BIM4Housing Manufacturing Working Group Meeting-20220928

BIM4Housing Manufacturing Working Group Meeting-20220928

Status update : AOV Template V3

WILL PERKINS The worked example that George put together is student accommodation. The reason I haven’t included the floor plan is there isn’t an external wall mounted AOV there, it’s actually a shaft. But for the purposes of this I’ve used the example of a wall mounted AOV. Talking about a document he has shared on screen: These are the questions I believe a specifier should be able to answer when they’re generating their specification. First one, size of the geometric open. That’s critical because it’s got to achieve a certain free area. We’ve always had those situations where the physical hole is smaller than the free area required.

STEPHEN GORE That’s the opening of the hole rather than the size of the product? WILL Absolutely. STEPHEN because different manufacturers for a given aperture will have different sized products based on their clearance they need for things like thermal expansion, which is obviously then going to affect the geometric opening. Because they're typically aluminium, you're going to get quite a lot of movement. So I've seen when I've tested before, if you don't provide adequate clearance for that thermal expansion, what tends to happen is the frame jams up against the aperture. The blades then can't expand and everything seizes up.

So, at your five minute point where you go from closed state to open state to demonstrate maintaining free area they won’t open because everything is seized up. With ours there is an amount of clearance for expansion that you need, otherwise you know that under elevated temperature conditions you won’t get that opening.

WILL PERKINS There’s two points we’re talking about here. What we have to be aware of is generally at this stage it’s going to be an architect who’s putting this specification, they won’t have that detailed product knowledge, but the flag is to get them to go and find that out. The point is the aperture size has got to be at least, end of corridor, 1 1/2 square metres ADB, this is a residential situation.

Columns B through to I are based on a RACI matrix. R is responsible A is accountable, C is consorted. I is informed there's only. In a RACI matrix you can only ever have one accountable person and you can have many responsible, consulted and informed. In this specification stage it is the designer compiling the specification who is accountable.

Where is this specific unique product going to be installed? This is really important because it’s the start of the golden thread. Once these products are installed in a specific location they have a specific function and performance that is unique to that location. it might be repeated all over the building, but it has to be treated as a unique asset. In part of specification writing they have to identify that as part of the specification. The principle I’m expounding here is let’s get that data written once, then we track that data and monitor any changes.

The earlier we can get accurate data the better for the golden thread. We need that aperture size and we need the actual location where the product is going to be installed because it might be on different floors or a different aperture height/width scenarios.

GEORGE So the aperture would be the first thing rather than the product that's satisfying the the item? WILL Yes. GEORGE That’s an interesting point because the opening itself is actually the initial asset WILL yes, the asset is the hole in the wall.

WILL Obviously we need to understand what that AOV is going to be fitted into, the surrounding structure. In this instance, we're saying it's going into a masonry, it's a punch hole window into a wall, brickwork, masonry, whatever. But it could be curtain walling, it could be all kinds of things. Very important for you fixings and….

STEPHEN GORE it is. I know the current harmonised version of 12101 Part 2, which is 2003, doesn't distinguish between masonry curtain walling. The 2017 version that they never harmonised does. We would still, regardless of the standard, state that if you want to put it in curtain wall you need to test it in curtain wall because you will get a different reaction.

GEORGE to Stephen - When you say you would require them to have it tested in that…

STEPHEN What we would require is obviously, as we’ve got here, the person writing the specification to describe what supporting construction they're going to fit into. And if they came to us and said we are gonna fit into a curtain walling system. If, regardless of the standard, just says, well, you're just fit into something that doesn't move, we wouldn't put our product forward if we knew that the supporting construction fell outside of the scope of what we’ve tested or assessed.

Because we know from dampers that supporting constructions make a lot of difference to the results. We’re only talking 300 degree fire resistance testing so the temperatures aren’t the same.

Just based on our experience, if someone said I want to put it in this type of curtain wall, if we haven’t got data that we believe covers it we’d either have to run a test or decline not to quote.

GEORGE If you were going to run a test that would be a matter of the contractor or the client funding that? STEPHEN yeah, it’s done on a case-by-case basis, sometimes depends on the size of the job. Trying to get slots for testing can be a bit of a challenge. The best way to describe how we approach it is we certify to the 2003 version of the standard because that's the harmonised one, but we will use the 2017 one as guidance because obviously there was a lot of people inputted into that standard that never got harmonised that know a lot about these things. So we will use that as guidance from a design perspective.

