Contractual Workstream Session 8-20221205
IAIN I think it seems to be clarifying a little bit, big pieces around the competency work, I think we’re starting to see how we can get that moving. I think we’ve got a path, we just ned people to do stuff now – I know what stuff we need them to do, I don’t know how we get them to do it.
PAUL That’s the hard bit, there’s only a limited amount of people that are producing anything.
MARTIN We were talking last week about passports for supervisors. it was a health & safety drive, I was part of it. They’re looking quite seriously to increase the number of modules that blackout supervisors need to do before they can do their stuff on one of our sites from 4 to 12. That’s a trebling of training that’s going to be offered and mandated, all online through M-site or one of the induction type providers. I think that’s a recognition we need to be part of this.
IAIN Be good to try and capture that so e know that there’s a bit of consistency around us, they’re not having to do a slightly different one for Balfour…so if you can capture that a supervisor’s done this level of training, what we can translate would be because otherwise it could become quite onerous, couldn’t it.
MARTIN It’s topics rather than stuff and I’ll capture the topics that are covered. You’ve right, it’s a positive thing, it does need to be more joined up but it’s positive that our organisation has recognised that. We can’t just demand this; we have to help or offer it as well. Regarding the CSCS card I get the impression that people are waiting for that, but I don’t see it coming, I don’t see it happening.
IAIN We had a meeting with them about it around 2 years ago and whether anything’s changed, it was sort of not in your lifetime that was pretty much the message I took away from it. We’ve developed the conversely passport stuff with MPP which effectively just overlays the card. You don’t really need the card to do it, you just need a mechanism for the card to be carried through your reader. So the conversy passports, they say MPPs a cracking system, they use it elsewhere, cheap as chips to run, nice and simple. In a way I think CSCS are probably going to miss the boat or by the time they get to the party the party will be over.
MARK It’s frustrating, and it goes back to that them of we’re very good as an industry of inventing new platforms for everything which in essence just waters everything down. There’s a platform sitting there, why can’t it be used, or are they quite happy getting the revenue in that they want to get, controversially maybe.
IAIN It’s more a question for Build UK, they’ve got more direct involvement with CSCS than we have. We tried to take over our own cards, to set our own card scheme up but we were told in no uncertain terms that whilst there’s many that exist there can’t be any new ones. There was going to be a CSCS Intel inside type things, they weren’t going to revolutionise or change, but we wanted to deal with all the development work we’ve done with MPP with CSCS at the front of it, but we were just cut off at our knees. I don’t know by whom, it was a CLC missive, but I don’t know who on the CLC or how the decision was come to, we were just told no.
GEORGE At a workshop a few weeks ago I was asked to go in and talk with a small group that was meeting from the Institution of Construction Management (ICM) and they’re doing work on supporting the new standard on competency. They’re quite keen to move that forward to make that part of an insurance led/supporting insurance premiums.
IAIN i don’t know, is the honest answer. I’m sick of people trying to won competency. The ICM I think are doing some good work, but the first correspondence I got with them seemed to be a veiled threat to say they were going to sue me for trying to use the word competency in the context of construction because they patented it. I told them, have fun with that. There’s too many people trying to own it rather than do it. But they are doing some good work, one of the main contractors (Waites) is doing some good work around trying to unify the stuff on cladding.
GEORGE That’s the thing, it’s a matter of encouraging people to do stuff and not trying to own it. I get thins all the time where people try and discourage you because somebody else is doing it, but actually when you query it and drill into a bit more detail you find that, no, they’re not.
MARTIN I’ll do a recap of where we’ve got to, because it is the end of the year. We started talking the end of last year but didn’t start having the meetings until January. The contractual workstream, the initial idea is that we were going to advise upstream and downstream people how they were going to be impacted by the Building safety Act and the Golden Thread, and what life would be like for them in the future and give them some joined-up thinking about how they could be better prepared for the legislation that came in. But we never really produced any, there was not outputs from it, but the conversation then in the last 2 or 3 sessions veered towards what would be useful is some sort of joined-up library that asset owners and asset developers could start using, deploying and benefiting from. I think that’s where we’re heading towards now.
GEORGE I think that’s an output that we can do quite easily. Also, I think the work that we’ve done over the last few months, in particular around the contractor design portion, I found particularly helpful because I think we started they year without any clear way of addressing the gateways (for example). through the conversations we’ve had we’ve identified that the contractor design portion does need to get moved into an earlier work stage and we’re pushing at an open door there. What we’ve also done, that hasn’t yet turned into something that’s an output, the conversations we’ve had about what the challenges are with that, and also some potential solutions (particularly around what Paul has done). We’ve got a vehicle to actually turn that into something that is meaningful. So, I think it is a bit more than that, Martin.
MARTIN I appreciate that, i did have some other things on my list. Also, one of the things I think we have done is because we’ve been talking (and I don’t just talk to people on this call) there is other groups and collaborative things going on and the message is permeating out from the conversations we’re having here to other forums.
