Designers have always had to balance the competing issues of quality and cost. Safety and social impact have also been key drivers, but with sustainability coming to the forefront, information holds the key.

Who needs to know what- and at what stage of the construction process they need to know it- is not something Designers can define. But in this age of shifting responsibilities, Designer’s input into that definition is crucial.

Through collaboration with other Working Groups via Workstreams we help to ensure that 'the right information at the right time' will underpin our ability to meet these aims, for both existing and new housing stock.

Design Group Meetings and Highpoints

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

Chaired By: Andrew de Silva ‘Das’, Bill Watts

DateHighpointActionsAttendees
10-Aug-22

BIM4Housing Design Working Group Meeting-20220810

Recording - https://youtu.be/y22c_KP3GfQ

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ thinks it would make sense that George goes through the three things that he had noted, talk through the workstreams and then any other business.

GEORGE says there are a few things that he’d put on the email to Das, the topical point being the new BS8644 which has kicked off a storm of comments. As Active Plan he’s looking at it from the point of view of how we can deliver it. Ηe wants to talk through the approach he’s following to see if others find it useful. The other is the court case won this week by Broadway Malyan when Balfour Beatty were pressing them.

It’s a project Broadway Malyan designed 13 years ago and the developer is taking action against Balfour Beatty who have gone back to Broadway Malyon and asked for all of the records of how they arrived at the design specification. It went to court because they thought it was unreasonable for Balfour Beatty to ask them for all of that information. The judge ruled it was unreasonable, not on the basis that they asked for the information but due to the amount of information they asked for and the fact that it was too vague.

MARC BRADFIELD understands the problems from both points of view. About the reasoning behind it - we’ve got a lot of people who are offering different digital solutions, platforms, using the cloud, and he asks a lot of the suppliers ‘what happens to the data if you go bust? Or if technology moves on?’. Broadway Malyon were saying they couldn’t access some of the data, they didn’t have the packages anymore. There’s a ticking time-bomb here regarding accessible digital information in 10, 20 years’ time. The Doomsday Project in which schools gathered and stored data and information can now not be accessed as the hardware doesn’t exist to access the information. This will only get worse.

GEORGE absolutely agrees. A lot of Active Plan’s work is reverse-engineering old projects. In many cases information has often disappeared because we’ve moved into a digital way of handling things and we still sometimes need PDFs/documents. It’s not the fact the Broadway Malyon project was 13 years ago, it’s actually happening today. He knows that the information isn’t properly classified and categorised and therefore this is a major issue.

MARC BRADFIELD thinks there is a certain loss of discipline in the digital age. As a project manager years ago he had all of the files behind him in an office, filed (pretty much) correctly, and now people are generating information, they don’t have that discipline. People need to be educated on how to put digital files in the right place.

PAUL MCSOLLEY says the reason that Balfour Beatty lost the case is that if you are going to go to someone with a defect you’ve got to say what the defect is to have the action in the first place. It sounds as if they never said what was defective so they asked for all the information so they could go and find the defect - that’s not how contracts work. What they’ve said in this case is ‘give us everything’ which is unreasonable. He agrees with Marc that people are frivolous in the digital age. We were more in the detail than the new generation will ever will be.

GEORGE says we actually need some handholding and training, and also possibly penalties for people who are not doing the job properly. If people are submitting information that isn’t right maybe there is a small fee. We record all of our meetings. Whether anybody goes back and watches them or not. We’re creating a big record of all the meetings we’ve carried out, but we realised that that on it’s own isn’t enough so that’s why we get somebody to transcribe meetings as a form of reference. He thinks we need to look at how to utilise and classify a lot of the information.

The Broadway Malyon case is relevant from a design point of view. What we do about that is some of the things we are doing anyway, which is trying to identify individual elements and try and keep proper records of what those designs were (the golden thread) and also how they are installed.

PAUL MCSOLLEY talks about what he’s been working on post DCW which George thinks could be a methodology they could follow. What he’s ended up doing after speaking to many different people is if you are an MEP contractor you see the problem as a builders work issue, if you’re a Tier 1 contractor it’s more of a descriptive issue, so he’s tried to put it all together to cover everyone including architects, MEP consultants, to cover everyone in a process to say that’s what we need to think about as you go through it all before you get to the builders works stage.

MARC has a question about BS8644: why? Is it just because they can? We feel that everything we do we don’t build on what we’ve got because we change it. GEORGE explains what he thinks has happened. There is a group that has come out of a guy from Totus Fire who has been working with a group of fire safety experts (including Sibsey) for a few years. They’ve produced what is now called Fiery. They’ve produced 8644 and they are looking at it from the point of view of what information do they see that fire fighters and fire engineers would need to have to make the building safe.

They have not thought through how that information is going to be produced and what software applications are capable of producing it. Whether they are asking for the right information is also questionable, but a lot of the comment has really been around technology and existing processes e.g. who’s got software applications that can read Fiery and also Cobie? It doesn’t matter because its an information exchange format that allows you to then verify that the information is there and then it can be delivered in different ways in different software applications.

GEORGE shares the 8644 document on screen. PAUL MCSOLLEY says the problem he had with it is that it’s showing everything to do with Part 3. Everyone is so fixated on pipes and trays, they are not fixated on the whole passive thing e.g. lift doors, seals around fire doors, flues. Everyone is treating everything in the word ‘fire stopping’ but it’s not fire stopping, it’s penetration seals. He defines ‘Part 3’ as pipe work and tray work.

GEORGE shows the examples from 8644, the ‘Fiery’ bit, it looks exactly like Cobie, but they have aded in to the contact tab an attribute called competency. They have added in to floor some attributes: resistance to fire required structure, integrity and insulation. These are properties that actually you could add into Cobie easily just by having them as attributes. One of the things that are causing the challenge is that people have a mind set that you should be able to generate everything in Cobie from the 3-D model. That’s not the case. Cobie does allow you to have information coming in from different sources.

ANA MATIC says the requirement for Cobie to come from 3-D mostly on projects comes from the point of view of how it’s managed. It’s not about the end result it’s about how the project is managed. George considers that, due to the large number of models utilised within a project, there will always be attribute information that is coming from someone who is not using 3-D modelling e.g. from a manufacturer, installer etc. The way we get round that at the moment is somebody manually adds it into the 3-D model which is a big break in the golden thread because you are asking maybe an architect to take on liability for information that is being produced by somebody else.

Looking at the 8644 document again regarding Types there are 3 or 4 different attributes. They have also (quite helpfully) added in some new ‘tabs’. ‘Event’ is a new element. ‘Package’ is maintenance related. There is also ‘competence’ which is pretty high on everyones agenda at the moment. Towards the end there are some suggested fire safety properties - these are additional attributes that can relate to different elements. From a data perspective it’s very useful. They are attributes that fire safety engineers are asking for.

GEORGE then shares on screen a ‘COBie data model’ document. This is basically the way COBie is set up. You’ve got the building, the relationship of floors, spaces, zones and types of product, components can be part of systems. You’ve also got spares and resources and then a range of elements. What we’ve done is looked at Fiery from a point of view of…we’ve got some addition fields or properties that we can hold at those levels. We can add this information in through data templates. If there are things that naturally would go into the models they would be managed through there or they can be managed as data templates that are added. Finally, we have added the additional attribute information to the end of the Cobie layout.

PAUL McSOLLEY shares a document on screen and begins his presentation. This is for Part 2. It covers Fire dampers, it doesn’t cover smoke control dampers, and the fields of application are not what you do for pipe work. There is a Key, this explains all the different ones we are talking about, this wil get bigger as time goes on. This talks about what Standard supporting Constructions are and what non-standard is. Process Interface - we are talking about education, technical and process. Most of the MEP contractors are stuck on this, about how you set the hole in the wall, but there is a load of stuff you have to do before you get there.

This is the Excel, not a PDF, it’s a descriptive. Fire risk category - it’s either a fire risk which is Integrity, a smoke risk, or it’s a heat risk with insulation. I’ve tried to make it rudimentary and say if you are actually going to specify a piece of kit to go in a wall for a fire damper you’ve got to think about it is it located for a sleeping risk, is it a whole house ventilation in a student block which is going to transfer smoke through the building.

Also is the building phased evacuation, because if it is you’ve then got fire and smoke risk as well. You’ve got to look at system approach and ventilation. Is it a sub-supplier with a phased evacuation zone, or maybe within a room, because if it’s inside the room your protecting it from smoke externally and that zone is going to get evacuated then E for fire is probably fine. If it’s single phased evacuation then E is probably fine as well. Is it a protective corridor where you may have a refuge point in it - that’s going to be fire and smoke as well.

Then you’ve got to consider the stuff that is slightly different like high risk environments, you might have a transfer into a gas stored room where the insulation value is actually something you might want to consider, so it’s maybe an explosive atmosphere. You don’t need insulation by default in building regulations anyway, but you might need it specific to the safety case you are looking at. Then you’ve got substations which are generally 4 hours which is outside the scope of the testing standard. Then there are higher pressure scenarios like tunnels, and cavity barriers (smoke control is a different thing altogether and will go off to a different sheet).

The issue we are having is that consultants just put everything into specs so we’ve got to cherry-pick the bits out and say descriptively what it is. So you can define what that product should be in that particular position. It gives you a way of actually saying what should it be by location. Then you’ve got to look at the descriptive of the wall or floor in coordination with the damper. Then you’ve got to look at what thickness of wall do you allow if you don’t know the product.

GEORGE interrupts and says this feeds into what Jim said earlier and that is people are asking for the answers without understanding and specifying what the question is. The challenge is that these points that Paul is making are clearly things that somebody (probably a collection of different people) need to be addressing. It’s apparent that nobody is actually doing all of these things perfectly and the difficulty is if you don’t do all of them, if you make one mistake in her, then it compromises the whole process.

NEIL YEOMANS comments that people are not following 19650. If you look at 19650 as a concept really it is a (43 mins) poor standard: we are supposed to pull/pool? the information we need to manage a building for the rest of the life cycle of the building. At the housing association he work at he’s the one that goes through the OIR process in 19650 trying to pull the information he needs to manage that building. He would never in a million years go down to this level of detail in an OIR. He doesn’t know whether it’s because this is too detailed or whether he’s not asking for enough detail. To be blunt, Fiery is one very very small part of running a Housing Association. He questions whether 19650 is the panacea that some consider it to be.