WILL That’s very helpful and informative and supports the point here that for a manufacturer to put a product forward they need to understand the application. STEPHEN Yes, and we have turned work down if we know they are going to fit it somewhere where we have a concern or it’s outside of its intended scope of application, we won’t sell it. GEORGE to Will: In your case, how would you deal with that?

WILL There’s different scenarios in different situations. Remember, we don’t manufacture the window itself, but what we have is our tested solution which is the actuator and window…tested together. Like Stephen, we test to part 2 2003, then various systems will have been tested in curtain wall and effectively in masonry situations we would regard as similar to the actual test environment. If it’s going into curtain wall then most of the time the people providing the window are the same people, the same system as the curtain wall because it’s naturally integrated, therefore that testing has already taken place.

WILL Next, a critical one, is the required aerodynamic free area, it’s possibly the most important functional requirement of the design. Looking at our example floor template student accommodation, we’re ventilating at the end of the corridor, requirements under ADB is 1.5 square metres of free area. That under the smoke control association guidance amounts to an aerodynamic free area of .9 square metres and in terms of the capture of information for the golden thread that would be declared on the declaration of performance, via DOC, for the product. That’s how the compliance is being identified and evidenced.

Into the declarations of performance, the asset’s essential characteristics, the temperature rating is 300 degrees. 600 is really not needed for this specific application. Another important point, this is feedback from housing associations and building operators. Is the vent going to be used for day-to-day ventilation or smoke only? There is an essential characteristic operational reliability and if it's smoke only 1050 OPS. If it's going to be used for day-to-day ventilation 10,000. If it’s top of stairs for accessing the roof as well…But that's really easy because that's an essential characteristic and that that needs to be specified nice and early.

Slightly outside of the scope of the declaration of performance. We need to understand how that vent is going to operate, what's the cause and effect, and how it's going to interact with the wider smoke control system. Building Safety Act is in gateway two. Before Gateway two is signed off, you must have your smoke control strategy detailed. The gateway 2 stage is all about detailing this product specification and the wider strategy. So fundamentally there's no excuse for that not to be addressed. In fact, if it's not, arguably won't even pass gateway two, so they can’t construct.

Activation: part of that cause and effect, but this is more detailed to the actual appliance itself. We need to say how the the AOV is going to be initiated. I've given some examples there, manual intervention, automatically etc. and also the power supply in there that should be detailed in the cause and effect. And then final, which is part of the Declaration of performance, the reaction to fire classification, GEORGE: So as far as the design is concerned, that's the designers’ responsibility, isn't it? WILL I believe so. Typically that's going to be an architect downloading an MBS specification. We can't expect the architect to be an expert in smoke ventilation so we have to make sure is that these questions/clauses are as widely available to architects or specifiers as possible to make sure that they answer these questions nice and early.

GEORGE asks if it would not be the mechanical services designer. WILL You would hope so. We’ve got to remember this is potentially at gateway 1 stage, especially when it comes to the hole in the wall, the architect is responsible for making sure that the aperture is big enough. The mechanical services should be involved because they’ve got to take care of the power cabling etc and have a direct input into the final specifications. Ultimately it depends on the scale and the size of the building.

GEORGE asks Will if he’s made contact with Higgs. He’s asking because: in terms of interpreting the fire engineers requirements on the Higgs project that seems to have been assigned to Calfordseaden. So although PRP are doing the architecture, the interpretation of the fire plan is with them. WILL typically, what would normally happen to work that through is Calfordseaden who are very good company. We work with a lot come to us as specialists and say can you help put this scheme together for us please?

GEORGE But the cause and effect of operation, would that be a combination of the architect and engineer? WILL Ultimately that shouldn’t be the architect because that’s stepping into the realm of a fire strategy. Calfordseaden have their own fire engineers so they’d be more to do with the services, engineering consultant and the fire consultant to put that cause and effect together.

Because whilst on our example residential block the cause and effect is quite straightforward, they have to take a global view, starting to look at interactions with other fire safety systems in there. So there could be sprinklers, there could be a fire alarm system that could be an air conditioning system. So it's their responsibility to take a more holistic view on it.

