Common Challenges Faced With Complying to Employer Information Requirements (EIR)

The Employer Information Requirements (EIR) is designed to be included in the tender documents for the procurement of both a design team and the constructor. It is an important element to a BIM project, as they are used to set out clearly to the bidder the information requirements and the management of that information. These requirements are then written into the BIM protocol and form the basis from which bidders can then respond with their initial Information Delivery Plan (IDP)

EIR document management v2

A compliant IDP will demonstrate how the requirements outlined in the EIR’s will be met. Prevalent information will include:

  • The project implementation plan
  • Project goals for collaboration and information modelling
  • Major project milestones
  • Product Information Model deliverable strategy

An EIR is typically split into 3 sections – Technical, Management and Commercial. In this blog we are going to focus on certain criteria within these categories from software platforms, data formats and collaboration. We are also going to look at data standards and how all of this can potentially have an impact on top-line business objectives such as turnover, quality and profitability.

With an emphasis today on open BIM, the EIR states the software platform requirements, but it’s not designed to dictate a software to the supply chain. The EIR focusses on collaboration and that is where the chosen Common Data Environment (CDE) is established. For many organisations collaborating with the Common Data Environment can be an issue. Often a manual process for task team managers or document controllers to issue approved information. Preparing models and documentation for issuing, uploading to CDE and populating all the metadata can be laborious and if it gets rejected, the process must start again.

If your business runs several projects in parallel, you will know how much of a challenge it is to control software versions. With software authors allowing end-users to have multiple versions on their device, it presents an opportunity for someone to open a file in the wrong version. As most will be aware of the well-known fact, you can take old files into new software versions but it’s very difficult taking new back to old. When a file is opened in a more recent version of the software (which does not comply with the EIR) then a lot of time and effort is required amending that back to its original state. Time that is not billable!

Another part to the EIR is the requirement for data formats to be delivered such as:

  • Native 3D Models
  • DWG, often in a specified version
  • IFC
  • PDF

The stipulated formats help to communicate content via data drops that are aligned to the various work stages. This can be a job for the last day of the week, month or when all that data has been gathered, but with a requirement in industry to get access to data earlier this historic process needs to change.

There are many standards in industry but if we pay consideration to BS EN ISO 19650 it can present a challenge to understand it all. In many cases, we see a dedicated document controller that’s responsible for ensuring standard processes and BIM compliance is met. This all adds to non-billable hours and has a potential effect on margins. There are many factors that affect profit margins but typically we see two main factors. Firstly, do we have a strong brand where we can charge a premium for our product or service and secondly, where this is not the case, we then have to look at how we do things and seek efficiency or productivity gains?

Graitec’ s Opentree drawing and document management software helps with exactly that and can drastically reduce the non-valued, non-billable activity. With its built-in BS EN ISO 19650 workflows, we help users to comply with BIM Level 2 but without the time-consuming task, energy and resource making sure it's correct.

Where .IFC, .DWG and .PDF is a requirement, Opentree helps automate the file save as process upon workflow states from review and approve on both issue and publish. Not only does this save time but it reduces the risk of data being rejected in the CDE.

Opentree ensures the control of the version of Revit or AutoCAD used on a project so there is no need to worry about any file being opened in a newer version. With this controlled approach, we can focus on quality as another key element to Opentree is its ability to manage the Revit central model and enforce get working copies rather than overriding the master.

Opentree document management arm iIllustration with text v2

Don’t just take our word for it. Many of the leading names in the UK industry are using this software from Architecture, Engineering to heavy regulated industries such as Rail and Nuclear. If you are looking to improve the structure of your data, have better control of the work in progress, automate standards and collaborate to the CDE’s in real-time then Opentree is a must.

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