PAUL McSOLLEY responds that no one deals with this bit. If you look at it from an architectural perspective if you’ve got a shaft you’ll put a shaft wall on it. It doesn’t mean that it’s compatible with the system approach of the building. What I felt i needed to do was get a system where an architect/MEP consultant Tier 1 can do it and just follow it through and between you all go have we got something that is compatible? When you go through it all you’ll probably find on most jobs that the first selection you’ve got won’t be compatible - either the wall is wrong, the damper products are descriptively wrong, but you won’t see it until so far down the line the shape and form has been set. So this is what this is about. Depending on what level you sit in the industry it doesn’t apply to you but at other levels it will and you can actually then follow it.

NEIL gets that from build and handover stage. I’ve got to be cognisant of the changes, repairs and adaptations over time within a building in order to keep it updated to allow the decision making from a fire engineer or a contractor in 20 or 30 years time to do the next refurb has the accurate information at hand. That’s where there is that conceptual clash between the pull of 19650 of what I think I need to manage the building being completely misaligned with actually the level of decision and information that you actually need to make those decisions.

LUCY CRAIG re design responsibility and appointments on Design & Build contracts - ultimately it’s about assigning responsibility to making decisions and clarity around it and I think we think we know who those people are in the process but I don't think those people think they are accountable to make this level of prescriptive specification or selection. I think what we’re trying to do here is to say here is the root path of all the decisions to be made so it’s transparent. A lot of these intricate decisions are not being made or they are being missed or not done. It goes back to appointments….You’ve done this flow chart to chart what decisions you’ve made and when do you need to revisit those decisions.

PAUL says it may be worth him adding something at the top to say who is accountable for it, so you know who needs to be involved in the conversation. He refers to the document on screen: There’s seven types of generalised dampers frames that you can install, it talks about each one in relation to the substrate that you can put it in. So whoever is selecting the type of damper will know what you can fit it in and what you can’t so it should help to prevent you from buying the wrong product that is not appropriate for the circumstances. Then it’s just about builder’s work at the end, how you put the builder’s work together.

This has the RACI in it. This is all about geometric asset, documents that are held. When you look at assets for future somehow it’s go to be recorded what it was. You have to know what it was if you ever want to replace it in the future then you know what your starting point was. Unfortunately when you’ve got a system approach you haven’t just got the piece of kit that goes in the wall, you’ve got the wall itself. Also, all the frames that exist, the dampers, it tells you all the information you need to know about how it fits. You have something to reference through in diagrammatic form in each type of frame in relation to how you are actually process flowing it out in the first place…The descriptive involved in a smoke control damper (as an example) is huge.

GEORGE says if we can take this level of knowledge and then put it into environments that then deliver the information in a coordinated way that is context specific…you don’t need to see all of this, you can probably limit a lot of these options here because of something that you know later on in the process that then limits the number of selections that you would need to consider.

MARC says it recalls two subjects that have been mentioned: competency and responsibility. From Neil’s POV you don’t want to be getting into this level of detail, you just need to know a competent team produced this design. LUCY remarks the design processes don’t support this: RIBA/Sibsey etc suggest that this level of detail is by the trade contractor at the end of the process when ultimately that needs to be at the beginning.

NEIL says that regarding all of the operational things that he has to do, this adds such a layer of complexity to any decision he or his contractors make around it. PAUL: despite what has gone on at Grenfell they are still doing procurement very similarly, everything is going to the end because no one understands the level of rigour that is required at the start. I blame the procurement process because by having a staged process where you are going the contractors good at doing it anyway, do you think anyone gives a hoot about any of that? Because they don’t. MARC, in one part of his work, is kind of constrained by procurement routes, but also as developers they are modelling situations on real developments and be able to change the way that procurement works.

GEORGE says to Neil that it’s important that he understands that within BIM 4housing there are 6 working groups, including operations, manufacturing etc. Each of them looks at different things for different purposes. The cross filterisation is really important - it’s important that people like you are in this group because you need to say exactly what you are saying here and that is from your perspective this is the information that we need. The objective of this is to really drill down to the detail and to look at what different people need to consume for different purposes.

NEIL makes 2 points: 1) it’s made him realise the idea that 19650 is going to be a panacea is not right, if we use it to design our asset management systems it isn’t going to accommodate this level of detail. That conversation needs to be had for the BIM4housing concept because that reliance on a pull methodology is not going to accommodate is not going to deliver management of such data detail. 2) The Peter Baker thing, their reports constantly come about about not moving fast enough - I think they just don’t appreciate how much detail there is. I’m encouraging a conversation and potentially using something like this to say ‘look guys, this is just fire dampers, when you keep coming out and saying you are not moving fast enough, how fast do you think you can move with this!’.

PAUL says this is the issue with the 8644, it’s not at that level of everything you need to know about the smoke control system it’s not talking about all this stuff, and it has to. It’s got to be recorded somewhere, if something is going to be changed in the future you’ve got to know what it was to change it.

DAS comments via chat: ‘In a way this process workflow it is a bit like say British Gypsum’s online White Book which allows filters to be used to then generate viable build-ups to achieve the performance requirements’.

By using the structured data the handover information which is given is consistent, that’s something we are all trying to get to. As an owner of a building, if you’ve got the handover information correct to the current strategies, all the thinking that’s gone behind to generate that building, that’s what future projects/changes should be based on.

PAUL: If gateway 2 starts happening at the end of concept that massive thing I’ve shown you is not going to be considered but the effect is on the body and the skin all the way through. If you get to a point where you are looking at products and descriptives earlier on, ideally you want to do it in such a way that you are actually doing it at that stage before you go into planning, because otherwise how do you know your building works?

DAS thinks it would be useful to have a mixed group session, the procurement and asset management team to show what they have got to. We could share the questions out to the working groups to get feedback from them.

GEORGE says everyones focused on the regulator but the other people who are going to be really important (1 hr 16 mins 25 secs) are Buigs insurers because if Buigal deliver a building and then there is an issue people are going to drill into detail and ask why did that smoke damper fail and what was the procedure and how did you go about doing it.

NEIL: if you were to go back and say we need more time to do this, there’s too much to do, do we not think the answer might be what have you been doing all this time before?

PAUL is going to continue this type of work on other asset types. GEORGE asks should we be going through this level of detail on all 12 asset types. PAUL replies if you want to do golden thread then that’s the only way you can thread it out. GEORGE thinks in order to do this other people will need to be recruited as it’s too much work for Paul alone and those with expertise on particular assets will be needed. What GEORGE really likes about what Paul has done is if a decision is taken to change what the wall is then you can see immediately what the impact is likely to be.

SHARON MCLURE imagines that this methodology could also be used for penetration seals.

DAS would expect, if he is working with a specialist, I would expect them to have some sort of checklist to ask us to then be able to feed back and forth to then develop the right system and choose the right product. It’s probably about finding the right people who have got that workflow mapped out that we could add to or make it consistent and/or identify specific responsible parties that need to input at the right time (going back to the DRM issue). DAS’ request is if you (George) are able to share the three questions that we summarised in the last session that was sent across it would be great to send that to all the teams and then for them to spend a bit of time looking at them and then to come back at the next meeting and hear what they have to say in response to the three questions.

GEORGE says he is actually about to start the scenario used at the DCW roundtable on a real job with the designers, architect, fire engineers and the mechanical engineers as well.

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Jim Creak - Jalite Plc

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Marc Bradfield - Bouygues

Joe Stott - AHR

Sharon McClure - Avestagroup

Neil Yeomans - Orbit

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’ - David Miller

Alastair Brockett - Hilti

Lucy Craig - Mace Group

Judith Kelemen - PRP

Paul McSoley - Macegroup

Ana Matic - Scott Brownrigg

ADDENDUM

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/court backs broadway malyansbrefusal to hand cladding documents to contractor

Lucy Craig

This detail needs to be applied at RIBA stage 3 Andrew de Silva ‘Das’

The Design Responsibility Matrix will help define who should lead, input, etc., however,

going back to our Question 1 - at the moment the decision about the size of the BWIC is

made way before the specialist is appointed. If we manage to crack that with the

Procurement / Client teams input, then this workflow can be followed with informed input

from the right parties. So we can design / specify tender / pre-construction freeze the

design.

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’

In a way this process workflow it is a bit like say British Gypsum’s online White Book which

allows filters to be used to then generate viable build-ups to achieve the performance

requirements.

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’

George Stevenson I would expect specialists who design and install those 12 assets would /

should already be following some sort of workflow like this?? in the same say we follow Part

M to ensure we design the bathroom to the right size etc....??

29-Jun-22

BIM4Housing - Design Working Group Meeting- Notes & Actions-20220629

Recording: https://youtu.be/LebgFb_WngU

ANDREW De SILVA ‘DAS’ talks about focusing on 3 questions that they have already done some work on, then to go into a workstream and do further work on them, working towards an ideal workflow. He’s collated the feedback about the questions. If the questions are all refined and ready then they have to work out who should be involved in the workstream that follows.

The first one was the Project Delivery Program. Marc Bradfield made an important point about the engagement of specialists at the PCSA stage. MARC says that the problem with engagement is that people tend to be in sales mode - for him it’s about the actual design. DAS: zonal requirements have to be agreed on as early as possible, though even when they are agreed this can change due to financial and/or product constraints/changes. MARC says if you’re talking about engaging with specialist subcontractors to unlock specialist information, from their point of view there are two elements to the price: the design, and (the much larger cost) installation. There’s a problem if you don’t end up procuring through that specialist subcontractor because there is not always one answer to a problem.

PAUL MCSOLEY agrees with MARC that if you change products the things that would have been the issue in the first place actually, if you didn’t have a product in the first place, you’ve still got the same problem no matter what. So, you need the specific product to unlock it all because the wall is a system of ducts, dampers, doors etc and there are different requirements to install each products - one thing effects another thing. MARC says as a client he wants to minimise his exposure and push his cashflow to the other side of that line, but in reality, to do the job right, that cashflow needs to be earlier.

