BIM4HOUSING CONTRACTUAL WORKSTREAM MEETING 13-11-2023
MARTIN ADIE …referred to in the guidance which we all know quite well, like the gateways, aren’t actually in the legislation which s quite surprising. I heard about it on Thursday and we reviewed it today, but the gateways don’t appear in the legislation, they call them something else.
PAUL McSOLEY Were you talking about the key information?
MARTIN ADIE No, we were talking about the difference between legislation and guidance and how it’s becoming more and more noticeable the more you get into it. The example I was giving was the gateways. I think most people in the industry who’ve had a dabbling with this know what the gateways are, but I think most people would be shocked (like George was) to find out that they’re not actually mentioned in the legislation. The legislation refers to building control application.
GEORGE I’m very busy at the moment, I think a lot of people are very confused.
PAUL McSOLEY The best one we came up with recently was we were doing this thing for the industry leaders for ASFP and PFKG and we came out with a slogan: I’ve got 99 problems and the bat ain’t one. And it’s so true, it’s not the fire ? 2mins 17secs that’s the issue, it’s everything else that sits before it. Was it the digital records being the golden kipper? If you’re not careful. I can’t stay, unfortunately, I’ve got to jump into another meeting. Is anyone at London Build this week?
GEORGE I’m not planning to be, but I have been asked this morning as to whether I’m going, so it’s possible. I was engaged with Iain McIlwee on Thursday/Friday because what I’m trying to do is get some simplified data. I was going to ask you Paul, for the asset types, in particular the Regulation 38 types, I’m trying to see if we can simplify that information that’s needed that differentiates between a door and a pump, just at a very high level. I’ve been going through looking at what we’ve been creating over the years in BIM and IFC and from an asset management point of view there’s probably only 2 or 3 things that you need to know about a door that would supplement what you have in a data sheet. I was explaining that to Iain and he sent me back what the Guild of Ironmongers have produced and I’ve not had the time to finish my reply, but the level of complexity that they (and most people) are asking for is just too big. I think we’re going to be asking too much of people and therefore we’re not getting anything.
PAUL McSOLEY What I’ve found is that unless you get it into a workbook guidance like we did with NAD recently with the damper stuff people just can’t process it. And it’s really hard for the architectural community because they’re really struggling to process any of it.
GEORGE (shares screen). This is a data sheet out of what we did with the BRE and all of these values down on the left hand side are things that are BIM library elements that we built into the template. And what I’m finding is that asking people for things like security rating, even handicapped accessible and things like that, this is all information that probably would be in a data sheet. I’m not trying to dumb things down but I actually think that asking people for 10 or 15 attributes against something like a door is too much. So what I want to know, for example, fire rating, I probably do want to know what the fire rating is. I probably do want to know whether it’s got a door closer, and maybe the height as well, but the rest of the attributes can be in a data sheet. I sent this to Iain and he said here’s an alternative suggestion (changes the document displayed on screen). This is from the Guild of Ironmongers and can you imagine who would be filling in this level of detail? There’s information on how the thing is constructed or built, things about the seals.
I’m not saying that this information wouldn’t be wonderful to have, but the challenge with that is a lot of these things could be in a data sheet, which is what they’ve done here which is good. But to ask anybody to fill out, it’s 180 values, it’s just not going to happen, and I just wanted to share that with you. You know the thing that I’ve been pushing for which we’re still on the journey with is having a Bim4housing product library just with data sheets in it, but if we could have…A lot of this information about manufacturer, the reference, the model number, that’s standard COBie information that could be captured across the board. There is nothing special about that that is different for a door as it is for a window or…
You can see why we get into the weeds so quickly because even Iain, who’s very knowledgeable, we end up with…the question is who would fill that in? Because the information is going to come from lots of different people.
