Digital By Default Group- BIM Builders Work & Passive Fire Stopping Golden Thread Solution

Constructing Excellence

The Digital By Default group were recently joined by Ian Massey, Regional BIM & Information Manager at Bouygues, to tell us more about the Constructing Excellence digital award winning project for 2023, BIM Builders Work & Passive Fire Stopping Golden Thread Solution. Find out more about this project here.

What is it?

This is a Builders Work and Passive Fire Stopping solution, underpinned by BIM and information management, that incorporates the design, construction and handover/post-completion phases. The aim is to improve knowledge sharing, compliance, transparency, change control and quality, whilst contributing and complying with the Building Safety Act. In essence, this solution intends to provide a link between what happens in the design world to what happens in the site world, improving collaboration between the two.

Why is it Needed?

Across the industry there is a severe lack of fire protection and fire safety knowledge, with many being unable to define key building fire protection terms such as ‘active fire protection’ and ‘passive fire protection’.

Active fire protection (AFP): relates to the detection and extinction of a fire with methods that use moving parts.

Passive Fire Protection (PFP): relates to the containment of a fire without methods using human intervention or external energy.

The BIM Builders work and passive fire stopping solution focuses on Passive Fire Protection (PFP) and tackling the associated challenges, which include…

  • Lack of knowledge
  • Accountability- who is responsible?
  • Too late in the design process
  • Complex system interface design
  • Using untested firestop products
  • Using wrong firestop material
  • Poor or no installation of firestopping
  • Design and site ‘misalignment’
  • Lack of recording testing/certification/sign-off
  • No audit trail

BIM Builders Works PFS Golden Thread

The BIM Builders Work and Passive Fire Stopping Solution creates a Golden Thread, aligning with the

recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s report, ‘Building a Safer Future’. It achieves this through an accumulation of process, management of information and collating the information in an organised manner.

There are three main areas to this:

Onboarding– knowledge, scope, strategy and process.

  1. Developing and sharing knowledge of PFS and digital (BIM/IM)
  2. Early engagement
    -embedding PFS specialists/design/supply chain with design at early stage.
  3. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  4. Strategy and training workshops
    -upskill and instil BWIC and PFS principles from outset.
  5. Digital tools and procedures
    -enable collaborative working, coordination of design/works and quality of construction.


Design– detail, coordination, change control and approval.

  1. Builders work/PFS coordination and approval process
    -BIM/IM enabled review and approval process for every BWIC PFS solution.
    -full audit trail of all comments, personnel & dates.
  2. Builders work/ PFS BIM model driven drawings/schedules & details
    -BIM driven drawing, schedules, details and informative tags.
    -single source of truth BIM model.
  3. Automated compliance checks
    -clash detection.
    -fundamental builders work PFS rule checking set.
  4. Consolidated BWIC & PFS attributes and approval data sheet
    -Architect/structural/M&E/BWIC PFS


Installation/Site– quality, change control, as-constructed and sign-off

  1. Keeping continuity of information
    -models, drawings and approved PFS detail and products directly from design onto site
  2. Onboarding site teams for ‘BWIC PFS Golden Thread Solution’
  3. Quality control process
    -3x stage QAC process (BWIC, Services, PFS)
  4. Change control & as-construction
    -change control process to ensure as-construction integrity.
  5. Real-time auditing throughout construction


Through the implementation of this solution’s processes, the structured BWIC PFS Digital Information will be accessible through hyperlinks to the common data environment. Software, such as Mortar, is used to consolidate the information gathered and create real time information portals, enabling the cross pollinating of information.

This initiative encourages early engagement- early design, early collaboration, enabling the engagement of the entire supply chain at an early stage, improving transparency, project knowledge and stakeholder involvement.




Bouygues are almost at the conclusion stage of handing over this ‘golden thread’ and have implemented it on several projects which can be seen here: 71/72 Kingsway and Pentre Awel.

Get Involved

If you have any ideas of how you’d like to engage with this group, why not get in touch or come along to our next Digital By Default event which will be a face to face event hosted by Unit 9 exploring how the creative industries can support construction.