Operations teams have long suffered from a lack of accurate, complete information about the buildings they run. Often complete surveys are required of new-builds, just to find our what has actually been installed- and where.

The situation with existing housing stock is markedly worse.The first vital step in resolving this worsening situation is to identify, exactly, the information that is needed, where that information can be found and who should be responsible for supplying it.

BIM4Housing provides the asset teams with the opportunity to reach a common agreement of what they need and to speak to the other working groups to see how practical that is to deliver. This will enable us to ensure we have a more reliable asset information model with which to support new innovations, such as around IoT and Digital Twins.

Operations Group Meetings and Highpoints

If you have a comment or suggestion on a particular meeting, or just in general, please

Leader: Alex Oldman


BIM4Housing Operations Working Group Meeting 26-10-2022

Recording: https://youtu.be/a2domNvcjgs

RICHARD We’ve been quite busy since the last meeting, having a couple of big meetings (one with around a 100 people) with the Fire Chiefs Council on the 23rd January deadline with their proposals for trying to get the various fire authorities to coalesce around a standard set of requirements. At the moment each fire authority has their own agenda and stipulations as to what they need from landlords for the 23rd. So the fire chiefs have actually been trying to get something together for the proposal and hope that it gives a bit more clarity as to what people will actually need to supply. We met with them and Housing Associations (and others) a couple of times.

In tandem with that I’ve been holding one-to-one meetings with a number of Housing Associations and Local Authorities to see what they are looking at doing. I’m just starting to have more group meetings, 4 or 5 people having a chat explaining what they are doing, how it’s working for them, the pitfalls they are coming across - a knowledge share of the different ways people are doing things.

Along with that George has been doing quite a lot of stuff on the embodied carbon which is something we kind of touched on tangentially every now and then but not in any great concentration.

GEORGE We had the sustainability group workstream with Quadro and Omar working on that

last year, but it’s such a big and complex topic that it wasn’t something that we could just do on our own. So, we helped establish something called Zero which is a community of subject matter experts in carbon and that’s grown hugely. So they’ve effectively been our sustainability group. Zero started with 20 people last August and now there are over a thousand in the community. Our focus within Zero is not in the operational carbon, it’s actually on embodied carbon during the construction period. George shares the Zero website on screen.

What we’ve been doing is also using the Templater. One of the fundamental things that needs to be sorted is that we’ve got environmental product declarations, it’s the thing that’s the manufacturers representation of what carbon their products have got in them. RICHARD You’re talking about embodied carbon. Now, there used to be a lot of talk about embedded carbon (carbon within something). With embodied carbon you’re talking about the carbon that’s used in the manufacture of something, the transportation of something, is that correct?

GEORGE Absolutely. it goes through the whole process and defines what information is needed at different stages. Some of you will have come across before the Templater that we built with the BRE. That has got in it an environmental product information set and there are 280 data points that providers have got to provide their information on which is amazingly complex. So therefore we are trying to make that simpler. There’s lots of specialist groups now that are collecting together this information and what we are trying to do is make it simpler.

If Fleur, for example, on one of her projects is wanting to understand what the ESG value should be on it, it’s actually coming from a reliable source of information. If you’re interested in having that reliable information I can plug you into some of the people that we are working with. We’re also relating it back to the 250 asset types that we’ve been developing with Hackt for the Bim4housing data standards.

ALEX OLDMAN Can I just ask what’s the end game for using that environmental information? is it just ESG, getting a measure on the embodied carbon in a building? or are we then going to do some modelling with the information we’ve got to try and work out how to optimise the operational phase of it?

GEORGE The principle thing initially is to look at this from a construction perspective and that is giving people the information they need to make better decisions or alternative decisions as to what product to use, or maybe how is it going to be installed and how is it going to be procured. At the moment, that information is provided far too late for people to make decisions, we’re trying to make it so that people can have the power to make those decisions earlier and therefore select products that are going to provide a lower carbon footprint. I’m not an expert on this, I’m just bringing together people that are. The result of that, though, is that we’ll know what products and materials go into the buildings and the information about e.g. gas consumption, you then end up with the core information that you actually need to be able to know how to reduce the energy utilisation. Also, importantly, the recycling of products and materials that go to make up the building. It’s part of a much bigger initiative.

BRE had a project called Buildings As A Material Bank where they used the Templater to actually identify what information was needed to manage the recycling process because the view is that more and more of the materials and products that go into new buildings need to be reprocessed or recycled from existing ones. But to do that you need to know what was in the original product so that you can determine what and can’t be recycled. it’s something I’m spending quite a lot of my personal time on to get something back that’s then standard libraries that we can all use.

RICHARD Zero is directly relevant to all of us as well. I’ve looked at the website and I didn’t find it totally clear what the aim was. I understand what the overarching aim is but I didn’t really get what the process is, what the steps are. What kind of output can we expect and when?

GEORGE A good point. What we are doing at the moment, rather than it just being a talking shop, there’s quite a lot of effort and resource going in to creating a playbook. The playbook covers all the different activities that we are going to need to follow to improve the overall objective. it will be very granular. i think it’s probably worth setting up a session. I can get some of the leads from that to just come and spend 5 minutes on each of the elements and then people can decide whether they…RICHARD Yeah, obviously a lot is going in within Zero, i think we’d need to bring some of that into Bim4housing for us to actually see it and how to contribute to it more directly with our existing membership.

RICHARD asks if participants are currently working on carbon related issues.

JACK WHITE The team I’m in at the moment which is the Building Safety team, we’re looking at potentially doing something along this to understand impacts and across the wider organisation there are things being put in place to try and understand that as well. This is stuff we’re coming up with ourselves, carbon footprint exercises.

FLEUR BOWEN I have some involvement with our development team, I deal with the handover of new buildings into our operational portfolio. Our primary focus is really on the sustainability of the energy strategies, as a priority preventing overheating, rather than necessarily looking at the embodied carbon in the kit. We are looking, obviously, at our construction methods and trying to make those as sustainable as possible, but at present I don’t think embodied carbon is part of our process though certainly it would be in the not too distant future. I can see considerable value in modelling our ERs with that sort of requirement and looking at a process of justification being required as to why someone would choose a product with a higher embodied carbon, but it’s also measuring that off against performance and reliability because ultimately if it doesn’t work as well and you need 2 of them instead of 1 in a shorter period of time then…it’s trying to find that level of data that would assist in life cycle replacement, from an operational perspective.

RICHARD So really what we and Zero are doing with the playbook, it sounds like everybody is at very early stages. I guess to some extent it’s so complex you don’t even know where to start, do you? If we’ve got a granular playbook that takes it down by stakeholder, duty holder, role, it gives it a coherent path through because you need to know what the first steps are before you do anything.

GEORGE One of the interesting things is develops and construction companies are getting better interest rates if they can demonstrate that they are complying with ESG values. The problem is because the information isn’t very clear in terms of how you arrive at those figures, they can be wildly wrong. People are starting to ask more questions, it’s not just a matter of what is the carbon for that building, but how did you arrive at it, how did you audit that because it can make a big difference in terms of the interest rates that people are providing. In the NEC4 (one of the new contracts), they’re putting clauses in that where the responsibility and liability for providing a product that is sustainable is…it’s often cost, to be frank, but what’s the impact on sustainability?

The fire thing: since we’ve had the last operations group meeting the fire safety side of things has accelerated because I think people have realised that the 23rd January deadline for the Fire safety Act is coming up quickly. What I didn’t realise until a couple of months ago is that it’s nothing to do with the building safety regulator, it’s actually the regulator for the fire safety act comes under the Home Office. It’s actually the individual fire brigades that are the regulators and there are 43 of them. They don’t have a standard set of requirements. So, we’ve got a target of the 23rd of January to provide the information that is needed to satisfy the act, but it’s by no means clear what’s got to be provided.

So we’ve been trying to (after meetings and consulting with the Fire Chief’s Council) when people are commissioning…because what people are doing at the moment trying to hit the deadline is commissioning surveys to produce drawings. But those drawings, depending upon how they do them, they could be just a dead end because they won’t able to be updated to include the information needed for the Building Safety Act.

So what we’re trying to do is say how can we do this in such a way that the simple floor plans that are needed by the fire brigade can be added to to create the information that’s needed, maybe to say what’s the wall construct between two flats. We’ve been doing a pilot with Tower Hamlets. Over the next year we’ll work with them to be able to collate all of the information together regarding their 78 blocks, using some fairly advanced laser scanning. It’s focused on the fire safety at the moment due to the deadline, but they are doing it in such a way that they can then add the information they need later.

KELLY LEE (Orbit 360) We had the first set of our drawings through from off the back of our laser scanning. These plans have now gone to the London Fire Brigade and they are having a look at for us just to see if it incorporates everything that they want. The plans that we’ve created should do everything from the Fie Safety Act and the Buildings Safety Act. Kelly shares ‘Becton Place’ drawings document on screen. That’s going to be the first site plan - we’ve got more information to put in and we’re changing some of the colours around. We’re trying to incorporate on this particular site plan to show the position of all the blocks, the access into the estates, the height of the building.

This is the lower floor, we tried to incorporate where the trucks would get access to. Some of the key colours have got to change and it’s a bit wonky at the moment, we don’t know how that happened so we’ve got to adapt that. We’re going to put in some site levels as well and then we’ve got the key below to give all of the information. So we’ve pretty much covered all of the guidance that’s out there for the information boxes.

This is what will go into the boxes so that’s just the estate plan. Obviously we’ve got block section plans that shows the positioning. We’ve tried to make it 3-D so it looks more realistic. We’ve got compartmentation lines in there. For this site where we’ve done the full BIM scanning intrusive works we’re going to pull together our utopia, get that signed off by London fire brigade and then that is how we’ll mirror in each of the premises information boxes as we go along with the BIM project. In the short term we’ve got an internal person drawing up the CAD plans so we’ll have all those in the boxes by the January deadline. But then over the next 12 months as we scan all the buildings we’ll produce these to replace these so they’re in more detail, but the benefit of it is the fact that we can go in here at any point and update anything and replace them.

We have bounced the idea of doing them on A2 but printing them off on waterproof paper and being able to fold them, if bigger we can make them more detailed. We’ve got 23 in scope buildings but what came out of our pilot was we’re going to do the estate now because what we’ve found on Beckton Place particularly was a lot of the services joined together with some of the low rise blocks as well so we thought it was important where we’ve got the lower rise on the estate we’ll do the whole estate because the other bit around the fire safeties act is understanding how the trucks will get into the estate, so we’re gonna do full estates now.

It’s averaging £50,000 per in-scope building. We went out to a large estate that had one in-scope built on a platform so we have to do the whole of the estate which is 10 of the blocks, some are really low and some are close to 18 meters and it was much cheaper than £50,000 per block, so when you’re doing it in a large capacity costs are coming down. It’s £1.5 million to do all of these.

GEORGE With the carbon side of things, those models can be presumably used to overlay additional information that may be about how the construction is done etc. KELLY Yeah, we’ve built into our suite of documents for BIM all of the energy efficiency stuff, savings, waste products, net zero carbon. We’ve got an environmental team that are working with us to build that up as well so we can actually work with them to be able to look at sustainability and that will really come when we’ve found out that particularly thee blocks need some work doing to them, we’ll work with that team to deliver from a sustainability POV, we wouldn’t have done that without these models.

JACK we’ve done something fairly similar but are doing it internally, we’ve not quite done the same on the part of the 3D models to go in. Jack shares a floor plan on screen. Ours is just floor plans and a bit more basic. Rather than having a key with symbols on it it’s…We’re hiring a laser scanner, we’ve got a revit technician internally. We’ve done 20-odd buildings now and have about 80 in-scope. In terms of working towards our safety case we’re gathering what drawings we have for our existing buildings from development form planning portals etc. We’ll be marking up on those to create an interim until we’ve done that, but hopefully by early 2024 we’ll have done all our buildings in that way.

BRETT HIBBITT We haven’t got any in-scope buildings at present], we’re merging with another association so we will have. Basically I’m sitting here waiting for the transition to come so all of this is really interesting so I’ve got a bit of a benchmark to see what everybody else is doing. So at present we don’t have to supply and drawings, we have to comply with the other parts of the fire safety measures applicable below 18 meters.

LUKE HAZELWOOD I’ve actually changed roles recently and I’ve moved to a contract manager so i haven’t been looking at this stuff for a little while. i know for example we have our information that went into our premises information boxes that were basic fire plans, but i don't know where we are with the fire safety stuff yet.

GEORGE Shares his screen with ‘Tower hamlets compilation’ displayed. Tower Hamlets have got 78 blocks in their portfolio and they don’t have a huge budget so what they’re doing is they’re doing progressively what Kelly was just showing earlier in doing laser scans of certain buildings, that will take them probably a year to do. What they want to do is have something in place asap so they’ve at least got something underway. So we’ve done something quite simple, we’ve taken a spreadsheet of just their properties so we’ve got there at the basic level, and we’re going to add into this the UPRNs for the flats themselves. We’ve pulled them into Active Plan, that’s actually been generated from the spreadsheet.

Because we integrate with google maps we can then have them there, so you can navigate through the individual properties, again from the spreadsheet (nothing else) this has all been created. The attributes that are in this field have all come directly from the spreadsheet and you can then connect directly through to google maps. It’s a really low cost way of getting something underway and can be done in a couple of days. we’ve also started to gather information on the high risk blocks. This is an 18-storey block that has quite a lot of work that is being done to it. This is an example of the key documents they can put in and can register against them. If they got standard plans they can put those in as well. It’s a matter of collecting all the information they’ve already got about the building so they’ve got it in one place to be able to do that and also more technical information.