PAUL McSOLEY (shares screen). The key with this is you’ve got to look at the different actors and say to yourself, even with this one here that’s all been published in NADAC? 10mins 36secs is someone goes through all of this different thing to understand what the risk of the space is. Then you fill in the basic requirements of what that functional piece of kit should do. The issue with doors is going to be very similar to things like pipework where you have a lot of other things that you need to consider in the mix to get yourself to what the condition is for one pipe. So when you think about it you say, I’m not going into the level of detail about the type of mastic and thing that’s being used, that is something which is a response to a designed condition. What I’ve done is described the condition in an Excel file and say that’s actually what it is.
So doors should be no different, if you put a door on the schedule and went OK, what function is the door performing, is it a Doc-M, is it a Part P, security, is it Part B? You can list out all the things that door is doing and then you can look at the space risk of what it’s supposed to do. The difference will come is if it’s got a security function somebody has got to put down what that security function is, this goes back to old school door schlepping. When it comes to inserting it in the model the manufacturer of the door needs to have their model sheet, and we’re miles away from this, with all of the functionality of the kit. So you can take all of that 100 and something items like I did for dampers and that’’s the only bit of information that I need is that bit there. The rest of it comes down to the function of actually some of it’s the coordination of the wall. The bottom line here is describing the right product that you need. Does that make sense?
GEORGE It does, but can I just say what you’re doing here is illustrating exactly where I think the problem is. You’re looking at things from a design and installation and product selection perspective, the other dimension on this is what’s needed for asset management.
PAUL McSOLEY No, I’m with you, I just don’t think that bit is in any shape, form or fashion yet to get it right. And that’s what that sheet is telling you, no one is ready to do that yet.
GEORGE But we could have something simple which basically said what do we need to know about a smoke damper that’s different to a door, for example.
PAUL McSOLEY Which is only two examples, that’s the two differences, that one versus that one.
GEORGE But that’s from a design perspective. What I’m saying is from an asset management perspective what would I need to know about a smoke damper? There’s a fire rating, some things are going to have fire ratings and some things aren’t so therefore…maybe I’m being to simplistic.
PAUL McSOLEY No, what it is, it’s only an asset data nightmare when it comes to changing it for a different product at a later date. That’s the bit that’s the problem.
GEORGE And if you’re going to do that then for me that kicks into a different workflow. That’s about design. Does that make sense?
MARTIN ADIE Yeah. So if you’re just replacing like for like you’re not having to worry about design.
GEORGE Exactly, and when you’re replacing like for like as long as you’ve got access to the data sheet and as long as the data sheet contains what it’s supposed to contain then you’ve got that. But what an asset manager would want to know is which doors are 30 minute doors, which doors have got door closers. It’s at that basic level and I think we’re just overwhelming people with the request for too much information and I think we need to do it in…baby steps. It’s to get people down that journey because at the end of the day the client organisations also aren’t interested themselves in the detail about how that product was selected. We need to know how it was selected and when you replace it for something else, but that would be a different competent person. At the end of the day from a general management point of view you just want to know the basics.
MARTIN ADIE Just for my benefit, George, why do they need to know that? Why do they need to know the basics even? What is it you’re trying to achieve? Is it some sort of inventory list for insurance? Is it some sort of….
GEORGE Under Regulation 38 they have to have the data that they need to be able to manage the building safely and therefore knowing what key assets are installed, where they are and what systems they’re part of, they’re some basic things. If we can also record against each asset type a data sheet for that particular item, from the manufacturer, and we can also record the basic thing about it. Because the thing is with standard COBie, all it’s doing is recording manufacturer, model number, warranty, installation date etc. It doesn’t say what it is, all its dong is giving that level of detail, so therefore if we could identify just whether something…most things that are part of wall compartments, for example, have got a fire rating. So therefore if we could identify within the information requirements the fire rating that would be an important thing to do.
If you’ve got a pump or a damper, I don’t know if there is a parameter that on a damper that would allow you to target how you’re supposed to inspect it (or whatever) without having to go to a data sheet, the data sheet gives you the background information. And I’m thinking we could do this, somebody like Paul or Callum…(break in audio).
