Housing Development clients have always been responsible for the safety of their residents, but the transparency, governance and scrutiny of demonstrating this is changing rapidly – and this will change even more as the requirements of the Building Safety Regulator are established.

Developers/Owners now have the opportunity to ensure they are provided with the information they need to plan and operate safe and cost-effective estates. BIM4Housing provides the collaborative environment for clients to develop a consistent approach for requesting digital information from their supply chains, so enabling those individual suppliers to standardise and quality assure what they provide.

The Development Working Group funnels through issues and ideas to specialist Workstreams, giving Developers a direct input into the projected work-practices at all levels of the supply chain. In turn, we get a view of the other side of the coin, enabling our requirements to be realistic and more nuanced.

Q & A with Development Group Leaders.

  1. What are the specific problems your group is setting out to resolve?
    • What are the barriers to development organizations successfully implementing BIM
    • How to articulate a business case for BIM?
    • How is change best managed when implementing BIM?
    • What are the issues for front line staff when implementing BIM related change?
    • What procurement challenges will clients face when implementing BIM?
  2. What will be achieved by the resolution of each specific problem?
    • Greater clarity for client organisations in considering the benefits of BIM
    • Shared experience of implementing BIM within consultant, contractor, and client organisations
    • Guidance for organisations embarking on their change programmes for implementing BIM
  3. What process will you employ to find resolutions?
    • Group discussion and facilitation
  4. What specific methods will you employ to communicate resolutions to all stakeholders (Incl. BIM implementers, industry, customers, legislators & policy makers)?
    • Thought piece articles in industry journals
    • Posting articles on the BIM4Housing website
    • We are planning an online Webinar with interested stakeholders

Development Group Meetings and Highpoints

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

Chaired By: David Poat, Paul White


BIM4Housing Development Working Group Meeting-20220720

Recording: https://youtu.be/XfIZICZbNcc

GEORGE says, regarding surveys, we need to make sure that the right information is being collected because you could end up with a detailed measured survey that actually still doesn't; capture the key information that you need - it needs to be an incremental thing. We can align it with the information that we have already identified needs to go into a safety case. We have the site plan of the building but we need to capture additional information which is probably best done by the landlord. Some information is coming from one party and then the information about the systems that have gone in can be captured even before the surveyors have gone in.

DAVID POAT talks about a scanning organisation called DEEO who have developed a product that enables better communication with residents enabling them to access all this information on their own devices. GEORGE would like DEEO’s contact details. He then proceeds to give information about the recent activities of the other groups.

For centuries the industry has been drive by contracts but now it is a regulated industry which brings on a whole different level of complexity. There are another 30 regulations coming through to support the Building Safety Act 2022 and the golden thread. Is my project in scope? There is a project with secured planning approval and the demolition work has already started. It’s at the beginning of RIBA workstage 4. Probably the design work will not complete until March 2023 and handover may be as late as 2025. Regarding reviews DAVID POAT says it would be no to gateway 2 but yes to gateway 3.

GEORGE clarifies the question: will you have to give the evidence required to support the digital record next April? MIKE SMITH understands that when the Act is up and running from April and that point forward all of the new jobs from that stage would be required to provide provide all the information on all the gateways and the evidence. GEORGE is asking this question because he has not got a conclusive answer from the subject matter experts - there is no consensus.

MIKE’s view is that consensus is that everyone should be looking to achieve these things now regardless of there still being a timeframe while the act comes into force. Once the Act is up and running and the register of buildings comes live there will be an expectation that they can go back on projects that were started or done earlier and ask them to provide that golden thread information.

GEORGE says that the Act mentions ‘prescribed information’ and we’ve spent the last 18 months or so trying to arrive at what that prescribed information is because they are not going to provide it: it’s up to us as an industry to provide it. There is a big change that is going to revolutionise the way the industry is working and this is something that is scaring Tier 1 contractors. The design is expected to be competed by the end of workstage 4/Gateway 2. A lot of the design is done by specialist trades, particularly M&E, and that work needs to be done earlier. Consequently there will be a big shakeup in the way that procurement is done.

The Defective Premises Act and the Buildings Safety Act put liability not just on the developer but also on the Tier 1 contractor so everybody’s got the same interest in sorting it out. We need an industry-led solution to this where everybody can agree on the methodologies. We’re trying to work on the data and fire safety side of things but we also have to be aware of embodied carbon. We need to take the raw data and turn it into reusable information.

So, what we’ve been talking to the Advisory group about playbooks, a term used in the BIM industry which is the modern term for guidance etc. As BIM4housing perhaps we ought to produce a Playbook. We can determine what information is required, what can be provided as documents (and what types of documents), how much of it should be machine readable…it would be good to do all of this at an industry level. PAUL WHITE asks if an input is needed from the principal designer point-of-view. GEORGE thinks yes.

MIKE SMITH asks how difficult would it be to turn a playbook into a British standard or such like? GEORGE replies that the challenge with the British standard is getting consensus and it takes about three years. The cost is probably £200,000 and the way BSI works is that somebody has to fund that. The next level down is PAS (Publicly Accessible Specification) costs around £100,000. MIKE says that those trying to drive the BIM industry forward have produced a large number of guidance documents, playbooks etc but as soon as you get something like a British standard it gels the requirement for that to be actually followed and then brings a more consistent approach. GEORGE believes in standards but thinks there are an overwhelming number of them. Gregor of Designing Buildings Wiki did an analysis of the building regs at the time and within the regs there were references to 800 standards. Designer would have to spend a lot of time reading and interpreting those standards and also have to acquire them (at a cost of 2 or 300 pounds each). He feels that something more dynamic is needed.

MIKE thinks the standards can be challenging, however it becomes easier to demonstrate compliance as a building regs application if we can demonstrate compliance with that standard.

