Monday, 13 April 2015

Free RIBA Contract Administrator Forms for use with RIBA Building Contracts

RIBA and NBS have published free Contract Administration Forms for use with the RIBA Building Contracts.

RIBA Building Contracts can be generated using the NBS online tool or bought in paper version from RIBA Bookshops. There is a Domestic version and a Concise version that may be used for residential and small commercial projects.

The screenshots below explain the process...
Generate your project-specific building contract online with the help of NBS guidance and suggested values
Generate a professional-looking PDF contract for the client and the contractor
Follow the link to download free useful forms and letters
A number of essential forms may be downloaded for either contract
Professional-looking Contract Administrator form, authored to work with the corresponding building contract
These free forms are the latest offering in an effort to provide for the whole industry.

On the smallest of jobs, a construction professional may use NBS Domestic Specification and the NBS RIBA Contracts service through their web browser on a pay-per-project basis. They may use tools like the NBS BIM Toolkit, National BIM Library and free forms and templates from RIBA Job Book and these contract administration forms for free.

On the largest of jobs, in addition to free resources, subscription services such as NBS Create and NBS Contract Administrator may be used to create efficiencies and reduce risks.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

BIM Toolkit launched at BIM Show Live

The NBS BIM Toolkit is now live.
The BIM Show Live launch presentation saw Dave Philp from the UK Government's BIM Task Group look at their journey since 2011 and reflect on progress and achievements. I then gave an overview of how the Toolkit fits into the level-2 workflow. Finally, Prof Steve Lockley, looked at the verification functionality.
Strategy, Toolkit and Verification
Presenting to over 400 delegates on the main stage
To go through the slides from Philp, Hamil and Lockley - please see the Slideshare presentation:

Update - The YouTube video of the presentation is now on-line too...


Over the two days, the NBS exhibition stand always had plenty of interest. The main buzz was about the Toolkit, but many also wanting to see how NBS Create and NBS National BIM Library could help those working on BIM projects.
Someone from NBS demonstrated to a small crowd at every break
Although it was busy at BIM Show Live - it was nothing compared to what it was like back at NBS HQ in Newcastle with the team working around the clock for the two days leading up to launch ensuring the beta website was as robust as possible and the deployment onto the live servers was stable. An enormous 'thank-you' must go out to the project team for all of their fantastic work - both within NBS and also to the wider team.
...and back at the office some of the team who did a lot of the hard work made sure things were going smootly
So what about the concepts behind the Toolkit?

As part of the website, there is a Technical Support section that has a number of articles looking into the concepts behind this. A few screen-grabs from these articles are below:

1. Rob Manning - Level-2 BIM
Rob led this project from a UK Government's BIM Task Group point of view. This article explains what level-2 BIM is. Supporting comment are also provided from Mark Bew (BIM Task Group Head) and Rick Holland (Innovate UK).

The level-2 PAS1192-2 Wheel
2. Richard Watson - Employer's Information Requirements
Richard is the exec director who was the Project Sponsor for BIM Toolkit - an architect and also Chief Informaton Officer for RIBA Enterprises. This article looks at the subject of EIRs and how the toolkit can support client needs. Supporting comments are also provided from Terry Stocks (MofJ) and Peter Barker (BIM consultant)
Align tasks and deliverables to stages of a dpow and assign responsibility
3. Alistair Kell and Stefan Mordue - LOD and LOI
Alistair, Director of Information, at BDP and Stefan Mordue architect and NBS Business Consultant look at the subject of levels of definition. NBS has released hundreds of sets of LOD reference guides and thousands of LOI templates as part of the BIM Toolkit.
Information growing through the project timeline
4. Sarah Delany - Classification
Sarah was the the secretary of CPIC for many years. An engineer and technical author at NBS, she led the classification work over the project. What is the difference between an entity, an element, a system and a product? Find out here...
Classifying digital representations of the physical
5. Prof Steve Lockley - Verification
Steve leads the research team at BIM Academy that specialises in open BIM and working with IFC data files. In this article Steve discusses how well-structured digital data can be verified.
The verification circle
6. Alan Smith - Tools for software developers
Finally, for those with software development skills, Alan Smith from NBS provides an introduction to those wanting to work with the data from within the BIM Toolkit.
Interactive view of the information
...and finally, it's always good to read what others are saying about a project. For some early views on the BIM Toolkit, please see:

1. The reaction from CIOB's BIM+ magazine
2. Blog post from Casey Rutland

Saturday, 11 April 2015

New mini-website launched for the NBS BIM Object Standard

At BIM Show Live this week, Drew Wiggett, Chris Vickers and Ian Chapman from NBS all presented the latest developments around the NBS BIM Object Standard. This resource for all has been short-listed in the BIM category at the upcoming Building Awards. 