PAUL on the Construction News announcement from last week. That’s the Passive Fire Knowledge Group (PFKG) and it’s nothing to do with North Korea! it’s a good thing because there’s such a big issue with skill sets in the industry anyway, everyone’s got different bits that go together. I’ll show you a few bits on some of the stuff we’re working around on process because it fits nicely into the conversation. You’ve got to get the industry to a point where, because you’ve got the fantastic purple book that comes out of FIS about how you do part 3 penetration seals. When you look at the whole system approach that’s the panacea, it’s getting people into doing that. we’re looking at trying to get a passive fire code of practice. There’s loads of individual one’s out there (maybe for part 3, maybe some stuff around linear gap seals) but there’s nothing that encapsulates the whole thing like…
It needs like a Cibse Code M, like a commissioning code of the industry fro how you manage passive fire from cradle to grave. Most of that is touched on in the purple book, Iain, but it doesn’t go as far as the whole approach like it does in Code M, it’s like a hybrid of combining that into a massive sort of thing. Paul shares his screen. That’s the 2 that came up before, FIS which is…the code M1 is basically regulation 44, how you commission buildings, which is all part of it. This is a diagramatic, it’s about getting things into a very similar flow as to what was done in Code M. This is what we presented at Build Expo when we launched it. So you can kind of see about how you actually look at getting your purpose group right, how you do your risk groupings and seal and descriptive groupings.
it’s all about, like the things we issued previously Martin, on discrepancy, statutory management, change management, it all kind of kicks back into it. It’s getting these things right about descriptive changes and actually prescriptive changes because the way I’ve tried to pitch it is to actually describe it properly and it’s adequate for the intended risk class of the building and the space, then you can’t touch that once it’s set, but you can mess with the prescriptive because all you’re doing is just selecting products around that descriptive. This is where the CDP thing becomes a bit difficult.
The whole process about how we manage it all from cradle to grave, that’s the big thing., so when you get into refurb and someone’s changing thread later on…One of the things everyone’s going on about is they have the Golden Thread and actually they don’t, they have a digital record or they have something that looks at it at the end or does something with O&Ms. it doesn’t do the whole description of it from cradle to grave and that’s the hard thing, it’s about products and how you get those products completely right from day one and how they go into a system approach. Referring to the Process required for descriptive flow chart. At the Build Expo we said, look, if you look at it in context you’ve got the fire safety type of the building, the space risks – so it could be sleeping, it could be high-rise (there’s obviously a fire risk in all buildings). It could be a student block, residential block, a council home, it could even be a commercial office, wherever it needs to be from principle.
Then you’ve got to look at the operational, the system types that are in that building by risk space. Some systems might be static, like fire dampers (they sit on a wall, they may open and shut but the don’t move) whereas a fire door is transient because you’re going through it. That thing you were talking about the other day, George, which is good because you’ve got Dock M, Part Q, all the other things that go onto a door, and it’s about how those things are procured at the right time. The you’ve got things like smoke control, sprinklers, they’re all dynamic, they perform a function. the once you understand what that is in relation to that then you can start looking at what the relative classification is for that product. Once you understand that then you can look at your supporting constructions and to look at how you install it. What we try to depict is that when you look at relative skills that we have at the moment this is kind of what I think goes on.
You might have a fire engineer who’s being relied upon to do this. Then you’ve got an architect who might do the wall side internally, but it won’t be on anything prescriptive because someone is procuring it later, but they’ll draw the walls out. Then the services consultant should do this, but they’ve got no knowledge field in these areas, they’re just going it’s a smoke control system or it’s a sprinkler, it’s all CDP. Then you’ve got the principal contractors who are generally throwing risk down the line, or pushing it upwards or sideways (generally they’re not designing anything themselves). Then you’ve got specialist trades, people like BG or…you might do the walls, you might have a company that does fire damper installations, but then don’t know anything about this. Then you’ve got the product suppliers who can tell you a classification number but they can’t tell you the fire engine and the same people that supply the wall BG can’t tell you the relevance of this to their wall. And that’s kind of the issue that exists, you can see it as you walk through it all, where that bit..the gel’s missing in the middle.
GEORGE Well, that’s where the breaks in the Golden Thread happen, to carry on the analogy.
PAUL So in order to get to that, you’ve got to have gone through that process and what that tries to depict at the top is a method of going through it all, then when you get onto subjectology of each individual part, you can describe it. But that’s the problem of describing it at the moment in CDP terms, no one’s actually…we’ll have someone go to a damper manufacturer and go can I have a fire damper, or someone goes can I have a door please. And they’ll go what do you want, I just want a fire door and they’ll go here’s one of these. But they’ve got no knowledge of this area of it all, you don’t know what that performance of the door is doing. Because even fire doors, if you’ve got them in corridors, they’re still down to have the air breaks as well between certain compartments for smoke, they’re still performing a function for that. But they’re transient, so you have to understand the whole system.
So when they get down to the rest of it, which is obviously understanding your prescriptive information: how you install it, your workmanship, regulation 7, how you benchmark it, you’ve got to have done the first bit. This is the kind of bit where you look at it and you go, well, the CDP element kind of falls down because in this situation if you are putting a wall in all these different parts that sit around it are generally via someone else, it’s the whole procurement of how that comes together as a system that’s the problem, which is that flow chart above. When you look at it, you’ve got a big passive fire code that leads it, you need workbooks for individual subjectology where you can go through and this is the big key bit that’s missing.