ANA MATIC considers that it’s not just to do with cashflow, it’s to do with risk. Most clients opt for D&B because they want to de-risk their side of things. There is a commercial and design risk reason why suppliers are not brought on early because, firstly, you might pay for something that you are not going to use. You might also make early decisions that end up redundant because the whole thing has changed. Early supply chain only works if you can specify an entire prefabricated system. In this case you can bring your suppliers on board at stage 3. Everything else, there is no point bringing suppliers in early because they might do loads of work and eventually you change everything.

GEORGE says it’s not just commercial risk. On compartmentation, by leaving the procurement of the selection of M&E products later in the process there is much greater likelihood that the penetration seals are going to be in the wrong place. The cost risk is mitigated but the safety risk and the risk of quality is going to be increased. JAREK thinks the client needs the client side consultant engaged early to be responsible for checking what assumptions and constraints been made and whether they are being followed, and if not flag them up so it can be actioned.

MARC agrees with JAREK and, possibly controversially, says that when he picks up a so-called spatially co-ordinated stage 3 design, where you would assume those assumptions have been applied, it’s not unusual to find that as you further develop your building services you will find those assumptions were wrong. Or, to be frank, that something has just been manipulated to present itself as a stage 3.

PAUL says MARC is absolutely right. He’s not sure that ‘specialist’ is the right terminology, it’s a combination of the construction of the actual core, the material that’s been used and its performance. You end up with designs that come out that structurally work…looking at ‘specialist’ if an architect has drawn everything out with a services consultant but it’s not based upon products they have probably got no hope in hell of getting it right in the first place because the rules are just not generic - it’s all based on the services being tested in the supporting construction that was appropriate in the test.

JIM CREAK says that a minor discrepancy in the planned ceiling height can cause a lot of trouble on site with attempts to fix this potentially leading to non-conformance. JAREK replies that the biggest problem from his practical experience is that no one is actually responsible, no one actually checks and says ‘this is wrong or right’. He thinks its linked to the lack of competency of the advisers as all of these things can be established early (as the science doesn’t change, it’s all predictable). Architect JOE STOTT shared his view via chat: ‘Totally agree - Design Rulebooks need developing and agreeing. This is what pre-fab brings by default, but these rules need developing for all designs’. He thinks the idea of developing a rule book at the start of the design always pays dividends later on down the line. When projects don’t have that framework to refer back to it’s a bit of a free-for-all. If a design change comes about that will break those rules it has to be agreed upon and everyone (particularly the client) should be made aware that it’s happened.

Some designers like rules and some do not.

MARC says it brings it back to the topic of standardisation. You are standardising the things we are doing day in day out rather than the facades etc. (therefore architects still have some creative freedom). JOE, looking at car design, notes that the rules are established but there is still design in that process. PAUL MCSOLEY says that one of the things is we don’t really understand standardisation in the first place, we don’t understand that if you change something (away from the standard) it actually goes into ‘other’, you can still do it but you have to identify it, you have to do something different and test it.

LIAM WHEATLEY compares the situation to the car industry and how they know that there are a particular number of variants to chose from, this could be replicated in the building industry e.g. a bath would measure up to a certain limit.

DAS really likes the rule book idea. Maybe project by project there could be a rule book that covers all offices or all schools etc, however on some projects there may be other specialist elements of the design which actually does need specific input. The lead co-ordinator/architect may say to the M&E engineer ‘do we not need something like this? maybe we need some input’ - maybe that’s the way to be less generic and more specific and therefore help explain that to the client in terms of their cash flow and risk management. Also, apart from the designers, he finds it really useful to get input from the installing maintenance teams because it’s easy to get things to fit digitally in a model but to get it installed in real life and the things you need for that/maintenance adds another layer of tolerance and zonal requirement which the designers themselves may not be aware of.

MARC wonders if they are only repeating what they should all be doing anyway. Maybe this is us trying to take it to the next level as we respond to the question. He asks everyone in an absolute (unachievable) perfect world do they agree that as a basic principle it would be far better to complete the design before you started building?

ANA MATIC says you can’t compare something that comes out of the ground with something manufactured in thousands of units (referencing the IKEA products Marc mentioned). A lot of architects are already working on platforms (calling them that rather than individual projects). Let’s say there are 2 or 3 platforms each to build housing and schools. All the suppliers and contractors plug into those platforms and everyone knows what they are doing. At every single stage as soon as something changes everything else has to change to adapt to that: that is design. It’s very hard to design that out. Realistically, there are gateways and we need to fix ourselves to those gateways and try and fix only those things that are being questioned at that specific gateway.

DAS, replying to MARC’s question, says he thinks there is an agreement that the design should be completed by the end of stage 4, because that is what the gateway is asking for. In terms of standardisation platforms, the more we can create assemblies that are repeatable that’s great. How to we get the input we need from other parties which are not part of the core team at the right time? Using gateway 2 as a hard stop to identify to the client the reason why a certain input is needed by a certain specialist to enable us to complete the design by the end of stage 4. Is the question that we are really asking input from the other working team/s about their internal discussion about how much can the procurement route change, are clients willing to spend potentially more money to meet the requirements of the gateway.

JIM asks, regarding the rule book, are they really talking about real prescription? He supports prescription because he thinks it's the way to achieve the objectives, but in the standardisation process there are currently loads of choices. GEORGE thinks one of the issues with standardisation generally is because there are so many different stakeholders….as a community we can say, to achieve the objectives, we should work in a more prescriptive way. JAREK says the modular approach to design is causing things to become less prescriptive. He thinks it would be handy if they linked the gateways to lessons learned to show the client specifically that if X is not done then Y is most likely to happen. Regarding the rule book, he doesn’t think it’s another standard, it’s more a practical link to lessons learned. Asset information requirement is often missing from projects and that should be part of the rule book.

PAUL talks about the difference between descriptive and prescriptive. JIM thinks you have to go back to basics on the difference between a sleeping risk (descriptive???) and a standard risk (prescriptive???).

GEORGE has learnt this week from a conversation with a door manufacturer that the details of the circumstances of test standards are not available to the client or maintenance because it is commercially sensitive. He asked if you swapped out some components would the test not be valid? The door manufacturer said yes. The concern is that one of their competitors could see what type e.g. hinges they are using and therefore that could be used against them. With standardisation the data needs to be standardised. it’s surprising that the information that seems to be safety critical is secret. PAUL replies that there is a problem with manufacturers having their R&D stolen.

DAS says the second question is about the Change Management process. Change shouldn’t be happening after the design is complete at the end of stage 4, but inevitably sometimes there will be changes. It would be useful to know the output of the workstream regarding being clear about what is a major what is a notifiable change so that can be managed. MARC says they can’t run the scenarios as they don’t know what constitutes a ‘major change’. PAUL says a major change is going to be something structural e.g. a change in principle of smoke control or evacuation. The minor changes will be the wrong type of damper or wall etc. There is some debate about when gateway 2 ends.

For PAULA CHANDLER, Gateway 2 is a milestone not a duration. MARC agrees that it has to be a milestone because it’s what allows you to commence on-site. PAUL says there is no way anyone would submit a completed stage 4 where every element is completely designed out when you haven’t got product, so then it would be a phased approach. This change process, which is still part of gateway 2, is going to be a nightmare when it comes in. MARC and PAUL discuss about what constitutes a major change and a minor change. Regarding timescales, MARC thinks that a Major change is four weeks and a notifiable change is fourteen days. He can’t remember is anything is defined as ‘minor’ or not.

In terms of transitional arrangements, MARC was of the mind that if a project had already started you could go through to gateway 3 even though gateway 2 had not been signed-off, but this may now not be the case. JIM CREAK considers that everyone is right to say the Fire Safety Bill applies to every building.

GEORGE is in touch with Steve Coppin who is being very helpful, so if he can get a summarised set of questions he will run through those with him. Also, if he can get a summary of the questions MARC was asking he can put those to several different lawyers.

For the last twenty minutes of the meeting DAS wants to look at the final questions around the idea of some of the documents in there and about aligning - how do you go around aligning the responsibilities of the team. He’s noticed the disconnect in various contractual documents which are not very clear, they are not using a baseline standard or classification system to define it e.g. the scope is not aligned to the BIM, execution plan not aligned to the design responsibility matrix. He doesn’t know of any good examples of how that’s been realigned. Also, the as-built or final record drawings that MARC has commented on…

MARC says it’s a big deal that they now actually have to provide an as-built drawing and somebody needs to consider how to get enough confidence through that build process for an individual/organisation to sign it off ‘this is as built?’. DAS says he doesn’t know if there are templates which have been issued for Fire Statement/Construction control plan/As-built etc - these are phrases that were extracted from the guidance. We may ask the building safety regulator if they are going to provide some kind of structure around these. PAULA thinks they need to work backwards from what they need to establish a) whether the building is working safely for them and b) if not, what other information is required. Is KOBE data (currently used) the format that it needs to be in? We need to look at it from the end user point of view and then adapt accordingly.

GEORGE is working with asset management companies and is looking at how the new Fiery information can be delivered in a way that it’s part of KOBE. George has a slide about this and may be present in the future if people are interested. GEORGE says to PAULA that the FM team is as a similarly complex group as the construction team - there are so many different stakeholders with many different needs and we need to make sure we can accommodate all of them. PAULA says they also have a wide range of competencies spanning digital to old drawings, how do we up-skill and identify that level of competency on a project-by-project basis and appeal to the middle ground?

JIM wouldn’t mind seeing what the definition is of a fire and emergency files and then he may be able to help in that regard. The idea is to change it to a QR code so you can scan it and have access. If it takes 3/4 hour to go through a control box to find out what you want (in order) during an emergency, it’s a really detailed thing. Most fire and rescue deployment officers, turning up with a complete set of plans, wouldn’t actually know where to start.

JOE, regarding as-built and KOBE information, wonders when exactly it should be collated and handed over. Even if we get that record 100% right at handover the odds of it being 100% right 12 months later are extremely slim. Therefore, even with our best efforts, that data is potentially out-of-date. MARC says there is a need to continue with the safety case going forward beyond gateway 3.

