How BIMcollab can help achieve the expectations of the Golden Thread.

How to achieve the expectations of the golden thread using BIMcollab 

Fire safety is an integral part of the construction process. It plays a vital role in protecting lives, property, and the environment. In response to the London Grenfell Tower fire which claimed the lives of 72 people, the golden thread concept was introduced in the UK as an effective measure against similar incidents in the future. The golden thread of information ensures that everyone involved in safety management has access to key information that can help assess and identify potential risks throughout the lifecycle of a building. 

But finding safety compliance issues can be a tedious manual task that is often susceptible to human error. In this blog we will discuss how BIMcollab can assist in meeting the golden thread expectations. For example, by automating firestop data and geometric compliance checks within the BIM models and providing a centralized channel for BCF issue communication. 

Centralized data repository 

The aim of the golden thread is to have ‘accurate, trusted, and updated information that can be accessed, understood and used by both current and future stakeholders.’ All information related to building safety should be included in the golden thread, as a database containing all the relevant information. BIMcollab Nexus can assist by providing a central location for the project’s issue management. It should start at the early phases and remain localized and documented well into the operational phase. 

The goal is to deliver the complete final project and to document all remarks, changes, and decisions made throughout the process. With BIMcollab, users can create, assign, and track issues identified within BIM models in all project phases. This facilitates data sharing and collaboration across different disciplines. It connects all key stakeholders such as designers, MEP and fire engineers, general contractors, and regulatory bodies. Issue management ensures that all parties involved in the golden thread can exchange information efficiently. 


Another important aspect of the golden thread that BIMcollab can assist with is accountability. During design and construction, the transparency between stakeholders is sometimes limited. Once a project is complete, accountability for errors and quality assurance can be difficult to control. BIMcollab maintains an audit trail of activities, including the issue creation, modifications, and resolutions. Using BIMcollab as a central repository for the golden thread, issue management provides a validated record of all actions taken to improve building safety. This ensures transparency and accountability throughout the entire design and construction process. 

Complete and accurate model data 

For most projects, the project data requirements already exist in spreadsheets, specifications and other 2D documentation. However, these data requirements are not necessarily contained in the 3D model, where most of the coordination takes place. And even if the information is there, it may not be in the right place or in the right format. That is where BIMcollab Zoom can be of help. With Zoom, you can move from the recommended specification to confirmed requirements for all fire protection elements. 

Smart View rules can replicate the manufacturer and regulatory requirements. It can include or exclude elements from the visual inspection based on embedded fire rating and material information. Zoom can check a wide range of data and values, one of the most important ones being the fire ratings. For example, checking whether fire rating values have been assigned, and that the values meet the correct fire requirements. 

Risk aversion with geometrical compliance checks 

BIMcollab Zoom can further assist in global thread requirements by making sure fire requirements are met. Zoom’s clash detection offers a powerful tool for checking the quality of your BIM model and identifying potential fire risks based on geometric relations. The rule-based algorithm allows you to automate model checks, become more efficient with fast clash detection and save time with automatic clash grouping. 

Common fire rating checks related to the golden thread include geometrical compliance checks between structural and MEP systems, for example: 

  • Check for geometric inconsistencies of MEP elements against fire rated walls, slabs, ceilings, etc. 
  • Use clash rules to locate all MEP services clashing with structural elements, where voids that should be present are not. 
  • Use detailed clash rules to exclude all irrelevant clashes (e.g, overlapping duct insulation, or pipe segments), or simply filter them out using the Ignore feature 

To manually verify dimensional and distance requirements, you can use BIMcollab Zoom’s dimensional tool. It can help you check spacing between services to identify proximity and placement issues. And when you find a problem, you can capture it in an issue with just a few clicks and communicate it to the appropriate stakeholders. 

Risk aversion with geometrical compliance checks

Safety & fire management outputs 

Having complete data and high-quality models is the foundation of the golden thread process. However, it is not possible to move from the design to construction phase without a detailed list of materials and project outputs that are properly coordinated.  

Documenting lists such as a schedule of fire stops, a list of services with an allocated BWIC/fire seal component and specifying fire proofing products to be used in construction will significantly reduce the risk of non-compliance issues on-site.  

Another goal of the golden thread is the continuity and ease of access to information throughout the project lifecycle, including the facilities and maintenance phase. BIMcollab Zoom Lists provide an ability to create lists of used fire protection materials, products, and quantities. These can be used for take-offs in design and construction phase, and as a record document in the operation stage. Additionally, they can be used for the delivery of O&M data in the COBie format. 

Safety fire management outputs

What is the benefit of BIMcollab for the golden thread requirements? 

In summary, using BIMcollab Zoom can assist with golden thread regulations by providing automated model checks to ensure fire protection requirements are met.  

Moreover, BIMcollab Nexus provides a centralized coordination platform, ensuring that crucial information and decisions are not lost in the cracks, and that coordination items are documented throughout the project 

As the golden thread recommends that all relevant users have access to the required fire safety information, BIMcollab offers connections to various BIM tools. This allows all involved stakeholders to verify and communicate about safety and fire protection compliance issues in a quick and effortless way. The process which heavily relied on manual work and took several weeks can now be digitized, automated, and reduced to days with BIMcollab. Check, share, resolve.

To assist you in the golden thread process, we have created a set of basic fire topping Smart Views, Clash Rules and sample Lists that you can immediately apply to your project and customize further. Download our sample rules here. 

Do you want to create high quality BIM models that comply with the golden thread?