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The (BIFM) EIR Template & Guidance

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From BIM Journal. Click Here to Read Issue 5

To introduce this very useful, hands-on practical guide for clients and facility managers when it comes to EIR preparation and deployment here again is Simon Ashworth (Zurich University of Applied Sciences) and Dr Matthew Tucker (Liverpool John Moores University LJMU) to tell us more.

An essential element when starting a successful BIM project is the creation of a well-specified Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR) document. But what exactly is an EIR?

If we look in PAS 1192-2 (2013), it defines the EIR as being a pre-tender document that sets out the information to be delivered and the standards and processes to be adopted by the supplier as part of the project delivery process.

With this in mind, when putting together the EIR for a specific BIM project, it should be based upon a solid understanding of the organisations’ existing asset management strategy via the OIR and AIR documents. These being the existing strategy and approach that the organisation has when it comes to managing its assets, and the information that it needs to do so. If these documents are not in place then this should be addressed as part of the process. Only then can the EIR be created by facility managers and clients with the knowledge that it is in alignment with the wider strategic and information needs. They can use a series of common sense plain language questions (PLQ) to help with the process.

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The EIR can also be a powerful tool to encourage cooperation between the main parties during the early critical stages in the BIM process as well, to help them to work together to agree and to set out the desired project outcomes. Indeed clients and facility managers should use the EIR to clearly articulate their information needs both during the project as well as for the “in use” phase of the project. If this is done succinctly it will help to give clear direction and guidance to the supply chain regarding the information needed for the successful operation of the upcoming assets post handover.

However, creating an EIR can seem a daunting task and many people are not sure where to start. In order to help clients and facility managers a research project between Liverpool John Moores University, the Institute for Facility Management (IFM) at Zurich University of Applied Sciences and the BIFM was set up in 2016 to help to produce guidance as well as a template tool that the FM industry and clients can use in the BIM process.

The project involved putting in place a review procedure to develop and review content using a focus group at the BIFM (The Operational Readiness Working Group) and a draft version was also tested using a case study BIM project; the Burrell Renaissance Project for Glasgow Life. This involved interviews with team members from the project supply chain, who gave valuable feedback for improving the draft EIR. Finally, the document was peer reviewed for further feedback using well know BIM experts from two organisations, the BIM Academy in Newcastle and FM180 in Harrogate.

The results were published by the BIFM in March 2017, with the document being aimed at clients and FM professionals starting to work on BIM projects who need guidance and advice on producing an EIR. The key aim was to provide an assist when it came to establishing and planning the information that may be needed in order to ensure the future optimisation of assets and their ongoing operation.

The EIR is aligned to the RIBA Plan of Work (2013) as well as the key industry standards that underpin the BIM process. It also includes an editable template which can be downloaded from the BIFM website and amended to suit specific project needs.

The EIR covers a range of important planning issues including:

  • The need to provide clear guidance on required formats, naming conventions, essential information for the modelling process and what information is required

  • Defining clear roles and responsibilities

  • The need for a well-structured asset information delivery plan unique to the project which identifies which information deliverables should be delivered by whom and when

  • The need to consider existing CAFM and other enterprise management tools used by clients and facility managers and how information will be transferred into these systems

The table shown gives an overview of the key “management, technical and commercial content” covered by the EIR, which is in line with guidance from RIBA and the CIC. The document also includes a series of appendices including a “supplier BIM assessment form” which can be used by clients and facility managers to help to assess supplier’s capabilities in terms of their ability to deliver BIM projects.

The EIR Template and Guidance produced by the BIFM can be found here.

Read BIM Journal in full here.

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