Q4 – How do we ensure that the Building Safety data is live – not an outdated snapshot in time note

Q4: How do we ensure that the Building Safety data is live – not an outdated snapshot in time?

GEORGE (shares screen). So just before we dive into the detail of this, I just wanted to explain why we're doing it. About a year ago the team looked at what was being required of the golden thread and started to try and identify what are the key things that go wrong that we could try and address. One of them was how do we make sure that the right product is being selected. This was an event that we held at Digital Construction Week last May and we had a team of people looking at that and we run that session this morning. We then looked at another question, incomplete building services design, in other words contractor design portion and what the impact is on compartmentation. We then had the asset information, so being able to ensure that we can track the asset right the way through its life.We had that session this afternoon, and now we are on this one.

The principle of this is to say that the building safety case isn’t just a snapshot in time, it’s actually part of a building management system which is an ongoing through which then needs to reflect the current change. What we’ve then done, we’ve had 146 people contribute to this over the last year, so we’ve run quite a few sessions, so you’re all in illustrious  company. Just to show you what we’re actually going to be producing, we’ve got 4 documents like this, but this is the building safety data one. This is what we’re going to be issuing to DLUHC. so what you’re contributing to here today, this is what’s going to happen with it.

RICHARD There is going to be a level of repetition because these documents are not stand alone. This is kind of hopefully about the last phase before we put it out for peer review, but these things are never finished, they’re always dynamic, things change, regulations change, guidance changes. We’ve had three great meetings today and got a lot for me to coordinate and write up. Q4 How do we ensure that the Building Safety data is live – not an outdated snapshot in time?

  1. Process

    1.a. Robust Change Management Process

    1.a.i A robust change management process should be followed throughout the entire project. This ensures that any alterations or updates to building safety information are systematically managed and documented.

    1.b. Importance of Electronic O&M and H&S Manuals

    1.b.i Increase the importance of electronic O&M and H&S manuals for building wellness. Utilizing digital manuals ensures accessibility and quick updates to safety procedures.

    1.c. Define Boundaries, Responsibilities, Time Frames

    1.c.i Define boundaries, responsibilities, time frames, and events that trigger mandatory updates for different assets or project development. This establishes a structured approach to data updates.

    1.d. Addressing Data Gaps and Trace Connections

    1.d.i Ensure data gaps are identified and filled, establish retention periods, and trace connections between information and data. This promotes completeness and reliability of the safety data.

    1.e. Interoperability, Open Standards, and Efficient Data Curation

    1.e.i Interoperability, open standards, simplified information products, and efficient data curation are important. These principles ensure seamless integration of diverse data sources.

    1.f. Defining Safety Scope and Future-Ready Data

    1.f.i Define safety scope, consider changing focuses, record vital data for the future, and cater to different user needs. Anticipate evolving safety requirements to ensure long-term relevance.

    1.g. Data Warehousing and Collection Strategies

    1.g.i Address data warehousing and collection issues, moving away from PDFs for reusable, AI readable data. Adopting modern data storage and retrieval methods improves accessibility and usability.

    1.h. Link Competences

    1.h.i Link competencies to assets and repairs, projects, activities, duty regimes Adopt an approach that starts with finance. Integrating competency data with financial considerations ensures a well-rounded approach to safety management.

    1.i. Comprehensive Soft-Landing Approach

    1.i.i Design a comprehensive soft-landing approach, including defining information scope, ownership, and processes for updating and managing information. This proactive strategy sets the foundation for ongoing data accuracy and relevance.

    1.j. Live Record of Building Safety Data

    1.j.i Maintain a live record of building safety data with auditable changes and retention of historic information. This practice ensures accountability and a thorough understanding of the building's safety history.

    1.k. Maintain a Log of Building Safety Case Reports

    1.k.i Maintain a log or ongoing record of each building and its safety case report. This repository serves as a comprehensive history of the safety measures implemented.

    1.l. Scans, Data Capture, and Impact Assessment

    1.l.i Conduct scans of buildings, capture data about assets and interconnections, and assess impacts on other areas. This proactive approach anticipates potential safety issues and their broader implications.

    RICHARD Change management process. 1.a.i A robust change management process should be followed throughout the entire project. This ensures that any alterations or updates to building safety information are systematically managed and documented.

    GEORGE Does anybody question it? I think that’s a statement, Richard.

    RICHARD Well, yeah, but what does it consist of? What is the change management process going to be? How are we going to do that?

    Nicholas Nisbet There is something missing here because asset managers are constantly managing change. This really doesn’t say it’s the link between the physical changes and the information record that matters.

    GEORGE That’s true.

    JAREK WITYK There will be two different aspects and they will need to be approached differently. The project delivery will have a different process and then the asset management during operational phase because of the frequency type of events and so on. And also this part of today’s discussion is the one where the technology can actually help a lot because, for example, companies like Buildots where you can automatically capture the progress on site which will then automatically compare that with design information and flag up the issues. That is quite a good process, and it’s already working and being used not as a test but actually as a production. So, that’s where the technology can really help us.

    Nicholas Nisbet It says entire project and we need to expand that also to consider, I always put the word ‘programme’ along side project. So capital projects and asset management programmes and it’s that continuity between the project and the programme phases that actually is a robust change management process.

    EDWARD COSTER I just wanted to make a distinction, some of the wordings is slightly suggesting something reactive whereas change management in my mind is a proactive process of identifying where change is going to happen and then how we’re going to manage it to ensure that, in this case, the safety aspects are managed properly. So OK, we’re going to change the cladding on the building, what are the risk whilst we do the works, but also what’s the desired outcome and how are we going to minimise any undesirable impacts. So it’s that proactive aspect that we need to bring to the fore and maybe that’s a habit that needs to be encouraged in our sector.