This is where there’s going to be a big reliance on Bim4housing, getting this bit completely right in templaters, so we understand what that asset information is and how it’s recorded, then you can do your builders work (and the record of it done). One of the things you can’t do is have all the builder’s work on one schedule. you’ve got to break it out by typology. The common denominator is having common walls that it all goes into but referenced on a schedule so you can actually record what that product was. All that really is, you can’t see the detail is because it’s just too much to go into. it’s that put on that so you can then record what you’re putting in that builders work location, the commonality being the support of construction with a wall reference to reference it because the common denominator is that the biggest thickness of requirement for this is going to lead to the thickness of the walls, there’s nothing you can do about it. If you’re procuring it out of sequence we’re going to get into trouble.
That’s where we got to on that working thread, and what I’m trying to at the moment is put together the bones of actually writing a bit of a passive fire code around it. The big bits going to be getting that digital side right which is getting all of the parameters in. The workbooks (excel files) you’ve got, but it’s just having that in a constant flow and you can see to get this right we’re gonna have to get the whole code right and the bits that lead out of it for each individual subjectology to bring it back in because the skill set, it’s not actually just with only one person, it’s with individuals that need to be brought together correctly, rather than mis-procured. It’s a lot easier than putting up, do you remember the excels? They’re a bit mind-blowing, too put it all into perspective, you’re not going to digest it.
GEORGE I think the point is, it is overwhelming, but that’s because it’s bloody complicated. And therefore by doing what you’ve done it’s then a matter of bringing it back to make it simpler.
PAUL shares ‘Key Topics – Contract’ on screen. I did this for the BN students on the last year of the H&D. It’s the whole thing around the client wants a cup, what’s in the documentation, all leading back out to that previous stuff that we’ve done there. You go, well, the contractors priced that the PQS has bought this one, the planning requirements the statute records indicate this, but the salary images that, and it’s getting away from the fact that people are still trying to push to get what they priced into the job. So they’ll give back three handles to the PQS only to find they got to put two back in later. You’re still seeing it going on, all of that. So you need you need a mechanism to try and get to that right conclusion from day one, rather than this lot all have a bit of a conversation about who’s priced what.
GEORGE yeah, and what does it include, that’s the point really, to have an explicit set of requirements that you can then test everything against PAUL it was falls back to that. Everything that Malarly case, it always comes back to this. iI we’re following this for the Golden Thread, you’re not going to get it wrong anyway because you always end up with what statute required. and in this particular case, it’s the cup with two handles, because the cup with one handle you might have a problem, contractors don’t want to give that one straight away.
GEORGE I was sent something by a mate at Pinsett Mason and it’s talking about new EU legislation that is going to require information about products to be correct. And if they are not correct there’s unlimited liability (whatever that means). So it’s just feeding back up the line to enable product manufacturers to know where their products are being used.
PAUL I had it with one of the consultants recently where they’ve gone to a company and asked for a damper, and they’ve got one but it’s the completely wrong piece of kit because they’ve asked the wrong questions. There’s so many different variances on space type, risk type and wall types that the manufacturers just can’t do it. You’ve kind of got to force people, you’ve got to give the platforms so that when everyone gets together (this is what I’m trying to do with this passive fire) so at the end of stage 3 you’ve actually got your descriptive right. The biggest risk on discrepancy, adequacy, statutory matter is that if you come out of gateway 1 and you’ve not got the shape and form of the building set they’ll get you at gateway 3, it will haunt you because that’s when it will come up. No one’s got the knowledge to spot it in between. Even when you do spot it people think you don’t really mean it, do you.
MARTIN used to a swing, didn’t it, that analogy you’ve got with the cup with 3 handles, swaying how the client envisioned it, how the contractor priced it, what they ended up with.
GEORGE One of the things that we’ve been doing just this last week is working with PRP on a live project that we’re doing for Peabody. We’re trying to align the context in which a product (a door) is being installed in the building with the fire strategy. So to be able to see visually where the fire compartments are but then be able to relate that back to assets. This is something we’ve been experimenting with. George shares the Active Plan spacial model on screen. That’s the Active Plan spacial model and you’ll see here we’ve got, these are intelligent objects (this is a door) and we’ve got there the information about the door. At the moment there’s no real data behind it because it’s still in design. PRP are producing fire drawings within their models and these fire drawings we can pull into Active Plan and we can have them visually…this will tell me what the fire compartment is in terms of its fire rating (we can see that’s a 120 minute fire compartment).
Tomorrow, we’re going to be tying these all back, just as I was showing you earlier, to connect into the object itself. The relevance of this is that it’s this system-led approach that Paul was talking about earlier. That we’ve got the fire compartment and the asset, so if we’ve got this as both machine-readable data we can check that a 60 minute fire door is at least in a (in this case) a 120 minute wall. We’re hoping to also have the penetration seals sorted as well. I think this is one way that we could help a manufacturer to know where their products are going to be used so they can be part of the argument because of the liability now on manufacturers (according to the conversation that Michael Gove had with the CPA in terms of responsibility). The manufacturers were arguing that they couldn’t be held responsible for where their products were being used and Gove said we’ll let the Courts sort that out. My point is that manufacturers do need to have a little bit more engagement in that context.
