ve got the manufacturers but you’ve also go the fabricators and that’s a bit of a grey area because the fabricators, the people who are putting together the whole thing. I don’t know whether it’s just the installation, it may also be the selection of the ironmongery, for example.
ANDREW I’ve had a very basic thing with residents. Take a fully tested door with all the ironmongery in and then they go ‘can I put a different knocker on it?’. No, pick one that’s been tested that’s part of the whole kit. ‘Can I put a different letter box?’. No! There’s a long journey for us all to do, we’ve got a lot of buildings we’re taking apart at the moment and going the door likes fine, the wall is wrong, the gap that was left in the wall for the door frame is far bigger than the door frame. Then backtracking and trying to fill the gap, means the right product in the right place. But getting it right in the first place, I think a lot of it comes down to training and slowly people picking it up that there’s a lot more pre-planning required before anyone starts building a wall and then saying you can’t put that duct and that pipework next to each other through the same wall in the same space. As you say, I can’t get to it and I can’t put the right product in now because, and then I can’t sing it off.
PAUL shares screen. When you look at this big thing in construction around contractors design portion this is where the problem exists. I could be frivolous and say just give me a fire damper. I’ve seen jobs were they haven’t selected an ES, they’ve selected an E. First of all, it’s not motorised and it should be and they’ve installed it. It’s not just like one of these has been installed, I’ve seen one with 140 of them, on a phased evacuation situation. The problem isn’t just the fact this needs to be changed to an ES, the wall type was wrong, because they’ve used a passive fire company that doesn’t understand dampers. The other thing is Part L. A parallel blade might have a 60% free area, the ventilation ducts were the wrong size as a consequence, so that won’t work properly. It’s all finished because that bit wasn’t done right in the first place. The same parallel exists with doors. If I go down to the installation method at the bottom, if you’ve got displacement systems (and this is under the floor) there’s a minimum height that floor can be to put the ventilation under the floor for displacement.
The fact is that when you start looking at access and maintenance, it could be an open riser that’s all nice and big, you get the situation where the slab design is wrong as well. So, if you haven’t gone through a process at the start to make sure this shape and form (things are in the right place) your structural design is wrong as well. And I’m seeing that, structures are being built wrong, because the structural engineer just wants to get on with it. You go ‘hold on!’, I need the specific size, If it’s too big I’ve got to try and shirk it. You’ve got to go through this kind of rigour, dampers and smoke control are very similar with this kind of rigour of installation. Even doors you’d access both sides, generally install the seal as well. You’ve got to have space to do it. We’ve shrunk things down so small you can’t actually do it in practice. What I’m coming to is that people maybe ignore us, when it comes to site and they go ‘we’ve got issues, we can’t get someone to do the seal’, we’ve got to make it bigger. I can’t help you because to make it fire safe as a combination of all these parts, not just getting a product. So I have to verify they’ve got the right product initially (that numbers right) they’ve chosen a frame that’s applicable for the wall type that’s being used with all the other components. I’ve got to verify all of this otherwise I can’t verify I can sit it on site anyway.
GEORGE I have a quick request. What I’m trying to do is connect with some fire engineers, because I think that we need to engage some fire engineers in what we're doing here. And I wondered if on the call, Andrew, could we compile a list of people that we know who are fire engineers?
ANDREW We’ve got a couple of fire engineers that we’re using, but even then they’re limited in their specialisation, sometimes you think they’re not as great as we thought they were. Or they duck and dive because they're the ones with the insurance liability. And they’ll often say verbally that this is fine, but if you say can you put it in writing it, they’ll say ‘hmm, well’. So there are people out there, but whether or not there are yet enough good people…
PAUL The problem is they don’t know. We’ve got Alan Curran who does a bit of work for us. he’s involved in that because I’ve done a lot of work with him on products on sites. Fire engineers do not understand products.
