Nobody designs buildings with the expectation that they are going to go up in flames, but as recent events have shown, a failure to include sufficient fire protection services can have tragic consequences.

Defence mechanisms, such as fire sprinklers, and exit routes are essential aspects to include in the design of a building, in order to ensure anybody inside will be safe in the case of emergency.

If you are working with an existing building, then you will have to go down the route of retrofitting items, but for new building projects, the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling) is essential in order to ensure safety features are installed from the start.

Fire safety efficiency

If you want to make sure the fire protection services in your building are properly planned then you need to take into account the size, use, layout and typical occupancy rate of the final structure. These features will all have an effect on the number of time occupants can remain safe before emergency services reach the building, and so will influence the ways you choose to minimise human risk. Key requirements for fire safety will hinge on limiting the size of flames, how far and fast the flames spread, and the use of high-capacity easy to find escape routes. These things are essential in ensuring people can exit buildings quickly and safely as soon as they can while protecting the structure of the building as much as possible.

BIM is the future

The use of BIM in coordination with MEP services will help you to increase the fire safety efficiency of your building as it will allow us to understand the most efficient distribution of your fire defences and safety devices to ensure not only maximums safety (which is the most important consideration) but also maximum cost-effectiveness as well. BIM can assist in not only planning the best locations for fire sprinklers but can also be fed with the knowledge of how real fires behave and how buildings react to fire.

As we have mentioned many times before, the use of BIM increases collaboration between all of the different parties involved in a project, such as building managers, engineers and site inspectors. This means that using BIM can make for clearer handovers all throughout the supply chain, as well as making sure that everyone involved is clear on how the different aspects within a building interact.

3D models are now in use throughout most industries in the UK, and as their use increases then more pressure will be put on those companies that are not already using BIM. On top of this, the UK government recently legislated that all central Government projects should demonstrate the use of BIM Level 2 in their planning. The CAD Room can help you achieve this as we will act as your outsource BIM partner.

BIM is not just about 3D Models

Although BIM is based on 3d modelling enabling the model to be updated immediately, so that all information is accurate, this is not the only benefit to BIM. The use of Building Information Modelling can also help with cost estimates and budgeting, reducing speculation and keeping all estimates tight throughout the lifecycle of the building project.  The next generation of BIM models can factor in things such as unit costs and assembly processes in real-time.

Improvement in ongoing fire safety compliance

Fire safety is not just a concern when designing and constructing a building, it continues to be a concern throughout the life of a building. Once construction has been completed though, fire safety responsibility passes onto the building operator – who must ensure they comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

This order states that they must undertake a detailed fire assessment on a routine basis, including any hazards and risks as well as procedures and safe exits. The use of a 3D BIM Model will allow them to store this data every time, and this information can then be passed on to fire service personnel or new management when the time comes.

We are delighted to be able to offer BIM fire protection service planning at The CAD Room now, as we believe it will help towards the creation of a more informed and safer world.