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What are Employer's Information Requirements? (EIRs)

You might have heard the term “Employer’s Information Requirement” or “EIR” banded around lately. But what does it actually mean and why is it so important to the building information modelling (BIM) process? Fred Mills, Co-Founder of The B1M, explains in this simple and easily digestible 3 minute video.

Within a BIM process project teams create information models or data sets using graphical and non-graphical information clearly structured and accurately linked in a shared digital space known as a common data environment (CDE). 

Now most Clients probably have a good idea about the information they would like to see from their project teams during the delivery phase as proposals are being designed and priced up. They’re probably also clear on the information they need at handover to be able to run their new building and get the very best out of it. Employers Information Requirements or EIRs, are the document where those needs are set out.

They need to be in place from the outset of a project so that the appointed project team know the levels of service to provide. Teams working without EIRs in place will struggle to ensure that the right information is issued at the right time to support decision making. Worse, they will be creating excessive amounts of information just for the sake of it, rather than efficiently focusing on what’s needed.

"Teams working without EIRs in place will struggle to ensure that the right information is issued at the right time to support decision making"

In simple terms a typical EIR will be broken into three areas covering Technical, Management and Commercial considerations.

Technical will cover things like information format and file types, the minimum Levels of Definition at each stage and the software platforms to be used for exchanging information. For Clients in the public sector, that doesn’t mean you have to endorse a particular vendor. It could be stating your preference for email or explaining the common data environment you will be using.

Management will detail high-level roles and responsibilities, standards, data security, the key decision points and the information to be available at each one.

Commercial will include details on the Client’s strategic purpose, the defined deliverables and a competence assessment for those looking to tender the project and demonstrate their ability to deliver the requirements of the EIR.

The amount of detail within an EIR will depend to an extent on the organisation procuring the built asset and the complexity of that project.

There is a temptation to use the lack of EIRs from your Client as an excuse not to do BIM, and many teams have used that excuse in recent years.

Client commitment to the BIM process is clearly important but we have to remember that not every Client we deal with procure buildings on a regular basis. If we wait for every Client in the world to approach the industry and ask for BIM in the right way and with the right documentation, we’re not going to get anywhere.

A good solution to this is to use some ‘plain language questions’ (PLQs) to help interpret what information your Client needs and when, so that we – as the expert service providers they have approached – can then work with them to develop an EIR.

You find out more about the importance of EIRs in PAS 1192-2 whilst further information on the documentation, including a template EIR is available here.

This video contains extracts of PAS 1192-2: 2013, © 2013 The British Standards Institution, © 2013 Mervyn Richards OBE and © 2013 Mark Bew MBE. Model imagery courtesy of InteliBuild

This video was kindly sponsored by 4Projects. Find out more about them here.

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