As I mentioned when Forming a Brief, I’m going to need some Plain Language Questions (PLQs). Plain Langauge Questions are a way for an employer to request information from the supply team in a jargon-free form (hence plain language). Plain Language Questions can also be used to ensure that all of the required information has been provided by being integrated into stage approvals while also informing the supply chain of what they need to deliver. NOTE: They were originally called ‘Plain English Questions’, but us Welsh were not impressed so they became ‘Plain Language Questions’.
For example, if an employer sets a question at the end of stage 2 (concept) such as:
“What are the concept design options?”
Then the supply chain will know that the employer expects several design options at the end of concept design. Similarly, if the employer sets a question such as:
“Can my BREEAM (/bri:am/) outstanding requirement be met for each option?”
Because of this question the supply chain are now aware that the Employer is expecting some BREEAM information back. These questions then allow the supply chain to better quantify the scope of works to inform their tender; Plain Langauge Questions also help the employer as they are able to specify what information they need and effectively halt the project until it has been received and accepted.
This information exchanges between the employer and the supply chain are outlined within PAS 1192-2 consisting of two parts: Suppler’s Information Exchanges (When the suppliers provide information to an employer) shown in green and the Employer’s Decision Points (when the employ assesses the information delivered) shown in red. Once the employer is happy that each of these questions have been answered, the project can then progress to the next stage. This bi-directional and iterative process keeps the employer in the centre, ensuring that they have access to the right information at the right time.
To produce your own Plain Langaguge Questions, there are several examples available included those produced by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) PLQs, Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) PLQs, as well as those within BS 8536-1 and BS 8536-2. Normally these questions centre around the chosen work stages but as my house has no design or construction I have opted for a few simpler work stages.
Proposed Work Stages
- Brief (Producing the EIR)
- Model Production (Producing a BEP and then my information model)
- Operation and Maintenance (Using the model)
So using the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) PLQs as a basis, here are the Plain Language Questions I want to be answered about my house:
1.1 Have the model purposes been defined?
1.2 Are there any specific data requirements to achieve these purposes?
1.3 What format shall the information be delivered in?
1.4 What standards will be followed?
1.5 What level of accuracy/detail/information is required?
1.6 Is there sufficient information to produce an EIR?
Production of Information:
2.1 What existing information is available?
2.2 Is there sufficient information to produce a BEP?
2.3 What is the layout of the house?
2.4 What assets are contained within?
2.5 What asset information can be linked to the graphical model?
Operation and Maintenance
3.1 What are the sizes and conditions of the windows & doors?
3.2 What assets are in a poor condition?
3.3 What costs can be attributed to my assets?
3.4 What are the most cost effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?
And there we have it. By answering all of these Plain Langauge Questions, I will have all of the information I need to develop my information model. So know I know my questions I need to establish what Model Purposes I actually want to use this information model for…
Note: If you have any comments regarding my Plain Langauge Questions, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.