PAUL I agree. The opportunity we have here is once we get that templater out. I’m gonna try and do the diagrams against specific case examples, like a case study they go that’s everything a manufacturer needs to have on their information, to enable someone to go, oh, I can only put it there. The way to explain it is to become a fire engineer it might take you the best part of 10 years to become an MIFE, but even then your knowledge of products is probably not as good as it could be because you’re not looking at products, you’re looking at fire engineering of a complex building. A product manufacturer goes through a specific training on how they do their door or damper, they never touch the inherent fire engineering of the applicability of space.So, you’ve got to somehow get everyone cross-educated to the point where there’s a platform you can use to select it.
The only way you can do it is by the templating in BIM: we have everything that can possibly be there. So the manufacturer goes this is the applicability of what it can do, here you go, is it applicable to what you want? Because otherwise, I’ve got consultants going to manufacturers we’ve got some rally good robust kit, we’ve been paying for testing, and going can I have a fire damper that fits on the face of a wall and they go ‘here’s one’, but it’s not appropriate for the type of wall it’s fixing to. When people feel that their information is going to be misused they generally don’t want to give you as much information as they normally would. So you’ve got to break that stalemate where they go ‘this is everything we believe you might want to do with it, check you’re happy with this list, then come back to us’ rather than go ‘her’s one of these’. There’s so many variants of it all. if you look at it from Gove’s POV if he started doing electron fire doors, I’d have to be there to watch it. I never realised how the knowledge was until you get sucked into it over the last 2 years and you realise ‘oh, jeez’.
GEORGE We had a guy join a Bim4housing session last week, this was landlords and we had the National Fire Chiefs Council on it, it was about the preparation for 23rd January. I met a guy at Homes UK 3 weeks ago and he’s amazing. He works in the Houses of Parliament as a volunteer over the last 3 or 4 years and advises the MPs. he got a task of taking the Building Safety Act and summarise it onto an A4 page. He’s done this in the past and he’s the one that’s been educating MPs and the people in the House of Lords.
RICHARD Specifically the Levelling Up committee and Gove, he’s been working on this for 3 years, but he’s worked in the Commons and Lords for 20 years.
MARTIN I had it really well described to me, I was in the Institute of Civil Engineers a few weeks ago, they’re on Great George Street, directly opposite the Treasury and 200 metres from the Houses of Parliament and he says when they ask us for something and we send something to them you would think it’s like 20 miles and 200 miles distances they had to travel. Also, that factor of ten comes into account when you look at the inverse logic of their memory retention, he says, because the House of Commons has the memory retention of a goldfish and the treasury are still pretty stupid but they’re 10 times better. They do a lot of advising on transport policy, but they have to keep banging the same message out in order for it to sink in.
RICHARD the reason that this guy was so fascinating is that he has a direct route, he speaks to Gove directly. He’s now putting together a book which some of our members are reviewing the first quarter to give some feedback that will do that with the Building Safety Act, break it all down and make it very easy to understand. More importantly, it will make it very searchable. if you’re looking for something that mentions contractors, for example, you’ll find it very quickly. We’re gonna be doing some more stuff with him moving forward.
GEORGE Coming back on to my pet project the product library, last week I went to the GS1 launch for construction. GS1 is the international organisation that manages barcodes worldwide. It’s a not-for-profit, they issue the barcodes that all the manufacturers use, so when people are selling trainers and things that’s where they get the barcodes from. It’s a unique identifier called GTIM. They’re coming into construction in a big way and the manufacturers will then buy a barcode or QR code from them and that unique identifier then is for every single product that they they produce. It’s being included in BSI identify, it becomes universal because it’s not actually behind any paywall, so it seems to me to be a no-brainer.
What they’re able to do is go down to an individual SKU (individual item) which is obviously where the wholesalers want that information, but they also group it up for distribution into palettes. Obviously, they’ve been doing it for a long time in retail so it’s pretty robust. The event I went to, I was introduced to them by Travis Perkins 6 months ago and I’ve been discussing things with them over the period and they are vey interested. There was a guy there from Tata Steel, he said something like 80& of the manufacturers of products that go into the construction industry employ less than 20 people, an extraordinary figure. The point was there’s a lot of very small organisations and they need some help in getting their GTIMs. The idea of them just providing a PDF of their products if we can then provide a simple way of them getting their GSI codes then that could be a very good way of engaging with manufacturers.
Also at at that session there was the Builders Merchant Federation, the Electrical Distributors association, BMA the building services people, ETIM (the standard for all wholesalers, worldwide classification). CBRE were presenting at it, promoting and endorsing it and so were Travis Perkins. I floated the idea to anybody who would listen to me of having a simple database, free database of product data sheets and I got 100% approval of it, so I think it’s something that we could probably get some very quick adoption with some support from people on the manufacturing end. Iain is more connected than I am in the area, but that was my view.
MARTIN What would be the blockers, George? Why hasn’t it been done before? What would stop it?