It’s a matter really of just communicating with the rest of the team to pull together the information. Thus has been successful to get them to think on a more incremental way. Here we’ve got spaces and we’ve got some 360 photos of those spaces so they can actually use that to for example go in to tag the assets that are in there. The surveyors, these generate the point cloud as you’re walking through, it works at 7 times the speed of doing laser scans normally so it becomes possible to do a complete building in a day. Then the floor plans that have been produced from that, they just come through as CAD plans which in our case we import them into Active Plan, so that’s now the Active Plan that provides containers for the information to be held against.

This has been really helpful because it’s enabling the council to see how they can engage other parts of the organisations to get involved, maybe even get tenants to take 360 photos (I suggest). It’s a way of really building a community of people who can go and tag each of these 360 photos with the information and it goes and and builds a database of asset information. The last thing, this is an example of what we’ve done with PRP, taking the safety case information, the models that they’ve created for that. It’s a matter of going from nothing to, when you’ve got the information that’s maybe been collected for other purposes, you’ve then got something you can build on. The information in this case you can go into an individual asset and then to be able to say that that door is actually that type of door.

Our principle idea is to make it so that you can come at it from both ends. When you’ve got the funds to be able to do the job properly you create those detailed models, that’s coming at it from one end, the other is just pulling together…what I’ve just shown you there, I think we’re probably going to have an asset information model for the estate within a few weeks, all be it at a very basic level but at least you’ve got a container to put the information into.

LUKE i think from what i know at the moment that’s the issue that we’ve got in our company is that none of our IT systems at the moment have containers for the information so that’s where they were the last i remember. I think that’s probably quite a common issue across the industry.

KELLY we’re just in the middle of procuring a common data environment so all of that information will drop into a system like what George has shown, because it’s not going to sit in our main assets system it will API into a main assets system so they’ll both talk to each other so we’ll have that one source of the truth but will have that common data environment so that we can keep everything updated. We’ve now employed a revit person so his responsibility is ensuring that that’s up-to-date, but it gives us the benefit that surveyors, anybody that goes out on site will be able to electronically update information for us to assess and decide if changes need making so it’s kind of a whole encompassing system that we’re going to be working with. At the end of it we’ll have all 23 estates in there and then the idea is potentially we’ll be looking to roll it out to our complex buildings and other ones in the future so we’ll eventually get some level of modelling scanning data for a lot of our bigger complex buildings.

GEORGE What I’ve discovered is that there’s lots of different activities that go on where people collect information for a different purpose. Multivista and people like that are doing scans for either driven by architects or landlords, but it might be just to look at the re-cladding side of things. So they do part of the job or the scope of what they do may mean they’re also doing some internal scans, but it’s driven by a particular project which might be a remediation project or decarbonisation etc. Somebody else might be doing something as a condition survey for decent homes.

I’ve discovered over the years of dealing with HAs and councils is often those different groups are collecting the information for their won purpose, but you end up then with silos of information that are not joined up and are often conflicting. Our purpose is to engage with those various different data sets and pull them together and federate them. Some people on the call are implementing Microsoft dynamics within their organisation, but it might be years before they’re ready to put in all the asset information as well so we’re providing that as an interim way of getting there.

KELLY We’ve already seen the benefit of it. We have a roof leak on one of these blocks and within 10 minutes we were able to pull off a drawing to show the detailed roof information and then a snapshot slice of the building pinpointing where the water is coming into those flats. We could then see where that was leading and the breeches from the roof and linking that in with the services, so understanding the internal rainwater pipes etc. Those plans have gone off to a contractor to assess in more detail, but we would have been working blind if we didn’t have that, it’s saved so much time and money already.

GEORGE The work we’ve been doing with Paul White (the ventilation expert), Paul’s been working with us on the fire side of things and one of the challenges there…there was a perception that the AOV needed to be checked every quarter because that’s what SFG20 tells you to do, whereas actually form a fire safety POV…

PAUL WHITE in theory any active systems if you’re checking for faults you should be checking everyday, but the issue with most of these systems is they’re passive so if you don’t trigger an alarm you’ll never see a fault. The point is if you look at BS9999 there’s a much more comprehensive set of instructions which is probably OTT, but it’s similar to you test your fire alarms every week, why aren’t you simulating your alarm into the smoke control system and seeing if that works.

GEORGE The other thing we’re using extensively now is 360 photos. Sedexo are using 400 pound cameras to just go into each space (in particular on hospitals and also student accommodation) and they take a 360 photo which is then tied back to the space and they can then go and tag the…they can have subject matter experts who don’t need to visit the site go through and identify what assets are in there also any hazards e.g. an issue with fire stopping. It’s a matter of doing things for several different purposes and then glueing it together.

JACK i appreciate all the things people are saying at the moment but i would really like to hear more from the people who are doing it (Kelly), not just seeing the outputs but in terms of when you’re specifying the work done, what are the lessons learned and successes. More a dive into what you’re learning has been.

RICHARD that’s what I’m doing in the one-to-one meetings, you’ll be getting an invite. let me explain, I’m doing one-to-one meetings and then getting 4 or 5 people together in a small group who’ve all taken different approaches and to do exactly what you’re saying. To say what’s worked and what hasn’t, what bit is there a learning curve on - people are a bit more open and likely to chat in a smaller group. In larger groups people are less open but with just a few people together we get that kind of feedback from everybody, which is what I’m doing now.

JACK What’s the expectation for this meeting then, what are we doing here? GEORGE i absolutely agree with you, this meeting should be about positioning what’s happening and I think you did that, also explaining what’s happening on the sustainability front which obviously is most people’s purview at the moment. But then it’s also a matter of, the sessions that Richard’s doing (which will not be recorded to help feel more relaxed).

KELLY I see where you’re coming from, Jack, but I think the difficulty is there’s a very small handful of people that are really far forward so that learning is probably not there yet so we’re still wrapping up our first project which we’ve gone really big on. That was the point of building up our procurement documents ready to go out to procurement so we have got lessons learned, but I think there’s very limited people that are where we are - many are not quite there yet. It will come with time and it’s just going to take that time to be able to get that. i do think that’s a shared value and definitely we have to have those discussions but it’s going to be a very small group of people who have got to where we are so far.

JACK Yeah, I get that, I guess I’m putting myself in the position of if I hadn’t got there I would like to know what mistakes had been made so i just didn’t go ahead and make them when I get to starting it, that’s all. I don’t think it’s only the people who are down the line that want to hear lessons learned. RICHARD That’s absolutely true, but once I’ve completed a cycle of these meetings the result of that can be presented, the findings and the sharings, without them necessarily being attributed with anyone specifically. Now, in that circumstance people are going to be more open. Very much like the old black box, the anonymous reporting of critical issues.

JACK For me, I would like to know when something is spoken about I’d like to be able to say ‘what did you specify in terms of data requirements? How did you do that?. I don’t necessarily just want to be presented with that. RICHARD Absolutely, I’m not saying that’s all you’re going to get, it’s one of the things you’re going to get. The reason I’m doing these small meetings is because after 20-25 individual meetings virtually every single person said to me they thought it was a good idea to have a small, quiet, semi-intimate chat with 4 or 5 of them, so I’m doing what they want.

GEORGE What Richard is saying is…for example, Ihsan I think is from Guinness and it might be that Guinness are not quite in a position yet to be able to show things. So what Richard is doing is trying to engage with people on a 1-2-1 basis to find out where they are on the journey and then what he’s done with the group he’s meeting tomorrow (Bex, Clare Williams and Jentu), they’re going to explain to each other what they are doing. Clearly, if we’re more organised (and remember that we are all volunteers so we’re just trying to do the best we can) I think they can then determine if they’re happy to share that maybe with the wider group, so we can then organise for the next session…if people think this is a worthwhile thing to do with the deadlines coming up, then we can do that.

For example within Clarion, Ed Costa’s work, he’s doing a slightly different thing to what you’re doing. JACK He works on the safety case, rather than the golden thread. GEORGE He told me that he’s focused on producing the plans for the premises information box. He told me there’s a team of CAD technicians that are doing floor plans. JACK They are working up on some parts of things, the CAD team.

GEORGE We've been doing quite a lot of this show-and-tell stuff which you might not have been able to see but it’s being recorded so you can catch up on it. From the operations side (which isn’t particularly what we’ve been talking about for most of this session) is there anything you want to cover in terms of what we should be doing on the asset management side of things?

ALEX There’s a question I wanted to bring up just as a discussion point, rather than any particular viewpoint that I’ve got, which is BIM for housing associations have recently released their version 2 of their tool kit which will get a lot of downloads. It was interesting to note it doesn’t appear to have suggestions for holding coordinates or location information. In retrospect of everything we’ve seen on the meeting so far today regarding floor plans, layouts, visualisation, in my mind location information, spatial information is absolutely critical to what we’re doing e.g. for the provision of that information for floor plans for the building information boxes for emergency services. Also for the idea to be ask for or to use this information in multiple ways - effectively we are digging the same whole several times to get different sets of information. Location information seems to be the critical key that can hold everything together. Do others have views about this?

GEORGE Obviously the location of things is critical. Now whether it needs to be for everything an XYZ coordinate level or whether it’s just tied back to the space, I think there can be a discussion on that. I think it’s also not just about the individual assets, it’s also information about spaces and document spaces etc. The location of information is critical. How are things going with CX?

ALEX CX has got location information in it now allowing us to record a link to space. We’ve got a 4 level hierarchy that we’re using and we’re introducing the spatial positioning as well, so currently we’ve got level room and then location within the room and then we have parameter core positions. So we’ve got 4 identifiers which can be roughly mapped to a space in BIM speak. And we’ve got that information for asbestos materials as well as appliances, equipment and components. We’ve got a field that will allow us to record the information of the XYZ coordinates, we actually need to go more than just XYZ because we want to hold volume information as well, to be held as what we call attributes of the system, so there will be a way to record and generate models.

We’ve got some visual representation of things as well, recently produced a diagnostics tool for repairs reporting which customers can plug into their website so whenever a resident reports a problem with their building, a repair request, they can go through a wizard which includes a visualisation of the spaces that they want to report for. A the moment that’s really generic, but the plan is to hold specific information so they would see their own floor plans, a rendered form for their rooms to make it more personal. I want to build it all up so we can incorporate a whole lot of handed over information for new building construction (COBie data sets) but equally enhance that for e.g. multiple attributes that you are seeing at Active Plan. We’ve finished the migration from Keystone now, that’s to say all the software functionality that was in Keystone is now in the new platform. We’re now neck-deep in implementation.

BEX GIBSON In the interest of sharing what progress we’re making at Livewest, it’s become very apparent that the date we’ve got is dispersed around the organisation in various different locations. We did talk to a few external consultants about delivering a digital solution for the building safety case and linking it to, ideally, an information model and all of that great best practice stuff. But what became clearly apparent early on is that the structure of our data internally was the first hurdle to cross in delivering a single source of truth kind of building safety case approach. Our IT team, they’ve started a property information project where they are assessing all the information we have in all the different locations so we can start bringing that all together.

I know we’re keen to deliver this ‘dashboard’ style safety case internally, so that’s kind of a side project. We have downloaded the BIM for housing associations tool kit and we’re going through that because what we want to do is make what we have resilient. You know, if we all have a standardised approach to the data that we manage and the data we expect contracts to provide on completion, it makes everything work just that little bit more smoothly - that’s the point of these groups. I don’t have anything solid, I haven’t got a plan…

Just going through that BIM for housing association tool kit to work out what’s best for us because we don’t want to over…we want it to be useable, more data that you actually don’t use is just as pants as having no data. We’ve got to have that fine balance of what do we need to deliver the expectations, in my case the building safety case but I’m very much the champion o information and BIM within the organisation. It’s about getting the right information. We probably hold a lot more information than we need to manage our assets but perhaps it will be useful in the future, but it doesn’t need to be in that. GEORGE it’s making sure the information you need can be presented as a subset for a particular activity.

BEX Yeah and that’s what they’ve done in the initial information requirements document that the project management team for this project have done. They went through every department in the organisation, worked out what information they have, what they need, where they find it. That process has been elongated quite substantially because there’s a lot of things everywhere and it’s working out how best to manage that going forward so that we can not just deliver what I need )in terms of legislation) but other departments can use that same process and the same data structure - it just works. It’s an organisational change which has come from the top, it’s a change in work culture to feed down into what we’re talking about which is the nuts and bolts of what we need in terms of BIM etc.

KELLY LEE We’ve done very similar to what Bex has done, I want to champion the benefits of that, we’re trying to move it forward. We’re hoping to bring dynamics in in the future and we’ve got an opportunity now as a business to be able to define how we want to hold our information, basically because by looking at the assets set I can see that it doesn’t work: it works for one set of people but not for the wider organisation. So we’ve been working with Chris Lees to look at the UK data standards. The project that we did on Beckton, because it was a pilot we have actually modelled current data structure (so it’s useable from that POV) but we’ve also put it into the UK data standards as well, so we’ve actually got the whole concept modelled out on how it would look with spatial information, how we can hold that data to that level so we know where everything is…

That’s so critical for me because operationally I used to manage all of the M&E equipment and it was so infuriating - I knew what we had but I didn’t know where it was! So trying to get replacements, cost savings by doing it in this way. The next step is to get our organisation to buy-in to that’s the change we need to make. Next month we’ve got 90 critical people from around the business and we’re spending 2 days presenting to them this project. Chris will come in and present the full concept of the UK data standards because we’re very aware that our asset information is one small part of the data standards and what we want to do is adopt the whole concept. We’re trying to showcase this and will be using fire doors as an example because that’s the one we went down to that intricate level.

