GEORGE Really over the work that we’ve been doing for this last nine months or so, actually trying to follow the golden thread through because to a great extent the golden thread as a concept has been very successful and we’ve actually got many, many golden threads. And the result of that is what we’ve actually got is in many cases a thread of information, but without it being connected to something. What I mean by that is that in many cases what people are doing, quite correctly, is recording an activity, let’s say an inspection, but they’re not tying that back to the particular asset that was inspected. So we therefore end up with a situation where in subsequent inspections the golden thread is not referring to the same thing. So, one of the reasons this particular topic was raised in the summer was to try and address that particular aspect.

Initially we had it discussed in the working groups, we then ran a session at Digital Construction Week and we’ve now published the results of that where the suggestions that people have made are in the document we’ve shared. We now want to turn that into something that’s useful. We’ve got a connection now with DLUHC where we can feed information back to them, but in practice what I’m really looking to do is to see if we can put together something that is some proper guidance that we as an industry can follow.

RICHARD We sent out a query asking you if you have a chance to look at the responses. Q3: How do we ensure continuity and the relationship of asset safety information throughout the asset lifetime? Let’s scroll down to the answers we’ve got so far. What we’re trying to do for this meeting is see what you consider to be the key three and then we can delve deeper into those. I’ll start off with the response we’ve had in already. Both Bex and Simon thought that answer 2, understand the information needs of end users, was one of the main priorities.

SIMON COLLERY The project that I'm working on, which is at the London Borough of Camden, involves the creation or selection of a platform which provides the end users, the building safety managers, with what is believed to be the data that they need in order to create building case reports. Whereas the building safety managers are experts in building safety and they’re not experts in databases, so it’s quite difficult to match what we’re able to provide the building safety managers with and what they actually need to create their reports. We’ve found that they tend to collect a lot of data they need, for example the key building information, whether it’s in data sets or not, and then it’s not really up to them to change around how data is managed, they can only pass that on to somebody else.

So the needs of the end users, people writing the building safety case reports, are a bit different from people who think in terms of data sets and a platform of bringing together data from different sets: asset data, safety data, repairs data etc. So I think we’re just getting to know what the building safety managers need from data management tools at the moment.

RICHARD . Does anybody have any view on that themselves or any personal experience where this would come into play?

JOE STOTT Only to say that I totally agree with that. It reminds me of a conversation I had ten years ago at an Autodesk University where Autodesk were talking about the operational phase of projects. It kind of boiled down to exactly what was just said, it’s about the skill set of the end users as well. Obviously there are requirements, but also how tooled up are they, how are they with entering data? What access to mobile platforms have they got? And that really dictates how you’re going to address the issue because this is only as strong as the weakest link and that very often is the weakest link that that data is collected through unconnected methods. It could be Excel, it could be nots on someones phone, it could be on an iPad. So it seems to me that problem has always been around, is it that it’s not their responsibility? I think that’s what Simon was kind of getting at. How do you get people to change behaviour?

It’s difficult, do you tie it to their deliverables? In the same way that the design industry has gone through this with common data environments over the last ten years. Ten years ago common data environments were a nice to have and now they’re an essential and all design team members have got used to getting information through those gateways and meeting a minimum standard. And the reason for that is because essentially our clients, our paymaster, dictates that is what will happen and if we don’t do that then we don’t get paid and I’m just wondering whether…

RICHARD What you’re saying is you’re talking about organisation, methodology, and touching on competence as well.

GEORGE And also contractual commitment as well, because at the end of the day people will do what they’re paid to do, or they’ll do what they need to do to avoid being penalised. So, it’s that sort of clarity that’s probably needed.

RICHARD The new regime, it almost discourages you to deliver because if you’re overdelivering on what you’re contractually bound to do, or on what your job role is, then you're kind of taking a risk.

DAVE WILLIAMS It’s not just data, it’s documents as well, and often those get overlooked because we are worried about critical data type information, it’s the affiliated documents be them certificates or the safety case report itself. It’s how we make sure that that is available, easy to find, linked in some way to the corresponding data, and I think that often gets missed because of the fact we have a tunnel vision about raw data in databases or Excel spreadsheets etc.

PAULA CHANDLER The conversation piqued my interest when we talked about overdelivering because actually what I say to my team is this has just given us a framework to do what we should have been doing all along and now we’re being visibly held to account for doing what we should have been doing under the building regs. I know I’m a bit oversimplifying. In terms of data sets, going back to Dave’s point, we want to get to a place where everything is held digitally anyway and we don’t have documents flying around left, right and centre uncontrolled.

For me, going back to the question 3 how do we ensure continuity, it’s a process diagram. I do a lot fo work with Paul McSoley from Mace and we’ve collectively put together a process diagram. You almost have to spell out what has to be done, by who, at what stage and proving that person is competent. It can start off as a very simple framework that we can all feed into, you can base it on the RIBA work stages or the BSRIA work stages, but some gateways that take the emotion out of it and drive this consistency in what we’re going to get, a predictable outcome at the end of each stage. That’s what I’m trying to do.

