Gordon Crick – Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220616

Gordon Crick - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220616

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.