Saturday 30 January 2010

Using NBS with AutoCAD, Revit or Microstation

The 2010 releases of NBS Building, Engineering Services and Landscape include new export functionality.

It is now possible to export to Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture and Revit Keynote format. It is also possible to export to Bentley Microstation Keynote format.

This can be done from the Export dialog. Clauses from project specificiations and office standards may be exported.

Fig 1. Exporting the clause information from an NBS project specification. Excluded clauses not relevant to the project are not exported.

Fig 2. The exported database may be edited in Notepad or MS Access to remove clauses that are not required for annotation

Fig 3. The project specific keynotes may be easily attached to elements in the Building Information Model (BIM). Within the CAD software these keynotes allow easy reporting, scheduling and quantities to be generated.

Fig 4. The element now in the BIM model has the NBS keynote as one of its key properties

In the UK the Construction Project Information Committee recommends that CAD models are annotated with the clause numbers and titles from project specifications.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Compacting your Specification.

I received a specification file from an architect via FTP this week that was 60MB in size.

Running it through the "Compact specification" tool within the NBS Building software it reduced to 12MB.

Why is this operation necessary?

The database format used for NBS Building is MS Access. When you delete a record from a MS Access database, the space allotted for that record continues to be held in reserve by the database and it is not released for reuse. To avoid generating excess amounts of wasted space, you should compact your database periodically.

The NBS Software Support article on this is:

A Microsoft help article on this is:

Monday 4 January 2010

Working with Revisions

One item of functionality in the current software that is slightly hidden away is the Revisions functionality. NBS Building users that make use off this often give us great feedback on how they they use it to go good effect.

The good news is that this functionality has now got better for the 2010 release of the software.

Screenshots are used below to demonstrate this.

Fig 1. The user applies revision stamps against a work section as it changes over time

Fig 2. The work section cover sheet clearly shows which clauses have been modified in the latest revision

 Fig 3. Now in the 2010 version of the software, the revision details are indicated in the work section itself

One further tweak has been made to the revisions functionality - you now no longer need to have modified a clause to apply a revision label. Many customers told us they were having to "fool the software" by adding a full stop or similar to apply a new revision stamp when nothing had changed.