This is a standard that may be used for free by any organisation that authors BIM objects with the aim of setting a level of quality across the industry. The new mini-website went live last week and this now includes pages and pages of useful technical guidance. 

This blog post looks at some of the clauses in the standard and their associated guidance. Early feedback from the industry on the standard are good. In addition, we are starting to see more and more design and construction organisations using it and also manufacturers either adopting it when authoring their own objects or asking others to author for them.

The standard contains five main sections.
  1. General requirements
  2. Information requirements
  3. Geometry requirements
  4. Functional requirements
  5. Metadata requirements
Each section has numbered clauses and uses consistent terminology. When the user hovers over a term a definition pops up in a tooltip. There is also a "G" icon which can be clicked on to display the guidance. Examples of these from each section are below...
Example of the definitions of each term (highlighted with dotted underline)

Technical guidance giving commentary and examples of what to do and what not to do

Suggestions on how to model space data associated with an object
Practical recommendations on file sizes and host objects
Sensible rules on file naming - without trying to duplicate information that exists within the property values
 A very well researched piece of work that references international and national standards
Terms and definitions that are consistently used throughout
It will be great to see the whole industry get behind this standard and allow a level-of-quality to be set for all those creating or asking for BIM objects.

Check out the mini-website now...

Thursday, 26 March 2015

NBS BIM Toolkit at buildingSMART London

Today I will be presenting the NBS BIM Toolkit to the buildingSMART international conference in London.

We're approaching the end of the six month contract period and preparing for the soft launch on April 8th at BIM Show Live. So the Toolkit is now starting to look really good in terms of functionality and scope of content.

Looking back over the last few months, it's been a bit of a whirlwind, but it has been a really fantastic team effort and the launch is now in sight.

Looking back through some blog posts:
Thoughts after the workshopsWinning the contract | Update after two months | Update after four months | Update after five months

With two weeks left, some screenshots from today's presentation are below...
Adding tasks and deliverables to answer client plain language questions in an EIR
Adding deliverables, assigning responsibilities with notes and LOD banding
LOI bandings in addition to LOD
Not just buildings - but content for aviation, highways, power, rail, tunnels, waste and water...
A new unified classification system with mappings to RICS NRM1 and more mappings planned
IFC export of project, stage, task and deliverable property sets - as seen as visual cubes of data in BIM software
Online and offline verification of demand-vs-delivered using buildingSMART technologies
Hopefully this is all stuff that is of interest. To see the most recent presentation from a month or so ago please visit:

Remember to book your tickets for BIM Show Live if you want to be at the launch and question the NBS team.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Fantastic career opportunities at NBS

At NBS (RIBA Enterprises) we continue to grow and recruit for more experts who can help us deliver construction knowledge to the UK industry through innovative digital solutions.

Currently, we have a number of fantastic positions open in both our Research and Development Team (the team where I've worked for 15+ years) and our Technical Team.

1. Research and Development Team
Our latest development - The BIM Toolkit
Excellent benefits. Award winning team. Latest technologies. Innovative market leading products. A focus on User Experience and Agile methodologies. City Centre location. Interested?

Examples of our latest innovative products and services include, and NBS Create.

Product Design Manager
Manage a team of interface designers and beta testers. An expert in UX, agile methodologies, excellent creative and visual skills and an inspirational people manager.

Interface Designer
Design innovative visual interface design solutions across our portfolio of desk top products and websites including NBS National BIM Library and NBS Create.

Software Developer
Using leading edge development tools, the latest software and agile methodologies, you will work on innovative products that are truly leading the way in the construction industry.