Paul White joins the meeting so Will reiterates the task they are working on. It's picking up the same kind of principle you did with Paul Mcsoley, but I'm looking at an AOV, not the system, just at the AOV. In the first instance that we've just gone through, we're looking at what are the questions that the person drafting the specification needs to answer. So that's kind of what I've put in there, tying directly back to the declarations of performance, essential characteristics. Everything in gold is trying to capture what we need to highlight as part of the golden thread.

PAUL I’ve had a look at this. The only thing that was concerning me was the one that says masonry wall, I’m assuming that would probably be a window. We need to make sure it’s not going into a shaft wall, we don’t want to confuse people into thinking that the AOVs can go into a supply shaft. GEORGE Would you ever put an AOV into a smoke shaft? WILL Yes but, and this is the terminology, in a smoke shaft you would only ever put in this scenario, you’d only ever put a smoke control damper to part 8.

WILL Then we're moving on to design considerations for performance optimisation and risk mitigation. So these again, the accountability for the most of these is with the design team. The design team has started to wide out, probably architect and the mechanical services consultant now. Will the AOV be installed into a reveal? So typically if that end shev is set in a deep reveal then potentially that could have an effect on the aerodynamic free area, so that's a question that needs answering. And then if it is then obviously specialist advice is required to overcome that.

Will the open AOV create a risk from falling from height? So obviously we've got automatic opening windows/vents at the end of the corridor. Some of these things are basically glazed doors at the end of the corridor if it opens and there's no fall arrest there, then you needn’t worry about the smoke killing you because you’ll fall from the 15th. Is there a risk of finger entrapment. This is particularly relevant where the end shev might be used for day-to-day ventilation where it's opening and closing automatically. Obviously these windows close automatically and there's a trap hazard. It is an issue if it's not mitigated, but there's a risk that needs to be considered.

Another classic again, George, this is one that came up time and time again in the round table discussions we had is the impact of temporary scaffold or down pipes that are installed right outside the opening vent and that creates problems. Internal finishes. It’s common if it's not sort of properly where the plasterwork actually goes, right the way up and actually comes inside the free area or simple things like putting curtains or blinds in front of the AOVs for what seems like a nice aesthetic reason, but has a pretty nasty effect on the performance of the fire product.

Maintenance is a good one. Again, George, came up time and time again, especially at the top of stairs. UM is where the AOV has been installed at roof level at the top of the staircase and there's a scaffold needs to be a tower needs to be erected every time that needs to be maintained. Vandalism: a lot of the time the reasons these systems don’t work is because they’ve been tampered with and smashed. If it’s known the type of accommodation it’s going into, student being one of the worst, the designer should be thinking about how these risks can be mitigated.

Life expectancy of the vent. This is the function of a number of operations because if it's going to be used frequently for day-to-day ventilation then by nature that's going to reduce, just like a car doing lots of miles, it reduces the the typical lifespan/life expectancy of that. Some of the components will have different life expectancies (confirms Will in response to George’s question), but even if they are used for day-to-day ventilation you shouldn’t have to replace anything for 10-15 years, as long as it’s maintained.

GEORGE The reason I'm asking the question is we're doing a student accommodation project with Balfour Beatty at the moment and so that's all of the maintenance organisation. It's a 50 year project. If, for example, the AOV is coming from…there’s a number of different components that goes to make that up. Therefore should we be ensuring that we get all the component elements rather than a packaged AOV?

WILL It’s really important and interesting. We have to be careful because we are now into the realms of invalidating your product compliance because if you start substituting elements of that product then you’ve got to make sure that those products do not invalidate your certification. GEORGE Absolutely. If the actuator needed replacing in 10-15-years time, how would they know what actuator to use? WILL That information is part of the data that needs to be provided with the product. However, it does beg the question are they competent to replace that product?

GEORGE I agree and to some extent that’s what we need to be adding into this. I think the blanket thing saying you just need to go back to the manufacturer to get it is not an adequate response because we don’t know whether that manufacturer is still in that business anymore.

WILL It’s a problem we can’t solve today. Fundamentally there’s 2 elements: 1 is the product. There’s only going to be one manufacturer of that product because there’s only one product that’s been tested. Not many manufacturers have tested their product with substitutable motors etc so compliance is back to one product, one sub-assembly. But then there’s the question of people being competent with substitute components. It’s incumbent on any manufacturer to make sure there are lots of people who are competent to make those changes.

