BIM4HOUSING MANUFACTURING WORKING GROUP MEETING-20220504
WILL PERKINS ‘last time we agreed to pick a manufacturer and actually walk our way through populating the Templater and see where it takes us. When we are comfortable with it as Manufacturers, we can introduce wider stakeholders into our experience (design, operations).’
GEORGE refers to Michael Gove’s response to the CPA and that its clear the department is taking a very hard line on responsibility and liability. Manufacturers, developers and contractors will be held to account for any defects - ‘defects’ include missing information. In the light of this the Templater work is very important as the information needs to be in the right format to be audited and checked.
WILL PERKINS adds that the relevant information is included in the whole data set (especially from Operations POV). GEORGE says something he’s working on for DCW is to look from a digital record perspective what information does each stakeholder consider to be important to protect themselves?
GEORGE (showing a slide relating to fire doors) says that ‘if we know where all the doors are and what they are made of (need to know this from asset management POV) that should provide us with the information we need from a safety perspective, it’s just a matter of adding the additional attributes on to make sure we have the right information. (We can then) capture information on embodied carbon. We do all of this, ideally, through standardised libraries that can be tested and validated so that the information requirements can be tested against the manufacturer's products, so the only products that are potentially considered are ones that already can satisfy the information requirements. by doing that we then create the asset information that we’re talking about in terms of the golden thread. So that’s a matter from a manufacturer perspective – what product was supplied, the context it was used, the installation procedures, what it was connected to.’
GEORGE re Data Dictionaries: ‘the principle means by which BIM systems talk to each other is called IFC, that’s coming from the Building Smart data Dictionary. There’s also Uniclass, complimentary to IFC, but with differences. Then, the CIBSE (???) data set, RICS and NRM, wholesalers have another set of information. No one of these data dictionaries is right or wrong – we need to be able to accommodate them all, they are all designed for different purposes. But the question is what information do you hold against e.g. a boiler? (GEORGE shows a slide with all the properties of a boiler that Building Smart says should be included). (He then shows a slide of what information NBS holds against a boiler) There is a crossover between the two, but they are different data sets using different terminology. CIBSE, NRM and ETIM all have different information about boilers. ALL THIS INFORMATION IS RELEVANT FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES.’
GEORGE says the Templater can either connect the different data dictionaries directly or the information can be pulled into the master data dictionary in Templater – then it can be used by manufacturers and suppliers to populate information.
GEORGE shows the ‘Template for Door’ slide. It is referenced to several different classifications. It can also be allocated in the Templater who is likely to need to provide (particular) information and what will they need to use at each stage. The data dictionary can filter out according to an actor and the stage at which they are going to use information all of that vast amount of properties – you only see the information relevant that is relevant to you at that point in time.
JULIAN BUHAGIAR begins by talking about LEXICON. ‘The final result of all the efforts going on throughout the industry is to produce the PDT in consistent ways. (If different dictionary providers have) 2 templates that are about the same product they have a way of saying they don’t contradict each other, they are digitally replicable – that's the purpose of interconnecting dictionaries when they’ve been produced independently. The production process itself is becoming more important, to know that the right questions are being asked about products and people can reliably answer those questions. A list of properties (like George’s slides) are essentially a list of questions (what is the width? Etc.). LEXICON will be a form of producing a load of questions and answers, but Bim4housing groups (and others) will also do that. TEMPLATER is designed to be able to accommodate collections of templates.’
JULIAN shows a slide of a BIMhawk template that will become a Lexicon template. ‘As more and more data dictionaries connect, you’ll be able to find other templates by where its come from e.g. IFC etc. Anyone who wants to produce these templates needs a consistent set of answers against a consistent set of questions. For consumers of templates, the process needs to be as simple as being able to discover templates, the right one within BIM models etc. Searchability is a key factor. Having a single point where you can search for e.g. smoke detector would be handy for all manufacturers.
GEORGE interjects to give information about ETIM, which is the international organisation that standardises how manufacturers exchange information with wholesalers and distributors – it's very granular. He couldn’t find a door on it, or a smoke damper – it was all the components that goes to make up a door or smoke damper etc.
JULIAN (looking at the ETIM data dictionary) says there is a lack of definition of what length means (re a particular product). Different data dictionaries provide different levels of definition for the question. Templater gives the opportunity to gather what information is already available and also (over time, with groups like this and others promoting their own templates) leading to a convergence, with properties that are inadequately defined getting weeded out (because) a better definition will (eventually) exist.’
GEORGE :’we, as a Bim4housing community, can pick the things that are important to us and put them into the Templater, based on properties that are the international standards so that we’re not making up new terminology’.
JIM CREAK (after JULIAN’s long anecdote about a European level project he worked on with EPD): ‘When we’ve got different formats of information and possibilities of an intersection of different companies and access to different databases its important to choose words that have clear definitions within the documents that people actually understand e.g. there is no clear definition for ‘non-combustible’
JULIAN replies to Jim with an important point that he doesn’t think has been successfully put across yet: ‘none of this is about the answers themselves, the manufacturers still need to answer the questions. This is about adequately presenting questions and to present certain expectations on answers that allow those questions to be answered correctly.’ (taking Jim’s example of ‘non-combustible’ definition: ‘if you want to create a property that is satisfactory to a definition you can come up with (43 mins) (Julian compares this with a novel and how both the author and reader have the commonality of the English language and dictionaries to refer to clarify meaning) ‘the analogy of a dictionary is the same as this, this is a reference point for the list of questions. It enables people who are going to write the answers to write them a little bit better.’ (the userof templater/data dictionary can see that the manufacturer has provided an answer to a specific question (not the numerous other similar questions).
