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#SEC2021 – sees launch of 'new' BIM in Asset Management microsite!

Credit: West Ham United / LLDC

There was never any doubt that the logic behind the core topics / ‘research areas’, agreed upon by the Board of SEC, were well placed and timely. Building Safety and Net Zero both administered by a rigorous and firm understanding of BIM [i.e. ‘better information management’] has yielded much for the dynamic and agile team over at SEC, led by their Managing Director, Marc Baines MCIHCM.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

With a theme that spoke to ‘Challenge, Opportunity and Enabling Change’; the annual conference, whilst over-subscribed with a waiting list of some 300 plus, could not have landed at a more opportune time in the calendar; falling right in the middle of #COP26; an event which itself has been challenged to be ‘more ambitious’ to maintain 1.5 degrees. Regrettably, although hopeful, at the time of writing [circa 23:15 on 12.11.21] the final agreement of the remaining world leaders could not be articulated as ‘turbulent negotiations’ remain ongoing.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

The kind referral by Dan Lovegrove of Foster Property Maintenance, led to a formal invitation [from Marc Baines] to Chair the one-year research project, which was well received [and duly accepted] by DCS Founder & Chairman, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS.

Credit: Bola Abisogun OBE

Work began in earnest last year October 2020 and much ground has been covered in the interim, along with the development of a new microsite [launching 🚀soon!]; proffered to the entire UK social housing sector as a ‘ground-zero’ for those literally embarking upon their BIM journey.

Credit: SouthEast Consortium

The social housing sector has, never before in her well documented history, been beset with such ‘expensive transitory challenge(s)’ such that the very core of the sectors existence has since been mandated into a rigorous and unforgiving legislative mandate called the Building Safety Bill.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

Less occupied with ‘the act’ of construction and more concerned with ‘the process & accountability’ the social housing sector has been repeatedly warned to ‘raise the bar’ and better consider and respond to the welfare of its key client group, the end-user / tenant. With recent and multiple expose' into derogatory service offerings, by public sector 'asset owners', the stock condition of EVERY landlord [DutyHolder] has never been more important to the occupier. Therefore the 'decent homes standard', is now seen as a critical barometer and the UK government [even at a local level] is embarking, across the country, on multi-billion pound programme(s) of 'repair and renewal'.

Credit: MLCS3

The sector has also been tasked to address some key industry failings [in a post-Grenfell era] which pretty much revolve around ‘data and information management’; which was the theme of our panel discussion at #SEC2021.

Reference to the UK Government’s recently published, Transforming Infrastructure Performance _ Roadmap 2030; was made on more than one occasion [citing the presence of Focus Area 4 _ Retrofitting of Public Housing]. This key reference was and remains aligned to the ‘social housing _ use-case’ developed by Bola, submitted to CDBB and duly accepted by them as a leading component for future exploration. A further request and reference by Tech UK [during their launch event in February 2021] was reflective of the scale and scope of structural change required across social housing; which in essence must re-engineer itself and remain determined to reduce its nett 'carbon footprint' in every conceivable way. Its future role within the context of the carbon markets [i.e. carbon off-setting and debt funding] and Net Zero 2050, will continue to be an important aspect of good governance moving forward.

The SEC BIM Research Project was, and remains, a knowledgeable attempt to ‘de-mystify’ the entire conversation around BIM, setting down some clear principles and deconstructing some of the more nuanced terminology; culminating in the all encompassing disclosure, as applicable to the globally recognised standard(s). Attendees at the conference were advised [in some detail] to refer to both the UK BIM Framework and Centre for Digital Built Britain ‘CDBB’ for clarity and completeness.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

That SEC2021 returned to the London Stadium after two years, principally due to the global pandemic, made the event all the more special for DiverseCity Surveyors, whose presence was duly noted in the FFT Zone.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

Held during the globally aware, COP26, and amidst other leading surveying consultancies, including our host Faithorn Farrell Timms, the SEC BIM Working group panel discussion was duly represented by industry representatives and thought leaders drawn from AIMIS Solutions, Calford Seaden and Bailey Garner. In support of true ‘diversity of thought’ along with gender diversity, ECD Architects were also present as was our female industry ‘client-side’ ambassadors, Victoria Ayre of Be First and of course, Dritan Ali of Optivo, the key project sponsor. And a surprise visit, was well received, all the way from Portsmouth by Olufemi Olaiya who has since become something of a national ‘subject matter expert’ with his Case Study of BIM implementation over at Portsmouth City Council.

Credit: Vicki Reynolds [via Twitter]

Reference was also made to the ambition of an eco-system of connected digital twins, once the principles of BIM had been widely and religiously adopted by the sector. It is vitally important that the social housing leadership begin to set out convincing and sustainable ways of decarbonising its estate and also monitoring and measuring its own ‘carbon emission(s)’ through its core operation of ‘repairing peoples homes’. This aspiration will not be possible without a digital twin; as the recently launched CReDo demonstrator confirmed.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

The final point was made, that if nothing else, the adoption of the Golden Thread in pursuit of Building Safety legislation [and Net Zero assurance], was paramount, and in and of itself, commanded a sea change in cultural behaviours with an end to the adversarial nature that has become normalised over the years; this despite the presence of the ‘Modernise or Die’ report, penned by Mark Farmer.

Credit: SouthEast Consortium

All that remains – apart from looking forward to 2022 – is for me to thank the Board of SEC, Marc Baines (along with his truly wonderful team at SEC) as well as my fellow BIM Research Working Group members, shown below.

Credit: SouthEast Consortium

We look forward to supporting you on your journey and 'positively' disrupting the sector in the process.


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