GEORGE I think the other thing with that is the handshake between what information is being produced, who is receiving it and has that baton been properly handed over. I think that’s a real issue at the moment. What people are doing is they are producing information because they’ve got a requirement to do so. The information hasn’t been, probably, verified and the person that’s receiving it may well not have the tools and the competence to be able to check it and that’s where the break comes in. One of the most useful things that has come out of the amendments to Regulation 38 is that the responsible person (typically the client) has to confirm explicitly that they’ve received the fire safety information, the information they need to run the building safely. That’s new and I think it’s going to be an interesting challenge for most client organisations because they’re not familiar with having to do that, and I think that’s encouraging.

PAULA CHANDLER And that’s our experience, we’re inheriting a pack of information 8that hasn’t gone through that rigour because it’s not, the right qualified people aren’t there to be able to process it correctly. So. we’re on the back-foot before we even start as a main contractor having to fill in the gaps, not just with fire as you know with the structural integrity and user safety, it impacts the programme already. So absolutely I agree with that handshake piece, there should almost be a checklist, it could be as simple as that.

SHAUN HOLLIDAY I’m from A2Dominion, long time information practitioner. Just a few weeks in the role at A2Dominion as the asset and component manager, so a lot of it is familiar, but kind of new. Some of the topics that you’re grappling with here I’m grappling with myself and in relation to understanding the information needs to end users I think technology has quite a lot to play in trying to make information relatable, consumable and relevant at the point of use.

And I think the challenges for organisations longer term is how do you make you asset information available to those people who are working on behalf of our organisations at the point of use. Those people who are handling that equipment on a day to day basis who are closest to the information, who are probably most qualified to verify and validate and collect that information whilst they’re handling that equipment. I think technology has the ability to do that and we see that every day in good, well designed products and I think we can learn lessons from those areas in terms of technology.

The other area that you’re talking about around process is that data doesn’t exist, doesn’t have relevance outside of process. I’ve been looking at processes and thinking about how it would be possible to take each of your data items and pin it to a process so you understand what its relevance is to the organisation. If you can’t pin a data item to a process then you have to question whether you should be collecting it and managing it at all.

GEORGE One of the ways in which we’ve been trying to do that is to look at things from an information requirement perspective so that you can explicitly identify what information each party in the flow needs, and also who is responsible for providing it and has it been provided etc. The asset information requirements and the project information requirements is something that has got to have a much greater emphasis. I was in a Nima (UK BIM Alliance) meeting on Monday and Gordon Crick from the HSE was on there, he was saying that project information requirements, they’ve now recognised that’s a vital area, which was music to my ears because I’ve been banging on about it for a long time. Because I think it’s the fundamental thing that we need to identify because otherwise people are going to be completely overwhelmed with too much data, too much information and you can’t see the wood for the trees. We need to identify what’s important.

If you look at it from a COBie perspective, which probably is the best schema to work with around this, is that there is a lot of the attributes in the base COBie that for a lot of asset types just aren’t needed, like colour, shape and things like that, but they are needed for certain items. So it’s a matter of, as client organisations, being a little bit more understanding of what needs to be done.

SHAUN HOLLIDAY That’s quite interesting. Some of the thoughts I’ve had around the COBie and some of those attributes is to think about whether a data item is regulatory mandatory, whether it’s system mandatory, whether it’s business mandatory, or just a nice to have because it supports a process elsewhere. If you start to think about things you can prioritise how you gather data around those priorities and that might well influence how you go about filling out your COBie information and how you prioritise. Clearly there is an enormous amount of information in the existing portfolio that we just can’t necessarily get to, so how do we prioritise gathering that because it clearly can’t be done in one go, particularly as we’re still learning what it is that we need to gather re these requirements. So, that has to be built into you BAU activity day to day activity so that you can build it up over time.

GEORGE We’ve done quite a lot of work, which I’d be happy to share with anybody on the group, around RACI. We’ve gone through the information sets, actually over the last couple of years we’ve gone through and done a lot of work around certain key asset types. There are 12 that we’ve focused on, things like fire doors, sprinklers, emergency lighting, cavity barriers etc, to actually identify what data is actually useful for different purposes, for design, installation, maintenance etc. They’re all on the BIM4Housing website, but what might be useful is to just run through those with you because I think that’s the way forward to be able to, exactly what you’ve just said: Why are we actually collecting this information? Who's’ going to use it?

And also what form is it in, as Dave said earlier. I’m passionately interested in all of the data being machine-readable, but that’s a big topic to try and get on top of. So therefore having data sheets for products that are there as PDFs, as long as it’s the right data sheet for that particular product that’s put in that particular instance, that’s a gradual way of us getting to where we need to get to.

RICHARD I want to bring in Assumpta, you’re with Metropolitan in charge of building safety. Are you getting all the information you need?

