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News from Chimni

Chimni Sponsors The House History Show

Chimni are really pleased to announce the sponsorship of the first ever House History Show which will take place online 10am to 4.30pm GMT on 15 May, presented by the leading team of UK House Historians. The House History Show is aimed at all those interested in tracing the history of buildings and the people who once lived in them. Please find the programme details below.The full-day show will be followed by an online lecture series through May and June. 

The full-day programme will include a one-hour Keynote: A House Through Time – which will feature a conversation with historical consultant Deborah Sugg Ryan and research consultant Melanie Backe-Hansen from the popular BBC series A House Through Time. The day will also comprise presentations and discussions.

Topics to look forward to during the House History Show include:

  • ‘Terraced House Tales: New 19th Century Housing and its Occupants’ with Karen Averby
  • ‘Stepping Sideways: How to Step Round Brick Walls’ with Gill Blanchard
  • ‘Keynote: Sources for House History’ with Dr Nick Barratt, followed by 'In conversation with' Keith Searle
  • ‘London: Building Storeys’ with Ellen Leslie
  • ‘Don’t Judge a House by its Plaque’ with Cathy Soughton  

Subsequent House History lectures in the summer series are: 

  • ‘Back to the Land: The National Farm Survey, Inland Revenue Survey, Tithe & Land Records’ with Gill Blanchard
  • ‘Who’s Been Living in My House?’ with Ellen Leslie
  • ‘A Virtual View: Online Sources’ with Cathy Soughton and Karen Averby
  • ‘The Interwar House: From Tenant to Home Owner’ with Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan

See here for more information:

Special House History show offer!

Basic Chimni logbooks are free to set up and use. In addition, for participants in Family Tree’s ‘House History Show’ Chimni are running a special offer. They have 200 ‘Map Starter Packs’ to offer for the first 200 participants to sign-up. 

For these 200 logbooks, Chimni will kickstart the logbook development by launching and displaying links to the relevant map sites for their home and showing how to build in other functions like links to census records. Just e-mail Nigel Walley at [email protected] after you have set up a log-in and include #FamiltyTree2021 in the subject line.

Click Here to learn more about building House Histories in Chimni

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Chimni Given Innovate Grant to 'Re-Imagine' Housebuilding

Chimni and OpenBIM specialist xbim have been awarded an InnovateUK grant for a ground breaking project to  ‘re-imagine’ BIM use in the housebuilding industry.

The 'Re-Imagining BIM' project was prompted by concerns about the low take up of Building Information Modelling (an advanced form of digital construction software) in housebuilding. BIM is one of the Governments priority 'Modern Method of Construction' or MMC and is seen as a solution to poor design and construction in the residential construction industry. Chimni have long argued that Property Logbooks are a way to give homeowners access to the amazingly rich information that can be produced by using BIM to build homes. The project will examine how to link the data and intelligence created within BIM during design and  construction to the emerging generation of Property Logbooks. Most importantly it will examine ways to turn the construction data created during housebuilding into useful homeowner information and services that can be delivered through Chimni logbooks.  

The project will attack the presumption that there is no use for BIM data in housing after construction. Chimni’s MD Nigel Walley said “Our project makes the case that the homeowner should be viewed as a 'Facilities Manager' and could use the data if made available to them in consumer friendly ways”.

The project therefore intends to subvert the normal process of BIM model creation and start with consumer research into the homeowner. Nigel Walley said “We will look at activity around DIY, maintenance, operation and upkeep of a range of property types and examine where this can be supported with better data from construction or refit.” The project will create a series of user cases with accompanying data models that can be incorporated into an Asset Information Model.

We will also look at the apps and services being used by homeowners and test the project assumption that property 'logbooks' or 'passports' provide a way to deliver construction and product data to homeowners in a meaningful and usable format. Andy Ward of xbim commented:

“Creating a homeowner friendly way to expand the uses of BIM data has to benefit the whole of the new-build and retrofit housing industries.  Linking BIM data to consumer friendly web apps like property logbooks means we can expand the potential of the OpenBIM approach and dramatically increase the ways in which BIM data can be shared amongst users.“

The project output will be a series of case studies, with supporting data models and software examples, plus recommendations for data creation in new build and retrofit housing.

The project has already generated press coverage, mainly in the specialist construction press:

Construction Index -


BuildInDigital -

PBC Today –


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