GEORGE says to JOE that you need both data drops: they need that handover data set early, then at the end of the defect period that should be a version of…that’s a revision probably…JOE wants to push his service beyond handover, an aftercare period. GEORGE says that post occupancy evaluation is often put into schemes and it always gets struck out. DAS says that installing a door which e.g. is 60 minutes rather than the required 30 minutes starts to change the entire baseline design that all future changes should be assessed against.

MARC will send GEORGE an explicit set of questions to ask the lawyers.

PAUL, regarding change control process, says understanding how that process is supposed to work in legal terms kind of makes it a bit easier to understand how it’s going to work with the regulator. Both the regulator and the client’s lawyer may take action against you if it all goes wrong.

DAS asks MARC id he is doing anything to recheck the alignment of these kind of documents? MARC replies, DRM, absolutely - that’s an ongoing process. On the BIM side the big discussion is about transitioning properly over to 19650 and embedding Uniclass into everything. DAS says working on something to tie the 3 main documents together where there are often variations is a good idea: the DRM, the scope, and other documents.

PAUL says that, for the all the architects in the room, the fundamental issue with DRMs is that fi you’ve drawn a building out generically without any products then you go into novation to a contractor and they say ‘here’s all the products, go ahead and re-draw it’, you’d say ‘our fee doesn’t cover that, you have already spent the money’.

DAS says that, where possible, the goal is to reduce ambiguity - the more it’s reduced the better it is for everyone, as it can typically lead to heated discussions.

 

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Jim Creak - Jalite Plc

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’ - David Miller

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Paul McSoley - Macegroup

Jarek Wityk - Winters Electrical

Liam Wheatley - Swan Housing

Marc Bradfield - Bouygues

Joe Stott - AHR

Eduardo Guasque - Haworthtompkins

Stewart Bailey - Virtual Viewing

Sharon McClure - Avestagroup

Judith Kelemen - PRP

Paula Chandler (RDD) - Wates

Ashley Kochiss - PRP

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

ADDENDUM

COMMENTS VIA CHAT

Stewart Bailey

I believe architects will either embrace the opportunity to design with standard parts or stay completely bespoke. In our world, I believe those that don't work with standard parts will find their market shrinking. 

As we develop a Lego kit for DFMA / MMC architects deciding to ignore that will become niche

VW/Audi can build 4 million variations of cars off 3 standard platforms - we need to do the same

Joe Stott

Is a Major change something that breaks the established parameters in the Rule Book?

Marc Bradfield

On the 'Fire Statement' and thinking about templates worth looking at the list of items that have not been correctly considered in Gateway 1 applications to date.

Paul McSoley

Building Safety Bill: factsheets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Building Safety Bill: factsheets

These factsheets provide more information about key provisions in the Bill.

08-Jun-22

BIM4Housing Design Working Group Meeting-20220608

Recording: https://youtu.be/niq7fa7KmyI

GEORGE, according to a source he spoke to within the community who works closely with the HSE, thinks that around 50% of projects that have gone forward to stage 1 gateway review have been refused. Also, in the second round of regulations happening soon there will be another 30 regulations added. he thinks that the vast amount of data held should be interpreted into some tangible answers. To get from data to information we need to curate questions as this ensures the answers will make sense.

Regarding getting to standardised data, he mentions a someone using BIM Object who found 280 different ways of describing width. JAREK says that context is key here as things make sense within a context.

DAS asks George for feedback from DCW and asks if there is any further clarification of the theories, they collated that should go into other workstreams.

GEORGE gives some background info before giving feedback about DCW. For the last few years we’ve been going through this exercise to try and create standardised libraries that can then be used in different software applications. They can then be used in different parts of the process to actually create that throw through, We can hold information about an e.g. door and then be able to identify whether information is missing or not. The Defective Premises Act has retrospective liability so now Liability on Developers and Contractors has increased to 30 years. According to the secondary legislation of the Building Safety Bill the data has to be structured and digital.

The terminology that they are using is ‘prescribed information’ GEORGE’s work on the Golden Thread initiative has produced information (via the different workstreams) which has gone back to the department. The information right now isn’t prescriptive but it informs the industry thinking of what is going to be needed. Regarding asset information, they were advised to look at what the risks are and how to manage against those risks happening. he also created outputs to say what information needed to be available to produce the safety case. Significantly, a prescriptive specification needs to be agreed at the end of Work Stage 4/Gateway 2, which massively impacts M&E and specialist design elements.

Also, the process group took the RIBA plan of work and then overlaid the Gateways against that as to what the building safety regulator was going to be dealing with at each stage - this helps clarify that the design has to be completed by the end of Work Stage 4. The data challenges are significant. People are accepting that a lot of the information is going to be in a document format, but the problem with documents is that you don’t know whether the information you need is actually in the document. Therefore, humans have to look at and interpret the documents which is a problem, which is why machine-readable data is necessary.

Many people think the data is in the BIM. One of the challenges is that there are so many data dictionaries used for different purposes with different ways of describing information. GEORGE thinks that standardisation is impossible because people need information in different ways because of their perspective. The Templater makes it possible to curate information and tie it back into product data, it acts like a ‘rosetta stone’ holding all the information together.

The HSE says the process should be looked at as risks, treatments (to prevent the risks), asset types (that go to make up the treatments) and the information about those. The DCW exercise said ‘let’s look at the risk of the spread of smoke and the impact to compromised fire escape routes’. The treatments identified were compartmentation, detection, smoke control and evacuation - they all need to work for the risk to be mitigated. In the case of compartmentation, there is a range of things that all have to perform in a joined-up way to ensure that the compartmentation works. Therefore the information is actually being provided so they can automatically be tested and validated.

We now have too much valuable data but not available in a way that can be easily consumed. Consequently, context is important. At DCW we had five tables with different groups: Manufacturing, Design, Operations, Construction and Development. The Development group told George that they needed someone from Operations.

The task was to take a particular student accommodation (residential building). The scenario was that a fire breaks out in the Kitchen which creates smoke and then to look at what would need to be done to ensure the tenants can escape. Have we got the right information about compartments/AOVs etc?…The outputs are from the guidance on the black box, interpreted into information sets and then looking at who is responsible for the information and who is consuming it. Maybe RACI was too complicated for this. How can we turn this data into questions that people can answer and be responsible for - that’s the task. JAREK’s feedback on the day was to question the use of the term Supplier - what is a Supplier?

MATT TAYLOR observes that there is an issue with how specified components work within their specified construction e.g. issues with dampers in partition walls where the wall construction the damper is tested on isn’t actually the wall construction its being specified within. Typically, dampers are being installed in petitions they have not been tested in. If it’s somehow placed electronically earlier in the process…if a damper is specified in a wall is there test information showing that it performs within that wall and therefore is that specification correct? GEORGE agrees with MATT that this is an issue.

GEORGE thinks one way to simplify complex discussions is to capture those types of scenarios (Matt’s being an example) to look at it in context. Critically, the damper needs to be looked at in the context of the wall and in the context of other things that are going to impact it. Currently there is often a lack of joined-up working. Regarding digital twins, GEORGE is cautious about it, but the tools and learnings emerging from it is useful, especially simulation. Possible scenarios with rules previously inbuilt can be run against a design at the early stage, therefore being able to test if it will work. And importantly to show to the new regulators that it’s been considered.

MATT TAYLOR is actually not sure how this can be picked up by digital information. He gives 2 examples of products that he considers had not been properly tested within an appropriate context (Intumescent deflection head seals, a damper) and the potential safety issues of that.

MARC BRADFIELD is particularly interested in the impact of the best/worst case scenario of needing to complete the stage 4 design before signing off for gateway 2 (which may have a 12 week sign off period). This sounds great, but will it be acceptable to start the design earlier or allow it to run later? It’s a procurement issue way beyond just the design. GEORGE thinks procurement is the element that needs to be brought along with the process. MARC is worried that the guidance talks about a ‘staged-approach’ which could possibly be used to move risks in an unfair way around the place.

DAS says that there seems to be some element of change management being allowed within gateway 2 and 3 which brings ambiguity. In terms of competency of design and making sure that things are interfacing the reality is that (as Matt said) there will not be certificates for every scenario that may happen on-site. Regarding commenting, you may have to go back to the pre-digital where commenting would be need from any trade that is interfacing with the specialist element, rather than just comments from the designer….A complete change in the Procurement would have to happen, but the guidelines mean that it has to change. The grey areas in the Gateway definition are a concern as some could take advantage of that or push things into stage 5.

DAS thinks that George should do something with the document for the Procurement team, to define things like what sort of change is allowed? Should it be allowed/ How long will it take for that change to be approved? Regarding the RACI matrix, if someone is responsible how do we then feed that back into the DRM (design responsibility matrix) or their scope of services? What’s the baseline? Uniclass or something else.

GEORGE interjects that Uniclass is useless for cost managers, therefore you need to be able to hold against a particular asset/system multiple different references (which is technologically easy to do) and present back to people with a particular level of interest that particular data set. We need to provide smart data (as we are doing at Activeplan) which can present itself back to whoever needs that information, using the right terminology. Another point, the HSE have to have all of this in place by October 2023. If they are holding up major schemes because they are not approving them that will be a problem.

MARC BRADFIELD, regarding the durations of sing-off period and change, thinks it depends on how prescribed the route is to achieve stage 2. GEORGE says that even within the HSE there are 2 very different groups: the people looking after CBM/construction and those looking after safety. He hopes to collectively come up with a viable way of working that can become standard practice.

‘Ontologies’, a term that GEORGE has recently become aware of, means the context in which something is being used - it’s a method by which we can capture the experience that Matt and colleagues have got and turn it into a reusable rule set. Then we can take the data, give it structure which makes it machine readable and then overlay ontologies against that which then allow us to achieve the goals.

ANA MATIC says its about working out the patterns and variations of things and building ontologies on top of that. The digital twin may be of functions and stories within each building (rather than necessarily about the asset itself). GEORGE makes the point that the digital twin doesn’t have to be a 3-D model, it can be a process. ANA says a translator will be necessary to translate into other classifications for different categorisations. GEORGE mentions the Templater in this context. The coming introduction of synonyms will enable him to help sort out some of the complexity of people describing the same thing in a different way.