    RICHARD BACON I’m getting for this particular question the project that you’re talking about is actually the full life duration of a building as opposed to a particular instance. So where lots of people talk about change management over the duration of a project i.e. a construction period, it probably needs making clear that project in this instance is talking about 30-35 years, not 2 years of a construction project.

    RICHARD Absolutely, it’s the building safety data for the life of the building.

    RICHARD BACON Yeah, that’s what I mean, it probably needs something because lots of people consider the word project to be about a short period of time where an element of work takes place, as opposed to the full duration of the life of a building.

    RICHARD Yeah, the word project is completely wrong and totally misleading.

    Jonathan Akisanmi I think though I’m probably a bit late to this, but the one question I probably would see here is we’re talking about the building safety data and keeping this live and managing change throughout the entire project. I think it raises the question of ownership, which data are we changing at which point? Nick mentioned already aligned with the programme, who has that responsibility to change and what are they changing? Because again, in line with the golden thread all of such changes need to be captured one way or the other. So it talks about a process, so it’s kind of defining exclusively how that process is being defined and implemented.

    GEORGE I’d say there will be a range of different projects that are being carried out, let’s say in a hospital, for example, you’ve got a steady state situation where you’ve got things that are operating on a normal basis that you need to monitor and make sure that those elements and assets and systems are still functioning. But then you’ve got maybe refurbishments or additional works or things like that which are project based, so then mii projects perhaps within the overall scheme. And you need to record what’s going to be changed and also then what has been changed so that we end up with a set of asset information that reflects the complete current status.

    EDWARD COSTER We all want robust change management, but we need to define what does that mean. It needs to be expanded in a set of principles to say this is what robust change management looks like: it’s proactive, it defines responsibilities, what we might want to have in place as mechanism so that people can grasp actually what we mean here.

    RICHARD Absolutely, and I’m happy if we can do some of that in this meeting.

    RICHARD BACON The first one like it starts with an accurate set of data in the first place.

    HEIDI FLACK At Anchor we have this sort of scenario where I’m trying to get my head around how on earth I’m going to manage some of this because we have a lot of care, extra care, we have home owners, very different sorts of housing, we have vulnerable residents etc. One thing that’s causing a lot of concern for me is whereby I have no control of what works being done on a local level, and it’s usually the cabling for telephony or whatever where we then get breaches of compartmentalisation.

    So I don’t have the answer, but for this for me it would be a brilliant use of BIM, but how you manage that with non-technical people, I’m sure there are examples out there. But that’s my thought is how do you keep control of that information process when some people may cut corners etc. I know you can’t allow for human error all of the time, but it’s how you can roll that out and make it easy for people to update systems etc.

    RICHARD Absolutely, and be aware when a human has made the error.

    Nicholas Nisbet Sorry to bang on about these two sentences, but the idea that there is something called building safety information is really not useful. There is asset information and a few other bits and pieces like management information which is connected to safety risks. And the only thing that makes a piece of information safety information rather than just ordinary asset information is that connection to a risk. So the important thing is to have an asset management system which is connected with the risk register so that you can pull out the things that have got some connection to managing the risks of collapse, safety failings, fire etc.

    GEORGE I fundamentally agree with Nick and the important thing about that is that the asset information that the building safety team need is the same asset information that lots of other people need. And if you differentiate it and say that asset information is to be managed by the building safety team you end up with a silo. So when somebody comes along and does a replacement, maybe part of a reactive maintenance call, that replacement is made in the Chatham system perhaps and it doesn’t get filtered back up into the building safety team. So I absolutely agree with what Nick said.

    RICHARD OK, so we’re saying we shouldn’t be using the term building safety data because it doesn’t exist.

    GEORGE No, building safety data is fine The point is as Nick is saying, it’s information that’s informing the building safety use of the information, but it’s not asset data in itself.

    Shakirah Akinwale I agree with Nick and George, I wanted to go back to Jonathan’s point with regards to ownership, but also if we’re talking about the sort of change management process. By oversimplifying with the whole kind of lifecycle and portfolio approach to this, we want to make sure, for instance, that there is a sponsor, whether we’re kind of calling them the owner, that’s sort of leading the change management and the hand over of information from each of those various parties. So whether it’s for the asset management bit, or whether it’s for the construction phase etc, if that’s actually lead and owned by a key sponsor then hopefully we can eliminate some of the silos, but also when to comes to how we tag the information, whether it’s to do with building safety or whatever element, we have a bit more transparency across the asset information.

    EDWARD COSTER Just on the same subject, a lot of this depends on what lens you’re looking through, so as an asset manager this would be asset information. For me as a building safety person the asset information could be building safety data, but also the management and arrangements, information about people is building safety data. So it’s good to make that distinction and also to make it clear that it depends on what point of view you are taking. Of course, a lot of asset information won’t be of interest to me, to be frank, I’m not that concerned about the colour of the door other than it helps me identify it. But actually I want to know how it performs in a fire and when it should be maintained.

    Nicholas Nisbet The thing that Chris Lees and I wrote, we made the three-way distinction between spacial information and zones, physical fabric and systems and process information. And of course you don’t want to store information about individuals if you can help it, but you can certainly characterise them as groups or roles or whatever. There is a way of structuring asset information and management information where you can maintain the links between them, but it’s the risk register, in particular the safety risk register (other risk registers are available), that actually makes it relevant. so if there is a risk of disabled residents not being able to escape successfully, then yes, that will have a pointer to that activity of helping that class of people to escape, so that’s a process thing. I’m just offering that three-way split which is then pointed to by the risk registers saying this risk is associated with these things. It’s shared in the link.

    JAREk WITYK I like what Nick said about linking the building safety into the risk management and that made me think about, again it’s a multifaceted, maybe I’m stating the obvious. It’s a complex situation because you will have a different risk during different, if you consider the whole lifecycle of a building. SO during its delivery we’ll have construction risks, design risks, business risks which you need to consider during the design. And during installation and during operation you’ll have clinical risk if that’s a hospital, that will also then have an impact on requirements. It’s a very complex situation, but I like the connection between the risks, but there is different types of risks, different types of projects and different stages of a lifecycle.