ANDREW They work out where the compartmentation lines will be once the dampers operating, but they won’t have enough information to know whether the right damper is in the right place. People who are interested in that sort of thing is the AOV guys where they can do computer modelling of where smoke will go. Fire Safety Services, they’re quite good, ESC Controls. Often what it comes down to is when you’re putting a complicated piece of kit in, like a damper or an AOV, they really got to lead on a lot of other things from very early stages, rather than it being…the problem is people think you build the building then someone else comes along and starts fixing the bits of kit to the wall, and so there’s got to be a much bigger understanding of actually you’ve got to make the hole right in the right wall or floor in the first place.
CHRIS I agree with a lot of what Paul and Andrew have said. Some fire consultants or fire professionals, their knowledge on product types and what they do and don't do is quite limited. However, there are a few that do know their onions, and there are some that have gone from manufacturing and product selection into that. And if you could give me a brief, George, of what you're looking for them to do, I'm sure I could come up with a few names. I've just popped a few up there. Mel from DXC, ex Manchester Fire Brigade, did a dissertation on external walls. And there’s a couple of guys at BB7, OFR, Tenos, these guys do have more than a passing nod and it might be worth having a conversation with them. But I’d probably need a brief from them just to get some ideas, what exactly it is that you want from them and then I’ll make some suggestions.
PAUL It’s actually quite simple, all of this. We’re in the stage that if you break it down fire engineers, and it’s the construction blame game. The bit in the middle is not getting strapped together because you need all those duty holders to come together to form it correctly. There’s an issue around competency and skill to do that and that isn’t just the design team and suppliers, it’s us as Tier Ones. If we’re in control of a design and build contract we need to make sure it's strapped together right. And that's the bit we've gotta get better at as well. The I think for the fire engineering community, I do a lot of work with them, is it's around product selection, how product selection meets space risk, and that's the conversation. Getting peoples insights into what they know because if you ask a fire engineer to go to a site and inspect a smoke control damper, they'll go ‘don’t know’. They don’t know about the rods, the thickness of the rods, support distances, the connection detail, the insulation thicknesses that go with that, they don’t know.
It’s a bit like you said yourself about AOV systems, if you look at smoke control shafts in materiality, smoke control, like these extract systems from corridors, is a smoke extract system which descriptively (not prescribing) because it's like it was a firefighting shaft one that's extracting for there, it’s a 2 hour shaft. It should be a 2 hour fan with a 2 hour damper, both directions. If you got override switches, they could possibly be MA manual invention as well, or don't have the override switches and the material that extracts it should be duct work. That's the part of the standard is. People use drywall, is drywall appropriate? That’s the things that come into it. So you can't ask an AOV manufacturer to confirm all of that. Someone needs to tell him.
GEORGE So if we roll back to what the exam question is, is my building safe? If, for example, on some of Andrew’s existing buildings (90% of your work will be on existing buildings). So therefore once we’ve gone through and we’ve done surveys, we’ve captured the asset data as we can, then at some point somebody is going to have to review all of that and look at that from a perspective to say, well, from the information we’ve got this is that level of risk for that particular building and this is what we need to do to improve it. I was thinking (maybe wrongly) that a fire engineer would not know all the answers but would be part of that group that would make that recommendation.
PAUL It’s those five points, George. Fire engineer does shape and form and what those space risks should be, you need someone then to help how that applies to the product that you want and the classification of that product. It needs cross pollination because the days of the kitchen sink specification for smoke control needs to come to an end.
ANDREW They say about knowledge, some things you know you don’t know about that and other things are so off our radar we don’t even know that we have to ask the question. So then you carry on doing things in ignorance and find out later there was loads of stuff that wasn’t even on your radar and you needed to have dealt with. The problem is everyone knows we can’t all be specialists. My friends in Southern Housing have been putting together their building safety case as an early example to the HSE. A lot of them are getting it rejected frequently because they’re going certain far down the road on proving why their building safe, but they’ll get to a bit where they haven’t really proved, there’s some assumption there. OK, you’ve got a damper and it’s CE marked and it looks OK, the right people appear to have maintained it since, but how do you know that they know it’s the right product in the right wall. Then you go back to the builder who originally built it and they don’t know either. And then you’re trying to retrospectively come up with the design, in a lot of our buildings we are trying to do retrospective strategies for them.
