BIM4Housing Design Working Group Meeting-20220608

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.



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?