    RICHARD BACON Two points: one, accepting that there’s different stages of life and so things are going to represent risk at some point not at others, what was just being said. The NRM 3 table kind of sets out a set of what would be considered different elements of a building for where you can call in risk or not. Heidi, you asked the question earlier and said how do you manage the works i.e. data cablers are world renowned for throwing cables in all over the place and not telling anyone where they put a hole etc.

    The only way to manage it, and it needs people being particularly strict, is that you have a permit to work system or a permit to access system where at the end of any given day when you’re signing the permit off people literally walk you the route that they have installed cables and prove to you that they have, haven’t or otherwise done any damage so that you can keep it in the record and get it repaired after.

    If you’re doing housing projects it’s how do you mange that when any given cable puller might have been in 20 buildings in one day, because they’re in/out, don’t want to sign permits and want to do everything as quick as they can and get away. So I feel sorry for you trying to manage that one, but the only way of doing it is with a really strict permit system. And funnily enough, that’s the way of tracking anything that happens in your building because if every element of work that ever takes place in your building is attached to a permit to work you’ve got one set of books which is a record of everything that ever happened.

    HEIDI FLACK Yeah, I really like that idea because obviously it’s the same like when you do hot works. It’s probably state in the obvious, but for me another headache is around certification. To have an automated certification, I think that it's a must, but you need intelligent software that can check for errors.

    RICHARD Certification of what? Information?

    HEIDI FLACK Compliance, your gas, your electrical, any of those, your top 6 or whatever. And the reason I say that is because certain people in the industry believe that just because you’ve got a piece of paper you’re actually compliant, whereas in fact we all know that you’ve got remedials that may be linked to that certificate and that certificate could be unsatisfactory and I’ve got a lot of experience of that. There is software out there that can not only do you have the certificate uploaded automatically which obviously reduces time, but it can also reduce errors because it’s intelligent software that can check for the errors on the actual certificate as well.

    And then third-party audits will always help with that as well. It’s one of those where you ask for a pack of information and you start sifting through it and you’ll find that it’s non-compliant because the remdials haven’t been done.

    GEORGE We’re aware of those packages, they’re good. I think the key thing, we’re agreed that what we need is a baseline of what’s gone in to the building and those to be unique assets. Harking back to what we did in the earlier session that then can carry that information and then be related, as Nick was saying earlier, to particular risks. And it’s also the connection of spaces and people and activities which are all elements that need that connected asset information.

    RICHARD OK, we looked at moving away from PDFs in the last meeting, so I don’t know if we need to actually go through that again, we can use what we’ve done already. Defining safety scope, consider changes focuses, record vital data for the future, case of different user needs, I think we’ve covered that. 1.e.i Interoperability, simplified information products and efficient data curation. we’ve had a bit of a discussion around interoperability.

    GEORGE I think the key thing is making sure that the information about those different assets, systems, spaces, people etc is in a standardised format that therefore is machine-readable and we can then start to use that to run scenarios, for example.

    RICHARD Let me ask a general question to everyone. Is there anybody here who thinks that this data doesn’t need to be machine-readable?

    GEORGE Well, some of the information will be in the form of documents, Richard, that that's the thing. So I think the critical thing is that the asset information itself, the asset ID and the information about what type of element that is and also perhaps its attributes, that needs to be machine readable. But the data sheet to say what that particular product, how it’s going to perform and all that sort of stuff, at the moment is typically delivered as documents.

    RICHARD Sure, but I’m saying does anybody think it doesn’t need to be machine-readable.

    GEORGE Are you saying is that desirable? When you say it doesn’t need to be, it isn’t at the moment and it may not be…ideally it should be.

    RICHARD Is there anybody that disagrees with that?

    RICHARD BACON The word need might be a bit strong, but it would be probably beneficial to have something that can be read by a machine. Whether it’s need or it would be beneficial. I’m out auditing all of the time, there’s stuff I’m told that a machine has read and it’s all been scanned and everything goes on to a spreadsheet somewhere having been scanned and this is invariable, every set of information I go through I find where the machine has made mistakes. If I’m reading and authorising engineer’s report or whatever it is that’s been scanned in to somewhere or load of operating theatres that have all just been verified, I’m reading every line on it, not just numbers.

    RICHARD Is that because it was an OCR?

    RICHARD BACON In all honesty I’d like to be able to go that’s why there is issues, I really don’t know. But reading a whole document rather than just a table of numbers tells me a story about what’s going on in an operating theatre that a bit of AI being able to read a table of numbers doesn’t. So sadly, until AI gets smart enough that it can literally read the words that an authorising engineer, for example, is writing, or that a technician is writing when he writes a report on an air handling unit and says that something in particular is going on with bearings. But I've experienced this in the past, don't panic about it because it might just be some sort of background noise that someone's witnessed previously. It’s very hard for AI to pick that up and quantify, so there’s always going to be documents that’s going to need a human. Would it be nice if you could scan everything in? Probably it would, yeah.

    Nicholas Nisbet I’d like to offer a distinction between, data is invaluable for checking and applying filters and all of the things that we know that we can do with data. The reason we will still have documents is a thing called evidence and as you say certificates and sign-offs and photographs, their main role is as evidence and they should be keyed to the data that’s been extracted from them or associated to the data that they relate to. So that yes, you can look at the data or the worksheet that tells you where to go and do stuff and what you expect to see there, but it tells you the evidential documents that you might want to check or follow up on if there is any discrepancies.