ASSUMPTA BEKENY They don’t have a system in place yet, so they’re still trying because what happens is you get all of the information from the developers, but people just work in silos. So we’re trying to collate that information now which is very difficult. So you still have different departments just gathering this information and not knowing what to do with it, or not getting all of the information that they need.

GEORGE I think that’s the point, if we can actually prescriptively say what information do we need and, really importantly, what we don’t need, then it means that you can have a way of validating and verifying that you’ve got what you need.

ASSUMPTA BEKENY I kind of did a draft of the information that I’m going to need for the building safety case. And then they’ve kind of incorporated that into the ERs. So the contractors, when you’re giving that information, we make sure that we get that information and we’re going to recruit a technical manager to check that information first and validate it before we can sign it off.

CLIFF KNEALE Can i just add something about BIM, when it was first mandated. When BIM was first mandated there was a five year horizon for it to be implemented and I recall four years in people were still discussing what the acronym BIM meant. So there was a lot of BIM maturity that had to be levelled up in the design and construction teams and I think we’re now on this journey. The idea was that the project information model was supposed to be stripped out and it became the asset information model. Now that the Building Safety Act has come into play there is no kind of timeline or horizon, it’s all been very sudden, and I think we need to take a similar approach to the implementation of BIM where it unfolded over a number of years.

There was a very useful wedge by (I think) Mervyn Richards. It had Level 1 BIM and Level 2 BIM and Level 3 BIM, and at Level 1 it was unstructured data, at Level 2 it was 3D models and some semi-structured data and Level 3 was the integrated BIM If we had a similar wedge for the golden thread of information then people could start talking about, well, we’re working at Level 1, you’re at Level 2, so that would help us to understand the information exchanges. And then underneath those levels the documents and the standards associated that you would need to understand in order to meet those levels. In kind of put some framework around everybody, maybe moving at different speeds, but towards the same goal.

RICHARD As you say, BIM Level 2, a couple of years back everyone was talking about BIM Level 2, now nobody is talking about it. It’s all just BIM.

CLIFF KNEALE Yeah, it’s all BIM, but it was a very useful tool to get everybody onboard to understand. It’s basically like a bit of a gap analysis, you could understand where you were on that chart and where you needed to be and which documents you needed to engage with in order to get yourself up to speed and to get it through you supply chain and through your own office and your own team in order to get everybody onboard. Actually, we need to view it as a transformational change, I think everybody is starting to realise that now. So each company needs to drive it from the top down.

RICHARD It’s a lot easier to target an end if it’s the end of a stage as opposed to targeting the end of the whole thing, so it does make sense to having a stage.

GEORGE I think one of the interesting points you just made, BIM Level 2, I think was relatively clear in that it was determining an objective and the objective was to be able to hand over asset information. I think a key area of BIM Level 2 was the production of COBie and the production of the information from an asset management perspective. That was one of the differences with BIM Level 1. What we’ve now done is we’ve dropped BIM Level 2 and we’re using the term 19650 processes and therefore to some extent we’ve lost the goal, which i think is what you’re saying, Cliff. We’ve lost the goal of why we’re doing a lot of this stuff, we’ve dropped back onto the process of how we do it rather than why we do it. I think the golden thread and the work that’s needed now to satisfy the Regulator, that should be focusing us back on to why we’re actually doing it, rather than how we’re doing it. We need the how, but it’s also really important to tie in on the what.

CLIFF KNEALE The point I’m trying to make is that we’re at the start of a long journey here and I found that wedge was very useful as a tool to put up for everybody to understand and collaborate around. You’re going from working in silos to working in collaborative teams and delivering information that’s shareable. The right information at the right time in the right format, that’s basically what BIM is. It doesn’t have to be 3D. Perhaps we should come up with something like this for the asset information model. How are all the property managers and property owners going to get on board? Where is the diagram that shows them the way?

GEORGE Emma, a question for you, I’m just thinking of fire doors as being an example of the need for that continuity of information.

EMMA SWAFFER From my perspective it’s an odd one, really, because there’s various platforms where various information like you’ve alluded to, so we’ve got loose threads that are supposed to be all tied together. For instance, I’ve worked in fire door manufacturing, the business that I work for now is in fire door inspections, health & safety inspections. The information that’s gone into the manufacturing space is that they need to be doing something in order to provide the data to the end user of the building. What information that is has not been clarified, how that is to be put to the end user has not been clarified. So i think the industry collectively has gone in and made up their own set of rules, so you’ve got various platforms that store and hold the data and also transmit the data to the next stage, but there’s not one thread.

This is from potentially design and installation status, but then what happens when you’ve got occupation and then you’ve got subsequent review, subsequent inspections. Half of the inspectors in the country are on one platform, the other half are on another platform and the information doesn’t seem to blend together so you’re getting dead ends of information, so you’re getting frayed ropes. This is the critical problem that we’ve got, as a building owner, potentially, for one of the local authorities, how do you know the information that you’re getting is current and up-to-date? Because potentially there could have been a further inspection done and that inspector might still be on paper.