GEORGE I think the major blockers are probably the people that make their money as information intermediaries. So people like MBS and Specified By and the like, because their business is about they’re all competing with each other to be THE product library of the industry. And they charge the manufacturers, so the manufacturers have to decide which product libraries they put their information into and therefore you don’t really know where to get it from and it ends up being very fragmented. MBS’s principal role is on specification and the way their information is structured is according to the way people will look for it when they’re trying to specify a product.
PAUL For me, the bit that is the kind of panacea for everyone it’s kind of having that library is fantastic, and I think it would be really good. The blocker is people’s understanding of what it is and what it’s for. That’s half the battle, it’s alien behaviour for them to think ‘what do I want that for’. having that kind of library, it all comes back down to where you’ve got all those key attributes in there as well, it’s the key part to it. The bit I’m missing in my own knowledge field, because one of the biggest things on comms? 45mins 58secs is understanding what you don’t know yourself. For me it’s how that template looks in a library fashion. I need help with this PFKG thing in relation to this from us as a group as well, is how I get…if I look at the BIM sheet,
I’ll do smoke control because it’s more complicated. Shares on screen an Excel sheet. How do I get all of this in that…there’s a product, here’s what it can do in practice (maybe that’s the word I’m looking for). This is what its classification is but this is what it does in practice, this is what it means. Because that’s the bit I’m really struggling to get in a simple fashion. It’s operational, so it’s what the diagram represents which is how you get it in a templater to go that’s what it kind of looks like.
GEORGE So, the way that’s done, you’ve got for example time periods 30/60/90/120 – that would be what we call an enumerated list, so you’ll be able to pick from those and then see the context of that in the template. The point is against any, this is…PAUL It’s for a smoke control duct, there’s so many parameters that you need to know when you select it. GEORGE I appreciate that. If I can just share my screen for a minute. The fundamental problem that we’ve got is that for each of these asset types (here we’ve got a fire door and here we’ve got a smoke damper) and all of this information in green is standard information that is constant whatever the type of product. So if we get a data sheet for a fire door or a smoke damper the information in green is going to be added as a data set against that particular product. So the information about company name and model etc will all be standard and searchable.
The information here that’s in orange or pink, again that’s standard information, but it’s unique to an instance. So the first one is against a product type, the second is the thing that tells you that uniquely is for that particular item, that individual fire door or that individual smoke damper. The next level is is the thing that makes it different. So a fire door, you wouldn’t have things like blade edge or frame type because that’s relevant to a smoke damper, not a fire door. Now this is the challenge that we’ve been wrestling with over the last few years in Lexicon and the other initiatives that we’ve been involved with. It’s determining what additional attribute information we should be collecting for fire doors as opposed to smoke dampers and this is the conversation I’ve been having with Iain, as to whether we use, for example, the essential characteristics in declarations of [performance to simplify this because that then ties you back…for example, designers would want to know the maximum airflow rate for a smoke damper, but I don’t know whether an asset manager would need to know that.
PAUL This is the bit that’s causing the big issue. On the diagram I showed earlier with the classification showed basically a picture of an opposed blade damper. This is the panacea. if you use smoke control dampers and you’re putting it in a basement and it’s doing multiple rooms and general ventilation as well as smoke there’s only certain blade dampers you can use to make that air work, but you can’t necessarily use them with systems of different classifications (it could be an MA system rather than an AA system). And that effects the type of blade which effects your airflow. So when it goes to this dreaded word of CDP and they go just give me a system in the basement for 10 air changes and out 300 degrees C that’s all they’re declaring. And it is getting better, people are giving more information because we’re educating externally.
They go to a manufacturer and they go ‘here you go’, it’s a basic opposed blade damper it’s an OA system and they shove that in the spec, but it’s not appropriate for the circumstance because no ones gone through that descriptive of the whole system. o the way I want to try and drive it is by having everything listed and I think more isn’t necessarily the wrong thing in this particular instance because it’s got to be used by someone that has the relative knowledge to go, Okay, what options have I got? I don’t know if anyone’s ever seen and this is a good thing that app used to do years ago. They used to give data sheets with all the key attributes on it in a tick box, but I think they stopped doing it. I haven’t seen it for a long time. But to have in the asset specific type all of that stuff listed it forces someone then to click on it and go well actually, it’s a smoke control damper, it’s got to do 20,000 cycles of C-mod, it’s got to be MA and have this type of blade for this type of balancing. But all the things you can click are there.
You don’t get curtain dampers on smoke control, but you’ll get opposed blade, single blade or parallel blade, each has a different level of authority of control. This is where the complication comes into it, I’ve tried to dumb it down in the the five items, but the bit that sits behind it is still quite complex and I can’t see anyway to resolve it unless the BIM attributes are there.
IAIN Isn’t this the point of the process that you’re laying down because we’re not going to fix all of this at once. I think that’s the important thing is to look at the process you’re laying down and start phasing because I think one of the fundamentals is even if you go back to the thing that George had up and there we refer to door seta and doors. We end up with is it a product or a component? One person’s product might be another person’s component because the closers are a component on a door set.