    Now, the trouble is that as well as using documents as evidence we also use them as data stores and of course the only way you can use data in a document is to get someone to read it. And if they’re reading that they’re not reading the other 2,000 documents. So we need to give documents a role as supporting evidence and if you’re looking at some data and you don’t believe it or you think there is a spelling mistake or something has gone horribly wrong then yes, you want to be able to say where did this come from. But if not only AI, but rules, filters, reports, business intelligence, any of the things that we need to do serious management, we need data.

    EDWARD COSTER Following on from what Richard and Nick said, it’s clarity on defining what we need always needs to be machine-readable and then the acceptance at the point of the state-of-the-art now there’s going to be aspects that possibly aren’t going to be and we need that human intervention. But let’s say this is what we are at baseline we’re always going to have this as machine-readable, this is our standard. And then this is the recognition of the bits that we can’t do and making that really clear because we’re not at a stage where we can rely on just pure data in a form in a warehouse.It’s still going to be in the electronic form of a paper document essentially, for various reasons, partly evidential.

    RICHARD OK, so what we’re saying is our 1.g.i is a desirable, beneficial, but won’t be the whole solution, you’ll still need paper.

    EDWARD COSTER Or it’s electronic representation. Essentially what we did, we shifted to a world of storing this electronically, but it’s the equivalent of a filing case in the corner.

    RICHARD OK, let's look at soft landing approach. 1.a.i Design a comprehensive soft-landing approach, including defining information scope, ownership, and processes for updating and managing information. This proactive strategy sets the foundation for

    ongoing data accuracy and relevance.

    GEORGE Soft landings was developed by BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association) years ago and the principle was to overcome the problem where a building was handed over to the FM team and they didn’t know how to run it. So the idea of soft landings is that the FM team is brought in to the design and construction process much earlier so that they are familiar with the building before it’s handed over. And also have got the opportunity to contribute to making the design more suited to operation.

    Nicholas Nisbet I think part of it is to make sure that there’s a set of operational objectives set up before design and construction starts so that in the soft landing period, whether it’s 3 years or 5 years, there is something to compare the actual performance of the asset against. That.s the really big challenge, is to get people involved with commissioning buildings to say what it’s meant to do in a way that is testable.

    JAREK WITYK Just to add to this soft landing, using BIM and 3D design and whatever software that might be, it’s quite a good opportunity to provide this early engagement with the facilities to walk them through the project and explain what’s where. And maybe a little bit of how it operates as well, you can build in scenarios from electrical point of view, switching scenarios, and explain them online, you don’t even have to be in the building. Also I was involved in a project where towards the end of the project we invited the facility teams separately, there was many meetings, this was actually a project requirement. And we recorded everything, a video recording professionally edited and then shared with the client so they can do offline training with other new team members But this is static, it’s not live, but it is quite good.

    RICHARD BACON I think with this document where we’re talking about live building element, it’s worth adding something…a soft take-off approach. Because obviously we’re going to get to a point, in particular in the PFI world, where 25, 30, however many years down the line it is you’re looking to hand the building back to potentially a completely different operational team to take over all of the data that we’ve managed to keep live over whatever period of time it is form the building completion. So it might be putting that in somewhere as well as the soft landing, but there’s also at some point likely to be a soft take-off approach needed as well.

    RICHARD Yeah, that’s a good point for handover.

    GEORGE I think we could claim to have invented that. The next one down, 1.b. Live Record of Building Safety Data. The point about that is there are now dozens of different systems and sensors that different parties will have put into buildings, some of which are live, some of which are recording information, bit still electronically available like fire door inspections and things like that. And all of that information needs to be feeding the safety management system for the safety management system to reflect the current state of the most current information. Because these different systems are great, but they’re monitoring this in isolation and they need to be pulled together.

    RICHARD The blue ones on the document were added in the first meeting. There was no point in rewriting and messing around with everything with these meetings coming up as we’ve added so much more, so they’re just a rough thing for me actually.

    GEORGE There’s two there that jump out to me, 2b and 2c, both of which are the two elements of the process. One is having active asset information whichever systems are in place. And then the safety management system then being informed by that and also recognising that it’s a safety management system, not a software platform in itself. The software platform is an important part of it, but you’ve got a lot of procedures and things that wrap around that.