GEORGE Something interesting last week was that Howell from Sibsey made a point during his RIBA presentation that the person that actually picks the product is automatically the designer. So, if a procurement person decides to use a different product than the one the proper designer chooses then legally they then inherit the role. WILL Yes, and the point being (which goes back to the way European standards are drafted) is the specification should not include a manufacturer, it should only include the essential characteristics which are third party evidenced through the manufacturer’s declaration of performance.

Because that makes it a level playing field for competition. I’m a firm advocate of that. If you want an SE controlled product because it’s blue with pink spots…ultimately that liability doesn’t transfer to procurement it stays with the designer because the designer specification says those are the fire performance criteria. PAUL WHITE My opinion goes along the lines of Will’s.

NICK HAUGHTON From a point-of-view of any product to agree you should be able to specify the criteria and there will be certain companies which can’t be selected on the basis of that criteria. The challenge is that declarations of performance etc are non-existent in our industry so it becomes a lot more difficult to actually nail down. The last thing you want is having a specification which is only as aspirational as the British Standards or the regulations threshold - it needs to be more aspirational than that. In theory, not specifying a company sounds like a good approach in that respect although many manufacturers probably wouldn’t like that.

WILL Nick, if you want to we can do this exercise of picking a product and going through the questions that need to be asked. In some respects it might be quite interesting to do it for something that there isn't a declaration of performance, that there isn't a European standard with the essential characteristic. So I'll put it out there that we might want to do that in the future with a product that you think is relevant to this.

GEORGE The view from the Tier 1 group and feeding back from the Golden Thread initiative is that by Gateway 2 all the products should be picked - not just the performance, you should have selected which products you are actually going to install. That’s a challenge with contractor design portion as it’s often pushed into work stage 5. There seems to be consensus that the end of work stage 4, all of the products that are going to be procured should be specifically picked and you’d only have a change if it goes through a proper change control process.

WILL Is anybody in the room ever been involved in any project anywhere in the world in any of your life where everything has been procured and specified before a spade has struck the ground? STEPHEN Never. NICK the principle is good but the reality is the less products you’ve chosen the less you can choose as well. Especially when you’ve got a complex interface with a lot of water proofing, fire proofing etc.

GEORGE The view that I’ve heard is that if there is a relationship between the element, let’s say a damper and a wall, you really need to make sure the builders work holds in the right place. Then, the M&E contractor picking an alternative product can fundamentally impact on the roots/roofs? 39 mins 15 secs and therefore the builders work goes in one place. Possibly it’s not a matter of all products…that’s a consideration maybe we should have: which elements in which context would require to be done by that (early) stage? What would you say, Stephen?

STEPHEN No, the wall damper argument is probably a discussion I have about four times a day with people. The number of jobs where it actually gets specified correctly and then you get a phone call on site because someone has decided that they’re going to build a shaft wall. It's not a shaft, but they've now decided that the internal walls will be a shaft wall and now all of a sudden either everything that we were supplying because I haven't changed, damper supply, but they've changed wall supply, is now noncompliant because it's all nonstandard supporting constructions or that they put our products in because they couldn’t hold of someone else’s but because of the difference in tested opening sizes/damper sizes etc everything ends up out of alignment.

WILL This brings us nicely on to row 25: procurement. I’ve only put one line in here. We’ve established a clear specification with functional requirements, essential characteristics. When the product is purchased, are there any variations to that specification? E.g. going into a wall finish, for example. Specifically if we’re looking at AOV, has anything changed? If it has, from a golden thread POV, it has to be recorded. Why, who, how? That’s fundamentally the golden thread. Interestingly the RACI matrix, that moves across to the main contractor.

PAUL The point is is if the specification is correct in terms of the standard and the essential requirements and the time, That’s really all the specification should say. Any USPs are to be done at stage 3 before stage 4 is agreed. As you say, if it’s fixed at that point then there has to be a very serious reason for changing it. The issue, more so with than dampers than AOVs, is the change of the wall type or space.