PAUL Doors are quite complicated, everyone’s underestimated doors, the dock ? and part Q thing as well, so you’re spot on. I think when it comes down to smoke control dampers you can’t add stuff to them, they’re either A, B or C type, there’s not like add-ons. Fire doors are more interesting, that’s why I’ve called them transient because you move through them whereas smoke control system is actually a dynamic function. It’s extracting a hot gas that can be used for compartmentation, it can be used for air balancing, and all those attributes have got to be fixed day one for the product to do what it says in practise. So I’m kind of looking it and going I need to get the manufacturers to a point as well because the process will fail if only one part of it isn’t completely thought through, because it’s like a process within a process within a process: it’s sort of like a tree root, it stems out.
So the one for me that I’m desperate to get into a literal form to show it is how you do the attributes for something like a smoke control damper, what that selection list looks like. Because once people see it and feel it they’ll go, okay, now that makes a bit more sense and how you’re selecting it. Does that make sense?
GEORGE It does. What you’ve said there, Iain, it’s a limitation of how Uniclass defines things. If you look at Uniclass, there isn’t a classification for fire doors, there’s only one for fire door sets. Similarly, there’s no classification for fire dampers, it’s a fire & smoke damper.
IAIN That’s because the product is the door set and the other parts are really component parts thereof. So if you think of the product as installed, and I think this is the question of where is the product fabricated. And this is changing in terms of derogation from the EU as well because they’re starting to bring into scope on site fabrication as a CE mark process. The way they worded that in the consultation is to get round this gap in the legislation, or that they perceived the fact that you can getaway with building stuff on site and not applying a CE mark to the product as a as a work around or as some kind of a fudge rather than a than a requirement.
So I think there’s a logic to saying that at this level we consider this to be a product and these are components within the product and you’ll simplify a lot of this stuff if you start there. It might be that you cascade beyond that, but I think you you’ve got to start at a recognised product level and at some point somebody takes responsibility as a package for either putting in a door set or fabricating a door set on site.
PAUL You look at a fire door being transient with all the bits on it and you look at a smoke control damper being static and the possibilities are quite endless in what they do differently.
GEORGE You’ll see here within the templater you can have multiple classifications against any asset type. I think Uniclass is great but it’s not sufficiently granular to do everything, so therefore what we need to do is to make sure it’s horses for courses. In terms of your attributes, here we’ve got a hundred or so attributes, and these are just IFC attributes, they’ve just come through from design. What we should be doing, manufacturers have got different attributes and all of those can be put in here as well, and they’re then provided as what are called property sets. So they’re groups of properties that are there to fulfil a function. So here, for example, we’ve got the sort of common ones that would be applicable to any type of door. Then there’s other information like the type of information you’d expect to get from a manufacturer.
This is the technology we built that’s behind Lexicon, so we can add all of that information in in due course. The problem at the moment, because of the complication we’re not getting started whereas if we can just have a data sheet with this additional information in it…
PAUL Send me that Excel, the one on the right. I’ve got a few big aims to get done for Christmas, one is to get this passive fire coding into a bit of an order for PFKG and I think we need to do a bit of cross-pollination with some of this stuff. The other thing I want to do is get this whole, for me the lynchpin is the BIM part, without the BIM part I can just see it all falling down. I need to get the BIM part in such an order that it actually prevents people from going of at a tangent and going oh, it’s just all CDP. It’s got to be done in such a way that if you do talk to a manufacturer this list comes up and you go, well, just select what you want. Fire doors are harder than smoke dampers because you’ve got lots of different products that can go on the door.
GEORGE I can give you access to this which allows you to print off any…this is the housing master list that we’ve created for housing developments. Martin, this is what we’re using on Russian Park which is one of your jobs. This allows you to generate either a word document or an Excel spreadsheet or form. I’ll just generate this, for a smoke damper. Here we’ve got the attributes that were selected against that. PAUL What I kind of looked at was like a passive fire attribute sheet with everything in one place so…GEORGE That can be a property set, so for example here we’ve got template attributes that have been added to this particular field, this is a way the data can be used in an application (this is our application but anybody can use the templates).
These are the attributes that have come through from the data templates and there’s potentially, there’s 95 of them, and you can pick which ones you actually want to incorporate. What I guess I’m saying is that’s a data dictionary that you can just pull together.
PAUL shares screen. This is just a smoke damper on a wall but it’s like getting to the point that you have all these key attributes where you know how to click and select on the one that you want. I’m trying to marry up manufacturers to process as well, so when someone asks for something they go here’s the list rather than this is what we can offer, here’s the list. Fire doors I need to think about a bit differently, that’s why I need your help with it Iain because you’ve got the Dock M and the Dock Q part as well which makes it a bit more interesting because say the transient, the static ones are a bit easier. One of the hardest ones to get right is pipe work because it’s temperature, material and X? 1hr 5mins 14secs driven which no one every bothers about until it’s too late.
GEORGE I suggest we break this off, Paul, we can pick up on this. I think you’ve met Paul Oakley who joined us from BRE, I’ll get him to go through this with you and then we can look at how you can put this into the templater. The other, thing I might Adam Oliver at a Sodexo training course for their engineers to be trained on doing fire door inspections. Having been on the course I’m now a fire door expert, by the way, I’ve got a certificate now. Adam Oliver used to run something called Checkmate, he was then at BRE and now he’s doing training. I can plug you into him as well, Paul, and also some of the manufacturers of fire doors who have been extremely helpful in terms of our work. But to roll back on what I’d like to see if we can get underway in some ways, just this simple idea of a data sheet for every product that you’re going to install.