And then tagging the information, going back to your point earlier on about assets being tagged, but each person and each end user and each inspector tags differently. So how do we know that that information pertains to that door set? And how do we know that door set is the original door set and has not been changed or upgraded or replaced by a tenant in a leasehold property. Going back to the second point, we do need to understand what information is required and there needs to be those standardised platforms in which you can collate the relevant information because part of my career going back a few moons ago, I was in insolvency, I was a liquidator.

One of the things that I found is that once a business goes into liquidation as well the information collated belongs to that business. So who owns this data? Who’s got responsibility for it from a legal perspective? There’s huge fines that are placed upon companies and individuals in relation to data breaches, and ultimately this information might be on the server for one business and then, heaven forbid, an insolvency occurs, that information is not worth anything to a liquidator, so there’s going to be no resale value, so where does that information go?

GEORGE Emma, you’ve summarised it very well.

SIMON COLLERY In the local authority where I work, BIM applies to a different department from the housing department. BIM applies to the people who are building new buildings, whereas the building safety managers, they’re only focusing on the high-risk buildings, the ones that were built 50-60 years ago. So i agree with George interpreting BIM as better information management and also looking at appropriate data sets, such as COBie, rather than them that go into 6, 7, 8 different levels. For the building safety managers at the moment who are writing the building safety case reports that are due in April next year, I don’t think they should be distracted by BIM at this stage. New buildings, very gradually, they’ll have some kind of BIM content at the design phase and at the construction phase and that will be handed over like the baton in a relay race so that the building safety managers don’t have to write building safety cases and building safety case reports for the buildings, as they do for the occupied buildings now. So, BIM is completely different for the building safety managers and hopefully it will come in very, very gradually.

GEORGE If I could just reference that back to what Emma was saying, one of the challenges are that people are perceiving that BIM is going to deliver something that it isn’t delivering. And unless we actually make sure that that information is procured at the outset from people, then it won’t be delivered, as Joe was saying at the beginning. If I could come back to what Emma was saying, it’s very interesting. As some of you supported us when we were going through the Golden Thread Initiative process and we’ve actually gone through each of the different asset types and identified what information is needed by different parties at different points. (shares screen).

This is the information that’s up on the BIM4Housing website. Basically, we’ve done this for 12 asset types. We’ve actually looked at this from the HSE’s perspective, what risk does a fire door mitigate? What do people do to a fire door to stop it from working? What information is needed about an asset or a fire door to ensure it performs as required? What tasks, methods, statements, procedures are required to commission it, install it and maintain it? The level of competency and how should we track change. These are the things we’ve gone through of identifying what the component parts are.

In some cases compliance teams were arguing they don’t want to know this level of detail, they don’t want to know what the door closer is, but when we came together it was clear that people who were repairing the doors do want to know what the door closer is. So therefore what we’re trying to is collect the information that everybody needs, but then present it in the most appropriate way. We’ve got some description there of what a fire door looks like and then these are the risks that the teams came up with, in terms of this is what a fire door is actually doing. And then what do people do to a fire door to stop it from working, like painting over it for example.

We then went through and looked at the information that’s needed to do in terms of the information requirements, the specification, information about materials that are used, information about how it should be constructed and installed and then inspection and maintenance. So there’s quite a rich set of information there that Paul McSoley has been working on. That's the sort of thing that we’ve put the RACI against. Then we’ve got the information about specification from a point of view about tasks and procedures, installation, inspection, maintenance. And actually we’re publishing something in the new year where we’ve had a working group looking at fire doors in particular, but we’ve got some standard inspections coming out.

And then something on the competency of the people that are needed, so do you need BM Trada certification or whatever, and then how should information be recorded. Has everybody on the meeting seen that before? Was that useful, Shaun?

SHAUN HOLLIDAY Yeah, that’s really useful and I think it comes to another question when you start to look at that and link it back to the COBie construct about how many of those attributes around fire doors would be considered to be type attributes and how many of those would be considered to be component or instance attributes that are peculiar to the specific installation in a particular point in space? Because that’s the next bit that you get to, when you start to break that down and start to record it where does that information sit in terms of its type and in terms of its specific installation.

GEORGE Yes, definitely, and that’s really the work that we’re doing at the moment. We can perhaps pick up on that and share with you our progress on that.

PAUL OAKLEY That is one of the biggest issues we have within the industry is that there is no consistent way that things like designers are applying attribute information and different software deals with it differently. So whether they’re applying it per instance or per type, we’ve had a scenario where we had a project where the types were just elevational styles. So things like the fire rating and the thicknesses were all done per instance, which is not the way, when I was working as an architect in housing projects, that I would have done things, but because the software Revit makes us easier for us to do it that way that’s the way they did it on the job.

RICHARD Anybody who hasn’t seen those documents, the BIM4Housing recommendations on the 12 fire critical asset types, they are on the website. If you scroll down to the bottom of the homepage they’re there.

