An interview with... Carl Collins, the author of ‘DE8: Project Information Requirements’
On the release of the new online learning module: ‘DE8: Project Information Requirements’, CIBSE Training spoke to the author of the module, Carl Collins (Head of Digital Engineering at CIBSE), to find out why Project Information Requirements are fundamental to best practice BIM.
CIBSE Training: What does the term ‘Project Information Requirements’ refer to?
Carl Collins: The term Project Information Requirements (PIR) is a fairly recent reinvention of the Plain Language Questions (PLQs), these terms are interchangeable.
CT: Is the knowledge of ‘Project Information Requirements’ required by the laws and regulations?
CC: The use of PIR documents is not required under the UK Government BIM Level 2 mandate, but it will make the generation of the Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR)* a simpler process for the employer or their representative.
CT: Following on from the previous question, could you please detail what you mean by “a simpler process for the employer or their representative”?
CC: The concept of asking simple, plain-language questions of supply chains is a relatively new concept. Traditionally, a basic specification and conversation would be had between the design team and the employer to ascertain what sort of asset was required, then information would be fed back to the employer at various stages during the project.
These feedback sessions would usually be unstructured, with only the standard deliverables being returned to the employer, who would then try and understand them. Sometimes design teams would present their proposals to the employer organisation, but this would always be on the terms of the designers, not the employer.
The concept of BIM Level 2 requires information exchanges to be made in structured forms, commonly to and from the employer. Understanding what information needs to be exchanged is the purpose of Project Information Requirements, asking specific questions that would be answered by the structured information exchanges.
CT: So, how does PIR fit into a project?
CC: Basically, PIR facilitates information exchange between the project manager and employer by making communication much more straightforward: avoiding multiple meetings between the team. PIR plays an important role in the project management and as the diagram below shows, impacts on multiple levels of the project. Exchanging the information clearly, so it is understood by both parties ensures the project management runs smoothly at all stages and avoids miscommunication and, thus, time loss to clarify any misunderstandings. Which depending on the situation, can be a costly and time-consuming operation.
CT: Thank you very much for your time Carl. Any closing remarks or recommendations for our readers?
CC: Thank you as well. There are currently eight digital engineering modules available and one (DE9) coming out soon which cover the basics of BIM. Each also includes a free copy of the matching publication.
Read more about the CIBSE Digital Engineering Series: www.cibse.org/training-events/digital-engineering-training
*EIR is covered in the online learning module: www.cibse.org/DE2