What can the new BIM4HAs Toolkit do for your organisation?

Ishka Heart, 10 August 2022

One year on from its initial launch, a new version of BIM for Housing Associations Toolkit has been released. Ishka Heart, BIM Officer at Network Homes and Vice Chair at BIM for Housing Associations, introduces the changes, and looks at the benefits of using the Toolkit to meet the information management requirements for housing associations.

BIM for Housing Associations (BIM4HAs) was set up in 2018 in response to the growing need for better information management following the Grenfell Tower fire. Owned, run, and managed by housing associations, we are an independent body supporting housing associations and registered providers to adopt the definitive information management framework for buildings, known as BIM (Building Information Modeling).

In 2021 we published a Toolkit which translates the principles and procedures of the UK BIM Framework into language more familiar to housing associations. The Toolkit includes versions of standard documents, exemplar of structured data and bespoke tools specifically designed to help housing associations adopt BIM processes.

The updated Toolkit

Version 1 of the Toolkit has been a great success – over 1,000 copies have been downloaded, and our Forum has over 300 participants from 79 housing associations and 19 local authorities, along with supporters from the construction sector, tech and academia, and professional associations.

Now we launch Version 2 of the Toolkit which includes some new tools and updates. As well as updating some of the key documents to ensure they continue to comply with the latest guidance, this new version includes:

  • An Asset Information Model - the first housing association developed data model for asset information in a housing association, made with the golden thread in mind.
  • An introduction to our new Housing Association Data Dictionary project, where over the next 18 months we will pull together the definitive set of information that housing associations need to capture for asset management.

Why should you use the BIM4HAs Toolkit?

Best practice

The golden thread is integral to the delivery of the new safety case regime for higher risk buildings. The UK BIM Framework is just one of the ways to discharge your golden thread obligations. Our opinion is that the Framework is the best way, as it represents international best practice in information management. Why reinvent the wheel?

Working together

BIM4HAs is a voluntary organisation where housing association colleagues from development, aftercare, asset management and compliance come together with support from their consultants to share what they are doing, identify best practice and put this in a form which others can use.

As executives across the sector struggle to evaluate their information management processes and systems ahead of the implementation of the new safety case regime, we believe that working together on solutions is the best way to roll out best practice across the sector.

It’s free to use

The changes we face in the next five to 10 years will affect all housing associations, no matter our size and budget.

BIM4HAs is dedicated to making all our tools free to use, so that there is no barrier to accessing valuable resources. We are also independent, funded by donations from those associations who can contribute, and by volunteering from those who are able to give their time.

How to get involved

If you’d like to know more about our work, download the BIM4HAs Toolkit and join our Forum.

The speed at which we can deliver an ever-improving set of tools and guidance will be dependent on our volunteers and on the funding available, but we will always keep an independent stance, welcoming all those who can participate.

If you would like to volunteer your time to support our work, if you have an idea for a project or any feedback, or if you would like your housing association to donate to the running costs of BIM4HAs please contact Su Butcher our programme manager.