I can provide the platform to do it, we’ll do it under the Bim4housing banner and it will be free. What we can try and do is look at how we can provide some sort of funding for it, maybe from identifying some additional information services off the back of it. Just providing a database of where people can put their data sheets which means that we’ve then got a register which anybody can access and use.
MARTIN I’m just defragmenting everything that’s gone on in the last hour. In regards to pitching this and selling it on, would you say this is primarily of use or a tool for people who are looking to replace products in buildings like asset managers or FM contractors, or is this primarily a tool for designers who are matching up their aspiration against the products that are available on the marketplace? Or both?
GEORGE I think it’s definitely both. And there’s a third group in there as well and that’s the people that are putting together your O&M information, so it’s your procurement and your production of O&Ms. MARTIN But that should follow your design. if the designer has gone through the process and then selected from the free library something that meets his criteria, you then follow up with we’ve put it in, here’s a photo to prove it and here’s the O&M manuals saying that’s what we need. That’s your Golden Thread, isn’t it?
GEORGE That’s exactly it. I’ve also been through it with Sodexo and they’re very keen on receiving that type of information. MARTIN Yeah, I’m just looking at blockers and thinking why people wouldn’t do this and who would abuse it and immediately my mind goes to PMQSs or doing cost comparisons or similar products. GEORGE Well, all we’re talking about is a data sheet that the manufacturers will provide anyway, a library of PDFs of what they would normally issue. MARTIN But there are people out there who will play amateur designer and say, there’s a cheaper on here, it’s made in China.
PAUL That’s the whole thing about the templater, that’s the bit I want to try and prevent because you’ve got some really strange things going on at the moment. You’ve got MEP building services contractors saying I’m just gonna go for a XX??? 1hr 11mins 18secs all singing, all dancing and I’m gonna shove it in, but actually it’s not appropriate for where you are putting it because they’re longer, a lot thinner, they cause secondary problems etc. The PQSs, what they’ll do is go actually I’ve got this one here which is an FD and it’s £100 and you’re one is £600.I’ve got to get that descriptive line done in such a way that if anyone tries to change it in the VE ripple, and it’s not easy it’s cost management because you know a capex is going down.
You go, well, it’s different to that number that’s been selected by a fire engineer, a building services consultant and an architect and specialist within the Tier 1 whoever that meets the thread – if it doesn’t do that you can’t select it. And if you change it you’ve got to go back to basically stage 2 effects because the ripple of it effects everything else. When you look at this problem it’s actually all so simple, but it’s the PQS…to quote my fried Charlie it’s many conflicting motivations by many conflicting people that causes the issue, everyone’s got a different driver and you need something no matter what driver you’ve got once you’ve gone through that process at the start and you’ve locked it in descriptively and you’ve got everything set around the walls as well, you can’t just go, well, that one’s cheaper because it’s got to tick the same boxes as that, and if it doesn’t. If it’s cheaper and it ticks all the same boxes and it’s appropriate for the circumstances who am I to complain.
But if it doesn’t tick those boxes…the first principles. It’s like when you look at the analogy of BG6, it says if someone’s selecting alternatives the consultants go ‘I’m getting my hands off of it’, it all goes back to that initial problem where someone goes away and messes with the inertia of what it did originally. I’m so interested in ventilation because the minute you do something that effects pressure drop you’ve messed with your part L calculation there’s nowhere to go. You can’t derogate Part L, it is what it is, you must achieve X, Y and Z, it’s the only one in the building that you cannot mess with. I’ve got jobs where we’ve gone with the higher rates of 1.6 watts a litre of air delivered and it’s all the wrong kit, you’re going to be at 3 watts the way you’re going. The body’s too big for the skin because everyone’s gone off at such a tangent over cost.
IAIN Paul, in terms of next steps do we need, because we’ve got the water’s 1hr 14mins 31secs assistant group mirroring the passive fire knowledge group, would it be sensible to set up small working groups and look at each class of products? And say what level do we need for each of these kinds of products. If we start with focusing on the fire critical stuff, that’s the most important thing. Some of the other stuff can follow, we could use some exemplar at this level covering these attributes and then other things can start to come through. I know that’s paring it back a little bit, but at least we can achieve something in the short term. I expect we might find out that not everything is possible with everything – quite often there might be no magic product that does all of those things.
PAUL The habitual habit is we try to make complex less complex and I’ve tried to make all of that into that, for how you do one product. The reality is when you interface between all of these different groups, for me you need workbooks for each individual subject. So, if it’s a door it needs a workbook, if it’s a damper it needs a workbook and the workbook enables you to get the classification information right. The common denominator is comparing all of that against the system design.
IAIN But it’s not wrong to set somebody else a problem. If we say, look, at the door set level this is the information that we expect, because this is what you’re setting down here. Then, if you’re building an assembly it’s over to you to prove how you’re doing this, it’s your problem.
