BIM4Housing Design Working Group Meeting-20220810

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.


Andrew de Silva ‘Das’ 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


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


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....??