MATT TAYLOR says if early stage design information cannot be accommodated by a specialist contractor its often the case to run into additional costs. he comes to the conclusion that stage 3 design has to be better. EDUARDO GUASQUE adds that it needs to be clarified what information is expected from designers during stage 3 and 4. GEORGE says that a Construction Control Plan is a new thing that will have to be done. CCP will be there to manage change. But MARC is actually talking about not needing the change in the first place. He currently uses a stage 3 check list to adjudicate the completeness of stage 3.

GEORGE thinks that maybe they should break down the next session into separate workstreams looking at the data and the process. DAS asks if anyone has further thoughts on the questions he’s raised (sent by email). MARC says they need a more targeted session to agree as a group and move to the next stage. GEORGE thinks talking about how to capture the kind of ideas Matt was talking about earlier and also work on ontologies would be useful. He hopes to run the DCWs virtually. DAS thinks it would make sense to continue with the accommodation and door scenario as it captures the major sectors involved.

JAREK has posted comments about this meeting in chat (see ADDENDUM).

ALAISTAIR BROCKETT agrees with everyone else that its information overload. How can we make the job easier in terms of getting the information across? Manufacturers have many different ways of presenting material - within the space of 2 years there’s been 3 different formats of fire test reports. Pulling everyone together towards a common standard is difficult. With BIM, he’s looking at various different ‘plug-ins’ that can be used with existing BIM models, the model can be populated with the correct products and information. He’s looking at how to interrogate the BIM model on-site, including augmented reality to inspect what is being built.

ADDENDUM

COMMENT IN CHAT BY JAREK WITYK

Going back to what George said, I thought I will summarise some of the comments

Right questions to ask (it may need rephrasing)

The answers would form gateways which trigger actions

1.         Is the installed item/equipment as specified or is it alternative? (MT)

1.         As specified

2.         Alternative

1.         Why? (i.e. unable to install, unavailable, budget) (MT)

2.         Cause & effect on other systems (MT)

3.         Confirm that design intent is achieved (MT)

2.         Is the item/equipment installed certified and tested for the project's specific use? (MT)

1.         If not tested for the specific use, can we use ‘gamification’ approach and rate % of expected risk? (JW triggered by Das’s comments)

3.         Can we engage the specialist’s designer early? (MB)

4.         What are the risks of late engagement of specialist’s designer? (MB)

5.         Can the project allow implications late specialist designers engagement (MB)

6.         Change Management - What is the impact of the change on other systems? (Cause & Effect) (Das)

7.         Is the change allowed? (Das)

8.         What classification method is used (Das)

1.         context - cost management (GS)

2.         context - construction

9.         Who is to provide information (Das)

10.     What standards are applicable for the specific item/equipment (GS)

11.     Change Management - what is the project specific definition of major and minor change (MB)

12.     Change Management – Why is the change required

13.     Change Management – what are the implications of the change on other systems (cause & effect)

14.     Scenario (ontology) to create machine readable algorithms

1.        If is used in context, this is the information we need (GS)

2.        If is used in context, this is the action need to happen (GS)

15.   What project specific dictionary is being used? (GS)

16.   Is the spatial coordination completed and 100% free of issues at RIBA Stage 3 (MB)

1.        Yes

2.        No

1.        What are the implications? 

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Marc Bradfield - Bouygues

Matt Taylor - Taylor Design Consultancy

Patrick Wilson - PW Architects

Alastair Brockett - Hilti

Jim Creak - Jalite Plc

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’ - David Miller

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Eduardo Guasque - Haworthtompkins

Sharon McClure - Avestagroup

Stewart Bailey - Virtual Viewing

Harshul Singh - UCL

Joe Stott - AHR

Ana Matic - Scott Brownrigg

06-Jun-22

Post DCW Feedback

Mo Fisher

Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220606

MO FISHER was on the design table and from the off they just focused on design rather than the point in hand which were the different items on the lists. it wasn’t prescriptive enough, it was left too open. So, it wasn’t successful right from the beginning because at no point did anyone look at RACI. It was debating what could be the issues rather than the issues at hand. RICHARD deduces from MO’s comments that he thought at was not focused enough and a bit too broad. Also, considering that people didn’t know each other, Richard says it needed to be simple and straightforward. MO agrees with this.

MO says it would have been better if the RACI was split out for the gateways (designers are gateway 1) which means that each discipline can just focus on what is relevant at that point rather than overloaded and all contained in one list. RICHARD says there was also some confusion as to what was the most onerous element - it’s not responsibility it’s accountability. It was put together quickly to primarily showcase the kind of thing that we do.

MO agrees with Richard’s suggestion that he thinks the RACI approach was correct but it would be better to be done within disciplines. mo thought it was good the way the risks were identified, but as soon as you get one or more subjects the brain wanders…they ended up talking about the flat design, the layout. He didn’t feel comfortable to say ‘hold on, we’re missing the point here’ as many attendees were unknown to him.

RICHARD suggests they could run through the exercise in the next design meeting. MO thinks they should pick one subject that hasn’t already been worked on and see how the list works against that. RICHARD says that methodology has to adapt depending on which group it is you’re dealing with. MO reiterates a focal point would be good and then strip it back to the gateways and who is involved at what stage, it then becomes easier to associate the questions (that are there already) with each part. Not everyone in the design group is a designer (so there is input from other stakeholders) but yes, the focus should be on design.

07-Jun-22

Ana Matic

Ana Matic - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220607

ANA MATIC was part of the Design group and from her POV as an architect who works through all stages of design and delivery she considers that you have to have enough of the parameters fixed before you can comment on what information you need - the exercise as it was left quite a lot of stuff open which would never be the case in real life. She compares it to working on Revit models etc. Initially you download the whole model and then the next time you only download the changes, so we should never ask what information you need right from scratch as it wastes a lot of time trying to review everything. It’s essential to understand the context and then ask for the variations within that context. This can be applied digitally and to the whole of the Building Safety Bill.

RICHARD replies that this process is to try and ascertain which things are essential, but he takes Ana’s point about context, also part of this process. The RACI methodology works to some extent, the input we’ve been getting from the exercise helps us inform how to adapt the RACI and make it more effective.

Regarding Richard’s question to Ana as to what should be done moving forward, she asks whether we are trying to separate things into gateways…design and construction are very much time depended and what is relevant information therefore changes. BSB has focused on 3 Gateways because there is a progressional change. Re time: how are we calibrating information across time? Fixed points must be made at which information is listed. At the table discussion everyone was delivery based and wanted all discussions to be known from the start, but there is no way you can know them because supply chain/client requirements/occupancy may change. The timeline of the project has to be fair to itself: the list of things that need to be known changes from the design stage to delivery to handover. The shortlist at handover has to have stories/ontologies of when things are going to change.

So, says ANA, it’s not 1 RACI matrix, it’s at least 3 RACI matrixes. Try and keep them tight and be aware of variations that can drastically change things. RICHARD says with the new regulations that are coming in there is going to have to be a lot more done and done differently. ANA thinks we should also look across sectors to tease out good answers e.g. transport sector. RICHARD says they are keen to promote the industrialisation of construction, examining other sectors. Those who will regulate whether the Construction industry is compliant have come out of the highly regulated energy industry.

05-May-22

INTERIM DESIGN GROUP MEETING - PRELIMS FOR DCW-20220505

Recording: https://youtu.be/3HYju_DIHZk

[Please note that at the end of this documents you can find an ADDENDUM titled “Pre-Meeting Inputs”]

PAULA CHANDLER says how it's important to get the CDP people involved earlier during stage 4.

PAUL WHITE says that often smoke control is ignored and should be put straight after fire safety (because it’s part of it).

DAS observes that from Paul’s email that Gateways 1 & 2 are good constraints in a way, though there’s a lot of hurdles with procurement fitting into those two gateways. From a design point of view there has been some improvement regarding fire strategies and colour coding, especially when talking about complicated buildings combining different uses e.g. supermarket/residential. He also notes that the conflict he often comes across between design and the specialists that come later in the process of building and might request changes to the design that are not approved and yet they are necessary. This might be a particular problem if it involves structural elements of the building.

He also thinks the issue of statutory signage is important (see JIM CREAK’s email).

MATT TAYLOR talks about mistakes being made re shaft walls and fire safety.

DAS thinks it’s important to address what has been mentioned already in the email: how can best laid plans be undermined by those living in the flats or those coming and doing subsequent repair or installation works? E.g. Das’ personal experience of technicians drilling for internet installment purposes. DAS says he doesn’t know how to answer the questions sent to him by Jiss via email (possibly regarding the 2 scenarios of smoke risk which are painting a fire door and installing a carpet???).

MATT TAYLOR shows everyone a fire compliance data sticker with information that can be picked up by a QR code – it links back to BIM information on the project. He notes the importance of the detailing of getting the interface details correct regarding Systems.

PAULA CHANDLER talks about how they are trying, with their design team, to bring in drawings with a lot of detail so that the builders and constructors don’t just rely on their experience to know how to put it together. for details that are safety critical it’s necessary to go into a deep level of granularity.

MATT TAYLOR says that, considering English is not the first language of many of the fixing workforce, they may struggle with reading the technical details. PAULA says that’s why visual representations (like Ikea do) are useful. PAUL thinks it would be a good idea to work together as an industry to build a catalogue of these standard details that we know work that would deal with certain situations.

ALAISTAIR BROCKETT says that designs that look good on paper sometimes have a problem that installations cannot actually be made e.g. there is no space to get in equipment to install something. Often, he observes on site, things are just not built properly. He says the problem with Paula’s idea about creating a standards book is that manufacturers details move on. MATT TAYLOR says that, if not enough space has been left per manufacturer’s instructions to build/install something, it can lead to delays to the construction of the building, often for weeks at a time.

DAS says that the virtual design is not enough as a model because, in general, there is often a lack of installation sequencing requirements or maintenance/inspection requirements when a replacement needs to be made afterwards.

MATT TAYLOR referring, once again, to studs, states that there are rules and guidance that have to exist in principle before the studwork can be formed around that and it's important to raise awareness about this early on in the process.