MARTIN ADIE …From the data sheet that’s required here, is that not an easier way to do this? Or you’d need to ask the question again?
GEORGE No, it could well be an extract from the data sheet, but universally we don’t have the data sheets yet.
MARTIN ADIE Am I looking forward here whereas your looking back?
GEORGE Yeah, I’m looking at where we are at the moment and how we can get something useful today, and it’s also the case I’m looking forward. In practical terms what I think as a Tier 1 you’ve got to do is manage that change management process and technical submittals, we’re now working with several contractors that are going through that exercise and everybody has got a slightly different process. But one thing that should be common is that you need a data sheet for the product that your designers have recommended that is the baseline to work from. What I’m trying to do is look at the most practical way of getting that and it’s proving more difficult than I’d feared.
I recall you saying a while ago that’s just something that we just require people to do. I think it would be great if we could do that, but we have to give them a very simple way to follow it through so therefore if we could simply ask them to provide a data sheet against a very basic set of information about who the door manufacturer is, the model number and the absolutely critical information then that would help.
MARTIN ADIE So, is it critical information for reordering purposes?
GEORGE Yes, or indeed planning work, maybe doing inspections, in fact that’s probably more…when you’re commissioning, when you’re doing your handover and inspections and things like that what would you expect the person that is doing that to feed back as key information about that fire damper.
MARTIN ADIE Various tests, various performance characteristics for a damper, but you’d be talking about something that was installed and detailed and shown on a drawing and specified. So it was that damper in that room, this type and here’s the results that have been achieved when it was tested for X, Y, Z.
GEORGE And those would typically all be individual documents.
MARTIN ADIE Yeah, they’d probably end up in the O&M files.
GEORGE That have been gathered by different people using different methods and therefore the opportunities for something to be missing or misclassified are huge. So what I’m trying to get to is a simpler way of organising it so that you can say that there is a specification and OK, you’ve probably got a specification that’s maybe several hundred pages. You want to be able to record which page or which pages refer to that particular smoke damper and have that as a record. So in other words I’m not looking to have everything digital, but just having it referenced properly.
MARTIN ADIE Yeah, the spec, it’s a good place to start if you’re going to cross-reference it away.
GEORGE And then have that reference to what was installed and if there is a drawing for where it is make sure that whatever reference key on the drawing is referenced in the same way in the schedule that refers back to the spec and then to be able to record the manufacturers information. Because generally what’s in a drawing and what’s in the spec isn’t manufacturer specific, it’s a performance requirement. And even if it is specific you don’t know that’s what was actually purchased, whereas if we can schedule what was actually installed with the information about whether it is a 30 or 60 minute device that’s been put in, rather than just what the spec was but what the actual product was, so it’s a matter of just stitching those things together. I have to say one of the problems is that nobody is asking the questions that I’m just asking because everybody is diving down into more detail and it’s the simple workflow of saying how does that technical submittal actually reflect back to what actually was installed.
I don’t know if, you know your colleagues Peter and David, I’m just wondering if one of those might be able to, whether we could have a chat with both of those. What’s Peter’s role?
MARTIN ADIE Peter is a passive fire inspector. It’s Peter Vassilev and David Wright. David does similar work, but active fire.
GEORGE They’d be good people to talk to.
MARTIN ADIE Yeah. I’m just wondering about things that are nothing to do with fire, trying to simplify it in my head at the moment. If you started off with…there’s the specification, MBS split it into common sense work groupings, it can be improved but it’s better than nothing. If they were calling off ceiling tiles within the specification they would do that, they’d give you some base information. It might get finessed during a supply chain design agreement etc, but in terms of the asset manager coming back and saying I want to replace the ceiling tiles in this room, what the hell are they. If you started off with the specification he’s got a starting point and then aligned that to the material data sheet. There’s no in between which is what I think you’re looking for.
