BIM4Housing Design Working Group Meeting-20220209 

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.

 


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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.