We’ve actually modelled out all of the UK data standards onto the fire door in the 3D model to show them ‘this is what our current systems hold, this is what COBie holds, but actually this is what we can hold’. And we went on a journey for 8 months defining the low level requirements, the attribute levels - we are nowhere near because obviously it needs a group collaborative approach to it. We’ve gone on a journey not just from fire safety and structural safety, we’ve done it for the whole asset, we 've looked at everything. We’re recording those sessions and will have a version we can present out to everybody, so we can give you a copy. And we’re recording Chris as well so he’s got a promotional video for the UK data standards. Getting everybody on the same page, cost saving, better for contractors. By the end of November we should have some videos we can share with you.

GEORGE You’ve both been involved in the golden thread initiative projects that we’ve been working with, but one of the interesting things is (like your fire door) if you ask the subject matter exerts what information we need to know about a fire door the response generally has been ‘it depends’. And that’s critical because it depends on what wall it’s going into, it depends on this and that, so there’s a whole range of different information sets that need to be hidden from people unless ‘it depends’ kicks in, so that’s the approach we’ve been taking with this. Under certain circumstances you need 3 bits of information that nobody else needs, but unless you’ve got them then you’re not able to address it. Simply looking at it from the POV of what information can you put in attributes on a revit model is too simplistic because you need to have those different views by function.

JACK I was just going to back up what’s been said and your point as well, Richard, actually, deleting and starting everything from scratch. We didn’t go around asking where we had information, we sat down and worked out what information we felt was necessary and from that working out which…we kind of have data in 3 sources, it’s either geometric on a 3D model, database or documents. And so working out, right, where do we want that information? Di we want to be able to filter across the stock? If we do we want it in the database, if we don’t documents fine and people can find it if they need it. A bit like both Bex and Kelly saying in terms of thinking about it, trying to understand the data, defining it (what areas you’ll want), how you’ll use it.

RICHARD So categorising your data not so much on how it’s utilised but on the methodology of actually finding it, or do you need to find it. JACK Yes, I guess trying to take everything into consideration. A lot of this is grey areas. OK, we store it as a document, that takes someone 3 minutes to find let’s say, whereas if it’s in the database it takes 30 seconds and if you’re doing that across a whole load it’s a real pain. So, you want to get it right but at the same time you don’t want to over populate and make things hard to find. There’s a lot of difficulty there. If we’re trying to look at buildings holistically we’re looking to put things as part of systems so that’s the external wall system that is made up of the cladding, glues, the windows etc.

All the elements of a system, and it’s setting out all the definitions for that: what do we consider the external wall system to be? A door, a floor level - thinking about locations, the spaces etc and just defining it so when it goes to a contractor to fill out the information we can simply pass that across. We can have all these good systems, but if we’re not ensuring that good quality of data through having definitions etc then it doesn’t really matter. We might have a great place to store it and find it but if the data’s still rubbish then.



Dave Williams

we are being asked more questions on the energy efficiency of our stock for sure and there are new measures coming into play for NROSH reporting and as George said, preferential interest rates based on epc ratings.

Bex Gibson

That looks great! Are you able to please share these pdfs? (redacted if necessary)

Ihsan Hoque

basically we're using Gerda to do our floor plans for our SIB's

Dave Williams

I would be interested in people sharing how they are approaching storing and sharing Golden Thread information.

Bex Gibson

We're doing 2d plans and elevations to feed into 23 Jan reqs

We also have a huge project internally to work out what information we have and the best way to manage these in order to deliver the Building Safety Case. I'm happy to chat about this if it's useful

Ihsan Hoque

we have the plans for our PIB's and we've used Gerda's service to do this. Basic 2D drawings

Alex Oldman - Civica

Paul White - Ventilation Fire Smoke

Bex Gibson - Livewest

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Lee Reevell - Halton Housing

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Brett Hibbitt - Aster

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness

Fleur Bowen - Notting Hill Genesis

Jack White - Clarion Housing

Dave Williams - Origin Housing

Matthew Raynsford - A2Dominion

Joanna Harris - Sodexo

Glen Jackson - Swan Housing

Kelly Lee - Orbit

Luke Hazelwood - L&Q


BIM4Housing Operations Working Group Meeting-20220824

Recording: https://youtu.be/jMk9Oakq6gg.

GEORGE: We’re looking at the requirement to deliver floor plans by the 23rd January. We’ve been approached by a few of the housing associations looking at how best to achieve that. We’ve done some research on the different ways that different people are doing it. We had a group with Housing Associations (Kelly was a part of that) a few weeks ago where we looked at these different ways. Ed Costa was on the call and he explained the method he’s approaching. Ultimately it’s probably a good idea to coordinate things.

One of my concerns is that we deliver just what is needed for 23rd January, the basic floor-plan that doesn’t include any detail about what rooms are in each apartment. It’s just saying there is an apartment there, which may satisfy the immediate need of the fire brigade but it will not satisfy what we need going forward for either the safety case or carbon etc. It’s useful to try and agree specification of what those different levels are. From conversations we’ve had we’re trying to maybe create a bronze, silver and gold standard specification, Just focusing on plans that are needed, those can be procured and specified, but the information can then be added to.

E.g. we’ve had a conversation with Gerda (premises information boxes), they provide a service that some of the members have been using to actually create the floor plans, which are clean and simple but they are produced in Visio and provided as PDFs, therefore it is quite difficult to add information. It has to go back to Gerda - the workflow needs to be more flexible than that, it’s great if the information can be built upon. that’s the methodology we are following with that.

GEORGE shares a document on screen. This is the requirement that needs to be delivered by the 23rd January. They’ve referenced the ‘Code of Practice’ document, this is the sort of information the fire brigade are looking for. There is a sectional view of the individual units. We’ve then got simple plans at a base level of information that incorporate some of the key elements e.g. dry risers. They’re also saying they want to have this highlighted where there is people at risk. That’s what they are trying to have as a standard data set that can then be built on. That’s fine, but what we need to then do is make it so when e.g. we want to collect the information about what wall type it is that can then be added.

Kelly will give an overview of what Orbit are doing. They’re going from the aspect of creating a comprehensive model and then deriving from that the information that is going to be needed for different purposes which is a sensible way to do it if you’ve got the financial capacity. For others that have got maybe 100 or 200 blocks, that’s actually quite difficult to fund. We need to have a way of looking at this that is progressive, a methodology where you’ve got maybe remediation taking place on a building so there is value in doing a detailed model. At the other end there is just a matter of having something pretty basic that’s just a place holder that we can add enough information that just satisfies what the fire brigade needs.

George asks how are people pursuing it at the moment? PATRICK FLYNN: We’re employing Gerda - we’ve had a contract with Gerda for floor plans etc for several years. They’ve recently updated to include the other elevations they didn’t have on their basic plans so we are purchasing those plans. Going in and creating building models for our stock is not really feasible at the current moment. We haven't completely outlined how our golden thread of information is going to work yet for occupied buildings. Those a lot of investment in new builds and we’ll probably roll a load of lessons learnt into our existing stock over the next 12 months.

The conversations we are having around the safety cases, the system is not getting away from escaping going down to the site and testing the safety case to make sure it is working. Having a basic system that works will be just as powerful as having a platform that works that maybe cannot be accessed operationally on the ground and demonstrate to HSE during their audit process.

GEORGE is speaking to Gerda and suggesting to them that what they produce they can produce in a machine readable format. It’s just they are choosing not to because they perceive that…there’s obviously a financial side for them. I’ve made the point to them that there is a much bigger market for them if they can be part of the wider eco-system. If they are producing things that nobody else can add to then that becomes a blocker. PATRICK thinks that will eventually be the direction of travel but they will probably need several big clients to talk to them about it before they look at doing it. He agrees there is definitely a need to be able to update stuff.

STEVE WYPER: We’ve got basic plans from things like structural surveys, we had Gerda boxes in all of our tall buildings in advance of this. We are now auditing to see what’s the gap analysis between what we’ve got and what they now want. We have a small portfolio of 18 metre plus 7 storey plus buildings, however we’ve got an eye on what we are buying from development and how information comes in and we are trying to educate everyone in the business.

We are doing some internal CPD sessions to say golden thread is a reality, digitisation of information coming in, when we buy stuff we need to develop units in a way that is going to be serviceable and compliant, not just from the building but from the information, safety case, golden thread etc. We’ll try and makes sure everything comes in in the right formats as we develop and as we acquire. Retrospectively, our big issue we’ve got a lot of stock 11 to 17 meters. We should be able to handle that and use those (8 buildings) as almost the pilots for what we are going to do across the rest of the business as legislation hits us and things progress forward.

GEORGE: from talking to people I’ve found out something that I wasn’t aware of. A Housing Association told me they’ve had to do something on lease holder protection Act. They’ve had to collect a whole lot of information about buildings that are over 5 storeys (below the safety case). You’ve got a lot of different pressures that are demands coming from different areas. Also, about the new provisions for NEC4 for developers and contractors to demonstrate that they’ve taken due account of carbon. If they don’t they get penalised for that as well.

STEVE: We’ve got a massive PAS 9980 program running across a load of lower-rise blocks just to understand more about how it is built.

JACK WHITE: There are quite a few things coming in under the fire safety regulations and we probably want to be in a good position when they come in but I think some of it e.g fire door checks, we’ll probably be happy enough having started out on our work and having a plan to

demonstrate when we will meet that by rather than necessarily meeting it on the 23rd January.

Ed is a colleague of mine and they’ve got an app where they’ll be creating very basic floor plans but my team will be continuing to scan buildings and create 3-D models from them, looking at that golden thread part and not diverting our resource and creating plans that would not allow us to do the full work that we want to do onsite.

We'll be splitting the work on it as in part of the team doing work to create the basic floor plans and then we’ll be continuing on with that golden thread work. We’ve got about 80 HRBs where we are the responsible person of which just over 20 have been scanned and modelled. We’re always happy to share what we are doing if everyone wants to see.

NICK ISHERWOOD: We’ve only got 4 HRBs, 2 of which are brand new build so obviously there’s plenty of development plans there. The other 2, I’ve asked the local fire safety assessor to make some local arrangements. All I plan to do at the moment until we get any greater guidance is simply to follow the guidance document shown by George which is fairly simplistic and nothing too technically challenging for the hard copy and then wait and see what comes out for electronic transfer and do what we ned to do then.

The 2 I’ve spoken to the fire assessor about, they are the only 2 we haven’t got existing floor plans for so whether he gets his scale rule and a pencil out or something a bit more sophisticated I’ll wait and see.

LEE REEVELL: We’ve been looking at floor plans for a couple of years, as part of a project we’ve pulled in a lot of floor plans and we armed our maintenance technicians with laser measures and an iphone app which when they go into property for any reason they capture that information and then we tag it to an archetype, if there is a number of homes or buildings like that. More recently I’ve done a 14-storey building (we’ve only got 1 building that will be impacted by the building safety bill) and we’ve modelled that in an application called sitedesk. I’m happy to share what we’ve been doing. The guys in our assets department are using that information that we’ve pulled together in the past and some of the newly modelled information to deliver documentation required for that building safety case, but it’s not finished yet and i’d be interested to take some pointers from you guys as to where you are up to.

GEORGE: In terms of those fire plans it’s become clear to me that we’ve not only got different pressures, we’ve also got different regulators that are asking for this information. The fire side of things is with the Home office whereas the Building Safety Act and building control are under the HSE now.

Everyone seems to agree, in response to George’s question, that the requirements for the 23rd of January is only for high risk buildings/in=scope buildings. JACK says for things like fire door checks it’s 11+ but then for floor plans that’s HRBs.

DAVE WILLIAMS: We’re no different to what everyone else has said. We’ve got a bout 3 o r 4 new builds which we’ve got plans for so we’ve sorted those out. The historical ones at the moment we’ve got a guy doing those plans for us. Our surveyors were already doing plans for units using an app so we’ve just expanded out for the other 19 buildings that we’ve got to get full floor plans done. The new BS8644 turned up last week so that’s another gap analysis I’m doing.

FLEUR BOWEN: We have nearly a hundred HRBs and so ultimately we are just keen to hit the January deadline and focus entirely on that requirement initially. In terms of floor plans our records aren’t dreadful, we do have plans that include floor layouts etc. What’s harder to come by is the more specific fire equipment and the specific guidance for the PIPs. We’re trying to deal with those things separately because trying to deal with a hundred buildings’ comprehensive floor plans by January is probably ambitious. Gerda is one of the ideas that we are exploring but I think we are looking at a number of different providers at the moment.

My main focus is actually on new builds coming into the portfolio, trying to make sure that we’ve got all of that information in an accessible format and making sure that RERs have those requirements very clearly and where it’s not covered under our existing contractual arrangements to make sure that our fire guardians are supporting us in delivering those requirements and that we’ve got the plans and the PIP boxes in place already on those new schemes before we accept handover.

GEORGE: We’ve set up another workstream to look at this floor plan exercise. Our workstreams only run for a few months - you’ve got a particular problem, let’s see if we can address it. Through the workstream we’re trying to get from people what the requirements are so that we can actually agree a consistent set of requirements then provide that to survey firms and the like so that they’ve got a clear brief.

