What architects need to know about BG6

In the last decade, technology was the game-changer and prompted some surprising collaborations to create new standards that surpass the need to simply compete. On the other hand, the building and manufacturing sector has always been collaborative in approach and as we welcome a new decade, can we expect greater collaboration in the sector? In this article, we look at BG6 (a design framework for building services) as a tool for collaboration and consider how it can also be useful for architects not just building services engineers.

What is BG6?

BG6 published by BSRIA is a pro forma based document designed for use by building services engineers but is cited to be equally useful for architects. As a design framework, it offers some useful principles that are adaptable for designing beyond building services.

The role of BG 6 is to provide a platform where… activities can be identified and allow them to be allocated to individual organisations or roles within the project team” says David Bleicher, Publications Manager, BSRIA,

Architects won’t need to reinvent the wheel, the document sets out activities and outputs for each stage of the project management process (excluding Stage 0). BG6 is aligned with RIBA Plan of Work and helps to specify the detail of activities at the outset. This is great news for companies in the supply chain, whether it’s ceilings, plumbing or architectural hardware developing specifications earlier in the process can help make life easier for both the architect and building services engineer.

Adapting the principles of the BG6 pro forma documents is one of many ways where sector practitioners like architects can leverage processes to drive closer collaboration. In an article discussing the usefulness of BG6 principles for architects – Dale Sinclair, RIBA’s Ambassador for collaboration and technical says

“architects not actively using BG6 can benefit from looking at its contents from a ‘lead designer’ point of view: it can be used as a means for clients to define the scope and boundaries of what MEP designers do on a project” Source: Architecture.com (Jul’19)

At the same time, understanding and meeting clients expectations starts with a good building design brief, and tools that help improve collaboration from the outset are worth considering. BG6 now in its 5th edition offers everyone in the building services supply chain best practice solutions. It is perfectly positioned to power the new decade of collaboration in the sector.