Exchange Information Requirements

We explore the subject of Exchange Information Requirements (EIR), which is a very crucial element for a successful BIM project.

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Most clients would probably have a distinct idea about the information they would want to see from their respective project teams during the delivery phase as proposals are being designed and priced. They’re probably also clear on the information they require at handover to be able to run their newly completed building and get the best out of it. Exchange Information Requirements or EIRs are the documents where those needs are set out.

In the recently published ISO document about BIM (ISO 19650), the term Employers Information Requirement is replaced with Exchange Information Requirement (Commonly abbreviated as-EIR). Along with this, the term “data” is also replaced with the term “information” with various significant sub-terms to define roles, tasks, and responsibilities related to different types of information requirements in the AEC industry.

The Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) define the information that is required by the employer from both their internal team as well as from the suppliers for the development of their project and the execution of the completed built asset.

EIR is a document that contains clear instructions about the project that is to be executed. It helps in providing a clear picture to bidders as well as construction teams on the models that are required and defines the purpose of each model to the entire project. It also includes data that helps in clearly defining the information of the model being built, the process for information development, project management details, and delivery deadlines during the project’s design stages. Therefore the EIR provides both parties, i.e., the construction team and its client, with enough information to answer a request for proposals/tenders or how the constructor plans to meet project deadlines. The EIR also serves in a regulatory role as it ensures that information is provided and made available to all parties involved where and when requested.

There are different information requirements that aid in generating and informing an EIR. The Organization Information Requirements (OIR) helps in defining what information is required to achieve an organization’s strategic objectives about business operation, asset management, etc. It describes the needs of an owner organization to manage its building portfolio and related services. Project Information Requirements (PIR) defines what information the appointing party of a project needs from the delivery team. It describes the owner’s requirements for the management of a specific facility. It can be related to the details of facility spaces (the rooms which are functional within the building), the services (the operational and maintenance activities that occur in these spaces), and the equipment properties: type, location, maintenance requirements, replacement period and costs). Asset Information Requirements (AIR) Specifies the information to be delivered by the project team at the project handover phase, mainly for operations and facility management of the project. Therefore to summarise the different Information Requirements :

1. OIR (Organizational Information Requirement) : To define the organization objectives, needs, and necessities.

2. AIR (Asset Information Requirements) : To be clear of all required assets, their management, and maintenance procedures.

3. PIR (Project Information Requirement) : To agree on what asset information should be delivered for each project milestones.

4. EIR (Exchange Information Requirement) : To agree on how to transfer the information, in what format, what level of information, and establishing an agreement amongst stakeholders on how and with what features they need to exchange their digital information.

The following flow chart from ISO 19650-1 shows the hierarchy of information requests followed in a BIM project.

An EIR is basically split into three Parts: Technical, Management and Commercial.

Level of information need (general)StandardsTiming of data
Level of information need (components)Stakeholder roles and responsibilitiesClients strategic
Software platformsCoordination and clash detection processDefined
Data exchange formatSecurity of dataBIM-specific
Co-ordinatesPlanning the work and data segregation
TrainingDelivery strategy for asset information

In the Technical part, the Software Platforms section is to communicate about the software versions. It clearly defines what software platforms that the employer uses, for example, their Common Data Environment (CDE), BIM/CAD systems, etc. Data Exchange Formats defines the formats used to deliver data and exchange data throughout the project. The purpose of the coordinate section is to ensure the implementation of a standard coordinate system for the entire BIM data for uniformity. The Level of Information Need (LOIN) section gives information on what LOIN to be followed generally or for an individual component within the project.

In the management part, the Standards section establishes the processes and procedures that are to be adopted for the management of the information flow, delivery, and security of the project. Stakeholder roles and responsibilities section gives clarity on roles, responsibilities, and authority of the various staff working on the project. The coordination and clash detection process has to be defined on how it will be carried out. The security section aims to communicate the client-specific security measures required to secure the data.

In management, the Data Drops (information exchanges) and project deliverables section are set out as per the employer’s plan of work and through an identified gateway. The purpose of this section is basically to communicate the content of these data drops. The client’s Strategic Purposes section defines the details of the expected purposes for information provided in models. In the Defined BIM/Project deliverables section, it includes details of specific BIM deliverables, e.g., fully rendered animated model renditions, 4D program models, fly/walk-through visualizations, solar impact analysis models. The specific requirements, stages, and level of detail/definition are also clearly stated.

Hence we can see that a client’s commitment to the BIM process is undoubtedly important, but we have to take into consideration that not every client is involved with the process of building regularly, that too in a tech-savvy way. Not every client in the world will ask for BIM in the right way and with the right documentation, and if we expect that, we’re not going to get anywhere. Thus, it remains important to be able to educate the client about these topics for them to get the best out of their projects.

An excellent solution to this could be using some of the ‘Plain Language Questions’ (PLQ’s) to help and interpret what information the client is expecting or needs from BIM which can then be worked out to create or develop an EIR.

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Therefore to conclude, the teams working without an EIR in place will struggle and find it hard to ensure that the right information is issued at the right time to the client and other contractors to support their decision making which would ensure a smoother workflow. Worse, they could be creating an excessive amount of information just for the sake of it, rather than efficiently directing their focus on what’s needed. planBIM provides a great way to create EIRs and much more. Start exploring today and contact us to know how!


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