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BIM for Housing Associations: Practical Applications for Implementing the Golden Thread

BIM for Housing Associations: Practical Applications for Implementing the Golden Thread

Su Butcher
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Next week’s Gemini Call will include a presentation by Jack Ostrofsky, Head of Quality and Design at Southern Housing Group and Chair of BIM for Housing Associations.

BIM for Housing Associations (BIM4HAs) is a client led and client funded initiative set up in 2018 to accelerate the uptake of consistent and open standards-based BIM processes across the Housing Association sector. 

An urgent priority for this group is building and fire safety, particularly in the context of the development of a Golden Thread of Building Safety Information which is part of the Building Safety Bill which is expected to receive Royal Assent in 2022.

Understanding of BIM and Digital Twins in the residential housing sector is poor, yet as long-term owner-operators of built assets, housing associations are ideally placed to benefit from the efficiencies of BIM and Digital Twins.

In June 2021 BIM4HAs published a Toolkit of resources for housing associations aimed at assisting them in the process of adopting ‘Better Information Management’. The toolkit, which is free to use, translates the requirements of the National BIM Framework into accessible language and practical tools for housing associations.

Jack will describe an example of the challenge to housing associations to use structured data to manage their assets; the transfer of spatial information about buildings which designers and contractors label as ‘plots’, development managers and asset managers in housing associations have their own naming conventions which have evolved in a traditional and disjointed manner. As a result, the metadata links are severed at handover and a great deal of valuable, useable information is lost to the client.

Jack’s employer Southern Housing Group has developed a spatial hierarchy and property reference numbering system which was published in the BIM4HAs Toolkit in June. 

The spatial hierarchy and naming system links to commonly understood asset management language and informs Asset Information Requirements that housing associations can use to instruct development and refurbishment projects. This process enables contractors to provide useable metadata to housing associations and will form an essential part of the implementation of a Golden Thread of Building Safety Information. 

In a further development Southern Housing Group, working with members of the BIM4HAs community, have developed and are implementing an Asset Information Model based on the Gemini Principles and aligned with the other BIM4HAs work. This Model will be published for free, for anyone to use, by BIM4HAs as part of an update to the BIM4HAs Toolkit in February. 

Please join us on the Gemini Call on 25th January at 10.30 to hear about the spatial hierarchy work and put your questions to Jack.

Download the Spatial Hierarchy Document and ‘The Business Case for BIM’ Document from the links below. Both are part of the Toolkit.
The whole Toolkit can be downloaded for free from the National Housing Federation website here: housing.org.uk/BIM4HAs
 

BIM for Housing Associations Pt1 The Business Case for BIM.pdf SHG Spatial Hierarchy UPRN Procedures.pdf

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