PAUL WHITE: ‘as architects (it’s important to) understand that everything is actually a lot bigger than you want it to be. You can’t just say let’s squeeze everything into this hole and get a bit more lettable space, because actually, when it comes to it, if you’ve hidden it, people can’t go and look at it every year. That’s the other issue. You can’t put all the pipes under the ductwork because you ve got to get an access door to get in to clean the duct to look at the damper and its space that is the issue.’

DAS points out that architects (and designers) infrequently visit sites due to the digital nature of their work and this needs to be addressed. M&E designers also lack the ‘real life’ experience. On site inspectors need to be rigorous, flagging up problems. This is even more important as its necessary to document data for the building safety case. MO FISHER thinks site mock-ups work really well because it’s not about how it looks (which marketing dept would do) it’s also about if it’s meeting the requirements. They use those images for lessons learned.

MATT TAYLOR agrees with an important point raised earlier about the need for early engagement with a specialist contractor – it would help to identify concerns early on. He refers to his email (see addendum) ‘regarding challenges that would need to be acknowledged in specialist contractors’ abilities to fulfill that early engagement requirement. They’re often not appointed at that stage and therefore any information they are providing they are providing at risk. As an industry we should look into who should fulfill these requirements.’

PAULA CHANDLER thinks the issue is that the procurement route needs to be looked at from the front end from when the client brings on the main contractor, to get advice from them at stage 2 or early in stage 3. ‘It’s a false economy because if we can demonstrate cause and effect, the issues that occur and the costs that are assigned to those issues because we haven’t been able to coordinate earlier, we can somehow capture that....then that’s a compelling argument back to the client to say, yes, you’ll have to spend up front just like we have to do with BIM. you have to expend and put all that effort in up front, but you should reap the rewards further down the line.’

DAS thinks that the Gateways are potentially are great way to change the system although it may be painful for some people. Regarding dealing with maintenance, he thinks QR codes are a good idea (and bar codes have been around for a long time) but many people may not want stickers on their walls. MATT TAYLOR says the visibility of codes is an issue. PAULA CHANDLER has a radical idea of using AI with a digital home user guide via a tablet.

DAS proposes that maybe fire drills have to be introduced into residential blocks (especially important after the Grenfell tragedy). Fire drills are already required in public buildings (offices, schools etc). PAUL WHITE says tenants will often prop fire doors open. DAS says that some hospitals have a tag or magnet on a door and if it was left open an alarm would be raised (via wi-fi), someone would get alerted. Also, you can have volunteers to walk around every few months and monitor things.

STEWART BAILEY talks about using the BIM model for tagging and making (a lightweight BIM model available to residents and develop a community engagement app – they are all on Whatsapp. The resident’s association could have a rep to go round and check. There’s also gamification, to motivate people to want to report e.g. bikes in smoke shafts ‘who wants to win the free pizza this week’.

ADDENDUM: Pre-meeting Inputs

Marc BRADFIELD

Apologies all as I have only had a chance to skim read through but I can see the themes developing for me.

For me, the challenge ahead can be simplified for thinking by considering that there are a significant number of aspects that we are ‘doing’ but we need to get better at it.

….Then there are items which are either unknown going forward or need a total re-thing in terms of overall strategy / approach.

One of these is the theme of specialist CDP s/c’s particularly MEP as so many of the safety systems and the prescriptive specification of them is too late.

If we accept that for Gateway 2 sign-off (and start on site) we need to prove compliance (with no ambiguous assumptions) then we need to be resolving this far earlier.

This then links heavily with the overall procurement strategy particularly when considering a two stage tender.

Worst case if we don’t do this we could be in a position that we need to substantially conclude RIBA Stage 4, make a submission to the BSR and then await sign-off (how long, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 16 weeks) before we can mobilise and commence construction (RIBA 5) – Very different to what typically happens for most/many.

Alongside this what do we think about alignment of BG6 and RIBA. For me they seem out of kilter. BG6 4a, 4b (forgive me can never remember new money naming) seem more appropriate to be aligned with Spatial coordination RIBA 3?????

Alastair Brockett

To address /comment on Joe’s issues:

I can appreciate the ‘divvying’ up pf firestopping leaving it to particular sections of work. However, the significant issue with this is lack of coordination between work sections and trades. This results in a mix of manufacturers materials and thus non-compliant systems. It has firestopping components partially installed (eg fire collars left hanging on pipes) awaiting the completion of the main firestopping seal ‘once all the services are in’. It leads to the previously stated mix and also questions over who is responsible if something goes wrong .It leads to accusations of wrong product/ you fixed it etc etc.

Firestopping should be a separate works package. We don’t have a steel structure where one contactor does the columns and then someone else does the beams. Or put up the framing and someone else fits the plasterboard.

Modelling of firestop is available. For example, there is Hilti BIM firestop that provides and inserts the necessary data. I have seen a BIM model for a 79 storey tower what can be drilled down to the firestopping for the individual electrical outlets.

Surely BIM is collaboration where the services are known about and as such the optimized opening.firestop can be spec’d and frozen? It is the undefined and wide latitude given to service installation that leads to difficulties in providing suitable fire prevention solutions.

Examples

  • Firedoors being installed in wall openings that are not defined with defined tolerances resulting in wide gaps (circa 50 mm) that need to be filled (PS these are doors that will potentially work loose because of the excessive stand off and thus bending loads being applied to the fixings)

  • Firestopping of huge corridor wide openings for which there is little or no data (fire tests are conducted by manufacturers of applications that are carried out in accordance with standards/codes of practice/industry guides as this is what is expected in the industry ie correct working).

As a supplier we are inundated with requests for Engineered/Expert Judgements to deal with ‘tolerances of fit’ of the previous operations leading to the final stage of firestopping. There is no direct, specific test data. Manufacturers try their best to make the test scope of their products as wide as possible but there are limits.

Graphical communication- as long as there is coordination with and provision of detailed specification naming products (things might be similar but they are definitely not the same nor are generic solutions providing a defined solution with required performance)

Matt Taylor

A couple of thoughts on the recent emails from Joe, Das and Jim,

I completely agree with the point made on colour coordination of fire strategy plans. In my opinion, these should always form part of the fixer’s pack (all too often it appears that they are not) and should be consistent in their appearance to reduce the potential for error. One other aspect of the plans, which often leads to confusion, is the accuracy of the plan at wall interfaces. I have included an example from one of our previous projects below (I have better examples, but came across this one first).

In this case the wall marked in blue has 120 minutes fire performance requirement and the wall marked in red, a 60 minute requirement. The 120 minute wall should be continuing, uninterrupted, to maintain the fire compartment, with the 60 minute wall abutting, to form a T-junction detail. This is unclear from the fire strategy plans, and it appears that the 60 minute wall continues to form the corner of the wider footprint partition. This is often made more complicated, where the specification states different fire performances for the same wall type and therefore the wider footprint partition may be covered by the same K10 clause, causing the fixer to assume that a standard corner detail arrangement is to be formed. This is a major contributor to built defects and, more often than not, goes completely unrecognised, as quality measures often only pick up if the interface has been formed in relation to the manufacturer’s or project (often non-specific for an individual interface) details.

As I mention, this is not the best example and is perhaps a more obvious instance to resolve, however I have noted many other occurrences of this issue, where the intent becomes very unclear, often leading to RFIs, which can go unanswered for several weeks, leading to delays at a critical point in the build. We can always argue that this should be being picked up in the contractor design portion, however I have yet to come across a job with sufficient programme timescale or budget allowance to allow the specialist contractor to detail every interface through their design, prior to installation commencing.

In relation to the points made regarding early engagement with the specialist contractor; this will absolutely benefit the process and assist in identification of issues (obviously dependent on the organisation being engaged). There are however some challenges involved, that need to be acknowledged. As early engagement would usually occur prior to trade contractor appointment, it is understandable that many contractors may harbour a certain degree of reluctancy to resource any such early engagement. The risk to the contractor is that they will provide considerable input at their own cost, in the process identifying some of their quality assurance, VE or efficiency measures that would, as standard, cause them to stand apart from their competition, only for the project to go out to competitive tender, with their chances of winning the project on price/individual offerings then significantly reduced.

When I have known any contractor led early engagement to occur, it has usually been the result of a request by the MC and on the basis of enhancing their chances of securing the contract, on the basis of pro-active involvement and displaying an attitude that would display the contractor in a favourable light. One potential consideration is the specific inclusion and associated budgeting of this specialist design consideration/interrogation earlier on in the process. Unfortunately, to date, I have rarely observed this to be considered to any notable extent.

Paul White

Also looking at what is being said the smoke control design must be part of the fire strategy. It affects travel distances and is used to justify them. However, space is needed and must be integrated early and from a design perspective, shafts need to be in the correct places.

So yes, please specialist subcontractors up the chain to 2 and 3 as 4 is often too late and also not complete in some of the fire strategies that I get to see.

Jim Creak

I apologise for my absence for later but do concur with both of you regarding specialist contractors being involved earlier in design process.

Joe , you have already identified the problems that I experience with Statutory Signs and Signage Systems which are determined by the process of taking the fire safety strategy, and then the formal fire risk assessment to determine the requirements. When the decision is taken to use appropriate signs, a competent contractor can then use appropriate guidance to implement. In purpose built flats there are even more requirements outlined in building regulations that at the moment are not fully appreciated in the supply chain. The Health and Safety Sign Association are today discussing appropriate professional development training for providing this service.

Joe Stott

Workflow: (pretty much aligned with Das’s notes)

  • Fire Strategy Information/Report/Drawings for us is a means by which we communicate the Requirements for the design and fire strategy solutions. I highlight this because I think it’s important to distinguish between an elements requirements which comes at a point where very often no specific products have been specified or locked in. Going forward as more product selection is undertaken it is then our job to check the product’s potential performance and standards meet the requirements. We very often get asked to provide information against “Fire Rating” as an example against COBie.Type data however I believe this is not the complete picture as a wall type may well be able to achieve a specific fire rating due to its makeup however specific instances of the wall type may or may not actually have to achieve this depending on their location in the design / fire strategy.