You get an open riser all the way up the building, it’s one big compartment and it’s got a floor in it, but the floor is only 3/4 covering the floor. There’s a little gap, is that supposed to be a closed cavity or is it supposed to be open? I don’t know because nobody knows and trying to find out that history and prove to the HSE that it’s safe because, and they go how do you know? Because. And it goes deeper and deeper and they haven’t got very far…well, they’ve gone a long way, but no one yet has passed an HSE test. It’s Bradley Cooper and Stuart who are partly doing that, and my colleague Gary Beige, senior safety manager. The HSE aren’t being the specialist, they’re saying you provide me with the specialist proof. I think everyone’s going to have to do that. That does mean each of us have to understand someone above and below us a little bit and they then take their bit and you get more detail in one direction and more generality in the other. We can’t work in silos, that’s where the issue has come and we need to plan and deliver earlier for the new builds. But it’s harder with existing buildings because it’s just there and a lot of the paper work doesn’t show it.
GEORGE That’s why we need to templates to standardise the way the information is structured so that we can go up and down the line as it were, so we can remove some of those data silos.
PAUL You’re right about the knowledge holders as the problem, getting them together to collaborate is like a code of how they should behave, but it only works properly if you’ve got something which makes the infallibility less infallible. If you go to a manufacturer and say I need a fire door, they say ‘here’s the template sheet we use for Revit with all the asset information, can you tick what you want’.
ANDREW Some of those systems could work almost like elimination. So you have all the products available and you say because I’ve got this, eliminate this, because I’ve got that eliminate that. You’ll end up with 2 or 3 products that are possible because of all the other conditions you’ve described. Hopefully you eliminate it to a product and not to actually nothing is available, then you have to go back to the drawing board and go I need to change my wall then. Manufacturers may have to improve their range, you might find they’ve got a gap analysis that shows actually, we never made a product that would work in this scenario, and actually nobody does and it would be useful if we made one.
PAUL One of the things to bear in mind about gap analysis is look at all the damper manufacturers, they’re stuck in a test standard with two types of supporting construction, flexible symmetrical or rigid. When it comes to shaft wall if you test one of the pieces of kit in a BG shaft wall it doesn’t necessarily mean you can put it in a ? 1hr 33mins 47secs shaft wall. Because it’s a different wall, it’s not a standard supporting construction, there’s limitations to how you can apply it. So I don’t think it’s really for the manufacturers to sort this out, it’s about from sequence and building us to identify what we want to use, then going to manufacturers and saying if you haven’t got anything can you test something that works a bit because a test in both directions will cost between £60-100,000. My view is it’s totally unfair to ask the manufacturers to read my brain when I don’t know what I want.
ANDREW My understanding of going either side may be more products that need to be seen as a product. You almost need to sell them as…lift shafts are a bit like this. Ducts and dampers should be sold as ‘here’s a damper in a thing’, so it’s a damper in a wall, it’s not a damper that goes in a wall. So if you want to buy our product, here is the wall also, it all goes together. The wall and the damper go together and you can’t change one without the other.
PAUL Even the manufacturers are doing it and people are still getting it wrong. If you’ve got a sheet that comes it where it tells you and you have to tick it it’s gonna come up, can’t do it.
RICHARD The design group have spent most of last year looking at three specific questions and issues. One around early engagement of consultants in the design process, one around change management in between gateways 2 and 3 and the other around completeness of documents. They now want to put it out to the different working groups to get your inputs. If you could read it and put some comments then we can get a complete picture for all of us.