    • Building Safety Data Management Meeting:
      • Focus on ensuring building safety data is continuously updated, not stagnant.
      • Aim to discuss implementation strategies rather than debating points.
      • Emphasis on contributing to progress rather than revolutionizing the industry.
      • Highlighted the importance of appointing information managers within companies.
    • Change Management Process:
      • Importance of a robust change management process for systematic handling of alterations.
      • Suggestions to prevent data stagnation through active notifications and engagement.
      • Discussion on adapting to new roles and responsibilities, emphasizing rigorous processes.
      • Consideration of practical aspects like installation and commissioning of sensors.
    • Cultural and Organizational Challenges:
      • Cultural barriers hinder effective implementation of existing systems.
      • Recommendations include cultural shifts, mandatory training, and regular audits.
      • Emphasized the need for interoperability among systems to ensure data consistency and connectivity.
      • Acknowledgment of the ongoing journey toward a more integrated data management approach.
    • Interoperability and Integration:
      • Advocacy for interoperable systems rather than a single source of truth.
      • Importance of connected networks of data sources to facilitate seamless communication.
      • Recognition of interoperability as essential for successful change management.
    • Integration and BIM:
      • Discussion on integrated BIM (Building Information Modelling) and its levels.
      • Evolution from unconnected data to structured, interconnected systems.
      • Emphasis on collective progress and the need for cultural and procedural alignment within the industry.Top of Form
    • Direction and Roadmap:
      • Identifying initial steps crucial for progress.
      • Acknowledgment of an existing roadmap for the journey ahead.
    • Interoperability Concerns:
      • Emphasizing the importance of interoperability.
      • Highlighting the gap between BIM systems and supply chain logistics.
    • Simplified User Experience:
      • Advocacy for a user-friendly approach to technology adoption.
      • Comparing to popular social media apps for simplicity.
    • BIM's Scope and Alignment:
      • Expanding BIM's scope beyond 3D modelling.
      • Emphasizing the need for aligned schemas and datasets.
    • Transition to Digital Manuals:
      • Importance of electronic O&M and H&S manuals for building wellness.
      • Proposal to rename manuals to data-centric information sources.
    • Structured Data Updates:
      • Establishment of boundaries, responsibilities, and timeframes for data updates.
      • Highlighting the importance of clear information requirements.
    • Identifying Data Gaps and Retention:
      • Utilizing information requirements to flag missing data.
      • Ensuring provided information matches required data and is validated.
    • Retention Periods and Asset Information:
      • Discussion on the retention period for compliance and competency data.
      • Considering the importance of retaining asset information indefinitely.
    • Challenges with Data Retention:
      • Acknowledgment of challenges in retaining and accessing data over time.
      • Caution against assumptions about the usability of raw data in the future.
    • Discussion on data storage in the cloud and the need for proper interoperability.
    • Safety management system should be regularly updated, not just the safety case report.
    • Consideration of blockchain for data immutability, countered by the emphasis on obtaining trustworthy data first.
    • Importance of AI for data refinement and internal data utilization.
    • Integration of competency data with financial considerations for safety management.
    • Soft-landings approach for engaging FM teams in building operations and performance.
    • Maintenance of live records of building safety data for accountability.
    • Proposal for a historic record of building data using data warehouses or structured formats like PDFs or XML.
    • Consideration of personnel changes and their impact on building safety.
    • Need for ongoing records of building safety case reports and conducting scans of buildings for asset data.
    • Asset surveys often needed even for new buildings due to insufficient data in models.
    • Consultant disciplines should assist clients in identifying their needs for better building design.
  2. Systems

    2.a. Technology Integration for Improved Assessments

    2.a.i Improve assessments by implementing site enforcement, utilizing technology like sensors, and creating an online portal for easy access. This approach enhances data accuracy and accessibility.

    2.b. Implementing Asset Management Tools

    2.b.i Implement an asset management tool with a dashboard system, fault recording, and analysis of trends to support future plans and improve safety. This tool aids in real-time monitoring and decision-making.

    2.c. Safety Management System (SMS)

    2.c.i The Safety Management System (SMS) is crucial for reducing risk and should be part of the building's data. Acknowledge that the SMS involves people and assets, not just IT systems.

    2.d. Beyond BIM: Integrating Different Systems

    2.d.i Consider aspects beyond BIM, integrate different systems, and understand the financial implications. A holistic approach to data integration improves overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

    2.e. Automated Control and Monitoring Systems

    2.e.i Install Automated Control and Monitoring Systems for live data monitoring. Automation ensures real-time insights into building safety conditions.

    • Improve assessments by implementing site enforcement, utilizing technology like sensors, and creating an online portal for easy access, enhancing data accuracy and accessibility.
    • Site enforcement includes addressing issues like smoking in apartments and drying clothes on radiators, causing dampness.
    • Implement asset management tool with a dashboard system, fault recording, and trend analysis for real-time monitoring and decision-making.
    • Acknowledge the importance of Safety Management System (SMS) in reducing risk, emphasizing its inclusion of people and assets, not just IT systems.
    • Consider aspects beyond BIM, integrating different systems, understanding financial implications, and clarifying its scope beyond graphical models, especially regarding design, construction, and in-use phases.
  3. People

    3.a. Regular Inspection and Technology Utilization

    3.a.i Regularly inspect assets through contractors or onsite caretakers and utilize technology like sensors to identify and report issues. Combining human inspections with technology-driven monitoring ensures a comprehensive safety assessment.

    3.b. Skilled Resources for Physical and Digital Assets

    3.b.i Ensure skilled resources are available to manage both physical and digital assets. This includes personnel trained in both traditional building management and digital data oversight.

    3.c. Digital Platform for Responsible Persons (“Duty holders”)

    3.c.i Provide a digital platform for responsible persons to review asset compliance, manage inspections, and maintenance works. (The competence of the Responsible Person must be traceable to relevant competence standards/frameworks.) This enhances collaboration and transparency in building safety management.

    3.d. Adequate Management with Technical Professionals

    3.d.i Adequately manage buildings with technical professionals and ensure continuity of knowledge. This involves having a team well-versed in both the physical and digital aspects of building safety.

    3.e. Holistic Compliance Approach

    3.e.i Address compliance holistically, considering the building as a system with interconnected components, including the human element. This ensures that safety measures are comprehensive and well-coordinated.

    3.f. Awareness of Unintended Consequences

    3.f.i Be aware of unintended consequences and the reliability of data for building safety. Regular evaluations and reviews help identify and address any unintended consequences that may arise.

    3.g. Conduct Regular Audits for Compliance

    3.g.i Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance, using competence and compliance platforms to do daily checks. Regular assessments help identify any deviations from safety standards and prompt necessary corrective actions.

    RICHARD Let’s look at People. Skilled Resources for Physical and Digital Assets. Ensure skilled resources are available to manage both physical and digital assets. This includes personnel trained in both traditional building management and digital data oversight.

    GEORGE I think that’s very true, both in terms of people using the data and interpreting it and using systems and being informed, but one of the biggest challenges is getting people to provide their information in a form that then other people are going to be able to read and use. So it’s both sides of that, why is it important, for example, for people to keep a record of any changes that they’ve made. That’a a cultural thing as well as a technology thing.

    RICHARD Yeah, that’s what Heidi was saying earlier. It’s surprising how often that word cultural comes up, usually together with cultural shift which is then followed by necessary.

    GEORGE Digital Platform for Responsible Persons, that’s probably one of the most important elements in the whole process now. That the responsible person, which could be a person or an organisation, they need to be aware of what their responsibilities are and how they need to be able to utilise the information.