GEORGE, referring again to the Golden Thread Playbook list shared on screen, regarding how to organise models says the lack of training is staggering. We need to help people by providing some guidance, maybe just how they should set up the naming conventions. What should swe expect from Manufacturers - Will Perkins and Chris Hall from Siderise or on the case with that. They are organising information so we can put that into the Templater so that we’ve got a standardised data set.

Another challenge is a concern of product manufacturers regarding what information is confidential. Scott Sanderson said that increasingly they are having to sing NDAs (Non-disclosure agreements) with product manufacturers to get their product data…how can that work with the Golden Thread?

PAUL WHITE refers to the DCW workshop, applying the RACI was difficult sometimes as you didn’t have the expert fire safety knowledge or it wasn’t relevant to development because it was post-handover, also answering each question to a long time - he wonders how practical it was from development point of view. Someone joined from the Operations table to help debate whether they were responsible or accountable. The HSE chap said that it’s a baton holding process so it depends at what time in the process you’re making the call on.

GEORGE thinks what it did do was test the process of being able to have different stakeholder groups having a view from their perspective. The methodology of picking a particular group of elements and looking at it from a point of view of what risk is it mitigating (and therefore what’s the minimum amount of information that we need to protect that particular risk) is good methodology. With the Development group we need to make it so they just need to be confident that somebody in the supply chain is actually doing that due diligence.

Another thing that came out of it was a participant in the Operations group meeting said they didn’t want to know details about the door closure/hinges etc, it’s too much information. He thought a specialist contractor should be responsible for holding that information, but actually it’s no longer the case that the risk can be passed down to a specialist subcontractor and then hot provide them with access to the information: you are the accountable person.

A test certificate for a fire door set is only valid if it’s going into exactly the same wall that it was tested in and exactly the same conditions under which it was tested. This is rarely the case, but also because of the confidentiality issue they don’t give you the detail about what the test conditions were because their competitors could potentially copy it. Next on the list what information should we expect from installers and how do we assess and record competence. How is the safety case demonstrated and how can changes be recorded. A Construction Control Plan is a formalised method of recording change.

Where we are going with this is trying to organise this with input from the different BIM4housing groups so that this can become a gateway review. From his point of view with Active Plan he’d like it to be something that would make it easy for people to just pull up the floor plan and go around and assign the information against it so it becomes something which is progressive. We need machine readable data because currently there are different terminologies being used by different manufacturers.

People are asking is the data in the BIM model? The data in the BIM object shown has 210 parameters each of which has to be filled in manually. That’s why with manufacturers is to get them all to use the common data dictionary. You just need to recognise the fact that we’ve got specifications, National BIM Library, Causeway, all calling the same thing something different. And actually the value is 60. We need to simplify that. When we are capturing the information for Asset Management we can then use if for Safety and also for embodied carbon which is what the manufacturers group are working on.

If we can then have reusable data libraries it means we can add expertise expertise and knowledge and then make it so that those can be read into software applications. He then talks about the context of the DCW workshop: it’s in scope, a fire breaks out in student accommodation, are the measures in place to protect the residents to enable them to get out. It’s a combination of compartmentation, smoke control and detection. The exercise is risk driven so we can say what’s the risk? What are the treatments? what asset types go to make up the defence and what do we need to know about it?

Where we need to get to is Process Change. The focus of the Tier 1 group is on their liability retrospectively. At the moment a lot of the selection of products is done during construction (which is too late) and these firms are all receptive to it being pulled back. The ones we need to influence are procurement.

MIKE SMITH responds that the ideal scenario is to fully specify a system at stage four and then just deliver it at stage 5. But in some cases, what we find is that we can specify to a certain stage and then that final element of work is transferred to the contractor to manage on site. And it’s just a use of terminology that can sometimes be difficult. We’re also seeing some of these tier one and

Tier 2 contractors say that their insurance risks and their liability risks are being affected by the wording of TDP and therefore their preference is now to see fully designed projects at stage 4.

GEORGE is encouraged to hear this. We’re setting up requirements that can then be tested against known products but it might be that those known products are not the ones that will definitely be used (you probably need to do that at spatial coordination level) and on D&B you wouldn’t be able to impose it at that stage. The principal idea, though, is that you’ve got products that could satisfy the requirement. Then the design can be tested at workstage 4 against actual products.

If we have a lean way of procurement (maybe using the supply chain) then when the products are reviewed by specialist subcontractors if they’ve got a really good reason to change something that needs to go through a robust technical submittal process. Compartmentation is the cause of defects 50% of the time. We’re trying to make it so the procurement schedules are detailed.

George is talking with software companies Tier 1 contractors use to see if they can support a bill of materials. The reason for that is that Waites or Wilmott Dixon seldom buy anything. They buy a package of work from NG Bailey and its NG Bailey that place the orders with the wholesalers. That’s why we need to pull back and back up the process so the products are selected and verified earlier then we have a proper record…

MIKE SMITH says this follows the logic of the golden thread initiative which is about recording change and substitutions. All of this can be adequately covered with the application of common data environments. PAUL WHITE would like to know from a client development point of view what he needs to consider in procurement terms what he should need requiring. DAVID POAT senses what’s being said here is the people who are really making the detailed design choices and are selecting the components are 3 or 4 tiers down the supply chain. In order to make those decisions earlier in the process then we don’t need bosses of??? the NG Baileys at the table, we need the people that work for NG Bailey involved in that early design process.

That raises a whole load of capacity, logistics and procurement issues. Are what we saying is through the process of generating standardised data…you have created a library of components that you know how they perform you can at least be selecting those earlier, even if downstream they subsequently get changed because of procurement reasons, you can still track how that component is intended to perform and how it does perform. GEORGE says it's exactly this…it’s not saying that change can’t happen but if change happens we need transparency to understand the implication of that change.

