Using Technology as a means of Verifying the Positioning of Cavity Barriers in a Building Wall Envelope

Michael Daly, David Comiskey, Rori Millar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

177 Downloads (Pure)


Addressing the well publicised build quality issues within the construction sector is arguably the greatest challenge facing the industry at present. Issues can arise from a lack of proper on-site inspection leading to inadequate workmanship detailing along with substitution of materials from those originally specified at the technical design stage. Whilst such deviances from original technical design intent can have negative consequences in relation to building performance, such as a reduction in thermal and acoustic properties, this pails into insignificance compared to potential life safety issues. One of the most obvious threats to life safety within a building is fire, and the identified areas of workmanship, detailing and inspection are critically important in ensuring sound details are constructed, none more so than in ventilated facades. Ventilated façade systems have become popular over recent years due to the range of colours, styles and profiles which allow most aesthetical intentions to be realised. This, coupled with the general robust performance and ease of construction, means they are a popular choice for contemporary buildings and in retrofitting projects. However, with ventilated facades, like with any envelope, there is the potential for passive fire protection issues, with the performance in a fire dependent on the workmanship detailing, especially with regards to cavity barriers, and the materials used during the constriction. This becomes critical in light of reported issues relating to fire safety inspection. This paper focuses on verifying the positioning of cavity barriers in ventilated facades. The research firstly triangulates the stated issues relating to quality via a focus group discussion with industry professionals, with a focus on fire safety, before the potential for a technological solution is presented in the form of a clash detection analysis using captured point cloud data of in-progress construction work linked to a project BIM. The conclusion suggests that technological interventions have the potential to assist inspectors in more robustly verifying positioning in relation to fire safety, whilst acknowledging that this is only one component of a verification workflow which must also include material and detail verification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCitA BIM Gathering 2019 Proceedings
EditorsAlan Hore, Barry McAuley, Roger West
PublisherConstruction IT Alliance
Pages16 - 22
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9573957-1-8
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 26 Sept 2019
EventCitA BIM Gathering Conference 2019 - Galway, Ireland
Duration: 26 Sept 201926 Sept 2019


ConferenceCitA BIM Gathering Conference 2019
Internet address


  • Digital Technology
  • Verification
  • Inspection


Dive into the research topics of 'Using Technology as a means of Verifying the Positioning of Cavity Barriers in a Building Wall Envelope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this