Wednesday, 14 November 2012

NBS Create - Completing your specification

We have recently been releasing more enhancements to NBS Create. It’s been a pretty busy year at NBS and as an R+D Team we have been splitting our time looking at fixes, performance enhancements and also new functionality. I've got a series of five blog posts that look at some of these enhancements. This is the third of the five posts.

One piece of functionality that is very much appreciated in NBS Building is the “pie”. The pie indicates how many clauses in a work section are not “ticked” or “crossed”. Figure 1 below shows that the work section.
Figure 1 - The much loved "pie-of-completeness"
As NBS Building works through a subtractive method of specification, this is possible. The Asphalt roads/pavings work section has 32 clauses and around half of these still have the “question mark”. Therefore the pie shows a completeness of 50%.

As NBS Create is additive and the specification content develops through the timeline, it is not possible for the software to estimate what percentage of the specification is incomplete. The specifier may have been tasked to write an outline specification, this may develop into a performance specification as part of a set of employer’s requirements. In time, the specification may grow further into a full specification that is then split into packages for sub-contractors. The performance clauses stating the original design requirements may be hidden as the manufacturer products and execution is specified. Finally, the performance clauses may be re-invoked to form part of an “as-built” specification with a record of both each system’s original design performance and also the proprietary products that formed part of each system to satisfy its performance.


So… how can the software help specifiers see what areas of their specifications need attention for any particular stage? The conclusion we came to was that the best approach was to report on the empty values. These are the inserts in the clauses that are still blank. Figure 2 shows this indicator in the status bar. Figure 3 shows that this displays a report listing these empty values. The user may then click on these items and complete the specification.
Figure 2 - Empty values are indicated on the status bar
Figure 3 - The Empty Value report shows the decisions that are outstanding
There will be occasions when a user wants to publish a specification prior to each value being complete. Figure 4 shows the publishing options for empty values. It is possible to hide these clause items completely. It is also possible to put standard text in every empty value. Figure 5 shows an example where the text “Will be decided by Friday” has been added to all empty values.
Figure 4 - Publishing options for empty values
Figure 5 - Standard text placed in every empty value
The final thing to mention when considering the completion of the specification is where contractor decisions are required. NBS is the perfect tool for contractors to complete specifications to then pass to sub-contractors or clients. Figure 6 shows the “Contractor’s Decision” report and how this synchronises with the specification.
Figure 6 - Outstanding decisions left for the contractor

1 comment:

  1. Empty values - Good one. Can this be used to measure? Love to know how this works. There may be BIM Walter Mitty's out there that could fill the empty with fantasies.