Integration of FM expertise and end user needs in the BIM process using the Employer`s Information Requirements (EIR)

; (). Integration of FM expertise and end user needs in the BIM process using the Employer`s Information Requirements (EIR). World Building Congress 2016 Peer reviewed.

Projects in the construction industry typically involve complex information flows from early design, through construction, to facility management (FM). Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools and workflow processes are considered key enablers for collaboratively managing such information across phases of the project lifecycle. With the increased adoption of BIM by the construction industry, there are heightened expectations for improved engagement of facility managers (FMs), users and clients in the BIM process. This is based on the proposition that BIM can benefit the operational phase of a building, which contributes the most to the building lifecycle in terms of overall cost, sustainability and usability.

Three research questions were investigated: (a) How clients and FMs engagement with the BIM workflow process can be improved through the early contemplation of their requirements; (b) what are the perceptions about BIM and its potential impact on the FM industry from an FM, user and client perspective and (c) what data/information is required by FMs from the BIM workflow process to maximum optimisation of assets in the operation phase.

Mixed research methods, including: a literature review of academic and industry publications (e.g. case studies, industry best practice, standards and guidelines), an online survey of FM professionals and focus groups, were used to address the posed research questions.   

The findings highlight the need for further education regarding BIM guidelines and standards. In particular, new and more FM/client-focussed BIM strategy documents and templates compared to those currently available are required. Many existing templates (e.g. EIR) are not structured to adequately capture clients’ operational and information needs. Guidance is required on developing BIM strategies which start with clients Organisational Information Requirements (OIR) and Asset Information Requirements (AIR) and guide FMs to prepare an EIR that specifies what, when and how information should be delivered. This will improve timely decision making during design and ensure the right and correctly structured information is delivered in to clients at handover for their Asset Information Model (AIM) to help optimise the operation of their assets. A comprehensive description of the results obtained for each of the three research questions is included in this paper.