GEORGE Could i just finally build on what Emma was saying a moment ago. Emma, what typically starts things off is the specification and the specification that somebody like Joe as an architect might produce is probably coming out of something like NBS Chorus which will provide a document, but it could easily be 100 pages just for a door that specifies the information about the door set. Then that is often a performance specification that really should tie into the requirement for the door that Emma is providing, but that then has got to be interpreted by somebody that is probably a manufacturer, because that’s the way it’s typically done where the information is provided.

Because it’s not just that particular door, it’s also the context in which that door is going to be used, so somebody’s got to come up with a solution to that. And it’s often the manufacturers who will be providing back a solution that satisfies that requirement. So they’re saying we understand the British Standards, we understand the ISO standards, we understand building regs, so based on what is in this 100 page NBS specification this is the solution that we’re recommending. You’d think that was simple, but it’s not because in most cases fire doors are not provided as a complete product even where a door set is tested there is often a fabricator in place as well. Emma, you’re working for an inspection company, were you involved with Sentry Doors at one stage?


GEORGE Did Sentry manufacture complete door sets or where you more of a fabricator?

EMMA SWAFFER They actually manufactured complete door sets. They use two cores that, two main providers of fire door cores into the UK, and then they are manufactured. So on site they were routed out 47mins 50secs, the glass was put in, they were pre-hung door sets, so they went out as a plug and play system. They were often used in specification for London boroughs and also we had some projects up in Birmingham.

GEORGE From that point of view…I experienced this on a project. What we were trying to do was find out who’d installed the doors and which doors had been installed. For a new build, you’d think that would be straightforward under the new regulations, but after four months we’ve still not been able to find out who installed them.

EMMA SWAFFER No, and that’s the problem. Sentry would manufacturer to that specification, or they would have an existing specification in place, that would go out to an installation business. There are some companies that manufacturer and install, down on the South Coast you’ve got Shellen, LFS (London Fire Solutions). However, the public sector procurement has sort of led and dictated that they want manufacturing and installation separate, which I can understand.

GEORGE The other point is that you obviously want the door to be tested by somebody like Warringtonfire. In the project we experienced recently Dorplan were the fabricator, they were the ones that actually put everything together, but the door components came from Halspan.

EMMA SWAFFER So Halspan had the primary testing. Sentry Doors have a lot of primary tested products, I think for their 12 or 14 products that they had, they had primary test evidence on those door configurations. The only problem you’ve actually got is the cost of those testing sites. So to put one door configuration, for instance a flush faced door with a spy viewer, a letter box and handle and a closing system. That was a type 1 flat entrance door, We had primary test evidence on that configuration, but we were often asked to change the door handles. If the door handle that we would be putting on was equal or less in regards to the ingress into the door core, we could use that under our field test analysis because it was suitably fire rated, but it would not come with primary test evidence.

So there’s so much confusion and so much cost, to put, for instance, to test a configuration of a door you’re looking at between £50-75,000 to burn your own product. But obviously Sentry saw that as a key part of their strategy moving forward, but there are lots of fabricators that can’t really afford that testing and it’s down to who specifies the door and the end user as to whether they want that primary test evidence or not.

GEORGE The reason I’m mentioning it, and I’ve been exposed to this only over the last two or three years, the level of detail is quite overwhelming and when we start talking about test evidence and things like that, until recently my eyes started to glaze over because I just got lost. But the fact is it’s really important under this new legislation and it comes back to the fact that unless we can actually have a proper record of the assets that are installed, not just the fact of the record of the inspection that’s been done, then we’re not going to achieve any continuity of information through that process. So what we need to do is have, as Shaun was saying earlier, instance of types of products, and the instance being the individual asset that’s actually in the building of a type, because by organising them at type level and instance level you’ve got a chance of managing all of this data because it means that you can put things in a type level which then applies to every single instance.

And then you can start to tie things back to products, because the products won’t stay the same over the life of the building, but the types will and probably also the assets will to a great extent because although you’re swapping one product out for another you’ve still got a fire door in that location that’s performing as a fire door. So therefore the product itself has changed, but the functional asset hasn’t.

EMMA SWAFFER Yeah, I think Sentry’s come up with a really interesting…they’re now using door data systems as their platform for carrying this information. So in each door they manufacture they embed a microchip into that door, that has all of the information in regards to the core of that door, who manufactured the core, who worked on the core during the process of manufacture in their factory, what components (hinges, lock systems etc) and also all of the data sheets pertaining to those door hardware bits. it also has who quality controlled that before leaving the factory and then ultimately any other technical specification data sheets attached to it. Those bits of information are then handed virtually, so that handshake piece, across to the installation business for them to upload photos in regards to that installation process, and any of their accreditation certificates as well.

GEORGE I think that’s a really good example of one of the golden threads that we need to be encouraging, but the fundamental thing there, there’s several different solutions that are doing that same thing. The problem with it is that we need to make sure that that data needs to be open.

EMMA SWAFFER That’s the issue, they’re not open and that goes back to my point that if that business fails who owns that data and where does that data go?