It concerns me that people just go out and buy a matafor scanner without having all of the knowledge they may need to produce a really good output from that. We’re speaking with some of the big providers so we can agree what information they need to be able to put together a clear offer but also to agree what the quality of the information needs to be thus avoiding a situation where we get back information that isn’t properly reusable. I welcome people to participate.

KELLY LEE begins a run through of the approach that Orbit has been taking: We took one of our estates where we’ve got three 18 metre + buildings there. (Similar to Jack) we scanned the whole site and looked at everything on that site. I’ve got a short internal presentation and I don’t have a lot of the modelling at the minute, but I’ll quickly run through our approach. She shares a document on screen.

This was the BIM briefing document, our plan is to retro-bim all of our buildings to understand them from a POV of knowing what they are, what they are made from etc as they are very old buildings and they were stock transfer so we don’t have a lot of information on them. Obviously that will go into building up drawings, plans and anything that we need - once it’s within a model we can pretty much provide everything that we want. We did that by laser scanning which was done through drones on the outside, all of the different types of scanning on the inside.

We went into every part of the buildings, apart from where we had the flats, so we did example flats. We did utility surveys to see how the site interconnected with each other and we also added in thermal drain scanning, so yes we’ve got EPCs but we wanted to have a look at where these older buildings with pebble-dash cladding, we wanted to understand where the heat loses are coming from and to inform us at to how we are going to manage the buildings in the future.

Intrusively we did core sampling of all of the structure, so we drilled through the structure of walls, floors, ceilings, basement and went off-site for lab testing so that we could really see how the internal and external walls were built up to fully understand the compartmentation, the structure, the cavity barriers etc. We did that within the flats as well, 4 to 5 flats in each building we drilled through walls etc, we’ve got lots of data on that.

We did the energy assessments (the heat stuff), intensive fire safety inspections which obviously worked in conjunction with having done all of the intrusive works. The outcome of that is we will look at what the options will be on these types of buildings for the future. The research side of it and the consultancy, we’re now looking at different ways to manage the asset of information, how we can hold all of that, so we’ve looked at all the different standards to kind of understand what we want to do and where we want to be.

The initial findings. This is one of the 3 buildings (they are identical from the outside). We didn’t know that this area was actually an extension to the building, there was no records to show this building had a major extension which has led to additional works to do around the structure to make sure that it’s all tide in properly. The pebble-dashing was, overtime, added separately and we’ve also had some structural strengthening on the building (done after Ronan Point).

We can do these drawings in 3-D or 2-D, whatever we want, we’ve built up what the whole building looks like. Fire risk assessment: by understanding the building had had an extension and understudying the external walls a bit better we’re able to do a little bit more in-depth fire risk checking. We’ve found within the extension (we’re assuming was put in for a second lift) there is potentially open steel beams at each floor that wouldn’t have been fire protected so we’ve got to go back and have a look at those beams to see what we need to do.

Heat mapping was interesting because obviously from a golden thread POV and understanding structure and fire safety you think about it as not a particular impact, but actually this was really beneficial, not just regarding net carbon etc, it prompted us to think of the building as a whole as we should be thinking about it. As part of this project we assess all of our property improvement works for the future so we can see what it is that the want to do to these buildings and how to manage requirement changes.

They wanted to replace all the windows and you can’t do that in isolation anymore on these buildings because the pebble-dash was overlaid over the top of the windows and around the frames so you are going to damage the external wall. You’ve got to go through building control consent because the window types will slightly change on these types of buildings. You’ve got to retro put in cavity barriers which we found we didn’t have around any of these windows. The heat loss stuff, we found that yes, the windows were at the end of their useful life, but the heat loss is coming from the external wall.

So it doesn’t matter how many windows and balcony areas we replace, we’d probably cause more of a problem to the building by doing that because we’ll create cold spots and heat spots in different locations. This building does have a slight problem with damp and mould and the windows was the idea our improvement teams had for replacement to fix that but it would cause more problems. Now we’re waiting for a varied listing of what we could do to this building to be able to think about it as one particular structure, to see what we need to do and how much it is going to cost us.

The amount of redundant equipment that we have in these types of buildings is annoying, contractors can be generally lazy. Replace stuff and leave wiring in - that is not around the golden thread and maintaining stuff and understanding your building. We’ve now got drawings to show where redundant equipment is and we’ll be stripping all of that out. We’ll have really good plans about specific equipment, where it is and what it does, instead of having bits of old kit that you’ve got to put on there because it’s mapped in the building but actually it’s not usable.

The modelling is still under construction, we’ve got the initial modelling and are building up a picture of what we want to see. We’ve gone for the highest level of modelling so it looks like the building looks. I’m working with the external guys to build up the asset information. As a business we are very interested in adopting HACT. We want to have that flexible journey on our asset information so that as assets are defined by those working groups we will adopt those.

Active H is our database management system so we are also doing comparisons against that system and how we can hold the data in the system that we’ve just been provided. We know we cannot get all this information and the management of the modelling in our current systems so we’re just looking at the common data environment platforms to be able to manage this long term: accessibility for our contractors, our staff, customers, fire service, HSE, it will be a combined common data environment that we want to do everything. The modelling will hold in there, it will API into our systems and we’ll still have that one source of truth.

The information will be led and updated from our database systems that will update our common data environment. Where we don’t have the information sat in our database systems that one source of truth will sit in the common data environment, but there is only going to be (in effect) one place where all of our information will sit. We’re just now building up what that common data environment will look like and what the workflows will be and how we want that to be a continuous updating.

We’re creating our Golden Thread Management Plan. We know the GT is more than just data, it’s everything: it’s your interactions internally, and we’re just defining in our management plan what we believe our GT will look like. Data is a major point of it, that’s things like floor plans, PIB boxes and how they’ll be updated, who’ll manage those, inspections etc. It will also be the interactions with the departments. Anybody who has an impact on that building across our business will be in that GT management plan.

As an example, we’ve got a new team that manages aids and adaptations. We’ve got a lot of elderly people who need adaptions doing so we’ll have those kinds of information and how we’ll be updating that. Customer improvement, that will be part of our…management plan. Lettings: we can give people access to portals showing them information - drawings, plans, escape routes.

Our next step for our PIB boxes is we will create from our pilot project a kind of suite of all of the drawings to meet all of the requirements out of the back of the modelling because we will have that information. That will be our utopia moving forward as we do all the other blocks. We’ve got basic floor plans for everything but we’ll update those as we define this is what we would expect to see. The element of that we’re working on is the disability side of things and how we capture and show that data, how we communicate with our customers and keep it updated.

Our idea from the drawings, instead of just having dots and colours, is actually having people in there. We’ll be looking at GDPR to see if we can have links to people to show a little bit more information. We’re not sure we can do that, but once you’ve got the modelling in effect you can do anything. It’s costly, but once we get the management and the updating in place it’s beneficial in the long term.

GEORGE to Kelly: from your experience what would you flag up that you might do differently? KELLY: I’m not sure I would do anything in particular differently. It was interesting to talk to people and say ‘what could we do that is more than what we’ve already done’. The heat scanning stuff actually gave us results that we didn’t expect to see. Is there anything else while we’re on site that we can capture that might be of benefit. The communication and consultation with customers was really worthwhile and we’ll be presenting them (most of) our findings.

PATRICK FLYNN: each organisation has to look at their costs versus benefits analysis and that obviously worked out for you. Are you able to share cost information? KELLY: Approximately 40,000 a block. Currently we have 23 blocks but we are merging with Swann Housing so we’ll have another 50 something and we will do all of them. It’s value for money. With the pilot project, you are building up your organisational and asset requirements at the beginning and you’re never going to have to do that again. It’s been hard work getting to this point but half of that I will never have to do again, it’s done. The benefit of adopting something like the UK housing data standards for the asset information is you’ve got professionals from every area defining what requirements are needed so as they come along we’ll just adopt those.

GEORGE: The surveying company Ulti Vista have got an interesting ? for scanning and using AI to pick up where penetration seals are, it could be a good thing to be able to use.

IHSAN HOQUE from Guiness responds to how he’s approaching fire safety plans for the 23rd january deadline: We currently have 36 in-scope buildings, we have developments in the pipeline that will then bring it to a lot more. From a development perspective we have another 17 schemes (with maybe 4 blocks in each) which are going to be considered in-scope.

DAVE WILLIAMS on BS8644: The first thing e do is an organisational gap analysis against the requirements - technological gaps, skills gaps, resource gaps etc. We take that approach for all the different Acts. We often find there’s an overlap in those documents where we’ve identified the same resources or skills gaps etc. Also there are often contradictions.

GEORGE on BS8644 sharing on-screen document: It’s shaped around the Cobie schemer. For anybody that’s familiar with Cobie you’ll recognise these sheets. They’ve added on to each of the existing Cobie data sets some additional information e.g. competencies has been added. The building level has maybe not been changed, certainly on the floor level there are 4 new attributes against floors. There’s new attributes against spaces and also against zones, types, I don’t think they’ve added anything against instances which we think is a bit of a shortcoming because there are things you probably would need to know about the individual instance.

On connection there doesn’t seem to be any changes, they’ve added things on spares. We’ve actually gone through and done an analysis on this and we’re putting these into data templates now. he big change is that they’ve added some new tabs in. They’ve added a tab for packages which is new, competence, and they’ve produced a set of additional attributes - things like electrical power, back-up type etc.

These aren’t prescriptive, they’re suggested safety properties, so the principal idea here is that the client who (in this world) is determining what everybody should be doing…this information should be added into the asset information requirements.

One of the challenges…there’s quite a lot of industry engagement with people talking against it, they are feeling feeling from a workflow perspective, they’re expecting all of this to go into models because the way a lot of people are producing Cobie is from the model using IFC. There are no definitions an also no placeholders in the 3-D model to accommodate that. In our view that doesn’t really matter. If this is information that Fire people have said they need then it’s really a matter of delivering it.

So the approach that we’re taking is to simply add in the new attributes, take the existing Cobie and then add them in as attributes and then add new tables. That means that rather than people having to produce 2 different data sets or 2 separate workstreams they can both come from the same data. I’m expecting that Active Plan will have this cracked by the end of this week so that we can generate the Firey data directly from the system. Once we do that it means that we can then populate whatever software application people need that competency information in.

My concern at the moment is that the BIM community is coming at this from the POV of what they can do with their existing processes whereas the people that have actually pulled this together, they are saying what do they need as fire engineers/fire safety etc. My view is that we shouldn’t be letting the technology that we are using be the barrier to providing the information that is needed.

Do you see responding to this standard as being relevant to you as Operations teams?

STEVE WYPER: On Sovereign’s POV I think it would be great. In many of these presentations I am made aware of how far we have got to go and how many people internally we’ve got to garner and sell the vision of time investment in this.

GEORGE: I’ve been told that there’s at least 30 regulations coming out of the back of the building safety act. It’s frustrating because people seem to take a view that once they’ve produced the document/paper/piece of guidance then it’s done without thinking about how people are actually going to deal with it. We have to come together and say, OK, this is what you are asking for, this is what we are practically able to deliver.

As Jack was saying earlier, if the regulator comes and looks at what Clarion are doing and he can see what progress is being made then arguably they should be satisfied with that. Also regarding the Active Plan approach, if somebody’s got 20/50/100 blocks then it’s a matter of doing something on all of them, not waiting until you can do something perfect on everything. It’s a matter of prioritising, but also being able to do something pretty basic.

Also, we’ve done work over the last 18 months or so on the Covid testing centres and we helped to mobilise those within a few weeks, almost 200 sites within 4 weeks. The people visiting the sites just did hand sketches and we used those as containers/placeholders for putting the information that they could collect and the you could build on it. I think that’s a logical way of approaching it, even if you’ve just got a simple matrix of what the layout of the internal flats are, just as a placeholder. With 360 cameras you can now record very cheap ways of pulling together asset information.

You can then look at it from the other end (the work that Jack is doing) proper scans and creating models from that. My point is that we ca come at it from both angles and then you end up with something that you can work with and also it means we can align it with the documents…I don’t know if you’ve seen what we did at the Golden Thread Initiative to actually identify what documents are needed, what information is needed to support the safety case. So you can start to use it to gather together the information that you need. It’s a matter of doing it in a structured and progressive way. If anybody’s interested in the little workstream that we are doing on the floor plans then just drop us an email and we’ll include you on the next session.


Lee Reevell

We're using MagicPlan and a fancy laser measure on an iPhone to capture existing building floorplans. Export as ifc format.


I'd be keen to understand how everyone is setting out those requirements for new developments. We essentially get a huge PDF file which has to be disseminated internally when that information must be available digitally at some point in the process.

Dave Williams - Origin Housing

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Lee Reevell - Halton Housing

Kelly Lee - Orbit

Nick Isherwood - Accent Group

Joanna Harris - Sodexo

Jack White - Clarion Housing

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Patrick Flynn - Networkhomes

Fleur Bowen - Notting Hill Genesis

Steve Wyper - Sovereign

Alastair Brockett - Hilti

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness


BIM4Housing Operations Working Group Meeting-20220622

Recording: https://youtu.be/8glOnrmyjx4

ALEX OLDMAN says that today participants will have the opportunity to have some input into the documentation that the group is producing, building upon the work from DCW.