  • 3Rd party fire strategy/report advice is to date always provided via a PDF document with elements highlighted (in the PDF). Not a very helpful BIM workflow.

  • Whilst the majority of fire strategy information is communicated in plan form we try wherever possible to embed the fire data into the model elements so it can be communicated in other view types/schedules.

Issues:

  • Fire stopping is key area of concern to us as architects as this is generally lumped into one line item within AIDPs. Our approach would typically be to push back to break this down into different types of stopping – some of which we believe we are capable of detailing and specifying (External wall/floor cavity barriers) however internal service penetrations are such a complex area dependant on a high level of information about the type/size/spec of the penetrating service we don’t believe we are best placed to take responsibility for these. Not to mention the fact that they are very rarely fully modelled or frozen in the design which leads to huge amounts of reworking and increases the risk of mistakes being made.

  • We have seen an increase in specialist subcontractor design specifically for things like CLT panels whereby these make up part of what was traditionally seen as a single item. (External / Internal Walls). This then created complexity into who is responsible for “the wall”.. From an operational point of view an external wall is simply that, one element however from a design and procurement perspective its often much more complicated.

  • There appears to be a lack of industry standards for the graphical communication of fire information. Things like standard colours denoting ratings etc. We are currently having a push to try and align our internal standards across all offices/projects however I have to say it is somewhat of an uphill struggle as each architect has their own preferences on this. Having a national standard to fall back on takes away the subjectiveness of things like this and can only aid the industry.

  • Escape signage – This is commonly seen on early architectural fire strategy information however I do question if we are really suitably qualified to do this to an appropriate standard? This item is typically shifted towards the MEP / Specialist input at later project stages however I do feel it would be much better to have much more resolution on this earlier in the project stages so as to be able to leverage it within evacuation simulations etc at a point where changes and improvements could be made with minimal impact / rework costs and delays.

See you all later today, sorry if the above is somewhat of a brain dump – I just thought it better to get it down in writing before I start getting chased by the usual “urgent” project support questions..

Das

Jiss – thank you for the invite and the overview below which is a great set of scenarios to discuss. I have bullet pointed some initial thoughts, from a Designer perspective what information is required, and observations from some live projects which are impacting the design:

Workflow:

  • Fire strategy report, for us as Architects / Designers, is the starting point at any RIBA stage to enable us to design / specify the systems / products that are related to the spread of fire / smoke,

  • We are receiving a combination of typical fire strategy reports, with coloured mark-ups of PDF plans and more recently, colour coded ‘mark-ups’ of our BIMs. This is helpful, as it allows the Fire Engineer to understand the scheme in 3D, and therefore provide the compartment lines in 3D i.e., not just in plan view, but in section and elevation,

  • Using the data embedded in our BIMs we can filter and view our wall / door / ceilings based on their fire rating / spread of flame etc. This helps us digitally cross reference to the fire strategy to check alignment,

  • Our GA Plans, Schedules, Glossaries and Specification are then developed to deliver the strategy,

Issues:

  • Security / access control strategy for the building being changed – which impacts on type of doors / ironmongery etc. that is required,

  • Smoke extract system specialists being appointed way down the line, under the M&E specialist sub-contractor. Once detailed CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modelling is done, they may require changes to location of doors, AOVs, make-up air ducts / grilles. All of which may require re-coordination of the systems / products that are related to spread of fire / smoke,

Gateway 1 and 2 requirements would, from what I’m aware, require a coordinated fire strategy and design, including from specialist, to be in place much earlier. Therefore, the procurement of these specialist before end of RIBA stage 4, to enable the design team to coordinate and include them in the design, seems like a must going forward?

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Paul White - Ventilation Fire Smoke

Patrick Wilson - PW Architects

Joe Stott - AHR

Harshul Singh - UCL

Matt Taylor - Taylor Design Consultancy

Paula Chandler (RDD) - Wates

Mike Richardson - PRP

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’ - David Miller

Mo Fisher - PRP

Alastair Brockett - Hilti

Ashley Kochiss - PRP

Stewart Bailey - Virtual Viewing

13-Apr-22

BIM4HOUSING DESIGN WORKING GROUP MEETING-20220413

Recording : https://youtu.be/FW7_hnpxjgM

GEORGE: We’ve identified that the current process leads to many problems with eg. Compartmentation which is (partly) influenced by the way that things are procured. So, we’ve been reviewing how it might be possible to look at the new requirements of the gateways to look at things from a design perspective. In this meeting we should talk about the process of change: how can we get information earlier in the process so if something gets swapped out for something else, we’ve got a more vigorous way of validating that.

GEORGE: We propose the group should take a look at a particular product (a fired door) at the BIm4housing session at Digital Construction Week. We can look at the various groups (design/manufacturing/developing/construction/operations) and think what information do they produce. That would give us a degree of profile as to how the digital record of that information is created.

JIM CREAK It makes sense because I’ve seen so many problems with change management. All of the specialist contractors are the same in that they will supply or similar and without regard to what may be in the digital information.

GEORGE, giving the example of an Intumescent strip of fire doors, considers that such infinite detail is needed, despite development teams and clients thinking it unnecessary.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ has invited Andy Wood and 2 other colleagues who work on improving everything from like workflows to content libraries to qualities, design, specification etc. ‘It’s useful for us and them to hear the input from the team’.

there are three things relevant to us coming up with questions regarding workstream: change management, project delivery program, discrepancies (in terms of what is it that we are all working towards or our responsibilities).

In terms of change management, if we don’t have the right people (which is a common thing that everyone has said for many years), the right information, at the right time, there will be problems down the line. The gateways are an opportunity for us the make a change to procurement and how we structure a project. We need to understand what is constituted as a change between gateway 2 or beyond Gateway 2 by? Is it simply a product or could it be anything?

To clarify re the Building safety build Gateways, gateway 1 is when we put something in for planning and that’s the general kind of requirement of the fire strategy, fire report, fire design to be bottomed out. Gateway 2 is at the end of stage 4 and before the beginning of stage 5 i.e. starting on site. Gateway 3 is at the end of the project, the handover.

MARC BRADFIELD I’m genuinely worried if we take what we see written about gateway 2 as a pre-construction approval process we’re going to be doing something fundamentally different. Also, it’s a fundamental issue for me that a significant majority of the schemes that we’re engaged on are procured. You cannot complete the design without a number of specialists involved. There is a need for a fundamental change to how procurement works.

JAREK WITYK: why don’t we refer to the work stages as a gateway because everyone understands them and they are all aligned. The problems my company has that leads to increasing costs are there’s a failure of the QA where checks are not done properly, spatial aspects (not enough space for services) and a technical aspect where the design at stage 3 or 4 is not fit for purpose.

JIM CREAK agrees: ‘there’s not an incentive in the change program for people of specialist contractors to go back and say there’s a problem with the design and pick up variations.’

GEORGE went to the fire safety show last week and met some of the people who were in the detail. A fire stopping company explained why need to be part of the coordination process much earlier. They demonstrated this with a practical example (fire collars/pipes) of how spatial coordination would be needed. ‘it is something that we need to get coordinated otherwise we end up with far too many penetrations.’ DAS considers this to be a valuable point.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ thinks it may be a good idea to draw a simple bar diagram of what the ideal workflow would be, taking out the realities of procurement/money/etc. The diagram would include how the gateways can be achieved. He says on most of the projects the start date and the end date inevitably changes because things have to be redone and specialists join the project.

Jim Creak - Jalite Plc

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’ - David Miller

Marc Bradfield - Bouygues

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Liam Wheatley - Nuliving

Ashley Kochiss - PRP

Jarek Wityk - Winters Electrical

Harshul Singh - UCL

Andrew Wood - David Miller

German Didenko - David Miller

JAREK thinks the diagram is a good idea, but thinks the group can also show, as a guide, the dependency and demonstrate what happens If this is not completed. This will show a cause and effect for clients, the consequences of skipping parts.

LIAM WHEATLEY: ‘The idea to go from design to procure to build isn’t something that should be viewed as a linear. It has to be at the point that you’re briefing from a client. We’re not placeholder in the design. We’re actually saying, well, someone signed off for that point. And when that’s going from the spatial coordination to the working drawings. That’s when the minutia and the details of it can be worked out. But from procurement, you’re working off design. That shouldn’t then change.’

JIM CREAK alludes to the fact that additional adjustments along the process may alter initial design plans e.g. ‘clients need to know they’re going to lose square inches of floor space as a function of proper service ducts.’

GEORGE, further to his earlier comments about the lack of standardisation of glass for windows, says that car manufacturers have more standardisation of component parts so they have an economy of scale.

MARC BRADFIELD thinks standardisation is very important for the industry. But he points out that a potential difficulty with standardisation is the idea of designing based upon a specific manufacturer’s product.

GEORGE likes JAREK’s cause and effect idea as it may be a means to have conversations with the both the clients, in terms of negotiating with them from a procurement perspective, but also talking to your procurement colleagues to say We want flexibility, but let’s have a look at what the impact of that flexibility is likely to lead to.

JIM CREAK points out the resistance of the manufacturers to introduce standardisation procedures for products because that would mean using technical assistance which puts up the bid price during the procurement process.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ Regarding M&E, one thing is designing it and spatially coordinating it. Butknowledge of in store and inspection as part of M&E design is also I think maybe something that needs to sort of upskilling.

Regarding DRM, we can say actually the responsibility of the architect is these systems and the engineers these systems. So that feels for us to be a sensible sort of classification to align the DRM or scope to for example in our view.

JAREK points out that there is acceptance of errors within the manufacturing industry and stages are moved between despite the fact the errors are known to exist.

GEORGE agrees, Tier1’s say there are 50% defects.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ Sequencing issues are happening because as you say, the design isn’t being procured or the specialist isn’t being procured. For example, the dry lining might go up, but the first fix some bits have to be changed...it’s constantly 3 steps forward 2 steps back, go forward, due to procuring things at the wrong time. How do we get the DMB benefits into the traditional design program? The quality goes up because it’s all properly designed, but also the cost (probably) goes up. How much benefit has DMB brought to projects? Considering that projects are always late and defects exist.

JIM CREAK is pleased that the need to have a design for all of these arrangements before it even goes to procurement has been brought up (he gave an example of how a luminaire is needed over a first aid box).