    RICHARD BACON You’re talking about some sort of technical compliance dashboard somewhere that highlights all of the things that any given building, the responsible persons are responsible for and whether they’re suitably maintained, certified etc.

    EDWARD COSTER I was just wondering if it would be sensible to change it to duty holders, given that responsible persons is connected to the Fire Safety Order, then we’ve got accountable persons and principal accountable persons under the Building Safety Act. And of course we’ll have duty holders under other safety legislation as well.

    GEORGE So, duty holders is the generic then?

    EDWARD COSTER Yeah, that’s a generic term, duty holders under legislation.

    RICHARD So, do we change that?

    GEORGE I think probably add in duty holders under legislation.

    RICHARD BACON responsible person is an official title. Duty holders is a group of responsible titles. So duty holder, yeah, probably is the better one to use there because responsible person is just one of the many types of duty holder that there are.

    RICHARD So 2.c.i Provide a digital platform for duty holders to review….

    EDWARD COSTER You could always define that underneath saying duty holders covers RPs, APs, PAPs etc and then there is clarity there. And bearing in mind in Scottish legislation they’ll use different terms in the Fire Scotland Act.

    RICHARD Jiss, make a note to do it on 3c, responsible person to duty holder.


    GEORGE Holistic Compliance Approach. That’s something that’s been hammered in to me that the holistic compliance approach, that the building needs to be considered as a system and a lot of the subsystems or groupings of things that are performing together. Rather than, for example, just doing fire door inspections. So I think that’s an important element. Does anybody have a view on that?

    HEIDI FLACK I’d completely agree, it has to be holistic because there are so many factors that affect other factors, one component will affect another. I think with the culture as well it’s a big step change required.

    ANDY BELL Just on that, George has just mentioned fire doors again. One of the biggest issues with fire doors is we get an instruction to maintain or inspect fire doors, I don’t think maintenance is the right word. But we get an instruction to inspect fire doors and on the first occasion we go to the site we set the asset register up based on the information that we were given by the client. The client very rarely has that asset information to hand of the structural components and the compliance of the fire doors. But we can inspect and maintain fire doors as per the required recommended standards and by the manufacturer’s recommendations, but having a piece of wood in a hole is worse that useless if the compartmentation between the fire door and the stud is not there.

    So the actual inspection should be for fire doors, at least once should be incorporated with a compartmentation review for the installation of the doors, not just for the mechanical operation of the doors. And the licence, it’s all right having a 30 minute door in a 30 minute wall, if that wall is less that satisfactory then the door is worse that useless.

    RICHARD I like this one: Awareness of Unintended Consequences. Be aware of unintended consequences and the reliability of data for building safety. Regular evaluations and reviews help identify and address any unintended consequences that may arise.

    ANDY BELL Would that come down to, say we’re maintaining fire alarm systems and you’ve got your 10 year lifecycle as issued by most manufacturers. So an unintended consequence of hot replacing that detector could leave you vulnerable if the detector doesn’t operate as designed Is that what this means.

    RICHARD Well, that would be an example.

    EDWARD COSTER A couple of things. I suspect that this may have come from Will Franks from at Adelard, these look very much like their realm around systems and safety and I recognise the DNA there. I’m not saying definitely, but that might be someone to pursue that aspect, go to Aderlard and I’m sure they’ll be willing to input. The awareness of unintended consequences, this is where again your change management processes come in to play because it’s ensuring that when you have changes in the building that you consult the right people.

    So one of the unintended consequences of say removing flammable cladding is you expose the combustible elements whilst you’re removing it, so actually your risk goes up. When your building has got a scaffold around it with timber planks and you’ve got people working around the building, so how do you mange that unintended consequence of raising the risk.

    I think it may well be aimed at that, it’s multifaceted that term. I think these ones could be expanded a bit more just to explain exactly what that means, because to the uninitiated you could just gloss over that and go that’s nice, hot sure what it means though.

    RICHARD It’s having two focus of view, you install something to do something but don’t look at what effect it has on other things. That comes down again to the holistic approach.

    EDWARD COSTER Yeah, we put door closers on doors and then wheelchair users struggle to get through them and then they can’t escape in the event of a fire. Or the pressurisation system that stops the doors opening.

    RICHARD BACON You promote the wrong person and suddenly you’ve got no one to do your responsible person roles.

    Shakirah Akinwale  Picking up on Ed’s point, a few things that came to my mind and one was more with regards to the unintended consequences of things being used in a way that perhaps it wasn’t intended from the design. so, for instance, Grenfell, the fridge was a faulty appliance or potentially wasn’t used in a particular way. There’s also in terms of management again, of certain equipment that are installed aren’t again used in a particular way. Another thing that came to mind was the opportunity of being able to simulate and almost prepare for future potential risks and consequences of certain actions which again requires reliable quality live data. So having almost that dynamic asset model that also kind of contributes behavioural elements I think really speaks to this part.

    RICHARD Yes, because it’s also human reaction to certain circumstances which you can’t always predict, or ever predict.

    Abdullah Gulabi I think what I wanted to say was in line with what Shakirah just mentioned. The one that came to my mind was last year the car park collapse in the US where they attributed it to the increasing weight of the average car being much heavier with EVs and all that, so that’s unintended. I think in line with that after 9/11 how many structures considered, air crashes and all, maybe extreme cases. But having that ability to simulate your existing asset for future scenarios will be key because unknowns are bound to come up.

    RICHARD Yeah, if we all go to electric vehicles with the heavy batteries they’ll have to rebuild all of the bridges.

    GEORGE Heidi, I know Ed is doing safety case reports for Origin, have you had safety case reports done?

