Tag Archives: LEAN

Health & Well Being of Buildings

Mona Holtkoetter

The building services profession has long moved from pipe, ductwork and equipment sizing to a much broader and more complex role. Topics like sustainability, energy savings, renewable energy and BIM (building information modelling), just to name a few, have become a huge part of building services design, sales, manufacturing and construction. Renewable energy, for example, has been brought back to the top of our priority list through the recent release of Building Regulations Part L 2017 (NZEB), and sustainability rating systems such as BREEAM, LEED and the Home Performance Index are part and parcel of our daily jobs.

A new topic has recently entered the Irish market – building design and operation that focuses on the benefit of health and well-being of people. This “second wave of sustainability” is focused on providing the optimal working environments where people can thrive and fulfil their highest potential.

Why is this important?                                                                                                        There are multiple ways we, as building services professionals, can positively impact the health and well-being of people in buildings through our design and construction practices. Here are a few aspects to consider.

A ventilation system, designed and built for optimal indoor air quality, has the potential to reduce the negative effects attributed to asthma, headaches, hay fever and the flu. Recent studies have also shown that improved indoor air quality has the potential to enhance individual cognition by up to 61%.1 Attention to detail when selecting materials such as paints, ductwork sealants, glues, ceiling tiles, carpets and furniture can reduce the toxic off gassing within the first year of installation and with that, potentially reduce the risk of cancer.

Another aspect is the design of water systems. Legionella has been the key word in the design and construction of water systems within the last 20 years. While this is still an important topic that cannot be neglected, the design of water systems should also take other harmful contaminants into account. Project-based water quality testing and the design of a consequent filtration system that removes  all contaminants and optimises the testing of drinking water, should become part of our scope in the future. Providing employees with access to high-quality and good-tasting drinking water has shown to positively influence hydration and therefore concentration levels.

The lighting environment we design for the people inside our buildings, who spend 90% of their time indoors, can impact their visual, circadian and mental health. Presently, most spaces are fitted with lighting systems that meet the visual needs of individuals, but do not consider the effects of lighting on our internal body clock or mental health. Research and design provides huge opportunities in this area.

A building’s indoor thermal environment not only affects its energy use, but also influences the health, well-being and productivity of the people inside. Thermal comfort is ranked as one of the highest contributing factors that influence our satisfaction with our buildings. While designs typically meet thermal comfort standards on paper, there is limited on-site verification to ensure that the space actually performs as intended.

As landlords and tenants alike increasingly demand healthy workspaces, we would do well to shift the focus towards on-site performance testing when it comes to these design and construction practices. Certification programmes such as the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) already require testing for air and water quality, thermal and acoustic comfort, as well as lighting levels, propelling the industry to integrate this practice into the commissioning process and the day-to-day working lives of building services professionals.

Companies have already started to investigate the financial value of health and well-being interventions. A recent study by the World Green Building Council outlines The Business Case for Health and Well-being in Green Building. The published study features Cundall’s London office at One Carter Lane, which has claimed £200,000 annual savings based on reduced absenteeism and staff turnover.2 This office is the first space to be WELL Certifiedin Europe and has seen huge benefits by focusing on human-centred design, construction and operations.

Arup’s office in Cork, the first WELL Certifiedspace in Ireland, has also generated significant interest in healthy office environments. IPUT’s headquarters at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin is on track to become the first WELL Certified™ office in the capital.

With these and other exciting developments, building services professionals are now faced with their most important role … supporting the health of the people who use their buildings every day.

References

[1] Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2016.

[2] Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Well-being in Green Building. World Green Business Council, April 2018. www.worldgbc.org/news-media/doingright- planet-and-people-business-case-healthand- wellbeing-green-building.

Enabling the digitisation of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC)

John Keane, Commercial
Director, MMA Consulting Engineers

The reasons for this slow adoption are many but entrenched work practices and the lack of system-wide standards are major contributors. Over the last five years – led by the technical expertise of Dr Shawn O’Keeffe and Shane Brodie – MMA has developed a data-driven philosophy using LEAN management principles to deliver a new approach to design and construction. Shane Brodie is an acknowledged contributor to The Roadmap to Digital Transition for Ireland’s Construction Industry 2018- 2021, while Dr Shawn O’Keeffe sits on the NSAI National Mirror Committee on BIM Standards, as does Shane.