Graduate Software Developer
An entry level role within the Software Development team. We are seeking candidates enthusiastic about gaining experience working within a commercial organisation who would relish the opportunity to be instrumental in the development of industry leading software products.

Of course, the downside of all of these jobs is that you'd be working with me on a daily basis :) :) :)

Our R&D team was originally a research centre at Newcastle University and came across under the NBS wing back in 2002. The ethos around innovation and pushing technologies to produce fantastic solutions to meet industry needs is core to what we do.

2. Technical Content Team
Set the standards in the UK for digital construction
The quality of our technical content within our products is what our customers primarily need. This is researched, authored and maintained by our expert Technical Authors. These Technical Authors are construction professionals who are experts in their field.

If you are an expert architect or engineer and would like to research, author and maintain the specification content and guidance that is then used by industry on thousands of projects. Or if you are a data modelling expert who wants to influence and help set the standards for level-2 BIM and shape the emerging level-3 UK BIM picture. Then find out more about some of the exciting posts in our Technical Team at our careers page too.

So if you want to join a growing organisation based in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre that's producing fantastic digital solutions for the construction industry - then check out the jobs at the web link below:

For any questions - don't hesitate to direct message me on Twitter - @StephenHamilNBS

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Congratulations to the NE1ForBIM Team for success in Build Earth Live

A quick blog post to say a massive well done to the NE1ForBIM team, that included NBS, for their success winning the best multi-disciplinary BIM and interoperability award in the ASITE 48 hour Build Newcastle Live event.
Award winners
A great team effort
Planning for success and considering information structures and the management of this
NBS utilised for defining responsibilities, modelling and specification
  1. An early beta version of NBS BIM Toolkit was used to manage information requirements and responsibilities
  2. The NBS BIM Object Standard was used for modelling rules - in particular for building Xtralite rooflights (who were also team members)
  3. NBS National BIM Library generic and manufacturer objects were used
  4. NBS Create specifications were automatically created for the team members responsible for specification
A digital mock-up of what the building would look like
A great effort by the whole team
A big shout out to NBS Jane and Adam - hope you have caught up on your sleep
...and finally, a big well done to those at FaulknerBrowns, Edwards Architecture and Colour UDL who were part of the team that won the main prize. More good news for North East BIM...
"Toon is BIM capital of the world"

Building Award 2015 Shortlist - The NBS BIM Object Standard

In a month's time we will know whether we have won our first Building Award.

In 2013 we won two CN Awards for our work on BIM with the National BIM Library and NBS Create. This year we are up for a Building Award for our NBS BIM Object Standard.

We're hoping that the judges will recognise the impact that our standard is making across the whole industry. The standard documents all of the best practices we have refined internally over the years we have worked on the National BIM Library.  The standard defines requirements for the information, geometry, behaviour and presentation of BIM objects, to give reassurance of quality that will enable greater collaboration and efficient information exchange across the construction industry.
The NBS BIM Object Standard
As always with these awards, we are up against some very stiff competition. All of the very best to the others that have been shortlisted.
I'm sure there will be some familiar faces and good banter from "the competition" there on the night. In particular BIM Academy and Laing O'Rourke who are working alongside us on the BIM Toolkit Project. If you are attending the awards, please be sure to come over and say hello.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Find out about The BIM Toolkit at a regional presentation

Currently the NBS BIM Toolkit is being taken on the road around the UK in association with the UK Government's BIM Task Group's BIM Hubs.

These are free events with an opportunity to hear about the BIM Toolkit and then with time for discussions and networking afterwards. Sign up now to avoid missing out on a ticket:

I'll be speaking at the London event on Wednesday 18th March. A 6pm start at the University of Westminster. Many thanks to London/South East BIM Hub members David Miller, John Eynon and Rob Garvey for putting the event on.
The London BIM Hub organisers
Other events are spread across the UK: Bristol, Newcastle, Belfast, Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff, and Glasgow.

To find out more about The NBS BIM Toolkit and how it can help your organisation/project team reach level-2 BIM please see -
NBS Software Development Manager Andrew Brook presents in the BIM-capital-of-the-world Newcastle
No seats left to watch the presentation at the ecobuild BIM Theatre last week
So book your tickets today at:

...and if you cannot make it, then maybe consider the following events:
...and join the conversation on twitter at #bimtoolkit