WILL PERKINS understands from all of this that this Bim4housing working group to actually start to create the questions that anybody writing a specification for my product needs to ask. The group would do it for specification, design, all the way through to Operation...is this correct?
JULIAN says, kind of, ‘but what the NBS level does is to accumulate the answers as well as the questions, but it doesn’t then adequately explain what the questions were...a data dictionary is about providing the additional meaning of the question as well as the answer, but doing it mutually. This is a stage before the product library...it’s the demand of rather than the supply of the information.’
WILL PERKINS asks ‘are you saying we should be thinking about designing questions that filter that down to very specific applications?’ JULIAN says ‘yes’, and example PDFs that he’ll show will clarify things.
MIKE SMITH, from the perspective of an architect/Revit/BIM manager: ‘The key question very early on in any project is how much data do you want to collate and collect within a model. The concept of what you’re trying to get to here is brilliant, a single source of information to an agreed set level, but it feels like at the moment we’re making it more complicated than easier.’ PAUL WHITE says that’ the amount of space you need to install something is the single most significant issue. Most things need more space to be installed than is ever allowed and if you get to far there’s no solution to the problem created by not generating enough space. But, the issue is the thing we have on the screen is a single item (off the shelf). A lot of the stuff we deal with in building services is multi-dimensional e.g. it depends on the volume of air you’re going to put through it (same apples to pipes).’
GEORGE: ‘we need to make sure that the software that is being used to do the commissioning and testing is able to recognize, for example, the the term for that particular (asset). And then finally, making sure that it then fits in with maybe at a procurement or a cost management system because everybody is calling things differently and that’s why we are trying to use the template to normalize some of these things.
JULIAN confirms to ALEXANDER SMALL that the Templater is still at PDT level. ALEX So your looking at a kind of a a granular level down from the product type PDTs to cover more product instance data JULIAN: YES,and other kinds of templates as well, like space, space, templates, build plates, a wider scope, and what lexicon wants to talk. JULIAN: ‘The templates are not about the storing of the answers because every manufacturer needs to be able to grab the list of questions and then put their own answers against it and then issue documents like this, but also to issue them in more digital ways because this is not necessarily the best presentation, (not the best way to) provide that information.
JULIAN - ‘If that relevance authority didn’t have an interest in actually making them, groups like this will probably create their own little bespoke additional properties, and they’ll offer it underneath the banner of Bim4housing . It’s not a lexicon templates.’
WILL ‘So are we looking at product and seeing what data is in the templates that already exist and doing a kind of gap analysis -these are the things that need to be answered as well.’ JULIAN - In some ways, yes.
GEORGE ‘What information do we s Bim4housing stakeholders need, and let’s put that into the Templater. Let’s pick the properties from the other data dictionaries so we are not replicating anything. To try and do a gap analysis is impossible - it’s too big a task.
ALEXANDER SMALL, from his manufacturer’s perspective, doesn’t have an issue with this, but has a caveat ‘please could we make sure that if we’ve got groups around the country putting together their own product data templates that when we have the official lexicon templates for that product that they map absolutely accurately into the product data templates that any organization outside lexicon produce so that effectively the lexicon template is the master template and then any any other properties to it for that product are additional to that lexicon template, not contradictory.’
JULIAN (showing slides) demonstrates (something) by typing the word ‘Detector’ into the application. If there was a lexicon entry already it would appear and then you could add your own properties to it. To create a template from scratch you type it in and create it - it has its own private area that anyone in the group could work on. It’s also possible to do this at the properties level - you can define a property in a template and it won’t get confused with other peoples definition of a property (though this is not encouraged).
GEORGE thinks this is all to much detail…
1 hr 23min 05 sec JULIAN IS DESCRIBING HOW TO WRITE A QUESTION - the way you phrase it affects what answers you get. Once a question is formed a property is created and this in the Initiation created by this working group. Once it’s created there is a possibility to group properties together.
GEORGE urges Julian to look at an IFC data template for a smoke detector because that may help people to better understand things. JULIAN does so.
JIM CREAK: ‘where one component makes up a system within a building I’m having difficulty creating a data sheet when one item is part of a system and it’s the system that then has to be specified.’ JULIAN says in Templater there are systems templates and product templates. The system template is the place where some of the properties should exist.’ He then talks about space templates etc…
GEORGE ‘There’s a number of different building blocks here. What we’re showing you the basic building block of of saying how do we describe things and to be able to describe them in different ways for different purposes, so therefore making sure that the information that the maintainer needs is included, the properties that they would relate to that probably tie into their maintenance management system.we’re not talking about the product data here. We then use this these standard data templates in product libraries.’
JULIAN thinks he should do a session showing the stuff that’s in the scope of templater. This is how to identify the stuff that is outside of the scope of templater. And when people can easily do that, it becomes easier to have then a demonstration inside templater because they know what should be going into it versus what should not be going into it’. WILL PERKINS thinks this is a sensible starting point. GEORGE agrees.
GEORGE refers to what Paul said about the space that is needed around the item and how it relates to what they’re doing at digital construction week. What do we need to do to mitigate the risk of smoke? What do we need to do from a digital perspective to protect us legally?
WILL PERKINS: ‘maybe we do a walkthrough example of something that is known and there is an existing template for and let’s kind of see where it takes us because I think we are trying to deal with too many unknowns at the moment.’ GEORGE thinks this is a good idea.