Q&A From Webinar on Fire Safety Design

Read the questions and answers from our webinar on fire safety design that we held together with Briab on January 23rd.
Q&A From Webinar on Fire Safety Design

Digitalization in fire safety design

In December Symetri and Briab announced a collaboration project with the aim to speed up the development of modern fire protection solutions. The project is looking into needs and requirements of fire safety design. Below you'll find the questions and answers from our webinar on that subject from January 23rd.

Watch the recording of the webinar here

The webinar was hosted together with Briab.

 

General Questions

Out of 80 cases last year only one was with a Revit file, but only because it was our own developed project.

Our experience at Briab is that the vast majority of construction projects in Sweden today are designed in a digital environment and usually with a 3D model.
This also applies to relatively small projects. Fire safety design is usually the discipline that has been the last in implementing the digital way of working.

In the next few years, 3D project planning, usually with Revit as a tool, will become more and more common.

Do you see this tool being used by architects or will Fire engineers contribute to the BIM process?

Who’s responsible for the fire safety design varies from country to country.
In some countries it is a fire engineer while in other countries it is a specialized building engineer.

No matter what role the design of fire protection in BIM is, it is an excellent way to become an integral part of the design process.
In the design projects that Briab has been involved in, we have found that the architects are often pleased that the fire safety engineer carries out (and takes responsibility for) the digital fire safety design.

You mentioned revenue increase by 35%, can you elaborate further and be more specific?

In order to ensure the commercial value of our work, we have compared projects in which we have designed in BIM environment with equivalent projects that have been carried out in a more traditional way.

In the part directly related to digital design (BIM), we can see a measurable increase in revenue of an average of 35%. In addition to that, we also did not include the added value of a closer dialogue with the customer, which in turn allows for additional sub-assignments.

The value we add (i.e. collision control, correct information) is simply easy to understand for our customers. I would also like to emphasize that the value of what we do is not mainly about saving working hours but giving a better product to our customers

In terms of fire safety compliance, will this accommodate different building standards, in different regions?

While there are a lot of common denominators, it is true that national and local regulations and codes vary. Compliance features will therefore need to be accomodated to the respective jurisdiction.

It is also important to note that a client may have their own requirements and rule sets. We will therefore provide the possibility for our clients and partners to develop their own rulebooks for their specific needs.

What will the role of standards be (BIM and fire)?

Standards already play an important role for BIM and digitalization and we have ongoing standardization in CEN, ISO, buildingSMART and other groups.

For fire sfaety, it is worth noting that just in the past year we've seen the launch of BIM and fire safety standardization groups in several European countries such as UK, Germany and Sweden. Within buildingSMART, there's already proposal for BIM and fire MVD and IFC development. Briab is actively taking part in several of these initaitives and we think that standardization will play an important role for information exchanges, definitions and parameters but also work flows.

However, it is important to stress that we already BIM and fire safety working in practice in real projects. We do not need to wait for standards to change the way we work. By getting hands on with BIM and fire safety we're setting a new standard itself, and parallell to this we may get the lessons we learn in the world of standardization.

How do you think digitalisation should be introduced in the Green Deal EU regulation?

Full Question: The European Commission has made a proposal for a European Green Deal. Within this proposal, they mention a review of the construction products regulation, which should "ensure that the design of new and renovated buildings at all stages is in line with the needs of the circular economy, and lead to increased digitalisation ... of the building stock." How do you think digitalisation should be introduced in this EU regulation?

The European Green Deal is a great initiative and we're glad that you brought this up. We'd like to get back to the value-chain here and the benefits of securing an unbroken chain of information. Products play an important role in the information chain and setting common European legisliation here may facilitate digitalisation in the construction sector. The inherent challenge in the traditional construction sector is that we tend to work in silos, and that we lose sight of the life cycle persective along the way. Information is lost along the way.

In post-Grenfell England, the government had to identify risk facades in the UK. It turned out to be tedious work since construction documentation often does not provide that level of detail and transparency. In the end, thousands of buildings had to be examined and it turned out that 500 buildings have risk constructions. From this example I think we can learn that securing information of products and systems are vital to ensure transparency, accountability and in the end - compliance.

Making sure that the Construction Products Regulations accomodates digitalisation and supplies product information in suitable exchange format is therefore key to securing an unbroken chain of information. CPR therefore needs clearer information requirements and we need mandates to CEN to develop the needed standards. The new standard on data templates for product information is a good start, but more work needs to be done in the respective disciplines. For example, for fire safety we have yet to see common definitions and machine-readable parameters and their associated values for fire safety performance.

Will you release a guide for the use of Bimfire anytime soon?

We're working on it and want to release videos of this as soon as possible!

Does every discipline need the tool to exchange information?

Yes, all the recievers of information can download it free of charge from our website.

What's your advice for handling small projects?

When starting to use new technologies and new tools that always involves an investment. Investment in time and in money.
This also applies in the transformation from fire protection design, with reporting in PDF drawings to implementation of BIM with Revit.

With a relatively short learning curve, our experience is that we create great added value for the customer and the design team. An added value that our customers are prepared to pay for.

So by focusing on value-add and possible revenue increase rather than cost it has been an easy path to take. The interesting thing is that such added value is also experienced by our customers in relatively small projects.

Functionality

Which Revit versions are supported?

2019-2020

Is there a version for Autocad-integration as well?

Sadly, no.

Could we add more symbols to the library?

Yes, it is totally open and you can load in any family you want.

Could we edit the door tags?

Yes you can. The only thing to remember is the name of the family and type (Door/Window) must stay the same.

Can you scale the symbols, so they fit the size of the building?

Yes and no! The tags are annotative, meaning they have a fixed sized on the sheet. So in the family there are 3 scales "included" in the family, 50, 100, 200. 

How is fire rating and other parameters visualised in 3D?

Fire Rating symbol looks the same as plan, but as a "floating symbol" in the floor plan. All other components are what I like to call, "sugar cubes" with the same symbol in front / back / on top.

Contact

Jan Tore Bugge
Jan Tore Bugge
Product Manager, Building & Infrastructure

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