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

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.