WILL Moving on to install. What's really important is going back to the specification we'd identified in the specification where the unique product should be installed. So, simple question is, is that consistent? Because if it's changed etc part of the golden thread, we need to record that. But in theory and it all goes back to that kind of single source data. If the specification said this end shev (AOV) is on the third floor, but east elevation, etc that part of the install process should be that that is proved to be true. Have any variations to specification been required, recorded digitally, again that that ties back to the procurement side or if anything changed since then.

Installation GA drawings available. And are the electrical connection drawings and who are the installer the installers and are they called competent. We're getting into actually recording critical information here that that needs to be recorded as part of the golden thread. And again, if you watch the accountability here for the competence of the installer, it's actually the trade contractor who've got to put competent installers forward. They are accountable for it but the main contractor needs to be responsible to make sure they’re satisfied before they go on site.

Commissioning. Similar principle there, who is undertaking the commissioning and are they competent, so have they got that third party accreditation.

GEORGE When they are doing the install should they have a checklist of things they need to have done? In other words, yeah they may be competent, but in maintenance world now on PFIs they expect a record of the fact that they did have these eight tasks that they should have carried out. I think that should be there. WILL yeah, let’s add that. PAUL There's a handover sheet in 7346, part 8 for commissioning. I'm fairly certain, but I can't remember exactly what it says. The same thing is for installation as well. WILL The trade contractor is accountable for that.

WILL Commissioning. Who is doing it and are they competent. a catch all: has the commissioning test report been designed to recall all of the system assets, locations, identifiers and test data. To me those are the essential bits that need to be captured. And I've said, I believe it's the main contractor who is accountable to make sure that that’s all done. GEORGE Should the commissioning also include design performance specification…or is that just blindingly obvious? WILL It's blindingly obvious, but it's a very good point.

PAUL Can I just read a little bit from 7346 part eight, which I think probably covers this bit. The system should be commissioned by a competent person who has access to the requirements of the designer i.e. the system specification and any other relevant documentation or drawings. And on the form that you’re supposed to fill in it says t says ‘I/we being the competent persons responsible as indicated by our signatures to commissioning of etcetera, etcetera, conforms to the best of my knowledge and belief with BS 7346 part 8 section 8.1. so there is certainly mechanisms there to be able to do this.

GEORGE Moving on to the documentation bit, I can’t see that the documentation needs to include the performance specification, whatever the design intent. WILL the performance specification is inside the control strategy. GEORGE Does the AOV only have one intent? WILL Usually two: on the fire floor it needs to open, on the non-fire floor it needs to close or remain closed. GEORGE But in both cases it relates to smoke. So there’s no other things that it’s doing, like ventilation or something like that? WILL In an emergency situation, no. The point being, only talking about this example of student accommodation, floor plans etc. So in this instance there’s 2 states for the AOV: fully opened, fully closed in a fire emergency.

PAUL it could possible to add an additional line saying environmental system details where included or something like that. Add it just beneath the smoke control strategy because it will be before the cause and effect because the cause and effect will contain all of that. The wording: environmental system details where used or where relevant.

WILL The logic of this is those three clauses shouldn’t need to be generated because they should be exactly the same as the specification/gateway 2. Schematics, installation records, commissioning - all pretty straightforward. Obviously we’ve got to try and make sure this is all available and recorded digitally. In terms of an ongoing basis…now we’re into the building operation. What information do we need back from that AOV/end Shev real time, we’re looking for validation, status and position.

The validation in terms of that AOV, the performance requirement is to achieve an aerodynamic free area of 0.9. Last time that was operated effectively or maintained that position, that functional performance, one would expect that to be validated and recorded. Will adds to the document ‘images of assets in location’ at George’s suggestion.

STEPHEN Where we've got online 49 manufacturers installation instructions are you including in that maintenance information as well from the manufacturer? Because section 10 of 12101 part 2 details what maintenance and installation information should be provided. Where you’ve got manufacturers installation does that include the kind of operations and maintenance as well? WILL Realistically, it would be one and the same.

WILL A wider point, about that being in a machine readable format, what are your thoughts, Steve, on making that equipment available in machine readable format? In terms of digital a PDF isn’t good enough because it needs to be in a format that can be interrogated and integrated into the asset platform. GEORGE You want it as a JPEG or an image…is that what you mean? WILL No, it’s a wider question in terms of golden thread, it calls for a digital golden thread and this is critical information about the product. How do we as an industry, George, you’re on the data management side upstream. What do you want and expect?