GEORGE On my fire engineering question, if you could do a brain dump of people. What’s in my mind at the moment is doing it for existing buildings because that’s the biggest area we’ve got as a challenge. The challenge is what does a fire engineer actually mean? I imagine the context in which those people are working, whether they’re fire engineering experts around ventilation, or even as specific as around AOVs etc. Or are there fire engineers that are actually looking at things, would they define what the fire strategy is for the whole building? Obviously ideally that’s done before the building is designed and built, but once it’s up there I imagine a fire engineer would be the person who would look at the existing fire strategy and then look at whether that was still viable for that particular context.
CHRIS I think there’s probably a lot of them who are making a very handsome living at doing exactly that. Looking at what the fire strategy should be, what the building is giving the client in terms of safety, yes or no. And then trying to suggest remediations where required. I know this for a fact because we’re regularly contacted ‘I have a building, it’s been up 5-8 years, I’ve got a cavity to close up, now how do I get a cavity barrier in?’. Your gonna have to take some panels up, or use retrofit, or fill the cavity completely. I would hazard a guess a lot of fire engineers are working feverishly away trying to create a case to satisfy the requirements for safety for existing buildings.
GEORGE A lot of this stuff from an information and process perspective, there should be a way of standardising that so they’re following a method of assessing. I’m not saying it would be a checklist, but maybe a process that we could potentially follow.
STEPHEN Everyone frowns on checklists, but it’s a way of ensuring that we’ve not missed something and it has to be relevant to the actual building per se. So it needs to have all the items in a generic form, mostly hopefully it would be non-applicable, if we don’t list it on it’s sod’s law we missed it. It’s got to be done early, we’ve got to somehow educate clients to realise they’ve got to plan and prepare these projects with sufficient time.
GEORGE Yeah, but on existing buildings that’s a different thing. I’m wondering whether we could have, maybe we get 1/2 a dozen fire engineers to work collaboratively.
PAUL What you’ve got to break it down by, you want somebody that does regulatory reform fire safety inspection, and maybe someone from the front end. I have to give a tremendous amount of support to fire engineers at the start to make sure we get products right, including the supply chain. When it goes right nobody gives you any thanks, when it goes wrong they say ‘how did that go wrong?’. Then you’ve got the bit at the end when you handover information, that’s only as good as doing that bit at the start. So that goes wrong and someone comes in from regulatory reform, they’re not going to understand was it the right type of wall in the first place, was the distances right. Actually if it’s the smoke control system, is the anchor correct for the rod that’s being used because when you test control ducts in a furnace you test the rod, the anchor is specific to a different standard for how the anchor needs to be.
The biggest thing is the first inspection of that compartmentation, static, transient or dynamic, is the one where that bits all wrapped up, then for regulatory reform you expect that actually nothing’s changed against it, that’s where you’ve got to get to. You probably want someone, George, that does regulatory reform fire and safety inspections and maybe a few people that do upfront. or maybe a business that does both, which they don’t always do.
ANDREW There’s two bits to it, there’s the qualification of being a fire engineer as an individual, but then they may work for a firm that they advise generically alongside a structural engineer. But they’re not signing off as a company being a fire engineer. We have some surveyors who have fire knowledge but they won’t sign off the bit that says I am the fire engineer. So we then have another fire engineer who is just being the fire engineer. usually they talk to each other and they speak the same language, but one of them has go insurance to sign the bit that says I’m the fire engineer and one hasn’t. They’ve both got the same training but the company they work for isn’t set up to be that specialist. There’s a difference between the company and the individual. One fire engineering company started doing one thing for us and then halfway through their insurance suddenly said, no, you can’t do anymore. Sometimes it’s how many claims they’ve had in a company, they just go you’ve run out of money, basically. Not actual claims, but the risk level you’ve built up over the number of buildings.
When they’re coming onto a forum like this and you say we’re not talking about you as a company, we’re talking about your knowledge as a fire engineer that can be a lot more open if it’s about a forum of information. GEORGE Sharon, has this been helpful from your perspective?
SHARON I was fortunate enough to see Paul’s presentation from before. Obviously I have quite a few contacts with the fire engineers so if I can help you contact them and encourage them to attend I’m more than happy. I think if we can give them what the scope is because it may be the person I deal with isn’t the correct contact.