He thinks the thing that’s changed is everything has been contractually driven up until now and therefore people have only been concerned with what they have to deliver within their contract, and also making sure they don’t deliver anymore because that could leave them liable so they intentionally try and limit how much information they provide. We are now in a completely different world of regulated industry. We don’t know what the regulator is going to be asking for yet but we can be certain they’ll be asking for a lot more than we are currently producing.

Therefore the risk has changed substantially: rather that a financial risk now, the big risk is that your project will not be allowed to be built or, when it is built, you won’t be able to get a certificate of occupation. The impact of that for insurers, funders is huge. If we’re moving towards having quality assured buildings a way of doing that is to pick a limited number of products and you work around those.

Eduardo Guasque thinks this whole conversation means the whole industry needs to be aligned. All the top-down subcontractors need to be providing their information. The software, all the plug-ins need to be aligned, the library…it’s a massive undertaking. GEORGE agrees, but what we do currently is also a massive undertaking and there’s a huge amount of wasted energy and effort which has a negative effect on building quality.

EDUARDO says he has problems with the first hurdle which is what is their maintainable asset list and then trying to figure out what is the typical or minimum assets we should be providing Cobie information for. GEORGE says the point about it being maintainable assets is a red herring. Cobie is a data schemer that can be used for any type of asset. Active Plan is working on incorporating BS8644/Fiery into Cobie so we don’t end up with two outputs.

In the development group we need to look at what the impact is likely to be on this change of contractor design portion being done earlier. EDUARDO adds also how the golden thread is going to work in practice. DAVID POAT says from a development point of view what we’re trying to do now is manage three gateway processes: gateway 1 is pretty much done, so how do we manage 2 and 3?

He wants a means by which he can understand what is the requirement at each of those gateways - what is the documentation that we need to be able to demonstrate, what is the digital content we need to be able to demonstrate. It feels like there is some definition that is beginning to emerge. In the background we have all the manufacturers and suppliers working on consistent data structures, terminology, that will find it’s way into consistent libraries from a bottom-up approach. He’s interested in what is the development process that enables us to effectively audit…what are we getting at gateways 2 and 3 that is going to enable us to satisfy the regulator? What is our process? He says effectively we are process managers.

MIKE SMITH talks about the potential of converting this information into a standard. If you think about the digital and BIM world obviously the two documents that have become very important are EIRs and BEPs. If David has a clear EIR and it states you must comply with this standard that gives him the comfort blanket that that is then passed onto designers and delivery teams to meet that standard. The BEP is the mechanism of capturing that process and the delivery of those things. Gateway 1 is easy, Gateway 3 should be relatively easy. Gateway 2 is the more difficult one, your EIR could very clearly document your expectations in an open dialogue/2 stage negotiation with a contractor.

GEORGE thinks Mike is right, but in order to have that standard what has to be done is to agree what those procedures are. If we ask a committee that is managed and coordinated by the BSI to do that for us we will definitely get the wrong answer. MIKE says that developing a playbook is worthwhile and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a British Standard. EDUARDO thinks that in the end these standards are good for people who understand the concepts but when they try and apply them in practice they struggle to fit them into the reality of their projects.

DAVID says one of the critical documents here is the EIR because that sets the context for everything. Often, when outsourcing EIRs, you end up with something far more complex than it needs to be. GEORGE thinks it also needs to be incremental. The AIR needs to be progressive - people can add requirements into it before it becomes an issue.

EDUARDO says the problem would be that this leads to an additional cost later on that wold be difficult to justify and charge for, that’s why the provision of information for maintenance becomes so complicated. MIKE thinks it comes down to the quality of an EIR. Some of the best EIRs are very simple single page documents that set out very high level expectations of what you’re trying to achieve on a project. You can then ‘grow it’ as you have open discussions about what is useful and when it’s useful to gather information.

GEORGE wonders if this can be a work action away from this and maybe have an hour session. MIKE would like someone from Bond Bryan involved because of their BIM document knowledge, though he thinks maybe they take things too far. GEORGE would be reluctant to involve them for that reason - he’d like to look at something simper than what they are doing.

The EIR has been rebranded, it’s now the Exchange Information Requirement and not the employer’s information requirements. he can’t see an issue with the project producing the exchange information requirements and then helping the client understand what they are asking for. GEORGE says they can take a package of work and he’ll set up something in a months time (before the next development meeting).

GEORGE says a project he’s working on with Scott and PRP is to take that example that we did at digital construction week and try and apply it to a real project so that we can come up with a sort of digital twin type of scenario where we can actually simulate a risk or a problem, and then be able to demonstrate that the information that is required has been provided. We need to be able to proactively go back to the regulator and say this is how you should be assessing our scheme because it’s not a good idea to leave it to them. The exam question is ‘is this building safe?’.


George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

David Poat - Nottinghill Genesis

Eduardo Guasque - Haworth Tompkins

Paul White - Enfield Council

Mike Smith - Bailey Partnership


Post DCW Feedback

Gordon Crick

Gordon Crick - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220616

GODRON CRICK thought the DCW roundtable was a really useful exercise and he thinks a more analysed position is being developed in terms of the way things fit together. Time was limited. Possibly there was too much moving rapidly forward towards thinking that ‘this particular solution will solve our problems’. Regarding risk management, he sats most engineers are comfortable with compliance (tick boxes are checked) but they are not so comfortable with the CDM pressure which is to foresee risk and do something about it - there was a tension in the discussion about those two things.

RICHARD says that part of the purpose of these exercises is to throw up these contradictions and issues as it creates awareness that that they exist and hopefully they can be resolved. Questions are open to interpretation and, therefore, human error and different perspectives. Trying to narrow it down to a tick box leads to further narrowing down. GORDON is familiar with the problem in Health & Safety terms. The Fire piece requires a certain amount of judgemental analysis at different stages - it’s not just tick box.