    HEIDI FLACK Yes, at the moment I’m not on the new development side, I’ve been involved in our existing stock and we’ve just had feedback from the Regulator as early adopters. And I’ll be honest, it’s like wading through thick pea soup. We put our case together and then we’ve had feedback from the assessors, we then sat in front of the Regulator who disagree with their own assessors. So without speaking out of turn, you can imagine that’s very difficult because there is not blueprint as such. So yes, we have had the building safety case and we’re also currently doing one on one of our new build, so that will be interesting. It’s very concerning because obviously I’m responsible and trying to get a handle on all of that.

    I was just listening as well that understanding about the consequences because, for instance, e-bikes is a classic at the moment. You’ve got scooters and e-bikes and we’ve got operational teams putting storage in the building whereas in reality they could just build it outside if that’s possible or think the construction of what that needs to be because the potential for fire is actually quite high-risk with these batteries. So that’s what came to mind when people were talking, it’s very difficult, we’ve got 56,000 properties with Anchor and they’re national and a lot are run by location managers who don’t have that technical knowledge.OS trying to make sure people understand roles and responsibilities is going to be key.

    ANDY BELL One of the things that we find from a management perspective is the lack of awareness of our clients of what is actually required to manage and maintain assets. The arguments that we have going across the board, if you take BSA214 they’ve changed the specification where it used to say fire doors should be maintained minimally of 6 months it’s now down to risk assessment, but who is going to do that risk assessment? Our technicians are trained to maintain or inspect the fire doors are not there and they’re not qualified to risk rate how often that door should be maintained.

    The client has got no awareness of that either, so you’re left in limbo and who’s classed as a competent person, who’s responsible for that? So you’ve got a door that’s used a thousand times a day on 300 days of the year, that’s 300,000 uses, those hinges are tested for 100,000 uses, does that mean we have to replace the hinges three times a year? And how do we tell the client, the client is ultimately responsible, but the way the standards are reading they’ve got more grey and less prescriptive. So it is making it more difficult for the clients to understand what they’re responsible for.

    GEORGE That’s a really interesting point.

    • Regularly inspect assets using contractors or onsite caretakers and utilize technology such as sensors for issue identification.
    • Emphasis on automation for responses alongside problem identification; examples include adjusting heating or ventilation systems based on sensor readings.
    • Discussion on whether inspections or resident observations are more effective as early warning systems.
    • Importance of educating all building occupants, including cleaners, to be vigilant for issues.
    • Utilization of digital tools for logging data from tests and inspections, tying them to specific individuals for accountability.
    • Ensure availability of skilled personnel for managing both physical and digital assets.
    • Enable remote data collection by residents and workers for centralized triaging and upskilling opportunities.
    • Digital platforms crucial for responsible persons to review asset compliance and manage inspections, facilitating collaboration among experts.
    • Emphasis on continuity of knowledge through a team well-versed in both physical and digital aspects of building safety.
    • Address compliance holistically, integrating human factors into safety measures and considering interconnected components within the building system.
    • Importance of structured data and flexible building models for effective safety management.
    • Consideration of residents' role in managing building assets and potential impacts on overall safety.
    • Acknowledgment of the significant role occupants play in building safety and asset management.

Further Thoughts and Experiences from Our Experts
In their own words

On point 1.a: Robust Change Management Process

  • A robust change management process should be followed throughout the entire project. This ensures that any alterations or updates to building safety information are systematically managed and documented.
  1. I think we probably can standardise this, some people who are as old as me who were brought up in engineering, who did change management all of the time.
  2. I find that a number of consultants will refuse to provide as-built drawings. It's very common because they have not been directly involved in the work, they flat out refuse to produce as-built drawings. they believe it contravenes their insurance requirements, which potentially I’d take with a pinch of salt. But nevertheless, they refuse.
  3. It’s quite important that from the start from the development, we capture everything.
  4. The information presented at gateway 3 must match what’s in gateway 2 (for HRBs) and if it doesn’t then all of the change control has to be in place.
  5. In theory buildings shouldn’t get signed off at gateway 3 unless that information is correct. A separate question, is all of the information that’s signed off at gateway 3 the information that somebody needs to operate a building?
  6. All consultants should update their information and all disciplines, respectively.
  7. Surely it is a contractual issue. I thought it’s incumbent upon the main contractors before they hand their buildings over to the owners that they have to provide all of this information. There are all of these systems in there that are important and I’m not sure how you can control change management.
  8. If you do you’ve got no control about what happens to it and you don’t know what you did. But in terms of what we’re looking at here, with the HRBs we’ve got this gateway 3 which is the audit of, in theory, as it has been built, but actually that audit goes one step further in the fact that somebody has actually got to go around and physically check it. And then potentially what we’re talking about here is the handover information, all of these drawings are going to have to go over to the client, the owner, but then they need to audit it again for all of the reasons that we’ve just discussed. They’ve got to understand it and then they’ve got to introduce that into a system where they are then able to change the drawings. So there’s potentially a whole new industry turning up here which is somebody who can support a building owner to hold the drawings, hold the BIM information, and update it as necessary.
  9. It’s not just changing information, it’s going to be drawings, potentially models that need to be changed. And the operations teams do not understand that, so you need to build a complete approach for that structure and strategy. I think platforms is a key player in this to keeps track.
  10. But if a system or an asset that is part of the safety management system of that building fails then there is a duty on the responsible person to act on that and ensure that the building is safe. But if it’s the fire safety side of things and an AOV goes out, my understanding is that they’re supposed to let the local fire brigade know, if it’s impacting on safety.
  11. How do you, for instance, know when that happens? How do the right people know when an AOV fails so that the measures are put in place to take the appropriate action and inform the appropriate people. How do you keep your information up to date.
  12. I know that some people have gone to digital twinning where you’ve got your digital representation of the building. It’s a bit like reverse BIM, it’s already built and then you’ve deconstructed it and put it together as a design, and then each area that you click on in that building you can actually attach the information behind that, so that’s going to be live information. And that can be auditable, so you’re putting new information on top of the old, but you can still get to the old information.