MMA believes in the Open BIM (Building Information Modelling) philosophy. However, big data applications are useless unless they follow a standard that can be verified and validated. MMA projects are delivered verified and validated to meet COBie requirements. Verification and validation of the  model is essential to ensure that the same asset within the same facility (or any other facility) is recorded in the same way, therefore allowing the facilities management team to know that they have the same pump in different locations, etc.

“COBie (Construction-Operations Building information exchange) is simply the setup and delivery of digital facilities management data during normal design and construction practises. It is a LEAN methodology for capturing data and is a ‘contracted information exchange’ for building projects, designed to help get a facility up and running right away, at handover or occupation,” explains Dr Shawn O’Keeffe.

One major piece of research work MMA recently completed was the much-acclaimed book Delivering COBie using Autodesk Revit. This book was a collaboration between Dr Shawn O’Keeffe and Richard McKenna with the inventor of COBie, Dr Bill East.

MMA has put its own research into practice delivering a recent 6D BIM model that is fully interoperable with the clients facilities management system (which in this case was Maximo). This facility (Figure 1) was fully designed in BIM using Revit. All the asset information is contained within the model. Any pump, valve, motor etc can be selected and all the relevant COBie data will be shown, including asset specifications, maintenance details and warranty details (see Figure 2). The verified and validated COBie IFC output seamlessly interfaces with the facilities management system.

The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model (ISO 16739:2013) describes building and construction industry data. It is a platform-neutral, open-file format specification that is not controlled by a single vendor or group of vendors. It is an object-based file format developed by  buildingSmart to facilitate interoperability.

MMA acted as the BIM model integrator for this project, as well as taking on its traditional role as M&E designer. Acting as BIM model integrator allowed MMA to drive LEAN management principles throughout the design and construction phases. Highly-efficient construction scheduling was enabled by full BIM implementation.

On the completion of the civil works, MMA’s in-house 3D scanning team, led by Dr Conor Dore, carried out a scan of the facility. This 3D scan was then compared to the CSA (Civil Structural Architectural) BIM design model using BIM & Scan AutoCorrTM cloud-based software (Figure 3). MMA carries out its own 3D scan work as it forms the basis of its designs and is too critical to leave to a third party with the associated interface risks.

The BIM & Scan AutoCorrTM software highlights any areas that are out of tolerance with the design model. The tolerance can be set according to the designer’s requirements. Areas that were out of tolerance with the design model were highlighted. Figure 4 and Figure 5 outline how clashes and variations between the “as built” point cloud (the output from the 3D scan) and the design BIM model were identified. The M&E designers reviewed all highlighted areas and the M&E BIM model was adjusted accordingly to ensure there were no clashes, or re-work required, during the M&E installation.

Having certainty regarding the “as built” environment allowed the M&E designers to develop full tender packages with detailed bills of quantities through the BIM model (Figure 6). This in turn allowed for offsite fabrication of piping and duct work. The detailed tender packages and extensive offsite fabrication generated significant cost savings. The elimination of clashes and onsite fabrication allowed for the construction schedule to be implemented as planned with no variations.

Advances in processing capability and the “big data” revolution is allowing MMA to cost-effectively process gigabytes of information to deliver better designs, more cost-effective construction and lifecycle solutions for clients. As an industry we are on the cusp of a revolution. The recently-published The Roadmap to Digital Transition for Ireland’s Construction Industry 2018-2021 attempts to plan out the digital transition. When has a revolution ever followed a plan? “All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” – Max McKeown, Adaptability: The Art of Winning in an Age of Uncertainty. 

See the full article in pdf format by clicking on the Cover of the latest issue (right).

Source: Engineering consultants Melbourne.

MAI for Kieran Butler

Pictured at the Winter Commencements in Trinity College are Dr Roger West and Kieran Butler.

Pictured at the Winter Commencements in
Trinity College are Dr Roger West and Kieran
Butler.

Kieran Butler, Jones Engineering, has been awarded a Masters Degree in Engineering from Trinity College for a research thesis titled: “Increasing productivity by integrating lean concepts into construction project management.”

He is currently completing a paper from the thesis and hopes to have it published in one of the Project Management Journals for peer review.

Having spent two years working on it Kieran is trying to generate some local interest in his thesis and perhaps get some feedback in this way.

Contact kibutler@tcd.ie