GEORGE If we’re talking about photographs one of the things we should add to that is an appropriate reference. Machine readable basically means like a spreadsheet rather than a PDF that you’ve got to read and interpret. For example, you’d want to be able to do a query in an application and find all the assets that need this type of activity. A PDF is not machine readable because it’s not a standard format and therefore a human has got to read it and interpret it. So that’s where we’re trying to get to.

Will asks Richard if he’s contacted CPPI. Richard has but has not received any response so he will contact them again.

PAUL So, does this mean, like BIM in the early days, that we will need a template? WILL That’s exactly what CPPI are developing. Marketeers will be horrified by this because it's not gonna look glamorous at all. It's going to be an Excel spreadsheet. Totally practical, totally usable, totally transparent.

WILL The next one of these sessions is going to be with Roy from Assa Abloy and we'll pick up some fire door hardware to work through those, which is interesting because there won't be a whole nice standard for those because they're a component part. Nick if you want to volunteer for a later session then, then by all means do. NICK Yeah, sounds good.

GEORGE Nick is having one of his sessions at The Shard and we've been talking about having a round table session there. It’s in November. NICK Yeah, we’ve offered Bim4housing a round table opportunity on whatever topic.

GEORGE The point about this product selection and making sure that things are appropriate for the setting etc is fundamental. I get the impression that it’s very loose at the moment, Paul Mcsoley is constantly telling me that’s the case. WILL its incumbent on us, it’s what this is about.

GEORGE A quick question: Fire engineers, fire plans and what is going to be required going forward. To explain the context, over the last month I’ve been contacted by quite a few of the housing associations and councils because they've got this impending 23rd of January deadline to meet where the Fire Safety Act, rather than the Building Safety Act, requires them to have plans in place. The term fire plans is ambiguous because some people call the fire plan the drawing that goes in the premises information box that the fire brigade use to find their way around the building. Other people would say a fire plan is something that the fire engineer produces.

It’s the fires strategy, they are often involved early on in the process, but often the fire engineers they don’t continue through the design process and the architect or the engineer pick up what they've recommended and then interpret it into a design and then produce fire strategy drawings and fire evacuation plans.

PAUL The issue is you see fire strategies which are all things to all people. The first point is it right and has it called up all the correct standards etc. usually with smoke control it’s a bit dodgy because it usually says in there to speak to somebody else to design the smoke control, which isn’t very helpful. That’s going to have to change because it has to be done at stage 4. There’s also, the fire plan part of it, a load of management responsibilities in determining what they should be doing to help implement the fire strategy once the building has been built.

So, it's two things: One, it's about the design of the building, but then there's a level of management that goes with that to make the fire strategy work. For instance, if there had to be peeps 1 hr 06 mins in place that would be for the management to do. So if you find the fire strategy (and that’s going to be the most difficult bit) where you’ve got the management responsibilities the plan would be what happens when you get a fire alarm. The plan certainly wouldn’t be just the drawing of the building because it’s just a drawing - not a plan in the way they mean plan.

GEORGE That’s what I thought as well. The next question: Some people are producing drawings, others are producing models. I’ve spoken to the Royal Borough of Kensington and they are doing theirs on spreadsheets, just using cells on an excel to determine where flats are. So there’s big variance in the in the way that they're being produced. One of the things that would be helpful is…for example, compartment walls, to be able to identify what the specification of the walls needs to be. That should be done by an architect…

PAUL No, that should be in the fire strategy document, because they look at the building and say it’s going to be X metres high and therefore the floors have to be 60/90/120 minutes and the walls have to be 60/90/120 minutes depending on how high it is. And then in the fire strategy, somebody would have said, well, we're not going to do it like that because we think it should be this and so they'll have knocked 30 minutes off it to save some money, but they should have justified that. And if they haven't justified that, then you'll really in problems because just saying it isn't acceptable. You’ve got to give a reason for reducing these things. So I think the easiest thing, probably George, is what are these buildings you're looking at? Have you got a fire strategy?

