Thursday, 9 August 2018

Producing coordinated project information in a digital world

This blog post includes a few extracts from my BiLT NA presentation at St Louis, USA. Please consider this a digital 'handout' to accompany the class.

1. The need for quality information
My colleague Dave Watson (President Digicon Canada, NBS) presented the first section.

Dave also wrote an article for covering the topic that can be read below:

The first part of this message is one that could pre-date the use of computers. The need for quality information - whether this is the template content-sets that a practice uses to write their technical information - or the final information that is issued out of the office.

Lots of great tips were given, I like the 'seven Cs' of specification writing in particular.
Master specification systems provide template content
The presentation then moved to look at the further benefits that a digital master specification system can bring over attempting to manage specifications using a tool such as Microsoft Word.

I worked with Dave to do an article for on this subject that can be read below:
Digital master spec systems - use the right tool for the job

2. NBS Chorus illustrating good specification practice
At the BiLT NA event, we were launching NBS Chorus, our new cloud-based specification platform. I used the opportunity to demonstrate a number of advantages a modern digital system can bring to information assembly.

2.1 Specification creation
When creating a specification, the user is offered a selection of content-sets. In the example below, it can be seen that content-sets from the UK, Canada and Australia are presented to the user.

2.2 Specification editing
When editing a specification, the user experience has similarities between the content sets. The content can be quickly accessed from the right-hand pane. The specification is edited in the central pane and synchronised guidance is displayed to the right. The differences are with respect the classification and section structure. Uniclass 2015 is the format for UK and Australia and MasterFormat for Canada.

2.3 Specification within other key workflows
The following example demonstrates how NBS Chorus will integrate with other software applications within the BIM workflow. As Chorus is a web platform with an exposed API, it will be relatively easy to embed in other applications and websites to give an improved, more integrated, user experience.

2.4 Formatting well-structured data
The well-structured data within NBS Chorus is preserved when assembling a document for printing/exporting to PDF. In the following example, the navigation pane in the exported output demonstrates how this content can easily be reformatted to present in its most suitable format as tender/contract specification.

2.5 Collaborating in the cloud from any platform
Typically specifications have been written on a Windows desktop machine and then shared as Word or PDF or paper documents. The example below shows how two members of the same team can work collaboratively from different devices - in this example, using Google Chrome on a desktop PC and using Apple Safari on an iPhone.

Find out more...

Further information on NBS Chorus is now available on website. Content sets include specification libraries to Uniclass 2015 for use on projects to UK standards and MasterFormat for use on projects to Canadian standards. We also have a preview library for projects to Australian standards.

Find out more at:

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