With the exciting news that Cadnet has just been appointed Employer’s Representative (ER) on the University of Brighton’s £14m Advanced Engineering Centre project, I thought it could be a useful exercise to summarise the Roles and Responsibilities for an Employer’s Representative on a BIM Level 2 project.
Defining the information requirements
The Employer’s Representative is a key component of a Level 2 BIM project.
The role is responsible for defining the client’s or employer’s Information Management requirements for a new build construction project.
The requirements are captured by identifying the Plain Language Questions (PLQs) that need to be answered through the pre-set design and construction stages; and the detail is communicated through the Employers Information Requirements (EIR) document pre-tender.
Setting up the standard methods and procedures
The ER also establishes the Employers Information Standards Methods and Procedures (SMP) and implements the project Common Data Environment (CDE) they review supplier responses to the EIRs and support supplier interviews and selection.
Once the team are on board the person reviews the supplier BIM proposals and agrees details such as software versions and data delivery formats.
Monitoring the BIM process on behalf of the employer
Once the project gets underway the ER monitors the BIM process on behalf of the Employer through chairing regular BIM workgroup meetings and reviewing the Project Information Model (PIM) and COBie drops to ensure they meet the criteria specified in the EIRs.
The responsibilities of the Employer’s Representative on completion
Finally on completion of the project the Employer’s Representative ensures that the completed PIM is handed over to the client together with the associated data in a timely manner.
Once the building is officially “In Use”, stage 7 of the RIBA stage of works, the Project Information Model then becomes the Asset Information Model (AIM).
However the Principal Contractor is still responsible for keeping the AIM up to date during the agreed Defects Liability Period (DLP) normally six to 12 months post completion or Government Soft Landings Post Occupancy Evaluation period (POE) which can be anything from three to five years.
Following completion of the DLP or GSL the person hands over the information management process to the Employer’s internal resources.
Who should be the Employer’s Representative?
The Employer’s Representative role is fundamental to the information management process and will soon become the lead information management role from the Employer’s perspective.
So to be effective in this role, an individual requires a unique skill-set and a firm understanding of BIM Level 2. They need to be focused on the task and have a broad knowledge base extending from general contractual and construction expertise through to specifics in the areas of information workflows, modelling and data delivery.
They must also be familiar with current key standards, methods and procedures for information management and delivery. For the UK these have been defined in BS1192, BS27001 & 27002, ISO 12006, ISO 16739, BS8541-1 & 2 and BS8888. The ER also needs a practical understanding of the detail within the standards to enable them to identify where a supplier deviates from the required path and then enforce compliance.
However, so long as they have the right skills, competence and authority the ER can be directly employed or be supplied by a third party.
In summary the role of ER has been long overdue and this role will become ever more important, as more projects aspire to follow the path laid down by Level 2. Serial builders will be able to justify employing a person to fulfil the role. Whereas periodic builders, like the University of Brighton, will appoint a temporary resource on a project by project basis.
If you need guidance on appointing an Employer’s Representative on your project, please get in touch we would be delighted to help you.
What do the BIM acronyms define …
There are a lot of acronyms associated with the role so for clarity I will summarise these here:
• ER = Employer’s Representative
• EIRs = Employer’s Information Requirements
• PLQs = Plain Language Question
• BIM = Building Information Management
• CDE = Common Data Environment
• SMP = Standard Methods and Procedures
• PIM = Project Information Model
• COBIe = Construction Operations Building Information Exchange
• AIM = Asset Information Model
• GSL = Government Soft Landings
• POE = Post Occupancy Evaluation Period