Exchange Information Requirements (EIR)

The Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) term introduced by BS EN 19650 replaces the PAS 1192 term Employer Information Requirements (EIR) on all projects where BS EN ISO 19650 compliance is required.

 As the AEC industry transitions from PAS 1192 to the BS EN 19650 Framework, the term Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) may cause some confusion. The Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) phrase, introduced on the 16th of January 2019 by the publication of BS EN 19650 Part 1 and Part 2 replaced the PAS 1192 term: Employer’s Information Requirements. Because both terms use the same acronym (the EIR), clarification is required.

Figure 1 illustrates the distinction between ’employer’ and ‘exchange’. While an employer’s information requirements and exchange information requirements are synonymous[1] In terms of semantics, the change is significant and impacts the meaning of information management (IM).

Figure 1 EIR – PAS 1192 vs ISO 19650

An employer is frequently mistranslated as employing people, leading to confusion. To avoid ambiguity, ISO 19650 includes a term that is easier to translate internationally; the relevant definitions are included in Table 1;

Evaluation of the terms suggests that using the term Exchange instead of Employer in the EIR phrase has an advantage in cases where information is required to be exchanged between different parts of an organization as demonstrated in Figure 2.

Definitions
employerthe individual or organization that employs others.[6]
EIR PAS 1192a document which defines standards and processes for the delivery of information required by the employer (ultimate client) as part of the project delivery process provided by the suppliers for the development of the project or operation of the existing asset.[7]
exchangegiving something to someone and receiving something in return.[6]
EIR ISO 19650specification for what, when, how and for whom accountable information which can be validated and be suitable for communication or processing in relation to an agreed instruction for the provision of such information relating to works, goods or services.[3]
Table 1 Definitions:  employer, exchange and EIR

Figure 2 depicts the differences in applying EIR PAS 1192 vs ISO 19650. For example, Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) on the right-hand side of the diagram includes information exchanged between an asset management team and a direct labour team or between different parts of a multidisciplinary organization, even if formal contracts are not established.

While in the same situation, the term Employer Information Requirement is far less appropriate, especially when applied to international standards.

Thus, the UK, keen to retain the deeply integrated EIR acronym in the BIM language, chose the term ‘exchange,’ which seemed to be a good fit.[2]

Figure 2 Application of EIR, PAS 1192 vs ISO 19650

Diagram depicts an analysis of the use of Employer vs Exchange Information Requirements.

Now the application of the term Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) has been evaluated, a question may be raised as to what EIR means.  This question must be answered to ascertain how and when information is exchanged.

The information requirements for the asset’s delivery or operational phase include the following: organizational, asset, and project information requirementsOIR + AIR + PIR

Through sets of exchange information requirements (EIRs), the Appointing Party shall provide all asset and project information necessary for asset management and project delivery. The information should be incorporated into project-related appointments or instructions and distributed throughout the supply chain.[3]

The EIR includes three main areas:

  1. Technical, for example, software platforms, level of need definitions.
  2. Management, for example, details of management techniques to be used on a project
  3. Commercial, for example, details of BIM Model deliverables, scheduling of data transmission, and definitions of information purposes.[4]

The task teams can only supply the asset and project information if the appointing party have explicitly stated their expectations and requirements in advance. Thus, Organizational Information Requirements (OIR) and Asset Information Requirements (AIR) are crucial to establishing EIR.

Digitalisation generates a large amount of data; information overload hampers many businesses. Overprocessing information and the complexity of processes raise waste, costs, and risks. EIR aims to make information production a lean process by only requesting what is genuinely required at a specified time and with a specific purpose in mind.[5] Thus the EIR enables prospective project stakeholders to schedule the delivery of required information.[4]

The need for a lean approach is reinforced by BS EN ISO 19650 1:2018, which advises that the minimum amount of information required to meet each relevant obligation, including information requested by other appointed parties, should be the level of information needed. Anything above this minimum is waste.’[5]

Figure 3 – Assessment and need

If these processes are neglected or poorly executed, the delivery team cannot maximise downstream workflow, technology, and customer satisfaction.

Because information is exchanged between parties, it is necessary to understand the concept of hierarchical project structure to ascertain who is exchanging information.

Hierarchical project structure

To facilitate comprehension of the terms and concepts used here, it is necessary to refer to the superseded PAS 11920 terminology, legal language, and the hierarchical project structure, all of which are combined and illustrated in Figure 4, where the multiple meanings of terms such as employer or supplier become clear only in the context of a contractual obligation and position within the supply chain.

Figure 4 Hierarchical Project Team

Figure 4 illustrates a typical Project Team, which means all parties who have been appointed to work on the project, including the ultimate client – the Appointing Party.

According to ISO 19650 framework, throughout the project, each function can be performed by an individual or by a team of people (task teams). As the project progresses, function responsibilities can be transferred. Thus, a project team can be made up of one or more companies or individuals who provide services or products during the delivery or operation of an asset – or everyone involved in the project, regardless of appointment/contract arrangement.

The Project team, according to ISO 19650 terminology, consists of the Appointing Party and the delivery team. For example, all Appointed Parties/task teams involved in the delivery or operational phase of an asset’s lifecycle.

In ISO 19650, the term “project team” does not refer to a specific contract type; it replaces the PAS1192 term ‘Project Delivery team’; the intended meaning is the same, although the ISO 19650 Framework places the client (Appointing Party) outside of the Delivery Team. A top-level client (Appointing Party) and a Delivery Team comprise the Project Team.

[1] British Standards Institution, 2019b. Transition guidance to BS EN ISO 19650. p/15

[2] Churcher, D. (2021). email to: Jarek Wityk, subject: Exchange Information Requirements (EIR).

[3] British Standards Institution, 2018. BS EN ISO 19650-1:2018 Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM) – Information management using building information modelling Part 1: Concepts and principles.

[4] EU BIM Task Group, 2017.p. 64

[5] British Standards Institution, 2020a. BS EN 17412-1:2020_Building Information Modelling-Level of Information Need.

[6] Cambridge English Dictionary, n.d. Meaning of employer in English [WWW Document]. (accessed 11.13.21a).

[7] British Standards Institution, 2016a. BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information-Code of practice, A2 ed.

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