GEORGE talks about the prescribed information within the Buildings Safety Act and how it’s down to the industry to work on what this information is. The defective premises act will have a big impact on developers and contractors. Incomplete and inaccurate information seems to be treated as a defect by the regulator. There are 10 working groups tasked with defining what information is needed for the golden thread and also from a process POV. The outputs from the groups have been fed back into the government. Something critical that’s come out of this is the gateways and what information is needed at different stages.

The asset information group has created a data set with information that would be helpful to create the safety case. The visual record team also worked on this. The specification group have identified that specifications need to be complete before the end of work stage 4/gateway 2. Due to this product have got to be selected before construction starts, a real challenge for specialist trades. He shows an overlay of the gateways in relation to the RIBA plan of work on screen. This has made people think about what needs to be done by gateway 1 (spatial co-ordination needs to be settled then). By gateway 2 all of the design should be complete, even M&E.

The group with the Tier 1 contractors has agreed that its necessary to move from the situation where a lot of contractor design portion is left to Workstage 5, it needs to be brought into Workstage 4, a large change. The Construction Control Plan will need information provided in a machine-readable format. In Workstage 5 if there is a need to swap out one product for another there needs to be a very robust technical submittal process and also the products need to be procured in a way that we then have machine readable information. That’s the process we are trying to address.

The challenge is there is lots of data, standards, and guidance, but none of it is machine readable. Also, there is very little common naming/formatting/data dictionaries. What is machine readable information? A PDF may have excellent data but only a human can read it. All the data dictionaries have been created with good reason for the purposes of their users but finding which information we need is a challenge. There are many different terminologies. The solution is the use the Templater to create re-usable data templates that can be used with any software for any purpose. We’re trying to create structure so that we can then access the information. The next step is to look at what information is needed for a particular purpose. The HSE briefing said we should focus on a particular risk e.g., spread of smoke or fire.

We have systems of mitigation to deal with the risk. Compartmentation is made up of different asset types. Part of the exercise we are doing today is to look at what information do we need to know about a particular asset type to ensure it will perform when it is needed. Fire rating might be described in different ways for different purposes. We need to make sure each stakeholder has all the information they need.

Ultimately we are trying to bring together all the data that is available and then transform it, structure it, so we can simplify the way people access. We then add a context, because the reason people may need information depends on the particular scenario.

The form of procurement we are looking at is Design & Build. George shows the scenario document on screen. A lot of feedback at DCW was that this design doesn’t work…but why doesn’t it work? And how can we make it work? We’re looking at it from the POV of compartmentation, smoke control and also detection. We’ve created a series of questions based upon the outputs from the roundtable sessions documents. The purpose of this is also to say who will be likely to provide the information.

JACK WHITE observes that what the HSE suggested is not something he thinks the group should be working towards. Understanding how a building will work within a fire and regarding the passage of smoke, there are so many variables. He thinks this doesn’t get us anywhere. He thinks the HSE don’t understand buildings or asset management. To try and get this amount of information and understand how the building works in a fire we’d be so many computational fluid dynamic models - it’s not feasible.

GARY BELLENGER, another asset manager, responds that he agrees with JACK. For a new build it would have to happen, but he questions whether that information needs to be tested in this way. GEORGE replies that there is certainly a difference between existing buildings and new buildings. If manufacturers can provide information in a machine readable form that will have a big impact. JACK says if we don’t have a vision for what this looks like in Operations, if we have to understand really in depth how smoke travels through the building we, as asset managers, want very different information and would work in a very different way.

GEORGE: All the we are trying to do in these different groups is to try and identify methods by which you would be able to demonstrate that, under particular circumstances, the measures put in place are adequate and the information to be able to check they are adequate is there. The number of ways that the installation of e.g. a fire door can go wrong is legion.

RICHARD then organises group members into their particular breakout rooms after which the breakout rooms take place. They then return from the breakout rooms.

GEORGE, referring to JACK’s earlier comment regarding the lack of feasibility to act upon the HSE’s suggestion, says he doesn’t disagree with him. All he’s saying is we are trying to address the steer we’ve had from the HSE. At the moment a lot of this is determined around what instructions are given to construction supply chains for a new build. JACK replies that he thinks instructions in new build are not necessarily hugely relevant in operations. Also, the shadow regulator can say what they want now and then change their mind in 3 months’ time. We should be doing what we think is right to keep residents safe and manage our assets as well as possible.

When asked by George about carbon, JACK says that Net Zero will at some point overtake safety as the biggest issue for the sector. He thinks the sector didn’t understand fire safety that well five years ago but understands it better now. With net Zero we are still at the not understanding it very well stage.

DAVE WILLIAMS thinks there are many who look at existing builds and can’t imagine how they will ever get the building to net zero due to its age. Regarding the ‘information we require’ issue, the universal data dictionary of components would be nice, but if we want to look at the data set we actually require managing the building operationally it’s a far smaller subset of information than what we were talking about before. We need to concentrate on getting that minimal data set populated that we require to run a building operationally and then consider what ancillary information might be required once in a blue moon.

On decarbonisation, ALEX thinks there’s a strong role for BIM in the context of modelling building information. The creation of smart buildings and monitoring the power consumption will get you a measure for the actual energy performance and the use of a particular building. fairly soon, we’ll be able to get active information on our buildings and then we can feed that information back in again. What he’s looking for next is active augmented asset management where there are measures coming in from systems on energy performance (and maybe safety as well) and bringing those into central systems which we can then react to.

Again, on decarbonisation, GARY thinks it depends on what the exam question is for us and what we are focusing on. he’d like to come to carbon as maybe a separate set of data. GEORGE says that if we know where everything is located then adding information, like embodied carbon etc, is relatively straightforward. The difficult things is to work out what that calculation actually is.

MARZENA, having looked at the golden thread checklist, thinks the format for the floor plans is interesting. For BIM, should we opt for the CAD format of the floor plans? GEORGE will discuss this with her another time. DAVE WILLIAMS says that for those that don’t have floor plans on the high risk buildings, the deadline is January 2023 to make sure all of those buildings have the floor plans, and the premises information boxes. SHARON highlights a concern that emerged in her breakout group that the input of Operators is currently not being asked for/considered.

Sharon McClure - Avestagroup

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Kelly Lee - Orbit

Alex Oldman - Civica

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

James Banner - Orbit

Gary Bellenger - Aster

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Jack White - Clarion Housing

Marzena Odzimek - Tower Hamlets Homes

Dave Williams - Origin Housing

Clare Williams - Hackney

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness

Calum Kerr - Balfour Beatty

Jim Hannon - London Fire Solutions

Bex Gibson - Livewest

Mike Smith - Bailey Partnership

David Peacock - TÜV SÜD

Fleur Bowen - Notting Hill Genesis

Break Out Rooms

Breakout Rooms_ BIM4Housing Operations WK Grp - Fire Doors-20220622

Recording: https://youtu.be/A0nu1UvrL5A

RICHARD tells everyone in the breakout room that the task is to put a tick to show who would be responsible for supplying the operations group with this information. For the question ‘what type of door is it?’ RICHARD clarifies to think about it as a design & Build contract. Also, any of the questions can be changed or tweaked. JAMES BANNER agrees with MIKE SMITH that it’s the main contractor and also says that the main contractor would actually be responsible for providing information about every item on this list because its the main contractor that is responsible for providing everything towards the client on the project. A contractor would be getting information from different sources.

RICHARD asks if it wasn’t a design & Build contract how would it be different? JAMES says it would vary depending on the procurement route that is taken. If you were a client the people you appoint directly would be responsible for giving you that information. CLARE adds that a New Build would be different again. MIKE SMITH, as an architect, says some of these questions are really good because they would inform how we specify products, whether we are fully specifying a specific product to meet a performance or whether we are giving performance specifications for main contractors and suppliers to meet.

RICHARD says that a lot of the feedback after DCW has been that who is responsible for giving information depends on what stage of the process. JAMES BANNER says that, from an Operations perspective, once you are in contract its definitely the main contractor that’s responsible for giving information. But pre-contract it wouldn’t come from the contractor as there is not contractor at that point. You’d be going through the concept design, architects and engineers, they’ll have to go and get information from other people. Maybe it’s best to look at where the source of this information ultimately comes from rather than relating it to design & build?

RICHARD says for this exercise let’s do that, as we’ve already answered the question for it being design & build. So, looking at it from the perspective of where the information ultimately comes from, What type of door is it? MIKE SMITH thinks that ultimately the designer is responsible to stipulate that. Likely frequency of use? CLARE WILLIAMS, disagreeing with FLEUR BOWEN’s response that it would only be relevant to automated doors, says the question is relevant to any door because you might have a secondary means of escape fire door that only gets used in an emergency or communal ride doors on a means of escape route that gets used all day everyday. JAMES says the answer is client and designer.

MIKE says the only hesitation on the designer question is that we sometimes find that clients, post occupation, will change all the numbering of the doors based upon their own system. BEX GIBSON agrees, they have their own numbering system. Is there any glazing within the door leaf or door set…? MIKE says if we found any glazing in the door we would assume that it’s been tested and verified by the manufacturer, it’s all part of the same system.

CLARE asks are we considering that this building that our doors are in is a single snapshot in time of when the building is built and ready before it is occupied, or might we also be looking at its future life? RICHARD says he thinks we deal with it as just a snapshot. JAMES is still taking it as if we are in a design & build environment. What is the door closer type? MIKE would assume its the manufacturer and the trade contractor, but CLARE says what about the designer - if some of the doors in the block are going to have wheel chair accessibility wouldn’t that be part of design? JAMES says if something is being specified as a particular type of closure, it’s who is providing that - ultimately it's the manufacturer of that door type. Regarding signs on the doors, they discuss who is responsible for it and it seems like both client and manufacturer are involved in the process. Additionally, the designer and installer are also responsible. All this is dependent upon what kind of signage we are talking about.

The Installation: was it installed correctly? BEX GIBSON says Do we not require certification for fire doors in particular instances? So would it not be whoever does that certification after the install? JIM HANNON replies there would be a certification for the manufacturing of that door. There would be a certification for the install and then a final fire engineer, fire risk assessor that would do an ultimate sign off of the building, whether that be building control. the responsibility has to be on the manufacturer that, he’s manufactured it to the correct specification, and he’s got certification in that respect and he’s actually the same for the installer that he’s installed it to a third party certification.

Third party inspection records? JAMES says it depends on who is appointing that third party to undertake the inspection. a contractor could be having them independently verified but so could a client. JIM HANNON says it's the old fashioned clerk of works, whatever title that person may have these days, someone doing random post inspections. He’s not sure who that person would be on new build sites. JAMES says the employer’s agent has to take some responsibility in ensuring those checks have been done. A fire risk assessment company does our post occupation fire risk assessments and to inspect during construction as well.

Final record drawing showing compartmentation strategy…? JAMES says ultimately the designers are providing as-built drawings. to the main contractor to provide so for compartmentation stuff it’s going to be only the designers. MIKE says it depends on what is the intention of the drawings. JAMES replies that as-built drawings should depict precisely what is actually built on-site.

Regarding the question about automation being added to the door and CLARE and JAMES make points about how magnets are a frequently added to that system that holds doors open which are actually fire doors so when there is a fire alarm the magnets are deactivated and the doors close. JAMES says they are always added as the fire door set does not come with the devices. CLARE says the information that the magnets have been added would come from the trade contractor because they would need to be connected to the fire alarm. MIKE says the manufacturer as well.

Going back to the training question (no.17) JAMES thinks it’s about evidence the customer has been trained rather than whether they have provided the video or training. So we we as a client would do a hand over to a customer and a briefing about how that property works.

James Banner - Orbit

Clare Williams - Hackney

Bex Gibson - Livewest

Mike Smith - Bailey Partnership

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Fleur Bowen - Notting Hill Genesis

Jim Hannon - London Fire Solutions

Breakout Rooms_ BIM4Housing Operations WK Grp - Smoke Dampers-20220622

Recording: https://youtu.be/5KByJoiu4Rk

ALEX OLDMAN begins by saying that JACK WHITE made a very relevant point about the role of asset management in all of this. To summarise, what from a BIM perspective we are looking at what are the information requirements for a piece of equipment that’s in the building. JACK’s right that it’s not necessary to do computational fluid dynamics on smokes progress through a building, we rely on experts to do that. ALEX shares the spreadsheet on screen. We are going to be focused on the information sheets to start with.

GEORGE interrupts to say the task is not to do full RACI, it’s the simple question of who is responsible for providing that information. These questions have all been raised during roundtable workshops during the last year - this information has been requested by the people who have to do the inspections or who are responsible. It doesn’t matter if there are things on there that you don’t think should be there because we’re going to filter that according to different roles.

JACK is not sure what value he would add by going through these questions and saying who would do it. GEORGE replies the exercise is about finding out who is the best person to provide that information. The context when looking at this is new builds, design & build contract. After the introductions ALEX says that everyone in this breakout room is high level, but not technical…this is Jack’s point. They decide to answer the questions on the basis of who is going to be providing the information to us. The product being looked at is smoke dampers (which Alex describes the function of).

What resistance is required in PASCAL terms? PASCAL is a unit of pressure - an express lift shaft would have quite a lot of pressure with the lift going up and down. The supplier, says GARY, is the person from which the contractor would buy it. MARZENA says that if you think about what service maintenance is required she doubts if the supplier would provide any specification, they don’t really add anything on top of the manufacturers information. Regarding what is the movement of structure and services question the group participants are unsure about the meaning of this question.