GEORGE thinks it’s a bit of both: if people are left to freely make a judgment they are not given a framework in which to deliver what is needed. If we give them a series of questions which require answers, then look at it in the context of a particular risk, it’s the best of both worlds as the information is captured in a structured methodical way that can be audited, but that’s challenged by ‘what is the risk’ and does that collection of information perform in the way that we need it to.

GORDON talks about risk data - pieces of data which can be defined and a context in which to understand how that data fits. Regarding risk scenario, a concept being used around building regulations, he thinks theres a limited number of risk scenarios which a designer needs to consider which actually give rise to an almost infinite number of variety of potential outcomes in a finished asset.

GEORGE agrees with Gordon’s observation that there are so many variables. Some examples given of safety case reports in sessions were a terrorist attack/truck destabilising a building. George thought these ere exceptional circumstances, whereas a Virgin engineer coming in and drilling a hole into a partition wall is far more likely to happen. GORDON observes that if an architect designs a wooden balcony this may not be a a problem re compliance and the building safeties act but CDM-wise it’s almost definitely an issue. It’s not just about compliance, it’s also about risk - if you just comply you don’t meet the spirit of the Act.

There will be boundary conditions about whether fire stopping is necessary or not, says GORDON. Sometimes building regs will say ‘that’s fine’ but when it’s examined more widely in terms of risk it may be ‘no’. Compliance is a tail and it’s actually the risk management pieces are the bit that should wag the dog.

RICHARD says Bim4housing looks right across the needs of the stakeholder groups: what do they need? what risks are they going to experience? how are they going to mitigate them? We’re looking at setting up best practice, beyond the regulations. GEORGE talks about a recent Construction group meeting with Steve Coppin which was broken down into 4 breakout groups each looking at a different asset type that protects compartmentation. The groups looked at spreadsheets which were simplified in 2 ways: by turning each point into a question and there will, consequently, be an answer. We will end up with a task information delivery plan so it will give clarity of who should be providing particular information.

GORDON talks about a fire standards diagram (which George afterwards finds and shares on screen) which shows the development of a fire from the beginning stage right through to the final stage of recovery. he says very few designers are probably thinking about the impact of a fire and says ‘if you can ask the right questions that sounds really helpful’. He says that fire engineers have tended to act in silos and their role hasn’t been developed with other disciplines - this should change. Fire engineers sometimes turn up with a report at a late stage on a big refurbishment project which changes everything as they can’t support the original evacuation strategy. If they’d been included in the discussion from the beginning the result would have been better.

GORDON says that design reviews right from the off should be asking the right questions about fire in relation to other design features. With CDM it’s always been part of the picture. GEORGE says he’s been talking to Ana Matic and he’s working with her on the digital twins process, not as 3-D models but a proper simulation. He’s considering how to use the digital twins approach to have a real time fire risk assessment e.g. A fire door could easily develop a risk only a matter of days after its been tested as fine, this risk would not be picked up if the assessment is only done every 12 months.

GORDON asks George if he has any examples of something quite simple that has been 4-D modelled. George will ask around about it.



Post DCW Feedback

Paul White

Paul White- Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220615

PAUL WHITE thinks that, as an exercise, the DCW roundtable went as well as it could have done. They didn’t get through an awful lot of the task. Despite the pre-meeting, many more issues came up during the session. Regarding accountability and responsibility, according to a person on the table from the HSE it depends at which point in time you are judging it. They focused on what is the main core of the development group which is Housing Associations and Local Authorities. Someone from Operations, at Paul’s request, came to sit on the table to debate points. He spoke of the distinction between Development and Operations - it was enough as an exercise to show people what we are doing.

About accountability and responsibility, RICHARD says a lot of people have said there has be some kind of demarcation as to when, because obviously it changes - a constructor can’t be responsible for something that happens at the design stage. He talks about the Construction meeting and how they trimmed it down and made it more granular, but there is more work to be done so it’s an easy tick-box.

RICHARD said the fire door group had 88 questions rather than the 30-odd questions of the other groups, but still they only missed 10 questions. The input is more granularity. The other groups are moving forward post-DCW to finish the job on all of them. Stakeholders and group members have different takes and different opinions. Many people still keep saying ‘we don’t need that much information’ but we’re asking for it is because somebody has said that they want it.

PAUL asks how does he get this across to the development group? RICHARD says he’ll take the learnings from today and be in touch with him about suggestions on how to move forward. PAUL says a lot of the development group are not necessarily tuned up for that, they are different from Operations. PAUL needs to work out how to put it in the right way for the Development group to understand. RICHARD thinks they’ll organise a pre-meet with Paul and David prior to the meeting.

PAUL asks what’s going on with other Workstreams (particularly Sustainability). RICHARD says the Sustainability Workstream hasn’t done anything, they put together the questionnaire. Right now, they’re waiting for some senior people to come on board to run the workstream, that’s in the process of happening. Also, the working groups for DCW have had to be prioritised recently. Tier 1 contractors, who are very active, have split down into 4 workstreams, also the Data workstream is active. MMC has kind of died off.

RICHARD talks about George’s work with the construction industry body Net Zero, so the Sustainability workstream is being wrapped into that.

PAUL says that one of the participants on the Development group, a rep from a local authority, and they asked, ‘has any other local authority been through the process of trying to embed BIM in their organisation?’. Paul told them about his work on that at his LA. he said it would be useful to talk about this with some other local Authorities. There are some LA groups that he could float the idea with. RICHARD says he needs to re-engage with the Housing Forum (who Paul had attempted to work with, but it didn’t work out).

PAUL is getting involved with the Good Homes Alliance vanguard group, specifically for Local Authorities, that’s why he asked about the sustainability group as there is a tie in - maybe we could do something about what BIM4housing is doing with sustainability? Paul will put Richard in touch with them.