PAUL You ’re right. The hard bit is I’ve generated these for 4 subjects and I’ve probably and I get Paul White to verify that he thinks we’re on the right track so I know I’ve got a robust list. It gets complicated when you start doing the comparison with the wall because you’ve got to get that wall type right to suit what you do, but then you’ve got to compare them all in a platform like where all of those different workbooks are listed out with a common wall type so you can get the coordination of the system. If you know how to do it it’s probably quite simple, but I don’t know…
I haven’t looked at fire doors… with the damper or the ductwork or the smoke control product because they’re all static. When you start looking at the doors it is all the assembly where you’ve got the Part Q, the security stuff, because you look at habitual flowing contracts you’ll have an MEP contractor that comes on working for us as a Tier 1, he goes to a specialist contractor for security and looks at a strategy for doing security, comes back and says I’m going to put mortice red locks in all the doors and then you find the door was procured 6 months ago – that’s no good, is it. You’ve got to get to that point where you know before you’re procuring the door that without that information being in that classification box you can’t proceed with it.
IAIN Applicability and limitations are two words I’ve written down that are key because actually what you do is you set a limitation, you’re saying if now this is specified yo can’t come and do that in the later stage. If you want to do that, fine, what you’re not doing is installing the products that we’ve developed, you’re installing something else and you now need to develop that. And then you say who’s responsible, this is where the role of the fabricator is missing in construction, it gets so confused. Is it an installation operation or is it a fabrication installation operation.
GEORGE At the moment I’m trying to simplify some of the stuff we’ve been doing over the last 3 or 4 years and obviously not replicate it. If we look at the work we’ve done within the Golden thread Initiative and Bim4housing we ran workshops for 12 asset types. This is the fire door one. We had 20 or 30 people who’ve got expertise in fire doors working up what risk is the fire door mitigating, what do people do to a fire door to stop it from working, what information is required. These are the key things considered to be important by the experts, there’s a hell of a lot of information here that has already been collected in a raw format for construction installation, maintenance etc. And then what tasks do people need to carry out. All of this is available to us to then turn into reusable data templates, but we don’t have the funding to be able to translate all of that.
What I’m trying to get to is we can use this information and build on it, but at the moment we’re stuck with the templates as being this exercise of saying, you know, what information do we want to collect for which purpose. That’s why I’m suggesting that we get the thing off the ground by simply saying let’s have a library of data sheets and we hold against those data sheets the information about who the manufacturer is, the model number etc. People become then interested, don’t they? Because at eh moment what’s been happening is we’ve been having the conversations with Lexicon and Bimhawk and other initiatives and it’s all a bit non-specific, whereas if we could actually say we’ve got a library of data sheets of smoke dampers that are being provided and we’ve got them from two manufacturers, let’s say to those people, let’s coalesce around that and say what additional information do we actually want to want, what properties do we actually need. And it gets it underway, that’s my thought.
IAIN I agree. i think the work that Paul’s doing needs to carry on at the same time, but (like you said) it could be the thing that unifies and brings people together.
PAUL I don’t think you’ll ever get construction to function in the perfect world, you’re always going to get a fire engineer an architect a building services engineer, you’ve just got to bring it together in such a way that the platforms make it easier for them to get it right. The hard bit will be that are people gonna abuse it the wrong way and how do you continuously keep it maintained will be the hard bit,. At the moment, no one’s actually got a defined list when they go and buy a smoke damper form a company of everything that they want from it.
IAIN This isn’t happening in isolation either, is it. The problems begin at gateway 2 and gateway 3 unless they line this stuff up. I don’t know if anyone’s looked at the consultation for the building control approval process, where you kick back gateway 2 you’ve got 12 weeks from submission or resubmission for the building control officer to decide if works can proceed, so who pays for that 12 weeks? And if you go back after 12 weeks and you’re still a bit unsure then you’ve got another 12 weeks in your program.
MARK It’s not even clear what that level of information is, if you actually look at the list of information presented, actually 90% of it is pretty straightforward, it’s all available. And then you have statements such as provide such plans that demonstrate in an unambiguous way that you’re fully compliant with building regs, well, what the hell does that mean?
PAUL This is a great example: you’ve got a big office building going up, even if it’s not one of the high-rise risk buildings. You get into a conflab with building control and they come down and say how have you got to the conclusion that this is fine? You’re going to get that problem. When you look at structure, no disrespect to structural engineers, they can design a structure pretty quickly. The fact is if you’ve got a big riser out and turns on things on buildings where you’ve got massive ducts going through and big fire doors and no one’s gone through the relative process of actually going ‘the ducts too big for the wall to support, I can’t put a fire door underneath it because I can’t put jams top to bottom’ and you get to the conclusion dry wall isn’t appropriate for that location, it should be block, structures designed.
Building control are not going to see that because they’re going to say to you at gateway 2 are you happy that the building’s coordinated and you’re going to go well, as a structure we’re happy it’s fine, here are the calculations. They don’t know about all the other lead-on components because you can see on the government website, it say’s you’ll be able to do things in a phased approach for big complex jobs because you can’t do it all at once.
MARK Some of this goes back to something which is a big thing for me at the moment, design program and sufficient time, it’s always going to be an iterative process. Do we have enough time, typically? No, of course we don’t because everyone assumes it’s a nice straightforward linear process, it never can be.
GEORGE Are we on the same page that we ought to be trying to promote this out…Martin, are you OK with us…