Re the location, ALEX wonders whether the person who is commissioning it not going to be the person confirming the location because there might be multiple instances and we need to know which one they are providing. JACK guesses it’s about who is responsible for it so the designer would say where it is and then the contractor would position it. MARZENA observes that there are a lot of tick boxes against the supplier but it’s probably worth thinking about the role of the supplier. It’s more like a platform for buying the products. They question whether it’s appropriate that the supplier has been ticked for questions 11,12 and 14.

JACK thinks that from a Housing Association side he would aspect everything to come through either the principal contractor or principal designer. Q.18 is the design approach for damper holistic? ALEX says its the designer and the installer, but not the supplier as they can’t possible know. Going back to PASCAL terms, is the main contractor or designer not going to provide the resistance required? DAVE WILLIAMS thinks that would be part of the specification of the product in which case it would be coming from the supplier and manufacturer, or the contractor. JACK thinks the designer would understand what level of resistance would be required and then select from a manufacturer to say ‘i need this level of resistance’.

What are the limitations? MARZENA thinks it may mean what can impact on the performance of that product, so some limitations are that it can’t be installed in certain types of buildings or environments. e.g it’s not for underwater installation, says ALEX. Regarding the lifespan, wouldn’t that come from the specification and then it just filters down to the client. But ALEX says they may spec a longer lasting more expensive component e.g. 50 year smoke damper.

MARZENA thinks Q.26 about security is interesting. She thinks some of it will come from the client because they may be aware of some ‘local conditions’ - ALEX gives the example of teenagers tampering with it.

ALEX thinks that what he is trying to get from this process is clarity on what information we should be asking for so we can build out the asset information requirements at the start of a new build process. If this is the wrong approach, what are you looking for in asset information requirements. Working in Operations, replies JACK, the Building Safety Act is about to come and he doesn’t really want to hear about new builds: there are many existing high rise buildings and all we hear about is to get this information right from the start…We struggle with ownership of our buildings (if we own them or not) so technical details for smoke dampers is far down the list of want we ned to do.

We are overreaching at the moment in terms of what we are trying to achieve. We don’t know all the locations of smoke dampers in our existing buildings. The first step is to locate them, identify them and have a full register. The next is to gather technical information about them…but that’s down the line. And once we have that technical information, then we see how we can use it. We’ll find out what information we need when we start to utilise that. Once we start giving someone information to go and look at a building we’ll start working out what information is useful to them. The idea that we can define what we need from the start is not necessarily the way that we should be going. GARY nods in agreement.

DAVE WILLIAMS has a similar view to Jack because he looks at the critical information he needs to manage the building. Taking smoke dampers as an example, as long as he has the make, model and product sheet that he can read all the details about it, generally he would not be using that information on a regular basis. he needs to know the location, the manufacturer and the model number, serial no. and installation date. The minutiae of the information we’ll probably never use. On the rare occasion we don need it we need access to it on a PDF product sheet or online library that we can google to get the product sheet.

GARY is in agreement with JACK and DAVE. We’re starting from a low base, the sector knows that…he’s not sure that the HSE does. Of the billions of data sets of the data dictionaries out there most are not relevant for us - he wants to focus on the core bits of information that are going to make him do his asset management job everyday. knowing the location of dampers is important, and also basic information about them, but testing and designing whether that’s adequate isn’t part of this process: this isn’t a risk assessment process. We need to know the properties that something has so that when we replace them we can replace them with something that is the same, and having the certification that somebody competent has done that. When does it need to be serviced? Simple stuff like that.

MARZENA totally supports what her colleagues have said. Perhaps the golden thread is about finding out what at different stages different people want to provide and need to provide. Re asset data information, maybe not everything has to be passed down and therefore the machine readable format and the information we get doesn’t need to contain all of this - though perhaps at certain stages it will need it. As the golden thread goes through and passes to the maintenance side it gets smaller and focuses on maintenance etc.

JACK thinks something which is key and they haven’t been discussing is e.g. a fire door is 30 minutes, another requirement may be for a 60 minute fire door. I want to be able to access that information in a database. If we need to look at something in detail (glazing, hinge etc) he doesn’t necessarily need to access that right now. We need to make a distinction between what we need in a database and what information if you are wanting to understand how this building might perform in great detail - to keep that in an up-to-date database is unnecessary and too onerous.

GEORGE, taking DAVE’s example about just needing to look at the product sheet of a door, says that in 10 years time when that door manufacturer might have gone bust etc…JACK interrupts to say you should just have that data sheet in your own library. GEORGE says if that data sheet doesn’t have the information you need then that becomes an issue and it has to be manually checked. The industry is moving beyond everything just being held as documents. Now the contractors are responsible under the Defective Premises Act or risk liability they are starting to move towards having the information in a machine readable format. That doesn’t mean that asset managers have to do anything differently, but that is the direction fo travel.

JACK is not agains machine readable but going through the list it seems as if we are trying to run before we can walk. GEORGE says the challenge is they don’t know what the regulator is going to be looking for in 4 or 5 years time and we also don’t know what disasters may happen that will cause people to say what material was that made of? was the information adequate in the data sheets? The information in the questions has been asked for by specialists. JACK thinks there is a gulf that is not being bridged between the design for a new building and what happens in asset management. The continued focus on new builds is actually to the detriment of something that may work operationally.

GEORGE agrees with MARZENA’s comment - what we are trying to do is take the raw unstructured data, to refine the questions which are just a brain dump from the round table saying ‘this is important to me’, there may be unnecessary questions there. On new build, you’ll never have better quality information from the supply chain unless you ask for it. JACK disagrees…we maintain buildings we do get information. There is a blind spot to existing buildings and existing buildings currently dictate how we work and it just feels overlooked.

Jack White - Clarion Housing

Dave Williams - Origin Housing

Alex Oldman - Civica

Marzena Odzimek - Tower Hamlets Homes

Gary Bellenger - Aster

Breakout Rooms_ BIM4Housing Operations WK Grp - Penetration Seals-20220622

Recording: https://youtu.be/glU4dkR_4pM

SHARON McCLURE says, regarding columns, the majority of them are self explanatory, but the end the Commissioner. When you’re dealing with dampers, somebody actually commissions the system, and there is nothing like that for passive fire, so we were using that as a sign-ogg clerk-of-work generic column. GEORGE asks if it makes a difference in terms of who we are getting the information from? SHARON says not when they were going through the list. Any changes we made when we added or deleted a tick we highlighted with a red box so we could differentiate between the Hilti standalone submission and the group discussion.

GEORGE asks what should ‘what is the base material?’ be changed to. SHARON replies that the base material would be the building fabric so the way we looked at it was the client and developer would design it. The designer would then select the product that would give them the cosmetic look of the building and the main contractor would then build it. We marked it down that the first three parties would be involved in the selection, design, and installation of that building. JISS writes in brackets next to the question ‘the building fabric’.

What is the movement of structure and services? SHARON says each of those elements would come form the designer based on the client developer scheme. We started making changes around question 15, having been in agreement with Hilti for the first 14 questions. Q.15 What supports are needed for continuous support during fire? We added Designer.

KELLY says she is struggling to understand how this will help us in the Operational phase because if we are going through replacement programs is it expected that this level of information would have to be gathered again and we’d have to define who would provide that information? It’s easier to get the information at the building design stage. This all has to go into our systems somewhere and none of us currently have systems to hold that level of information. Also, if we have to collate this level of information operationally on an ongoing basis how would people see that happening?

GEORGE replies that as the assets management team you may well only want 5% of this information but for the digital record, the contractor and main contractor say that they need this level of detail. Regarding penetration seals often get very poor quality information about them: their location, materials etc. KELLY says she is not satisfied with the current level of information she receives about penetration seals. Particularly for new builds, says GEORGE, we’re collecting information that the experts have said is important for them to satisfy what is needed. The fact that Kelly’s existing software application may only need 5% of all this information is fine - you can use this info collected during the design and construction process for your own purposes.

KELLY still expresses a concern about the overload of information that we would receive that would be useful moving forward. GEORGE replies that the great advantage of machine readable information is that you only need to see the specific information you need for a particular purpose. SHARON says that at the moment, as a passive fire installer, she’s aware the information she gives to main contractors that hasn’t been passed to an end client (like Kelly) may need information that I can provide but the O&M manuals now existing are woefully inadequate. The information that Sharon could give is not necessarily going to the right person that needs it.

KELLY replies there is a risk here which is that the information is provided to a housing provider, with this level of information the building manager is not going to be using this information. It needs to be ensured that for the people doing the maintenance, inspection and replacement works the right level of information is being given. SHARON believes that considering there is currently not enough information it may be initially a vast amount until at a later date the information is trimmed down.

GEORGE says to KELLY that the fact nobody knows what would be needed in five years time needs to be taken into consideration. The industry is changing from contractually led to one that is regulated. Consequently, the need for evidence will be increased. The Building Safety Act is indicative of this. If the information that you might need is not there when you need it it will cost a lot of money to find it afterwards.

CALUM KERR thinks the fact that the Defective Premises Act allows these claims to be retrospectively applied for 50 year, we want to capture as much information as possible to be able to say this was the justification for using a product to fight off any potential claims in the future.

GEORGE makes the point to Kelly that the fact we’re putting this into a data schemer doesn’t mean that you will have to collect it all. We’re trying to go through this exercise saying ‘who might be the best person to get this information from’. Later, when putting together your asset information requirements, you can pick from this in a structured way to decide what you want for a new build or a later stage - but you can’t do it if it’s not defined as machine readable data. KELLY is ‘good’ with this idea.

IHSAN thinks that it is a lot of information, but it’s best to have as much as possible in anticipation of what will be required. BIM models currently have a lot of information in them that you genuinely don’t need, says GEORGE, because it will have been put together for reasons of design or for construction - we are trying to filter out the information that isn’t needed.

CALUM comments that sometimes when he reads what the description is he has to think about what the actual intent is. GEORGE is happy to change the questions to make them more intelligible. KELLY says as we go through the levels of information and how that is going to held in a system and then you come down to the lowest level of penetration seals and all the attribute information below that, from an operational point of view she believes the questions are particularly confusing: the best people to answer those questions are the people that are actually going to be using them. She manages the operations side of things, but obviously doesn’t do the technical elements (though she does oversee them).

We need to remember that all of this information is to be given to somebody so that they can do their maintenance, repair and servicing in the right way. Another thing is, as a housing provider we will never be able to hold that level of information for operational use. It’s a consideration of how we keep that maintained in an operational phase of the building.

SHARON thinks that there may be a request in these groups for an Operational input, perhaps someone like Kelly who can take it into her own organisation and ask for feedback (she doesn’t know if George has requested such feedback). SHARON obviously deals with it from the Construction side and she’s dealing with facilities management (janitors etc0 and the first question she asks them about fire strategy drawings etc which often don’t exist. As a trade contractor she sees the difficulties placed upon her staff.

KELLY says they may need to hold all this information, but we have to think how social housing providers are going to be able to manage that level of information. From a retroBIM point of view some of them are not even going to modelling their older buildings, so there will be two types of buildings coming over: the new ones that are going to all have the BIM info, and then the older buildings. Also, the relevance of the information is important.

Ihsan Hoque - Guinness

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Kelly Lee - Orbit

Sharon McClure - Avestagroup

Calum Kerr - Balfour Beatty

George Stevenson - ActivePlan


Post DCW Feedback

Clare Williams

Clare Williams - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220616_091903-Meeting

CLARE enjoyed the face-to-face aspect of the DCW roundtable (particularly because she still works from home a lot) and RICHARD said the plan is to have face-to-face meetings on a more regular basis. She thought it was useful for people with different disciplines and backgrounds to discuss the topic. The acoustics, though, were problematic because of all the background noise. Overall, it was very useful.

Regarding RACI, CLARE says they didn’t get too deeply into it, due to the introductions and the time constraints. They didn’t stick completely to the task. She thinks the route of classifying information in terms of who’s responsible and accountable should be continued - it helps her with the idea of planning ahead.

RICHARD says to move forward in the individual working groups they want to bring get the wider working group more involved - continue like DCW but in a more focused way. CLARE thinks more clarity is a good idea, a more complex question requires mental processing which takes time and she’s currently not as practiced at that as she used to be. RICHARD says we’re seeking consistent standardised answers.

GEORGE asks CLARE what she’s doing in Hackney Council regarding safety cases are involved. She says currently they are doing work on this, but they are bit behind with some cases, especially due to the 2020 cyber attack - they had everything hijacked and lost most of the system. Consequently, a lot of the building records are not available. The only advantage of that is that the information which will be fresh and up-to-date, but it’s a lot of work. Currently there is no common data storage system between new build, property asset management teams and safety.

CLARE says the process of building safety case files is now happening and she’s looking at the check list on the Bim4housing website and also proprietary systems for the common data. GEORGE would like to talk with someone at Hackney Council as Activeplan are very skilled at doing exactly the task she is talking about doing at the moment. Activeplan are also partnering with a company that takes laser scans and turns them into models. CLARE is interested and will speak to her boss about it.

CLARE started in local government as a building surveyor for Tower Hamlets, moved into facilities management that had commissions with government/NHS then moved into Health & Safety in 2000 in NHS. She now lives in Suffolk working for Hackney, mostly in fire safety. As CLARE said, one of the biggest challenges is to turn data into information, remarks GEORGE, and that can only be done if there are people with the right expertise to frame what that is. he talks about the breakout groups in the Construction group looking closely at individual assets and finding whose in the best place to find specific information - this helps build structure. The idea is to use scenarios to then interpret what information is needed.