On point 1.j: Live Record of Building Safety Data

Maintain a live record of building safety data with auditable changes and retention of historic information. This practice ensures accountability and a thorough understanding of the building's safety history.

  1. It’s about the competency, experience, of the service and maintenance people. But you’ve got to know that the people who are checking and maintaining know what they’re looking at, and more importantly know what to do if something is not right.
  2. This is what I mean by change management and record keeping. If you physically change something you’ve got to have that route, but also in terms of this system of your live safety building data…you’ve got a fire alarm inspection, you’ve got to keep all of the records, you’re now starting to realise you’re going to have fire door inspections, you’ve got to keep all of the records. And in keeping all of these records you’re building up a whole record of if you do nothing exactly how long you’ve been doing nothing for. And then we add into that smoke control systems, ventilation systems with resisting ducts, and we add fire dampers. This is all of the information, they’re going to have to have this report for all of these different things going into this management system, and that’s the key point.
  3. The point is what we’re trying to differentiate there, and these questions have come out of the community, so it may be that we replace live with up-to-date.
  4. I agree there’s a lot of information that makes up some of these systems, but I think from a day-to-day operational point of view, it needs to be simplified enough that people going out there and maintaining these and who are going to pick up faults can understand it.
  5. The reason we’re using live is that if you actually read BS9999, if you look at what you’re supposed to be doing every day, every week etc. You’ve got to keep records of that because positive records are just as good as negative records.
  6. Smoke control, fire alarm systems etc are all covered in 9999 which is referenced from 9991 which is the management of apartment blocks. And it’s very clearly, look at annex I, it tells you what you have to do daily, monthly, weekly.

On point 3.e: Holistic Compliance Approach

  • Address compliance holistically, considering the building as a system with interconnected components. This ensures that safety measures are comprehensive and well-coordinated.
  1. What does holistic compliance mean? You’re either compliant, or you’re not. And every element that is required to be checked, we’re building our platform on that basis to make it easier…for local authorities or developers. What does holistic compliance mean? Yes, the building is an interconnected system of relative components, but I just wondered what that actually means.
  2. I agree that holistic and even systemic and viewing things as a system can be a little bit vague, but there is a sentence in the 1971 version of the CP3 go-to practice and it says the difficulty of making comprehensive recommendations capable of covering every possible risk should be appreciated and an intelligent application of the principles and the recommendations that follow is therefore essential.
  3. The challenge that is brought on with buildings is that it’s almost like you have to design the system every single time because the buildings are designed differently every single time. I think that if we’re going to get anywhere close to it we have to start to think about a standardised system for digitising any component. And off of the back of that you have a sort of plug and play approach where you can link up an application to any building, and that should really be the ideal that we’re striving for if we want to understand.
  4. But as we are being asked to renew doors that don’t have bidirectional testing that isn’t holistic. It was legislation that we had to have bidirectional tested doors on blocks of flats over 18 metres.
  5. If people are going to replace all of their doors the one thing they need to have for sure is a robust set of fire door protocols where everything joins up and you’re going to make sure that you don’t have to do the same thing in 5-10 years-time.
  6. The other thing is that if you think fire doors are bad you haven’t even thought about fire dampers yet, because I bet I can go into any of the buildings that any of you are related to and they’ve got fire dampers in, that there is a high proportion of those that weren’t installed properly and it will be obvious. And hopefully when you have your next fire damper inspection that people are doing it more competently now, rather than just checking that they open and close, and you’re potentially going to have a completely different issue there.
  7. How much is it to commission an inspection of that door? Get the person inspecting the door to add a certificate or dig up the certificate you’ve already got which may or may not be there and then digitise that, versus someone who may come along and say if I install a new door I’m going to provide you with every piece of information that is required under the current legislation.
  8. The first one is that I take issue with what Paul said about the fact that all you have to do is see when the door was installed and whether it met the standards at the time because that’s overridden by the fire safety order that says that a door has now got to be suitable and sufficient for its location.
  9. The second thing is you're absolutely right that a brand new door might not be installed correctly. You’ve got to look at the complete golden thread of information and just because you’ve got a brand new fully certified manufactured fire door you can make a complete Horlicks of installing it. It’s out there in the public domain where that’s been happening on numerous occasions going back a long time.
  10. The other point I was picking up is it’s not just the fire door installers who have to be competent, it’s the client who has to fully understand how a brand new fire door has got to be signed off and managed and maintained competently.


By implementing these recommendations, stakeholders can help ensure that building safety data remains live, responsive, and reliable, contributing to a safer and more resilient built environment.


[03:52 pm] Alex Oldman

1.d. Retention might be required for legal reasons i.e. history of changes. For example, 7 years.

[03:59 pm] Simon Collery

George is right, Blockchain prevents any change.

You need an audit trail, to highlight changes, but not Blockchain.

[04:20 pm] Daniel O'Dowd

2.d. - beyond BIM - we need to be clear about what we mean by this - either 'BIM at in use and occupancy' OR 'BIM beyond graphical models'

04:23 pm] Alex Oldman

Phil Thompson (External) I missed your point about G-numbers....can you give me something to Google about that - so I can educate myself please


Unknown User


Risks are triggered by / associated with PAL: Product, Activity, Location

Jarek Wityk

George Stevenson I like the phrase 'connected asset information'

Unknown User

Interoperability is the existence of the information independent of the creating and consuming applications.

Heidi Flack

that is why it is so important to have internal and external third party audits to physically check.

Jarek Wityk 

lack of Awareness of Unintended Consequences = ignorance of the Holistic approach, ignoring a system of systems

Unknown User

My parting thought - can we sense check each bit of guidance against the question Q4? There are several good points here, but how are they addressing the currency and validity of the live building data?