GEORGE And from a practical point of view, in a typical building you may have 2 or 3 or more different manufacturers who are using different solutions for installation, so they’ve got different platforms that they’re working with. So if you’re an asset manager and you’re looking after a building, let’s say you’re a maintenance company like Mears that is responsible for maintaining something. There may be some vandalism or a break-in and the doors got to be replaced quickly, how would they know which…I appreciate they can use the sensor to connect back to a database, but `i think in some cases people have got to subscribe to those databases. So therefore it becomes quite complex.

RICHARD Let’s look at which follows on nicely from that question and which was also highlighted is answer 8 which is provide a digital platform for uploading and tracking asset safety information throughout its lifecycle, including inspections and maintenance. Ilona, how are you guys fixed? You’re from A2Dominion. What are you using in terms of a platform and to ensure tracking building safety information right the way through the lifecycle?

ILONA LYNCH At the moment there is a conversation at a higher level, what kind of system we’re going to be using. I don’t think we’ve found any particular system as we speak, so it’s still in discussion.

RICHARD That being the case, this comes onto another answer we’ve got which is about interoperability between systems. Are you having issues with that? With various different software systems not communicating with each other.

ILONA LYNCH Yeah, it’s a common problem in most housing associations, to be fair. A couple of systems which is good on a few fronts, but somehow doesn’t communicate together, or we don’t have an ultimate system which can do everything, we would like to. At the moment we’re running a few systems alongside, but again, the integrity of it, it’s always an issue.

JAMIE HALL (Hundred Houses) We're currently migrating from one system to another. The system's not working properly.

SHAUN HOLLIDAY Many organisations run different IT systems often best of breed for specific operational deliverable purposes, but I think that the IT challenge is to try and make sure that the things that are represented in your electronic model around portfolio have the same definitions across your systems. So if in your finance system you’ve got something that defines what an estate is or a block a sub-block, then that definition has to carry through to your other systems as part of your space naming convention. And as soon as you start to harmonise those relationships, then you have half a chance of being able to connect those systems together in some type of common data environment in which you can either work at aggregate level, because that’s where you want to work financially, or you can go down and start having your two tiers of COBie, your type and your instance information, to your space naming convention.

The challenge is how do you define what objects in each system represent and how do you give them equality in all of those systems in order to be able to say that this in this system represents the same thing in that system. And then that will help you to have that golden thread of reporting across systems in some sort of reporting or common data environment.

KATHRYN DOYLE I’m from A2Dominion, also in the building projects team, I'm working on some remediation of some of our higher residential buildings.

RICHARD Let’s look at another question.

GEORGE The questions that we’ve got there, what we’re trying to do is turn them into something a little bit more actionable and therefore really get people’s feedback as to whether you think those particular points are particularly important to you. So it might be worth asking you, after the meeting, to look through them and identify for us which ones you consider, what are your top three. it might be that when you look through them some of them are referring to something quite similar. For example, clearly we do need the right type of IT systems to be able to deal with this matter and some of it is going to be processes and some of it is going to be culture.

RICHARD This is an interesting one, identified as a main requirement is to promote honesty and clarity in communication. That’s a mare’s nest, honesty and clarity. Comments on that one please.

SIMON COLLERY Isn’t there new competence criteria about integrity?

JOE STOTT About behavioural characteristics, yeah.

SHAUN HOLLIDAY I think this item really speaks to being open about, not trying to obfuscate issues that you’re having within the management of your portfolio. Because if you culturally tend to obfuscate stuff, how can you possibly manage that in a safe way for the people that are living in your buildings? So fundamentally you have to be open and honest, even about the bad stuff, and then you just have to manage that situation. I think this is really what Dame Judith Hackitt was saying about the principles of the building safety and its honesty being an open and cultural change in the sector.

RICHARD That’s interesting because we have another site along with which is which was set up as a construction version of the aviation methodology with the black box. In aviation, if you report an issue that’s happened within 10 days you’re not held responsible and they consider that’s a way of getting people to own up and learning from mistakes where the whole industry learns from mistakes. We’ve got on the black box site a number of sections relating to that, on one section they’ve uploaded photographs of things that have been done wrong and said what they’ve done to alleviate and solve the problem, and in some cases not. We’ve also got a section which deals with critical events, if something critical has happened what was it, who was responsible for it, and how was it resolved.

SHAUN HOLLIDAY It’s interesting because my background is 10-11 years in aerospace aircraft manufacturing and servicing business systems. I think there is an awful lot that we can learn from the aerospace industry about how to manage and maintain assets reporting and things like that. If I was going to pick an area that you could learn a lot from I’d say aerospace is one of those because it’s purely a safety driven culture. The end game is to make sure that people don’t die using your products and when things do happen there is a full and open enquiry into the whys and wherefores and feedback into you manufacturing system to improve your products and your supply chain. So these are the principles that we’d be endeavouring to engender into the things that we’re doing around building safety.