GEORGE is also going to send through questions relating to the golden thread initiative group that he’s framed and asks her to write a sentence for each of them to add to his report.


Post DCW Feedback

Alex Oldman

Alex Oldman - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220607

ALEX thinks that DCW was very successful. However, there was a lot of discussing and organising and he’d have liked more time being able to have conversations on the table. RICHARD tells him that he was the only person that wrote down the names of a couple of walk-ins - considering that one of the reasons for the exercise was to get new recruits this was very helpful. The input of Claire Williams, Hackney’s Building Safety Manager, was significant. The development group basically stole one of the top guys from Alex’s table by asking one of his experts (Ian Smith) to join them. There were two Operations people who were supposed to be attending that didn’t show.

ALEX thinks that the methodology is good. The value that he’s getting out of Bim4housing at the moment is in publications that have been made on individual products suggesting this is the information you want to be collecting on things. There is a question as to whether we are clear on the outputs of these processes - at what point does RACI matrix become finalised and published? To produce as an output. ALEX says there is a mapping back to the RIBA development stages and they have responsibilities. Is it relevant to the construction process?

RICHARD says that a few people he’s already spoken to says it needs to be mapped to the gateways to bring the context of timing into it. ALEX says the Operations group is all about RIBA stage seven and it that context the questions were answered. He’s not sure it’s relevant for design/construction/architects. ALEX thinks it would be good to do dedicate half an hour of the next a full session of the Operations group to nail the RACI, helpful to get input from everybody. circulating the information before the meeting would be really good and also to clarify to people exactly what it is they are being asked to do. RICHARD says that will be planned as part of the next Operations meeting and he’ll circulate things around.

ALEX states there will be 2 things on the agenda for the next meeting: 1) update from DCW 2) review exercise of the application of the methodology. Also an update on the projects - RetroBIM and designing naming and requirements. probably people have not been logging-on to check it.


Post DCW Feedback

Dave Peacock

Dave Peacock - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220607

DAVE thinks that once the DCW Operations session got going it went well, but another half hour or an hour would have been useful to carry on the really good conversations. All the tables were full, good for visibility. RICHARD suggested to ALEX (Operations chair) that for the next Operations group meeting to send out the information that they had at the meeting and also send the output from the meeting, get comments beforehand, then try and nail the RACI document from an Operations perspective. dave thinks that sounds ideal.

GEORGE and Richard think that perhaps having two sections to the document was too much. The idea is to take what was said at the meeting and basically try and finalise things, to a point where its publishable. DAVE agrees that should be the next step. Perhaps, says RICHARD, there could be intergroup meetings in the future. DAVE thinks it would have been a lot easier if it was a standalone session so there could be peoples’ name tags printed etc. It was difficult to cram it into the time available.

DAVE is into the idea of live meetings.



Recording: https://youtu.be/jyZCWJgo7tY

RICHARD FREER: ‘We have 5 tables at DCW on Thursday 19th, for 45 minutes each, one for each of the working groups. The aim is to take a specific issue (in this case, smoke spread) and look at how to mitigate it, moving through specific scenarios: what could affect a fire door? What if the door is painted? What if there is a cat flap put in it? Etc. The idea is for each working group to have a pre-meeting to look at those issues and give is a steer for the meeting. Hopefully you’ve all had a chance to look at what we’ve got from the fire safety workstream. We don’t want to spend the first 20 minutes of the actual meeting going through it so we want a strong steer from you guys (operations) for the operations round table, so at the roundtable it's as if we’ve already started...we can quickly get into the nitty gritty rather than introductory stuff. This is a pre-meeting to be prepared...’.

ALEX OLDMAN asks Richard ‘what are we actually going to be outputting from the round table?’.

RICHARD: ‘We’re looking at the spread of smoke – initially in terms of fire doors, but also compartmentation. Fire walls, cavity barriers, fire dampers, fire and smoke detectors, alarm systems, smoke vents. We’ve sent through those documents so you have a chance to look at them beforehand (as there won’t be time in the meeting). The frst thing: What information does an operations team need to make sure that those assets all perform on the day? The second thing: in specific scenarios (e.g. painting a door, installing a new carpet which affects the fire door) what information do you need to know, and what training do the tenants perhaps need, to get round those scenarios and mitigate the risk? Then, we can go into the meeting on the 19th with that already established.’

‘The aim of the roundtable is twofold: to get some more people and also to engage and promulgate our risk-based approach to what we’re doing in Bim4housing.’

ALEX asks if the focus will be on an emergency event (there’s already been a fire somewhere, there is a source of smoke) or is it focused on the precursor to that?

RICHARD says that it’s both: ‘There are two phases: 1) looking at the documents we’ve sent through is there anything we’ve missed on there that you think the operations would need to know? Any additions to be made? Primarily (within these documents) look at the risk and the mitigation of risk re smoke.

ALEX ‘So, construction hands over to Operations, then Occupation, presumably certification information, and are we then going as far as emergency response?’

RICHARD : ‘yes, that’s the idea. We’ve got 2 phases: the first is pre-emergency, handover, everything covered in that document. But there is what George calls Game Simulations: what would happen? What would you need to have happened? What information would you need on-site readily available in an emergency situation? PAUL WHITE asks if it’s to be looked at from the person responsible for the building point of view? Or the fire brigade point of view?

RICHARD says they should look at it from an Operations point of view (as they are the Operations group).

LYSA NICELY says that from her ‘Operations’ perspective the certification and the ongoing test data are important (and also maintenance in general). She has to understand what equipment (for example, AOV) is in the building that would prevent the spread of smoke, and have the certification to back it up.

WILL PERKINS asks, re information, should it be discussed about where that information is available and how it’s going to be held? He says (in response to Lysa’s and Richard’s comments about AOVs) it’s about clarity of information further up the chain at design stage.

PATRICK FLYNN talks about the referencing of the assets within the block and their location from an Operations perspective. There’s an abundance of certification from his new build team. ‘But in relation to the change in legislation this year, how do I know that that door is the one that I need to attend? How do we reference our doors? This also extends to emergency lighting.’ Maybe they will repair the wrong lights instead of the ones reported to have gone out. This links back into how BIM data is used’.

ALEX says that a point that needs to be made at the roundtable regarding ‘this information’ is that it does not suffice to just send out a questionnaire and get a response back. Complex analysis is required. There’s a lot of technical stuff to understand.

PAUL WHITE says that regular checks of equipment should be taking place so that it’s ready to be used, therefore you should be expecting something to wrong with that equipment on the day of a fire.

CHRISTINE MILLING says that when looking at Operations you need to have considered the system. ‘it’s ideal if you are starting to use BIM and you can locate with all your items are because your systems will then say this group of these particular doors or these instances are all part of that system. But if you haven’t got that system in place, you know how you’re going to move to that point where you can see where that system has been impacted by something being swapped in or swapped out, or how it could be impacted.’

PATRICK FLYNN asks ‘are we looking just at new builds or are we also looking at occupied buildings that this can be retrospectively applied to? They have to be fundamentally different approaches. The challenges on the occupied property side is going to be far more than on the new build.’

AELX OLDMAN will be chairing the roundtable at DCW. He asks the group - what information do we need and what gaps do we have in the technical documents that have been produced so far? Has anybody read those in detail enough to have spotted anything that’s missing or any areas of discussion that we haven’t got?

PAUL WHITE: ‘(there are) fundamental issues: you’ve got passive fire protection which is compartmentation. The majority of fire doors will shut and stay shut and any day-to-day ventilation will shut and stay shut, the fans will stop. The active side is the sprinklers and smoke control. If there is fire in your flat you may well open the door of the flat, hopefully you’ll shut it when you leave to keep the fire in the flat. But often windows break and it may spread to the flat above. At that point you’ve allowed some smoke into the corridor and a smoke control system starts up. The stairwell should be free of smoke, people can get out and the fire brigade can get in. That may use things that open and may use some things that need to stay shut and you won’t know which those are until you know where the fire is, and that’s all dealt with by the alarm system. At the roundtable, how do you need to interact with those key things if there is an event?.’ He is struggling with dealing with this.

WILL PERKINS ‘isn’t the question what information needs to be put in place for the operations team the to ensure that product is ready to go in accordance with its design if there is an event?’

RICHARD FREER reiterates the point he made earlier, which is the purpose of this pre-meeting– what information do you need to supply? What information does the building safety manager need when a fire breaks out? ‘I want your definition of what you need’.

AELX OLDMAN refers to Richard Whittaker’s anecdote (in another meeting) about the 2 fires he had to deal with in an 18-month period and having to decamp 150 households overnight – ‘that's the operational sharp end’. JACK WHITE sees that what Alex spoke about is ‘all operational’. It’s not possible to have zero risk, but what is the work that is done to make buildings as safe as practicable? How do we maintain buildings as well as we can to minimize the chance of an emergency situation occurring?

PAUL WHITE will be attending the roundtables at DCW. RICHARD says just over 20 people have signed up so far. WILL PERKINS will be attending.

WILL PERKINS wonders, ‘at the roundtable, what exactly is the question that Alex is asking us?’ RICHARD said the question is ‘what does the operational round table think is needed for that (limiting and mitigating smoke risks)?’ ALEX says it's about specifying the information requirements of assets to start the data collection process. RICHARD says they are going to be working on 2 possible scenarios: a fire door being painted and a carpet being installed. He asks the group if they can think of any other possible scenarios that could be used.

JACK WHITE thinks that thinking in terms of someone’s carpet in terms of asset management is nowhere near what we’re looking to do (considering that there are buildings riddled with holes/fire doors not working/disconnected combustible cladding etc.).

RICHARD asks PAUL and WILL ‘what do you think the question should be?’ WILL responds ‘what does BIM4housing want out of that roundtable event?’ RICHARD says ‘what do you think we should want out of it?’

ALEX says what’s clear is that ‘we’re trying to promote the work of BIM4housing at Digital Construction Week. So, the 1st object is, we want more members and participants, more discussion (everyone agrees with this). Also, to highlight the publications we’ve got. We have to put in place a process where we’ve designed and put the right things in place and make sure they’re operating in the required state: how do we do that? Maybe there are discussion points about low/medium/high budgets. The focus for the discussion will be about spread of smoke and compartmentation requirements and mitigating the risk.’

LYSA NICELY writes her proposed wording on the question via chat: ‘BIM 4 Housing has a suite of xxx to assist Operational Teams - What additional requirements do you think may be needed to mitigate smoke spread?’ ALEX thinks it's good and that the ‘xxx’ are technical publications.

Jiss Philip Mukkadan -BIM4Housing

Kelly Lee - Orbit

Paul Connolly -Mace Group

Jack White - Clarion Housing

Lysa Nicely - Originhousing

Will Perkins - SE Controls

Alex Oldman - Civica

Paul White - Ventilation Fire Smoke

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

David Peacock - TÜV SÜD

Sharon McClure - Avestagroup

Christine Milling - L&Q

James Banner - Orbit

Patrick Flynn - Networkhomes

Glen Jackson - Swan Housing



Recording: https://youtu.be/KUJ29NGnoZ8

RICHARD informs participants about the 5 live round table sessions on Thursday 19th May am at Digital construction week https://event.on24.com/wcc /r/ 3718963/D55D50E90 82663F34ABF681B77D404BA.

Each of the 5 working groups are included. 1 asset type (fire doors) will be taken, look at the work already done at fire safety round tables, each working group will look through the mitigation of risks. As an Operations group, what other information might you need that you haven’t got there? Compartmentalisation of each unit will also be looked at, there are 3 or 4 other asset types that come along with that. ALEX and PAUL confirm they will be attending.

RICHARD wants to organise an interim pre-meeting between now and then to prepare for the round table. Invitations will be sent out.

ALEX OLDMAN talks about 4 working groups. He shows the BIM4HOUSING Teams page, a working document about the challenges of RetroBIM. He’s changed the name of retroBIM to Augmented Asset Management. It’s about the capture of digital information that relates to pre-existing buildings. ALEX wants the group to be able to provide a document that can be shared across relevant industries to help people understand what are the issues and how to go about collecting digital data to build digital models on these buildings. Why is it being done? How is it being done? Also, maybe a ‘lessons learned’ section.

ALEX asks group members to get involved in editing the document. He encourages people to get involved in the retrobim group and also for others to take responsibilities. MAXINE BEADLE from WILLMOTT DIXON says she will get involved.

BEX GIBSON states that her company has opened a department to monitor the quality of information. KELLY LEE, in her company, is working on how they can keep their data updated within their current system (though they’ll soon be migrating to new systems in the future...golden thread requirements must be met now).

NICK ISHERWOOD from Accent Housing will hold an initial meeting about BIM next week. He’ll take a companywide approach: MAXINE, BEX and KELLY will help him with this.

PAUL WHITE offers help for people putting together asset lists and if they want help with surveys – fire doors/ventilation/smoke control. He’s around to help on the practical side rather than BIM in particular.

ALEX shows some documents with specific guidance on some asset types. He talks about the bim4housing.com website which includes a Black Box reporting system which allows people to share lessons learned from an incident in an anonymous way. PAUL WHITE says that very much relates to his role in the group, to help with technical issues that some may struggle to understand.

ALEX gives an update on the other working groups. There’s no significant progress in the other three groups. One was to look at name tagging and file naming conventions issues.