Post DCW Feedback

Asif Mirza

Asif Mirza - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220608

ASIF found the DCW session quite useful. Some additional time at the beginning to get set up would have been welcome, but not possible as the previous session overrun. The right people were around the table. We invited someone in from another table to give us a steer.

When asked by RICHARD what should be the next steps moving forward, ASIF says that the face-to-face meeting was very useful. Teams is easy and convenient to use for the regular meetings but face-to-face with a bit more time allowed would be great. RICHARD said there will be ‘live’ meetings in the future, maybe every few months. ASIF did not entirely grasp the RACI methodology before attending but he did really comprehend it during the session ‘maybe because of collective minds and face-to-face really helped’. He managed to complete the RACI during the session time.

RICHARD is thinking that for the next dull online meeting of the development group to take the methodology and do it with the full group, getting all their input.ASIF said it was straightforward to get through the scoring side of RACI and he had his own set of notes made prior to the meeting for the second section. RICHARD said they’ll send out the RACI scoresheets and also invite pre-meeting input. Also, it would be great to send out Asif’s output from the event to help inform those who did not attend the DCW session.

ASIF thinks they should keep up momentum, communicate output, and hopefully more people will get involved. He says that, considering people in construction are generally quite visual, a visual representation of where we are, when we started and where we want to be would be very helpful - it would be a quick way of getting the message across. He’s happy to help with this.



BIM4Housing Development Working Group Meeting-20220518

Recording: https://youtu.be/_badbfEqpRk

DAVID POAT apologises for not being able to make the (DCW roundtable session?).

PAUL WHITE talks about what he calls the RACI concept (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed). ‘From that, if we disagree with something, how will that information be used. As the development group do we say “we can’t be held responsible for that”…people need to be clear on what the implications of it are’.

DAVID POAT asks PAUL WHITE if the conversation he will have tomorrow is to try and agree the content of the RACI matrix or is it a broader conversation about its purpose…

RICHARD FREER interjects and reminds everyone what a short time the roundtable is (45 minutes) and that the purpose of the exercise is twofold: to showcase what we are doing and our risk-based approach to doing it and also to get more members/interest. There will be an input rather than an output during the meeting - an input….this is a roundtable following through from pre-sessions to this point and what that roundtable has won’t be a final output. So, the final output is input.

As there are some new people at the meeting, DAVID POAT of Notting Hill Genesis, thinks it's a good idea to do some introductions (starting with himself). MARK BRIDGE, land manager, of Citizen Housing Group is attending for the first time.

RICHARD FREER briefs the group about the DCW roundtables. 5 working groups of which one is the Development one. In total the goal is to spread the word out, present what we do and hopefully get more people involved. ‘We have a number of templates that, at the most basic level, need approval - yes or no, do you agree with this’. PAUL WHITE says there are two tabs on each of the templates: compromise and information, one is what can go wrong? and the other is what information do we need from people to stop that from happening? RICHARD suggests to go through it here as if this is the meeting.

DAVID POAT explains how the RACI matrix emerged as an output from Bim4housing roundtables made of suppliers, contractors, clients etc who looked at the individual components that make up fire safety systems. The RACI matrix starts to try and map what peoples responsibilities and accountabilities are in relation to risks surrounding those components.

RICHARD FREER says that on the day it will be done paper-based. There will be a paper floor plan of a floor of an apartment building. Richard shares the floor plan on screen. The scenario is a fire breaks out in one of the bedrooms. PAUL WHITE reads… The characteristics of the building is that it’s over 18 meters high, student urban living accommodation. Single phased evacuation. It has 3 basic types of accommodation units, mechanically heated and ventilated through the corridor distribution. Alternative means of escape is available through distributed staircase. A firefighting shaft is provided. An automatic opening vent, AOV is provided, also dry and wet risers.

RICHARD says the first task is to look at the floor plan and decide which asset types would be relevant to preventing the spread of smoke. The compartmentalisation needed to prevent the spread of smoke in that bedroom. We have predetermined those. He shows a document (excel) on screen. There are six of these documents (this one is for fire alarms), one for each of the asset types identified. Regarding the question what compromises fire alarm and fire detector systems that could stop them working properly? At the top there is a list of stakeholder groups and RACI is applied to them e.g. the client/developer would be Informed, the designer would be Responsible, the main contractor would be Accountable etc. Does the group agree that for you (Development) the only responsibility is to be informed?

PAUL WHITE thinks there is only time to concentrate on one asset type in the 45 minutes of the event. RICHARD wants to do a run through here of the meeting and see how many asset types they get through. The group seems to think they will not have enough time to get the right results. They say they can only concentrate on one asset point. RICHARD makes the point GEORGE said that the compromise factor is very important. RICHARD says that it is important that people are briefed when they come into that meeting. That is why GEORGE has been given stuff beforehand, so that it could since the group will be sector people. CHRISTINE MILLING is seeing the matrix for the first time and thinks there is a lot of detail. ‘If you’re accountable for something what information would you need to either reduce that risk or get rid of it…to get the risk down as much as possible. If that’s your focus you can be very specific.’ RICHARD says that is the intention. In the Development column we’d be primarily looking at ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ columns.

DAVID POAT is uncertain who the ‘designer’ is in this context and also does not understand the difference between the role of the manufacturer and the role of the supplier. The operator and the commissioner…who are they? PAUL WHITE thinks that’s a great point. DAVID ‘the session needs a quick context that it’s a design & build type of scenario’.

DAVID POAT wonders what knowledge people will come to the table with (how many have been involved in the process so far?). RICHARD has said all attendees will be fully briefed, RICHARD says the group has to go through the document looking at the client development column to see if they agree with the RACI classifications. On the document fire alarm/fire detection systems the first is ‘incorrect initial design’, that requires you to be ‘informed’. DAVID POAT thinks they are consulted, not just informed. PAUL WHITE agrees with him. RICHARD makes a note to change that.