GEORGE I’d really recommend anybody…a fire engineer told me last year about a book called Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed, I listened to it and it’s fascinating, it’s exactly that, Shaun. He compares healthcare (the medical industry) with the airline industry, and just a massive difference between the two. The key thing, as you said, is that in the airline industry if something goes wrong they embrace it and they try and address it to identify how it can be engineered out. Whereas in the healthcare industry they literally bury their victims, they buckle down. To be fair, the healthcare industry has changed, it’s changed from what it has learnt from the airline industry. So if you go into a hospital now and you have any type of procedure, the number of checks and things they do is significant. I think you’re right, the aerospace industry is a really critical one.

I’ve got a suggestion to make, Richard. The fundamental thing about this question is however the information is being held, what system it’s being held in, what processes were operating, all of those there is a range of different ways that can be done. But one of the things that’s common is how can we achieve that golden thread of information through the process. And how can we actually identify that it’s not working, so that handshake bit. I’m just wondering whether we might do something around Regulation 38 which is the fire safety information. I’ll just show you what I’m thinking. (shares screen).

We’ve gone through Regulation 38, and i didn’t even know what Regulation 38 was until two years ago, and everybody keeps quoting at me whenever I say what information do we need, they’ll say we want Regulation 38, which is another document to read. What we’ve done, and Paul Bray will be very familiar with this, Regulation 38 actually includes the fire safety information and we’ve gone through a picked out from that the asset types that are referred to. What I’m thinking is that if, for example, we’ve got Metropolitan, A2 Dominion, Hundred Housing, if you said for fire doors or fire stopping, have we got consistent information that goes through from…do we know where our fire dampers are? Do we know where our sprinkler heads are? Do we know which spaces are being supported by which smoke control systems? And maybe use this mechanism to go through and track to see the continuity of information on your new builds or on existing buildings. So, do you know where all the smoke dampers are? The likelihood is you don’t.

Now, under the new regulations if you don’t know that information you can’t just say that you don’t know if, you have to explain to the Regulator what actions you’ve put in place to collect it. And also then, as a responsible person, for all of this information you have to confirm you’ve received it (not just for new build, but on existing buildings) and when you appoint a new responsible person, another FM contractor or something like that, that handshake has got to happen as well (under the legislation) where you’ve got to confirm that you’ve given the information to them and they’ve got to confirm that they’ve received it. I’m thinking that could be a very practical way of us doing something around this. Is that a worthwhile idea?

RICHARD What, in terms of actually asking people to fill out a form or a grid or something about their own organisation?


ASSUMPTA BEKENY I’ve only been at Metropolitan for a few weeks, but I was at Peabody before and they already had a system in place and they collated all of that information and they’ve added it as part of the regulation test. You need to provide that information and also state where all of those things are on all new builds. Coming from Peabody, they have that information now, but at Metropolitan we’re still trying to get that in place.

GEORGE Assumpta, I know Peabody and I’d be very surprised if they’ve got that level of detail.

ASSUMPTA BEKENY Yes, we do now because Peabody has got a mega team of building safety managers and part of the task was to try and find that information, so they visited all of the high-rise blocks.

GEORGE Obviously I agree with that, what I’m saying is in terms of the individual assets, do you think they know where all of the smoke dampers are?

ASSUMPTA BEKENY For the high-rises, yes, they do. That’s for the high-rises, not for all of the blocks. For the high-rises they have that level of information and it’s just having the resources to be able to find that information as well.

GEORGE It’s great if we’ve got some people who have actually done it, that’s fantastic and what we all need to aspire to, by law now everybody has got to do it. What I’m thinking is that could be an interesting activity that we maybe collaborate around. I think that we could then compare notes because it becomes almost like a self-help group.

RICHARD So, how would we structure that, George? Ask people to send out a questionnaire kind of thing?

GEORGE Yes, we might come up with a methodology and then we can also then engage the right type of steps so we can go about it. As you say, we can provide a process with some questions against it as to how that might be done. Allan Harrison said all the fire information should be included in the operations manual but this information always fall

short on detail because the persons or company tasked with collecting the information are not fully up to speed with what is required. That’s certainly my experience as well.

RICHARD George, we’ll put that together. Anybody who wants to get involved in that, put your name in the chat, or if you’ve got any suggestions.

GEORGE Joe, would you like to just explain what you’ve put in the chat.

JOE STOTT I was glad that aviation was mentioned because I was having similar thoughts of the aviation or the automotive industry or even the food industry where there is this requirement for this traceability. And yet within all of those industries, we don’t buy a food product and expect the manufacturer to provide us every bit of information about the process of designing that product and making it and manufacturing it. We kind of leave that within the manufacturer’s realm, the same with car maintenance, a car manufacturer will do product recalls, the same with aviation etc. So you get that overall picture and that accountability of the product that you make, and yet within AEC industry we seem to ignore that approach completely.

