BIM4Housing Operations Working Group Meeting-2022-06-22

BIM4Housing Operations Working Group Meeting-2022-06-22

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.

Break Out Rooms

Breakout Rooms_ BIM4Housing Operations WK Grp - Fire Doors-20220622


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.

Breakout Rooms_ BIM4Housing Operations WK Grp - Smoke Dampers-20220622


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.

Breakout Rooms_ BIM4Housing Operations WK Grp - Penetration Seals-20220622


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.