RICHARD The next one is ‘lack of weekly user tests’, development is ‘Accountable’. DAVID POAT says the accountable person in this situation is the Operator, not the Client. SCOTT SANDERSON seems to suggest to alter the heading to ‘Client/Operator’ rather than Client/Developer. The group debates this point. They talk about the difference between ‘commissioner’ (as written on the column) and ‘commissioning’. DAVID POAT ‘even if I was a Developer that wasn’t going to Operate I’d expect to be consulted on the design.’

SCOTT SANDERSON says that something to be watched out for with the RACI method is e.g. if you consider this discussion in terms of building contracts the RACI all mean one thing, if in the context of the regulatory reform order it can be slightly different. So, positioning the discussion in its context, a timeline of a project, is going to to be important, both to the exercise and then the meaning of whatever the output is down stream. I think we’re thinking about this in the context of project procurement as opposed to clients’ ultimate legal responsibilities. DAVID (kind of) agrees that that’s the case.

DAVID POAT talks about potentially re-organising the columns and the risks within different processes, he wonders if by sequencing descriptions in a timeline reflecting that whether that would visually tell the story in a better way. He thinks maybe having this conversation (about re-configuring the columns etc?) may be better to do in the roundtable tomorrow than filling in the columns. CHRISTINE MILLING says a distinction between the roles is needed but you might need to say what each of these roles is supposed to be doing.

PAUL WHITE ‘at this point in the process this is what we’ve got to do to make sure that the operational side has all the information/tools to do what they need to do’.

RICHARD FREER says the outputs of the actual roundtable session tomorrow will be minimised as it won’t be recorded, it’s just a question of what notes are taken. They look at another point on the list : Poorly designed cause and effect at the outset. DAVID POAT agrees that they would be consulted and nothing more than that. Next, ‘difficulty in safe evacuation’, it’s written that they would be accountable. DAVID says ultimately the client would take accountability. SCOTT says that would be the client as operator that’s accountable. They discuss whether they would be responsible. DAVID POAT thinks that the client (whether developer or operator) are accountable for this. The main contractor and designer have a responsibility to design a building that is safe to evacuate. CHRISTINE says that once they hand it over to you some of the responsibility that they were building in through design etc. gets passed on because you have accepted that.

RICHARD wonders how do the issue of ‘safe evacuation’ have any effect on whether the fire alarm and fire detection system are working properly? The next one is long run residential building cause and effect. When fire smoke detected in a communal area, tenants within the flaps are being told to stay put or elsewhere to evacuate. No consistency. RICHARD also wonders about this one as its an effect not a risk. ‘Power failure’ is obviously a risk to the fire alarm not working properly. DAVID POAT says, regarding vandalism, the operator is responsible rather than the client as developer.

RICHARD asks whether it's the case that as soon as they are removed from being part of the operations team and they are purely development they are no longer responsible as they have then handed it over already. PAUL WHITE says that is correct. MARK BRIDGE feels that there are 3 columns condensed into 2, there are 3 different elements: developer as a function, the occupier as a function and then there is the business itself. The operator might be a third party, he says that’s the people doing the day-to-day stuff. There’s the developer whose involved from day one, but future changes have nothing to do with them, and the owning body/client who is accountable…but might not be responsible because it might not be the operator.

RICHARD asks if it should be defined on this exercise that development is not responsible for any operations stuff? CHRISTINE MULLING says it depends on what information is given at handover.

RICHARD moves on to another tab given the definition that you’re not going to be operating the building as a developer, what information do you require to fill your role as defined by these RACI rankings? Do you agree with them?

SCOTT SANDERSON makes a general observation, looking at the 2 tabs, he finds it much easier to fix the RACI ratings for information than for risk because risk is dynamic and needs to be managed and it might be that responsibility for information can be placed with more certainty and that’s one of the keys to managing risk. DAVID POAT agrees. RICHARD mentions an email exchange he had with George and how it’s not possible to ask for information without establishing a context.

DAVID POAT has reflected and now considers that as the developer they are responsible because even though it’s the contractors accountability to provide it it’s the developer’s responsibility to check the information as best they can and to pass it on to the asset team in an appropriate format. He thinks the lists are far too long and nobody will use them. RICHARD makes the point that the lists combine the requirements of six or seven stakeholders, they just happen to be all on one table.

SCOTT SANDERSON says the bottom-up view, looking at the detail, is completely overwhelming and unrealistic. The top-down view - is a building safe? is very simple, so how do we define process that manages the detail up to a very simple answer?

RICHARD returns to another item on the list (the subject is fire doors): ‘risk of human intervention on ancillary assets such as smoke detectors impacting on asset performance’. CHRISTINE says this is a good example of the list being too big - ‘this is a fire door list and you’re talking about smoke detectors’. Next, ‘risk of information on an individual asset being incomplete’ - they say they are responsible for that.

SCOTT says the difference between accountable and responsible can be difficult to define. His understanding of RACI is that ‘responsible’ means having connection to the activity of production (producing a document or design), ‘accountable’ might be, if someone commissions a design from e.g. Scott Sanderson as an architect, they’ve commissioned the design, they are the building owner and legally accountable for the safe operation of that building. PAUL WHITE says the word ‘fault’ is accountable. Accountability, says Richard, indicates legal accountability.

The group seems to agree that the most onerous position is to be Accountable. RICHARD suggests to PAUL that he defines that at the beginning of the meeting. RICHARD tells PAUL to do the information first (he’ll start off with fire alarms) and when he goes on to ‘compromise’ he’s not losing any context, then, do the others with the context first.