GEORGE Yes. When you say material data sheet you mean the product data sheet.
MARTIN ADIE Yes, that would be the next step. That’s what we used to satisfy that specification clause.
GEORGE One of the challenges is there is a constant reference to other standards. So, for example, you’d think with a door that you’d be able to get a fire rating, wouldn’t you?
MARTIN ADIE It’s a complicated topic in this country, unfortunately. We measure fire resistance rather than fire ratings.
GEORGE But on the data sheet it will say fire rating…and that’s what, for a lay person, gets very confusing. (shares screen). You see here for example fire rating, is it resistance to fire, reaction to fire and if you then wanted to know about it you’ve got to go and look at two…whereas actually you just want to know from, or maybe you just want to know from the manufacturer what is it? Is it 30 or 60 minute? If you’re designing a new one then that’s a different matter, maybe. I’m a layperson so I’m not burdened with proper knowledge, but I’m just asking what I think are practical questions.
Martin, could we perhaps set something up for an hour with colleagues?
MARTIN ADIE Can do, George. I’m not sure they’ll be able to help anymore than I could. I think it’s easier when you’re looking at components that need supply chain design input because then you are effectively doing, as you were saying, technical submittals. But the vast majority fo stuff that gets installed into a building, I think we’re drawing a blank because we don’t do technical submittals, we just react or respond and purchase the stuff that’s listed in the spec, like the ceiling tiles.
GEORGE Yeah, I think the things I want to concentrate on are the things that are important from a building safety point of view, which isn’t just fire, it’s smoke, ventilation, structure and things like that. So, I think if we could crack it with maybe the items that are needed for Regulation 38 then it would give a context that people can understand and then they can start to run a little bit further. I think it’s getting things started which sounds frustrating after all of the years. Phil’s done a huge amount of work over the years at NG Bailey and with ETIM and GS1 and the like to actually look at things from a classification point of view, but the level of detail that different product types and asset types need is very different for a merchant or a procurement person than it is for s designer or an installer.
PHIL THOMPSON If I could just add in there, as George said i have spent a lot of time wrestling with this problem in the industry. From a procurement perspective or a transactional procurement perspective there is very little information required by the merchants, other than the identifier and the price that’s going to be paid…purchase order and there is a chasm there in the industry as to what is actually being selected. You made a valid point there about the legitimacy of information where there is a specification or where you’re working with a manufacturer on a highly complex piece of plant. But as you come down the scale and you get to the lower echelons of products, especially where there is high volume and low value, there is no real governance in place as far as I can see.
George did mention safety critical, again that’s an area that I’ve been keen to highlight because there’s lots of safety critical products which fall into that category of low value, for instance fixings, and as far as I can see the industry is still the wild west with merchants providing pretty much what they want.
MARTIN ADIE Which was the conversation last month.
PHIL THOMPSON It’s a perennial conversation because nobody is really dealing with it, the conversations I’m having, everyone is still working at the kind of top of the scale and trying to get complex solutions in place, but what about the basics? Sorry to vent, but i’m still seeing this today with the contract that I’m dealing with.
GEORGE Martin, how are you dealing with the change control process now? Do you think you’ve got that reasonably well cracked?
MARTIN ADIE Not reasonably well cracked, cracked. We’re going to trial it on one of the legacy projects to see how it runs. Equally, we don’t think there is anything new there, we think we do change control because it’s important to do it from a commercial perspective. So, there’s all sorts of software out there, some customers insist on things like CEMAR for managing change control. So, we take the Regulator at face value, they wanted to keep this simple, they wanted to build on what people were already doing. There’s nuances to the change control, but change control shouldn’t come as a culture shock to people in the industry because a lot of it goes on. Logging it properly and keeping digital records, less so, but it can be done.
GEORGE I was in a panel a couple of weeks ago with Scott Sanderson from PRP and he explained to me that on a particular project they were having to process 12,000 techsubs.