And what we’re kind of saying is, and this is from myself as part of the design team (the CapEx side of things), is we need to document every decision that we make and every process that we do and every product that we use and then we throw that over the fence to the OpEx. And it’s hardly surprising, if that happened when you bought a new car and you got this big bundle of every though process that went into that vehicle it would be chaos. So it seems a bit strange to me how the AEC industry…

RICHARD If you’re talking about somebody who’s consuming a cake that would be the equivalent of somebody who is renting a flat, not the person who is constructing it. The person who’s making that cake has got comply with regulations, they would need that information. The people in this meeting aren’t the people who are eating the cake, we’re the people who are making it, so it’s slightly different I think.

JOE STOTT Well, no, I don’t think you are the people who are making it, necessarily. I think you’re the supermarkets, you’re the people who…it’s kind of like the car dealerships who are managing that product as it goes forward to the consumers.

GEORGE The supermarkets probably would check the detail.

JOE STOTT They have a relationship with the manufacturers, the same with aviation. The aviation provides a service, so they buy the aeroplane and then they run that product to deliver a service to their customers. I don’t see how that’s any different to a housing association.

GEORGE I would agree. The only thing i would say is that the difference is products and the fact that every building at the moment is a unique construction.

JOE STOTT Which is flabbergasting.

SHAUN HOLLIDAY The key difference between aviation and what i think we’re being asked to deliver is that in aviation the supply chain is responsible for the certificate of conformance for their part of that product. They hold those records and if you want to trace it back, you go back down through the supply chain to find those records. Fundamentally, what we're being asked to do here as a housing provider or management of housing is to manage the information input from the entire supply chain for the life of the building that we're managing. And that that's a huge ask and a massive difference from what aviation is doing because they compartmentalised that management to the components and the supply chain. They don't expect the airlines to hold that information as the end user of that product at all, and that’s really what we’re being asked to do here. As the end user of these products, we're expected to manage the information management for the entire supply chain.

JOE STOTT And that's what I find strange because from a designer's point of view, that design happen within the AEC industry and therefore with aviation you get that kind of loopback in terms of if there is an issue with a particular product or particular service. That goes back to the manufacturer and they improve their products so you’ve got that continual improvement, whereas within AEC that feedback loop doesn’t exist, so we keep making the same product.

RICHARD If anybody who wants to get involved moving forward on the questionnaire and the methodology please put your name in the chat. Everybody else, I know a number of you are going to be in other meetings over these sessions this week and next week, see you then. Others, I guess we'll see you in working groups and roundtables early on the New year. So have a good Christmas and all that jazz and see you all soon at some point.


[11:14] Simon Collery

For the safety case report documents are a lot more important than data, Dave Williams, that's what we're finding.

But we have lots of datasets, only one document management system.

[11:23] Joe Stott

Has anyone ever seen an OIR (Organizational Information Requirement) in the wild..? I know i haven't.

[11:33] Assumpta Bekeny

I totally agree.

[11:38] Joe Stott

At the moment what i see as a design team member are projects that might have some sort of EIR documentation and sometimes an AIR document (Usually very poor quality) - this then informs our response towards the PIM however I have yet to see an OIR document so its no surprise to me that the PIM deliverables fails to meet the requirements of the appointing organization.

[11:45] Assumpta Bekeny

I haven't seen it.

[11:45] Dave Williams

OIR's are very generic

[12:06] Jamie Hall

2nd regarding asset types - under our old system asset info was recorded different on our housing management system for blocks/estates. This led to some conflicts when viewing data and raising repairs.

[12:07] Assumpta Bekeny

Has anyone here been able to harmonise their data across different platforms?.

[12:18] Joe Stott

"A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines". - Frank Lloyd Wright ...This still holds firm

[12:21] Shaun Holliday

We likely don't have that information recorded centrally internally but in most cases we could probably say "I know a man that does"

[12:21] Simon Collery

I think an exercise like that would be useful, the KBI asks for some of it, but not all.

[12:22] Jamie Hall

Planning an exercise to find this info amongst other), useful to add to the inspection list.

[12:22] Simon Collery

And BIM certainly makes identifying locations uniquely, also assets, faults, etc.

[12:23] Allan Harrison (Guest)

All the fire information should be included in the operations manual but this information always fall short on detail because the persons or company tasked with collecting the information are not fully up to speed with what is required

[12:24] Joe Stott

What really strikes me is that other industries that require accountability (Aviation, Automotive, Food) maintain a relationship with the manufacturer who designed and procured the initial solution/product. Within AEC this never happens and i am not sure the Golden Thread will change this.. Its almost like asking BMW to provide you as the vehicle owner ALL the details of every aspect of the cars design and manufacture.. This would make no sense at all and yet within the AEC industry this appears to be what we are trying

[12:30] Allan Harrison (Guest)

A flow chart highlighting an information test plan for regulation 38 would be helpful for the information required, but a lot of the companies are reluctant to release the test information.

[12:30] David sharp (Guest)

Aviation, Nuclear, defence, oil and gas and ship development have all embraced Systems Engineering approach to design and management.