Richard Freer- IceFire Portfolio

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

David Poat - Nottinghill Genesis

Mark Bridge - Citizen Housing

Paul White - Enfield Council

Christine Milling - L&Q

Pauline Tuitt - L&Q

Scott Sanderson - PRP



Recording: https://youtu.be/3fA320wl2G4

GEORGE starts by talking about Digital Construction week and the 5 tables he will have there that can accommodate up to 50 people. He wants to use it to encourage more people to get engaged and to promote the adoption of a risk-based approach to the whole process. Those that will be adjudicating on the gateways and given the task of ensuring that buildings are safe are coming in from the oil and gas industry (which is heavily regulated).

The government has terminated negotiations with the Construction Products Association about the contribution that manufacturers should be giving to the new safety fund – this is a hardline approach. The Tier 1s in the BIM4housing group are thinking about how to collectively go back to the government and say ‘this is what we are going to do’ rather than ‘we can’t do anything’. Civil servants are saying if it’s a matter of liability it should therefore be sorted out by lawyers – a potential nightmare.

To proactively demonstrate how a building is safe our approach is to look at particular scenarios: if, for example, there’s an incident that leads to smoke, what collection of assets and systems can be drawn together to mitigate that specific risk and what information do we need to know about them to perform when they are needed? Also, how are the tenants briefed? It needs to be ensured they don’t do anything that compromises their own safety. Additionally, there’s the Operations team/ anybody else carrying out ‘this work’ to think about regarding this...

(There are specific working groups, but within those groups there are ‘different perspectives’ e.g. ‘Asif, who is both a contractor and a developer’ - it’s an interdisciplinary approach). On the day, we need to work out how the spread of smoke is successfully mitigated.

DAVID POAT (who unfortunately will not be attending) asks George how he imagines the 45 minutes of the round table session will be organised. GEORGE says there are at least 4 people committed for each table. He talks about the contentious issue of a particular housing association removing fire extinguishers from common areas: is it an operations issue? A design issue? Currently, there are individual inspections (e.g. a fire door) without taking account of what that asset is doing in terms of the rest of the things its part of.

PAUL WHITE interjects: ‘what we are saying here is what can be reasonably expected at development to hand on what operations need to mitigate all those risks? How we can nail it at development? (And then afterwards) that’s for operations to deal with.’

RICHARD WHITTAKER talks about the tower block fire he recently dealt with and how, after 9000 litres of water was pumped into the building by the fire brigade, there was a problem with saturated ducts which caused the electrics to fail. A drying out period was required before tenants could move back in. ‘Compartmentalization is important, but there’s a saturation issue we’ve discovered...’.

DAVID POAT, responding to Whittaker’s anecdote, wonders if there is something that needs to be done ‘around the front end of design to mitigate some of those issues’.

GEORGE says that the different working groups have a consensus that by gateway 2/end of work stage 4 (what should be the end of design process) the products that are actually going to be installed should have been selected – that’s a massive change. Currently with DMB (D and B???) (certain things are done) at work stage 5...which increases risk. Design should be completed before construction starts. Cost risk is lessened by later product selection, but it increases overall risk.

DAVID POAT returns to his question about how things will play out during the 45 minutes of the round table. He says he doesn’t want participants to have to read and comment about the document about risk/spread of smoke developed in the Bim4housing sessions during the round table as it would eat up too much time. GEORGE says they should be briefed beforehand. RICHARD FREER says this is the primer for that meeting. ASIF emphasises the importance of documenting everything so if there is a problem it can be examined. GEORGE uses the term ‘simulate’ (relating to the round table, as it will be a kind of simulation exercise...maybe).

PAUL WHITE says maybe it should be made clear at the design stage which things cannot be changed in order for things not to be compromised (like the change he previously mentioned that led to overheated corridors in a tower block).

GEORGE says that maybe safety critical products and materials should be selected earlier in the process. In the ‘smoke’ scenario there is smoke, compartmentation (fire door, wall, smoke dampers, cavity barriers, detection systems, alarm), if they all fail and the smoke gets out into the corridor there is smoke extraction – 3 systems made up of individual assets/systems that have to perform perfectly. Any product being swapped out after design is a process of change management.

CHRISTINE MILLING (via chat) ‘here is the healthcare services Key Lines of Enquiry link Assessment framework: https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20180628 Healthcare services KLOEs prompts and characteristics FINAL.pdf if you think it has some good pointers in it. If you look at the 2nd half it gives examples of how you might rate; observations/responses (outstanding, good, requires improvement, inadequate).’

GEORGE re the round table session: should we be looking at what responsibilities the development team would consider are down to them? What information do they need?

DAVID POAT wonders how efficiently communicating via data transfer what needs to be done between the development and operational teams. ‘Are we clear down the supply chain, who is responsible for what? Are we clear about how those responsibilities are kind of transferred as the building evolves into its different stages?’ He agrees with George about sending out the document to round table participants beforehand, but also to prompt them – this is the keyline of enquiry that we want to have a conversation around, based on the document provided to them.

PAULINE: ‘what we’re looking at is trying to see how we can build in the much closer involvement with the design teams and the design process early on, rather than be handed something at handover where we don’t really fully understand the implications of a particular decision until an incident arises...how can operations be more closely involved in the design process?’.

GEORGE says that if the asset management teams were more closely involved in the early development/design process it may be possible to eliminate some unnecessary elements of the design and also to accommodate things that are necessary. The regulator could be presented with many different examples that we’ve considered and look how the design of our building going to perform, we could then zero in on the information that would evidence that.

ASIF will be attending Digital Construction Week.

DAVID POAT believes that people in Development know what they have to do: good design, quality assured, good data. But it’s when the data gets passed around (that problems may occur). He thinks the document they have developed about Smoke control deals with the ‘what’ but he’s not sure it deals with the ‘how’: how do you communicate this stuff? How do you make this stuff more widely available? It’s a challenge for Development to take really complex stuff and turn it into something simple that can be easily transferred? BIM and Digital Twins are a part of that...but is that the only answer?

