BIM4HOUSING – The Story So Far
BIM 4 Housing is a UK BIM initiative chaired by BIM veteran, George Stevenson and with director, Richard Freer. We are a non-profit body targeting the ‘Information’ element of BIM.
Our vision is for all stakeholders to use Better Information Management to deliver safer, greener residential accommodation that is easier to maintain.
We have a lot going on in the UK, with substantial legislative changes being introduced to improve building safety and prevent another Grenfell Towers disaster.
The traditional ways risk has been managed i.e. transferring it down the supply chain – is finished and insurers are adjusting premiums accordingly. This is providing an impetus to accelerate the asset aspect of BIM and find ways to improve the quality of information about the products and materials that are installed. This is equally useful to inform embedded carbon. BIM4Housing is a collaboration of firms and people passionate about solving problems through applied technology and processes.
We provide a meeting point for people passionate about making change happen. We all work on a voluntary basis, to help improve the industry and to influence its future direction.
Additionally, BIM4Housing has been supporting the L&Q/DLUCH Golden Thread Initiative to help advise what information should be collected and how buildings can be safer.
Across the Industry
Over the last 18 months we have set up 6 Working Groups in Construction, Design, Advisory, Manufacturing, Operations and Development.
We have held over 100 meetings in which we identified key issues that transcend normal silos and fed them to Workstreams in Data Management, Fire Safety, MMC and Sustainability, which produce outputs.
The meetings are popular- and effective- because people with differing expertise, from across the supply chain, come together to identify, discuss and resolve issues, such as change management, that no one stakeholder group can address.
The objective of the Working Groups is to identify and prioritise the day to Construction Industry issues that would benefit from better information management and propose actions that can be fed into existing, or new, Workstreams – which are also informed by the other working groups. We hope that each Workstream will have at least one representative from each Working Group to represent that stakeholder perspective. Each Working Group meets virtually every other month for 90 mins and the Chair of the meeting rotates between two or more leaders.
The Workstreams, like Fire, Data Standardisation, MMC, Sustainability, Change Management or Digital O&M do the actual work, holding Round Table workshops and creating outputs – as we have done with Fire Safety. These outputs are presented back to the Working Groups for review and approval.
The Round Table publications can be accessed here - https://bim4housing-blackbox.com/ which is a new resource, where we hope to get people to share their experience and knowledge; reporting issues and solutions they think could lead to improvements – just as the airline industry has become much safer by sharing incidents.
Our Fire Safety Workstream has identified risks and issues affecting individual assets (products):
We are already feeding through to UK Government guidance. See our latest Fire Safety reports here: https://bim4housing-blackbox.com/publications
To help implement the improvements and outputs from the Workstreams, we have also established a partnership with the Supply Chain School https://www.supplychainschool.co.uk/ which is giving all BIM4Housing members free access to all their excellent training and self-assessment resources and is also keen to develop new training courses to apply what we are producing for the Golden Thread. We have also registered with the CPD Accreditation body which recognises that attendance at our Working Groups and Round Tables is educational and therefore can contribute to CPD.
Moving forward, the overall direction of travel of BIM 4 Housing will be determined by a steering group comprising George Stevenson, Richard Freer and the leaders of each Working Group.
The challenges we are trying to tackle are not UK-specific and we would like to establish a similar initiative in the US, to share, and add to, the knowledge we are gathering. Our success has come from collaboration and learning from others with differing perspectives.