MARTIN ADIE Change control can be more, there is always a myriad of changes, and involving the Regulator and deciding which ones are notifiable, which ones are major and so on is going to take a bit of governance and a bit of intervention? 37mins 29secs.
GEORGE Have you defined what those are?
MARTIN ADIE They are defined, yes. Majors and notifiable, consequential, there’s quite a few definitions. But the definitions are out there, definitely.
GEORGE Down to asset type or product type?
MARTIN ADIE Any change has to be recorded, but whether you tell the Regulator or not, or get approval from the Regulator, it depends on its impact. Apparently it’s the first document that the Regulator is going to ask for if they ever visit site, on an HRB site they would ask to see the change control log before they see anything.
GEORGE So those notifiable ones, is that relatively straightforward for me to find?
MARTIN ADIE Yes, it is. I’ll send you something on change control.
PHIL THOMPSON Is there any evidence out there at the moment of organisations, clients, contractors doing this well? And where there isn’t a need for change control i.e. there has been no change, because I’m conscious that change control is necessary but sometimes people think we haven’t changed anything so we don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of that.
MARTIN ADIE I’d love to work on a project where there has been no change, it has just never happened.
PHIL THOMPSON I appreciate that I’m playing devil’s advocate a little bit because I know there’s always change, but some products don’t necessarily…you made the point earlier about some things are not specified, so in which case then there is no change in the sense that there is information of the differences between the two. If somebody just says to the merchant send me X, Y, Z, do we have evidence at the moment of organisations capturing that information and what does it look like?
MARTIN ADIE Requisitions, I’d imagine. Requisitions and orders and delivery notes.
PHIL THOMPSON Yeah, and my experience of that is that that’s done in many different formats from structured data on an ERP system to an email which is not even done in a structured way. I’d just be interested to see a best practice example.
MARTIN ADIE It might be worth asking the merchants on that one.
PHIL THOMPSON I have done, I’m still waiting. But the problem is, and I suppose to be fair to the merchants because they’re looking after their interests, is that they’ll process anything. You can send them a fax or a post-it note or scribble it on a fag packet. They’re under no obligation to push back and say I’m sorry, that’s not structured data, we’re not supplying it, they will literally put it on the van that day because they want the invoice paid. So where’s the governance or the emphasis on the merchant to do the right thing?
MARTIN ADIE Great point. Don’t have the answer on that one.
GEORGE I’m going to have to jump in a minute because I’ve got a client meeting. Is there anything, Martin, that you’d like us to be looking at doing?
MARTIN ADIE No, I don’t think so George, nothing jumps out at the moment. I think everybody’s in the same position, everybody is getting used to this and dealing with it to varying degrees of success. The proof will come in the pudding.
GEORGE Richard was just saying that we’ve got almost 200 people already signed up for the session next week, so we might get some good questions coming out of that.
MARTIN ADIE Yeah, I honestly think the Regulator is in the same place as everybody else, trying to understand it. I think the appetite for working in the high-risk building sector is restricted, limited, I don’t think there is an appetite for it, certainly from developers and designers and contractors. So when the first few starts stumbling through its going to have a lot of eyes on it.
GEORGE Yes, absolutely, and the targets for building more homes.
MARTIN ADIE Yeah, I just don’t think they’ll be more than 17 metres in the air, so they are not high-risk. I think people are going to avoid it like the plague, quite frankly.
GEORGE 17.8. But the point is it’s not just about the height of the building because if a lot of them are the Fire Safety Act information, the Act is relevant to all buildings.
MARTIN ADIE And all building regs as well, we’re all supposed to comply with all building regs, but 90% of what people are talking about is high-risk stuff. I don’t think that will get properly sorted and understood until two or three years through people having done them.
GEORGE Are you going to the Homes exhibition?
MARTIN ADIE No, we’re unbelievably busy at the moment with legacy issues and there’s not enough people to do the work we need to do,