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ to JAREK: I really like the idea of a dependency diagram that you made. So, if you could do that for your specialism, then others could kind of add (something)…

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ agrees with Jim’s notion that design should be procured right at the beginning for these items, but there are problems with the current systems in place e.g., to say to the public sector, you’re going to have to change your procurement route to enable the design to be complete before you go to site. Input can be obtained about this matter in the working stream from clients etc.

ANDREW WOOD comments that BCF (Bim Coordination Format) is one of the formats that is being under utilised in the industry. BCF means you can exchange coordination data between different coordination platforms. It’s good for database sharing between other databases. It’s about tracking issues from the point of view of the longevity of the project and that they can actually equal up and be cancelled out and eliminated at gateways.

GEORGE says that actually Andrew’s example of exchanging coordinate information e.g. where a door is, would actually be done via IFC which is part of BCF.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ thinks the next step is to about developing a model workflow, not what is currently happening at the moment because we know all the problems. To start from a blank piece of paper, start with the RIBA stages, start with the gateways and then everything else is new and that we map out at very high level. Then, review that and then maybe go into further detail. The ‘cause and effect’ is particularly interesting as it’s all about risk management/risk transfer/cost tranfer.

RICHARD asks if anyone is interested in being involved in the change management workstream which will have its initial meeting in about three weeks’ time.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ cause and effect at the project level is about feasibility, viability, program funding, that kind of level of discussion and then the details of dealing with DRMs etc.

GEORGE wants to have a narrative to explain things to people and thinks that fire doors would be a good way to do that because it has so many different interfaces e.g. electrical/dry lining/security system.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ regarding George’s narrative idea, using a smoke detector for the narrative may be useful as you can show the journey from façade, to communal to individual on a residential scheme. It would connect the types of people or duty holders: residents, landlord and the cladding, or the facade envelope elements of any project.

LIAM WHEATLEY is interested in being shown by George how proper databases are connected to a space within Activeplan.

09-Feb-22

BIM4Housing Design Working Group Meeting-20220209 -Meeting

Recording : https://youtu.be/1M7ji3xStyU

GEORGE: We’ve identified that the current process leads to many problems with eg. Compartmentation which is (partly) influenced by the way that things are procured. So, we’ve been reviewing how it might be possible to look at the new requirements of the gateways to look at things from a design perspective. In this meeting we should talk about the process of change: how can we get information earlier in the process so if something gets swapped out for something else, we’ve got a more vigorous way of validating that.

GEORGE: We propose the group should take a look at a particular product (a fired door) at the BIm4housing session at Digital Construction Week. We can look at the various groups (design/manufacturing/developing/construction/operations) and think what information do they produce. That would give us a degree of profile as to how the digital record of that information is created.

JIM CREAK It makes sense because I’ve seen so many problems with change management. All of the specialist contractors are the same in that they will supply or similar and without regard to what may be in the digital information.

GEORGE, giving the example of an Intumescent strip of fire doors, considers that such infinite detail is needed, despite development teams and clients thinking it unnecessary.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ has invited Andy Wood and 2 other colleagues who work on improving everything from like workflows to content libraries to qualities, design, specification etc. ‘It’s useful for us and them to hear the input from the team’.

there are three things relevant to us coming up with questions regarding workstream: change management, project delivery program, discrepancies (in terms of what is it that we are all working towards or our responsibilities).

In terms of change management, if we don’t have the right people (which is a common thing that everyone has said for many years), the right information, at the right time, there will be problems down the line. The gateways are an opportunity for us the make a change to procurement and how we structure a project. We need to understand what is constituted as a change between gateway 2 or beyond Gateway 2 by? Is it simply a product or could it be anything?

To clarify re the Building safety build Gateways, gateway 1 is when we put something in for planning and that’s the general kind of requirement of the fire strategy, fire report, fire design to be bottomed out. Gateway 2 is at the end of stage 4 and before the beginning of stage 5 i.e. starting on site. Gateway 3 is at the end of the project, the handover.

MARC BRADFIELD I’m genuinely worried if we take what we see written about gateway 2 as a pre-construction approval process we’re going to be doing something fundamentally different. Also, it’s a fundamental issue for me that a significant majority of the schemes that we’re engaged on are procured. You cannot complete the design without a number of specialists involved. There is a need for a fundamental change to how procurement works.

JAREK WITYK: why don’t we refer to the work stages as a gateway because everyone understands them and they are all aligned. The problems my company has that leads to increasing costs are there’s a failure of the QA where checks are not done properly, spatial aspects (not enough space for services) and a technical aspect where the design at stage 3 or 4 is not fit for purpose.

JIM CREAK agrees: ‘there’s not an incentive in the change program for people of specialist contractors to go back and say there’s a problem with the design and pick up variations.’

GEORGE went to the fire safety show last week and met some of the people who were in the detail. A fire stopping company explained why need to be part of the coordination process much earlier. They demonstrated this with a practical example (fire collars/pipes) of how spatial coordination would be needed. ‘it is something that we need to get coordinated otherwise we end up with far too many penetrations.’ DAS considers this to be a valuable point.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ thinks it may be a good idea to draw a simple bar diagram of what the ideal workflow would be, taking out the realities of procurement/money/etc. The diagram would include how the gateways can be achieved. He says on most of the projects the start date and the end date inevitably changes because things have to be redone and specialists join the project.

JAREK thinks the diagram is a good idea, but thinks the group can also show, as a guide, the dependency and demonstrate what happens If this is not completed. This will show a cause and effect for clients, the consequences of skipping parts.

LIAM WHEATLEY: ‘The idea to go from design to procure to build isn’t something that should be viewed as a linear. It has to be at the point that you’re briefing from a client. We’re not placeholder in the design. We’re actually saying, well, someone signed off for that point. And when that’s going from the spatial coordination to the working drawings. That’s when the minutia and the details of it can be worked out. But from procurement, you’re working off design. That shouldn’t then change.’

JIM CREAK alludes to the fact that additional adjustments along the process may alter initial design plans e.g. ‘clients need to know they’re going to lose square inches of floor space as a function of proper service ducts.’

GEORGE, further to his earlier comments about the lack of standardisation of glass for windows, says that car manufacturers have more standardisation of component parts so they have an economy of scale.

MARC BRADFIELD thinks standardisation is very important for the industry. But he points out that a potential difficulty with standardisation is the idea of designing based upon a specific manufacturer’s product.

GEORGE likes JAREK’s cause and effect idea as it may be a means to have conversations with the both the clients, in terms of negotiating with them from a procurement perspective, but also talking to your procurement colleagues to say We want flexibility, but let’s have a look at what the impact of that flexibility is likely to lead to.

JIM CREAK points out the resistance of the manufacturers to introduce standardisation procedures for products because that would mean using technical assistance which puts up the bid price during the procurement process.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ Regarding M&E, one thing is designing it and spatially coordinating it. Butknowledge of in store and inspection as part of M&E design is also I think maybe something that needs to sort of upskilling.

Regarding DRM, we can say actually the responsibility of the architect is these systems and the engineers these systems. So that feels for us to be a sensible sort of classification to align the DRM or scope to for example in our view.

JAREK points out that there is acceptance of errors within the manufacturing industry and stages are moved between despite the fact the errors are known to exist.

GEORGE agrees, Tier1’s say there are 50% defects.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ Sequencing issues are happening because as you say, the design isn’t being procured or the specialist isn’t being procured. For example, the dry lining might go up, but the first fix some bits have to be changed...it’s constantly 3 steps forward 2 steps back, go forward, due to procuring things at the wrong time. How do we get the DMB benefits into the traditional design program? The quality goes up because it’s all properly designed, but also the cost (probably) goes up. How much benefit has DMB brought to projects? Considering that projects are always late and defects exist.

JIM CREAK is pleased that the need to have a design for all of these arrangements before it even goes to procurement has been brought up (he gave an example of how a luminaire is needed over a first aid box).

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ agrees with Jim’s notion that design should be procured right at the beginning for these items, but there are problems with the current systems in place e.g., to say to the public sector, you’re going to have to change your procurement route to enable the design to be complete before you go to site. Input can be obtained about this matter in the working stream from clients etc.

ANDREW WOOD comments that BCF (Bim Coordination Format) is one of the formats that is being under utilised in the industry. BCF means you can exchange coordination data between different coordination platforms. It’s good for database sharing between other databases. It’s about tracking issues from the point of view of the longevity of the project and that they can actually equal up and be cancelled out and eliminated at gateways.

GEORGE says that actually Andrew’s example of exchanging coordinate information e.g. where a door is, would actually be done via IFC which is part of BCF.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ thinks the next step is to about developing a model workflow, not what is currently happening at the moment because we know all the problems. To start from a blank piece of paper, start with the RIBA stages, start with the gateways and then everything else is new and that we map out at very high level. Then, review that and then maybe go into further detail. The ‘cause and effect’ is particularly interesting as it’s all about risk management/risk transfer/cost tranfer.

RICHARD asks if anyone is interested in being involved in the change management workstream which will have its initial meeting in about three weeks’ time.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ cause and effect at the project level is about feasibility, viability, program funding, that kind of level of discussion and then the details of dealing with DRMs etc.

GEORGE wants to have a narrative to explain things to people and thinks that fire doors would be a good way to do that because it has so many different interfaces e.g. electrical/dry lining/security system.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ regarding George’s narrative idea, using a smoke detector for the narrative may be useful as you can show the journey from façade, to communal to individual on a residential scheme. It would connect the types of people or duty holders: residents, landlord and the cladding, or the facade envelope elements of any project.

ANDREW DA SILVA ‘DAS’ to JAREK: I really like the idea of a dependency diagram that you made. So, if you could do that for your specialism, then others could kind of add (something)…

LIAM WHEATLEY is interested in being shown by George how proper databases are connected to a space within Activeplan.

Andrew de Silva ‘Das’David Miller Architects

Thomas LindnerHolden River

Patrick WilsonPW Architects

Jiss Philip MukkadanBIM4Housing

Jim CreakJalite Plc

Sharon McClureAvestagroup

Christopher OgboguRedbridge

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