GEORGE I've asked to see it. I need to get it. I agree. I mean we we've got one that Will’s looking at the moment as well which we're planning to do a simulation with PRP because we’re both working on it. It’s a Peabody scheme. It’s gone through work stage 3 which is where the fire engineers were employed. And now they're into detailed design. I don't think the main contractor has retained the services of the fire engineer. PAUL Unfortunately I don’t think that matters because the fire strategy is a document and they’ll all be working to that. There's a level of responsibility that goes with that fire strategy, particularly if you’ve departed from the guidance. If you’ve parted from the guidance, you have to have justified it satisfactorily.

WILL And that's the nub of it, Paul, because the main contractor won't have retained the services of the fire engineer, and then merrily planning on and evolving the detailed design without doing those checks. It's not the regulation, it's the design, that's the design and any movement away from that design needs to be recorded: who why, when, and I would suspect that’s not happening.

PAUL No, but the point is the fire strategy has developed and the person developing the fire strategy has a level of responsibility. So they’ve potentially done some design work in the fire strategy. And then the next people along are doing more design work and maybe departing even further from the guidance and the fire strategy and they have a responsibility. The reason I was asking if you had a fire strategy, George, is that I could go through it with you and say, so basically, when everything's there, these are the management responsibilities and the management responsibilities will be all the fire safety order. So, keeping escape routes clear etc and their plan for maintaining all the active and passive fire systems.

Basically if you look at BS9999 Annex I, if you’ve got any active system whatsoever that's controlling dampers, smoke etc. they should be having daily checks for faults. Now again, I have a bit of an issue with this because you can't test the faults on a smoke control system without triggering it because it sits there and doesn't do anything. But it does say weekly you should be firing off the system and going around and checking that it's working. And this is your plan. And the point is I don't think anybody's aware of 9999 Annex I as a for instance, and it isn't just about checking if I had doors and your fire extinguishers and keeping your gangways clear.

if you've got any other systems in there at all, so sprinklers, there's a whole stuff - It’s daily, Weekly, three monthly, 6 monthly annually and they should be planning around that and they won't have the money. It's a simple thing. They certainly won't have the people. And this is the problem. The landlord should be doing this as they are the responsible person and that’s the plan. The plan is is how do I meet the fire safety order? And the guidance for that comes from various places, one of which is Annex I and AnnexW in BS 9999 which they've got to go and spend £500 on to buy this standard.

It's all there, everything is there. But people don't know and they don't understand the breadth and the cost of all this, because they've never done it. GEORGE Well, that’s part of our role to make people aware of it. PAUL A lot of it is all about record keeping, because if you go to a site and you've got records there, that's good. If they recorded good things as well as bad things, that's even better because it implies that they have checked. So positive affirmation of checking is as good as finding faults.

Then you’ve got the usual cycle of ‘I found a fault’, you've got to do a risk assessment as to when you fix it, cause I the number of times I get asked how long have I got to fix this? Well, you're building's not working so it’s up to you. I'm not going to say it's 18 months because it potentially isn't 18 months. It's today and it's when the fault happened.

WILL That was one of the fascinating things of the outcome of that NFCC discussion: was recording effectively notifying a local brigade of all faults? And then effectively saying how long …you’re risk assessing how long you're giving yourself to to to repair that. PAUL From the 23rd of January that should be part of your plan. I found a fault in my smoke control system that I check every week and I've rung the fire brigade and told them. WILL I was trying to find the specific piece of the approved documents that they were referring to. Can you remember what it was?

PAUL I found it, but it was buildings over 30 metres, it wasn’t everything. It’s regulation 7 of the Fire Safety Act. Basically, if they now find a fault in their system on a building over 30 meters, they've got to go to that website and report the fault. And then and then they've got to go and report the fact that they cleared the fault. Now, what they don't realise that what they're doing is is that, push comes to shove, there's a whole bunch of evidence collected there that they haven't done any work.

But that's a different thing, but nobody from the fire brigade is ringing up to check that they've done it. What they were saying was it was just that in the fire engine on the way there, somebody taps into the website and says, oh, the smoke control systems not working in this building. Let's go back to the fire station. You know, it's all we've got this additional level of risk without being flippant about it, but that's what they're looking together. But effectively, it's also gathering other information.

The point is how how does anybody check that these people are presenting the faults? Even though it's a legal requirement, it’s like a quasi-legal requirement if I don't tell the fire brigade? I'll get that fixed and then it gets forgotten.