GEORGE believes this exercise is to determine what information is critical...for different people it will be different information (which is critical). GEORGE talks about the idea of having a ‘permit to work’ (in response to PAULINE’s anecdote about contractors doing work on roofs which invalidates the warranties and she incurs unnecessary costs).

MO FISHER says that change of notification is used within Architecture (which relates to this topic) and also altercation notes to the building management so they know a change is taking place. Also, consultant reviews via the design responsibility matrix...a tick with ‘who does this affect?’ So with the overheating issue (talked about earlier) it would go to the architects and sustainability consultant etc... it’s a way of documenting who’s been asked, where and when?

GEORGE, wrapping up, says they need to distill what has been drawn from this very helpful meeting and send it out to everyone. Maybe engaging with WhatsApp to see if people have any suggestions to make. He asks group members to collectively think about any scenarios or examples that could be used.

RICHARD FREER asks who would be interested in joining a WhatsApp group around this subject, Jiss will send out a link for it.


Richard Whittaker -Citizen Housing

George Stevenson -ActivePlan

Richard Freer -IceFire Portfolio

Asif Mirza -Brekeley Group

David Poat -Nottinghill Genesis

Paul White -Enfield Council

Christine Milling -L&Q

Eduardo Guasque -Haworth Tompkins

Pauline Tuitt -L&Q

Mo Fisher -PRP


BIM4Housing Development Working Group Meeting-20220316

Recording: https://youtu.be/odVueyqDS-M

Will building safety managers continue to be needed? It’s currently an issue being reviewed by the UK government as part of the building safety bill. Ultimately, building safety is a function of EVERYBODY’s role.

In the new working group in Bim4housing made up of Tier 1 contractors. The contractors want to find ways to change their process (collectively). Starting this attempt to change their processes via bim4housing enables them to avoid accusations of collusion. Those responsible for quality management have been particularly targeted.

George is passionately against the whole concept of risk transfer on the basis that it increases risk. Ringfencing of risks leads to gaps in responsibilities.

According to tier 1 contractors participating in the working group penetration seals are responsible for 50% of the defects that occur during projects. It’s a fundamental design problem of work stage 4 that is created by procurements. M&E contractors are the ones who select products but architects do not have the information to design the penetrations properly. M&E consultants can’t finish the coordination design due to a lack of instillation expertise and not knowing which products will be purchased. Consequently, George is proposing to Tier 1 contractors that the products that are going to be installed could be selected prior to the M&E contractor being appointed. This information should be obtained in a digital format and should therefore limit additional cost of change.

Liability on Developers and Contractors increasing to 30 years is of significance to the development group. George’s presentation (approx 31 mins-1 hr 11 mins): Liability on Developers and Contractors increasing to 30 years is of significance to the development group.

There are many different initiatives involved eg Bim4housing, BRE, Templater. Asset information and surveying, we have created different outputs presenting findings & recommendations, we’ve produced a set of requirements that support the assimilation of a building safety case – what documents and info you are likely to need for the safety case.

We also look at the use of 3D photography and the use of AI to recognise assets.

Graph overlaying the outputs of the GTI and gateways against the riba plan of work (concept, design, construction and occupation).

Creating a digital record: No evidence = defect. Specification on gateway 2 is focused on, there should be full product specifications by gateway 2. It’s critical that all the information is digital.

Addressing real business issues: the WORKING GROUPS define requirements. The WGs are there to decide what work needs doing, they do not have to do any work themselves. When they decide that there are things where better information could help. They then coordinate with other groups to find common streams to help. Example: standardised AIRs, data templates, and pulling together the O&M information for safety case. The MMC group does: logistics, reduced damage, standardised interfaces, education Fire safety group: improved fire safety, fire stopping, golden thread. Sustainability group will work with embedded carbon.

New organisation called ZERO CONSTRUCT. With the tier 1 group we’re planning to look at change management and the production of digital O&Ms.

For 12 asset types we have very detailed information that is needed to make sure the building is safe eg what risks does the asset mitigate etc. The principal is turning raw information into something that is reusable.

Black Box lessons learned: extracted from roundtable sessions. Encouraging people to take photographs, with example and a comment and description, will help things be improved.

Risk Data Dictionary: we take a risk, look at how to mitigate it, asset types that are involved in the risk, and also asset properties.

Data standardisation workstream: we’ve been putting things into data templates. Other data standardisation dictionaries are IFC, Building smart data dictionary, Uniclass2015, NRM, ETIM and the BIMhawk toolkit.

Duty Holders working group – detailed what they need to perform their function as duty holders.

Progressive specification, validation and assurance. Eg every product has to go through this progressive process.

Then, George explains how the templater software works.

Sustainability workstream – here you can pick what is needed for a particular asset type.

The data key is the Revit instance and the Revit family, a data key will be provided.

1 hr 15 mins: Regarding contractors, the rationale for having the product information earlier is one of better operation information so that the people who are actually going to run the build can make an earlier assessment of how the product will perform. Also, the information is needed for safety/fire safety because if you wait to design eg the sprinkler system there will not be enough room to put the sprinkler system in.

Regarding carbon assessment, the problem with 1click lca is struggling to find the right product, finding an approximate one within 1click, yet that approximate product could be wildly different from the reality. Therefore, there is a question as to whether what is actually being used is of genuine value. Eduardo said it’s inevitable to have approximations regarding carbon assessment and the use of 1click.

Considering that we cannot continually dig up things from the earth existing resources are going to have to be recycled and existing buildings are being considered as mines for that.

Revit will start to struggle with the vast amounts of data.


Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

George Stevenson -ActivePlan

Brett Hibbitt -Aster

Eduardo Guasque -Haworth Tompkins

Joe Stott -AHR Architects

Ishka Heart -Network Homes

Scott Sanderson -PRP

Paul White - Enfield Council

Pauline Tuitt -L&Q

Mike Smith -Bailey Partnership

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