RICHARD WHITTAKER offers the information he has about BIM and the golden thread.

ALEX returns to the subject of working group B: name tagging and conventions. MAXINE BEADLE is happy to be a part of the working group (but not to lead it...no one volunteers to lead). RICHARD FREER suggest that, because naming conventions effect everyone right across the board, perhaps instead of forming a group from within Alex’s group it may be wise to make it a work stream with MAXINE and BEX and the other two members needed can be recruited from the other groups.

Richard Freer -IceFire Portfolio

Paul White -Ventilation Fire Smoke

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Nick Isherwood -Accent Group

Bex Gibson -Livewest

Alex Oldman -Civica

Simon Bowker -Onemanchester

Richard Whittaker -Citizenhousing

Kelly Lee -Orbit

Maxine Beadle -Willmott Dixon

Marzena Odzimek -Tower Hamlets Homes

BEX GIBSON thinks it would be a good idea for this working group to collaborate re name tagging and conventions with the HAs working group. RICHARD FREER agrees.

ALEX says that MAXINE and BEX will be in touch regarding this.

Glen Jackson -Swan Housing

ALEX then moves onto notes for organisational change for BIM. RICHARD interrupts to say a work stream is being developed focusing on change management, which would cover this topic. If there’s a couple of people in Alex’s group that want to get involved with that it would be great.

BIM USE CASES is the next topic ALEX talks about. He’s interested in what sort of questions people are asking of their BIM data sets e.g. topography, planning, servicing and maintenance operations, demonstrating compliance for the new building safety regulations...but how does that actually break down in practice?

FLEUR BOWEN is uncertain as to what the information will be used for in an operational management context: ‘if it’s fully noncombustible what is the risk of us NOT having that data on an ongoing basis and making sure we’re gaining value from it?’.

KELLY LEE says what needs to be understood is what impacts what? What are the costings and the future costings? She gives an example of an older building that’s front has been pebble-dashed and overlaid the windows, therefore if the windows are replaced the external wall will be broken. This will double or triple the cost.

ALEX says the ‘business case for building these digital models is if we can go in and look at the performance now, understand what the building performance is, make investment in it, you are actually then able to demonstrate the return on investment in terms of the improvement in the building performance’. This is particularly relevant in light of the rising fuel costs and its impact on occupants’ bills.

BEX GIBSON (via chat) says her company is developing a sort of gateway contractor control system where no works can be undertaken in HRRBs until the Building Safety team approve and perhaps see efficiencies. Related to this, ALEX asks at what point does data need to reflect the real building and levels of trust?

"PAUL WHITE (via chat) asks if the model could record PEEPS (personal evacuation plans)? https://www.devonshires.com/ personal-emergency-evacuation plans peeps for building owners consultation and government update

ALEX says it could. BEX (via chat) says the problem is there’s a GDPR issue. ALEX agrees. RICHARD FREER says that, in a safety context, there are ways to deal with the GDPR issue. BEX (via chat) says that she will be incorporating PEEPS into her consideration of these digital models. FLEUR is waiting for the change in guidance coming soon. "

RICHARD WHITAKER has 16 sites utilising BIM (management, not modelling). He shows on screen and offers to share his BIM execution plan. He talks about dealing with a major fire in an apartment building and how important the golden thread, a single digital data source, is in order to respond to such an incident effectively. Richard said there were too many sections of information to be comprehended ‘whilst the tower block was burning down’ and also a dilemma of which format to choose to access information (word/excel/PowerPoint). GEORGE agrees that looking at all these different schedules is complicated and the likelihood of all the information across different sources being coherent is very low. GEORGE says that he’s working on a virtual folder structure. RICHARD wants ‘live’ documents, not PDFs.

Regarding PEEPS, NICK ISHERWOOD says that the National Fire Chief Council are working on a standard template which he will circulate amongst the group. GEORGE says they may be able to align this work with what’s been going on in the round tables and risk-based asset management (example: spread of smoke and how to mitigate risk). FLEUR BOWEN says there are disability codes that anonymise the information. GEORGE asks if PEEPS would be useful if a particular asset has not been operational for a week or so, is there value in realising which people may be vulnerable during that period so the building safety manager can alert that. ALEX is already doing using it this way. GEORGE says that identifying the relationship between assets can be done easily through the right data structure...it’s a proper digital twin.

Continuing with the subject of PEEPS, NICK ISHERWOOD says that (maybe) it’s going to be diluted down and what’s more important is the information sharing during an incident with the fire service EI...(emergency information sharing).

CHRISTINE MILLING clarifies the definition of a system as a group of components and you need to make sure what components you are including in a particular system and to see where failure of a particular component may have an impact.

GEORGE talks about the Template on the Bim4housing website, created within the GTI group, for all the documentation relating to the safety case. It’s available for everyone to access within the black box site/publications.

The next meeting will be on 22nd June.

ALEX will share a list of people who may be interested in getting involved in that work stream.

Neil Yeomans -Orbit

James Banner -Orbit

Calum Kerr -Balfour Beatty

Lee Reevell -Halton Housing

Dave Williams -Originhousing

Fleur Bowen -Notting Hill Genesis

Sharon McClure -Avestagroup

George Stevenson -ActivePlan

Christine Milling -L&Q



Recording: https://youtu.be/1UFRmhVh5nQ

ALEX OLDMAN this particular group is focused on the ongoing operation and maintenance of our buildings through the occupation lifecycle... at the end of the process and demolition, deconstruction of those buildings, so that that part of the life cycle. So, everything from handover onwards is our particular area of interest. BIM is really helpful to ensure that the information that we need can be collected in an efficient manner so that we’re able to manage those properties properly right from the off as soon as we get that handover: that’s what this group is about.

ALEX OLDMAN: Here, we share information/ideas/(possibly) do research/sharing stories and problems, with the view to benefitting the industry. We’re going to form working groups to look at specific topics. We can publish information through https://bim4housing.com/

Today, let’s organise a STRATEGY: what are we doing for the next 12 months? What is it that we hope to achieve? And how to organise ourselves, including volunteers for specific areas of interest.

ALEX had previously sent out emails to group participants detailing challenges/questions.

Regarding the 6 points (from the email) are there any specific problems that we hope to resolve?

PAUL MARSH says there is a problem with BIM and legacy buildings: ‘how can the first dummy set of data be created? Can we come up with something basic to use as a standpoint?’.

ALEX acknowledges this is a problem with RetroBIM, difficulties of how to establish BIM information for existing buildings.

GEORGE the principles for the Operations group is what are the real business issues that we are wrestling with? Maybe we can get help from the other working groups (to solve these issues). (The next stage after that) is workstreams. The working groups are strategic, the work streams look at a particular task. EWe started with data standardization, working with HACT, then MMC, and the Fire safety group. We’re now working with the zero construct team in the sustainability group re operational/embedded carbon. Work on the Digital Record includes looking at existing buildings (this relates to Paul’s question).

Re existing buildings, we need the information to ensure the building is operating effectively, for safety and compliance issues, and operational carbon. Then, we need to make sure the digital record is complete and up-to-date.

DAVE WILLIAMS says that, in his sector in general, there is a lack of standardisation. Examples are the lack of standardised data dictionaries and the naming of components: ‘is it a ‘glazed window’ or just a ‘window’?’. This is particularly a problem with legacy buildings. Looking at Uniclass, it has gaps, and sometimes uses American naming instead of UK naming.

JOANNA HARRIS says that NRM3 from Ricks may deal with the labelling problem of components.

GEORGE says that the work he’s been doing with the golden thread and the data standards group addresses this matter.

‘If you look at what we’re trying to do, there’s a range of different standards that we’re wrestling with. In the BIM world the standard is IFC, which principally is driven by design. There is a building smart data dictionary which includes all of the individual properties as to what you call something, but coming at it from the view of BIM and design. There is also UNICLASS and BIMhawk. Then, there is NRM 1,2 and 3 which are driven from a cost or project management perspective. Lesser known is what the wholesalers use, called ETIM. All of these classifications are designed for a particular purpose.’

‘The approach we’ve taken within the HACT group is working with BRE and Templater. TEMPLATER is a neutral way of connecting with all of these different DATA DICTIONARIES...we can pull them into a common environment. (For example) a cavity barrier might me mapping to several different specifications according to what it’s being used for e.g., design/ cost management/ fire stopping. The NAMING of ‘cavity barrier’ is then CONSISTENT. Because this is a proper database, it’s also connected to the IFC component: therefore, there is a One-to-Many Relationship. The data dictionaries talk to each other. We can also see what information is needed at which work stage. You can also turn off things that you don’t need. Machine readable data templates which are machine readable can be created which can go into software applications.

We have 250 standardized asset types and people can also add synonyms, so we can have the one asset type with different synonyms included.

PAUL MARSH is interested as it will save him ‘a million hours of work’.

CHRISTINE MILLING It seems that if we’ve got legacy systems, we should be building our own digital twins. If we have digital twins we can then identify what data we have missing.

ALEX OLDMAN When do we start having a discussion about BIM in organisations? Is there anything that we need to do in terms of making it easier for board level people to understand the benefits of BIM?

LUKE HAZELWOOD When you go further down in the operational teams, those are the people who struggle to see the benefits of BIM. There should be a layman’s guide to what the advantages ofg BIM are. The two biggest hurdles (regarding BIM) are the initial cost and the training of operational teams to get the rest of the business on board.

PAUL MARSH says that many people at various levels do not understand just how much work it will be to try and get legacy buildings on BIM, because the data doesn’t exist.

ALEX agrees about this data quality issue and the fact that old data cannot be relied upon.

GEORGE considers that it's important that people are talking about BIM as ‘better information management’ and not 3D model. He suggests that the group could identify common problems in common scenarios that can me formed into questions. Information can then be tested against that from the angle of how a particular problem can be prevented.

ALEX, during the meeting, has picked up on some points applying to RetroBIM. He thinks it would be useful if more time was spent looking at how to use BRE Templater (and other tools mentioned by George). Another issue he identifies is the challenges being faced during the operational phases of buildings.

LUKE HAZELWOOD: ‘To actually get BIM working, you need both the development and the operations and IT working at the same time on the same project. It’s a whole company project. This (process) is often blocked by funding.’

LUKE HAZELWOOD says that recording data regarding repairs of assets is important because a technician will spend time and resources to fix something but never records the method of how it is fixed, so that knowledge is not spread. Consequently, the mistakes continue to be made resulting in many hours of extra work.

LYSA NICELY has been working on a QR code on the doors of all the blocks so it’s scanned and there is a data set that feeds back into BIM.

GEORGE thinks QR codes are an essential part of the process but it doesn’t address Luke’s point about the master asset information data set. This is where Active Pan comes in to offer and deliver information. All this information can be in an interconnecting virtual world so you don’t have to be constrained by any one software application.

ALEX says that QR codes are useful re data for fire escape routes and checks on fire doors function etc.

GEORGE raised the issue of residents/kids in schools prising off RFID Tags and sensors from doors/assets and hence jeopardising data collection/safety measures. ALEX says that in the fire brigade they tend to build these tags within the asset (so they don’t melt/get lost).

PAULINE says there’s a big factor in terms of operational teams buying into BIM, they have lost their initial enthusiasm for it (which they had back in 2005). The level of belief that BIM is going to be delivered anytime soon has diminished. Regarding the handover process, there’s no overall understanding of the various data points where information comes into the organisation. We need to look at where all the data points are when information comes in so we eventually get one underlying complete data set of information.

GEORGE agrees with LUKE’s comment about O&Ms, saying that people ask for access to the O&Ms but invariably cannot find the information they are looking for.

GEORGE shows the group slides of the BLACK BOX page that has been created during the round tables. He then talks about the Golden Thread questionnaire.

BRETT HIBBIT talks about the definition of a block in regards to the management system shown by George. PAUL MARSH has the same problem regarding the definition of blocks. DAVE WILLIAMS splits the blocks into sub-blocks.

ALEX talks about 4 activities for the next meeting: how we can aid organisations to apply BIM to existing buildings; helping with name tagging (BRE Templater); effecting change in organisations; creation of Use cases.

The next meeting is 27th April at 11am. ALEX is looking ofr people to co-chair and develop the leadership for this year, he’d like a team of 4 or 5 people to spread the load.

LUKE says he’s going to contribute Use cases to the group as they come up in the course of his work.

Alex Oldman -Civica

Lenesa Browne - Brockley

Jiss Philip Mukkadan - BIM4Housing

Richard Freer - IceFire Portfolio

Steve Wyper - Sovereign

Ian McLackland - Gateshead

Graham Cann - Catalyst Housing Limited

Stuart Thew - Gateshead

Brett Hibbitt - Aster

George Stevenson - ActivePlan

Calum Kerr - Balfour Beatty

Joanna Harris - Sodexo

Graham Kelly - BIM Academy

Paul Marsh - Metropolitan Thames Valley

Will Perkins - SE Controls

Harshul Singh - Ucl

Bex Gibson - Livewest

Glen Jackson - Swan Housing

Alastair Brockett - Hilti

Lysa Nicely - Originhousing

James Banner - Orbit

Kelly Lee - Orbit

Jack White - Clarion Housing

Pauline Tuitt - L&Q

Christine Milling - L&Q

Mike Richardson - PRP

Paul Connolly - Mace Group

Chris Hobbs - Graitec

Dave Williams - Originhousing

Mike Smith - Bailey Partnership

Luke Hazelwood - L&Q

Sharon McClure - Avestagroup

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