Friday 27 May 2011

NBS Create – Specification through the project timeline

At NBS we are currently working on our new specification project. We are delighted to announce that previews of this are now available of this now on our beta test server.

Each month now I shall be blogging about features of the new product to try and encourage current NBS users to join our Beta Test program and help us influence developments.  This month my article is on specifying through the project timeline through outline, performance full specifications.

1. Outline specification
The current RIBA Plan of Work does not mention NBS until Stage F, “Action F212: Select from the library of standard specification clauses (NBS recommended)”. With our NBS 2012 product the NBS specification process will start at Stage C.

The project specification will be created by adding systems, such as walls, roofs, windows and doors, from the NBS library. A short description can be added to each system to produce an outline specification. The screenshot below shows a typical outline specification created using NBS 2012.

2. Performance specification
Next Generation NBS is a “wizard-led” specification process, where the specifier adds just the clauses they need at the appropriate time. No longer is the user presented with a long list of clauses as a “checklist”.

The screenshots below shows the “system outline clause”, the drop-down pre-authored NBS options and the expert technical guidance allows the user to specify what they need.

Each system has comprehensive performance content that reference the latest standards and regulations.
The user may write a true system performance specification (for instance for a client on a D&B job).

They can also mix and match system performance content with partially completed product specifications (for instance planning submissions).

3. Full specification
Next Generation NBS can of course be used to create tender specifications and these may be updated throughout the construction phrase to hand over a record specification to the client once the building is complete.

Content from the specification model can be published by system or in traditional work section to assist with procurement and dissemination of the information to sub-contractors.

Further reading…
For all blog articles on NBS 2012 – click the NBS 2012 hyperlink to the right of this page.

For articles written by members of our technical team on this up and coming product please see NBS Head of Specification Ian Chapman’s recent article and NBS Head of Content Development John Gelder’s recent article.

To join our Beta Testing Program and help us develop this product please see:

Tuesday 17 May 2011

NBS BIM Roundtable - Quotes

To watch the NBS BIM Roundtable click on the link below:

A number of quotes from the interviews below...

"BIM is not about one profession, it's about everyone working in a collaborative way"
Richard Waterhouse, CEO of RIBA Enterprises

"...the lower limit [of projects where BIM will be mandatory]... but I think that's probably south of £5million. A lot, lot less than 50 [million]"
Paul Morrell, Government's Chief Construction Advisor

"...there was a debate between the services installer and the services consultant about a pipe through a wall and across a room... so I suggested we just do a quick model of it"
Robert Klaschka, Director, Studio Klaschka

"About 50% of our staff base are trained and are actually using BIM platforms and that is increasing month-by-month"
Alistair Kell, Director Information & Technology, BDP

"[we use BIM] where we think the BIM will add value, and that's not just our decision but the design team and a client decision"
Nigel Clark, Technical Director, Hilson Moran

"I think most businesses will have an implementation plan in place and they are trying to understand when to jump in and what return on investment they will get"
Sam Collard, Engineering Leader, Laing O'Rourke

"The important thing to understand is that it is a way of working so that we can work together, with others in other disciplines, work together through the supply chain. And the important thing is that we're not just talking about geometry, we're talking about every parameter that you can talk about with respect to a building, or a space, or a system, or a product."
Anne King, Membership and Markering Director, BSRIA

"The most important thing, with respect to master specification systems, is that they aren't just words on paper or words in a word processor. The specification has got to be built around related objects so that you can query it... information you can work with digitally."
Stephen Hamil, Head of BIM, NBS

Paul Morrell talks to NBS about BIM

As part of the NBS BIM Roundtable discussions we interviewed Paul Morrel the Chief Construction Advisor.

Watch the video above to hear his comments:
  • A £50 million benchmark would “defeat the point” of pushing for bim adoption.
  • “To restrict it to big projects means it is only about major players and that rather defeats the point,” “We’re looking at whether there’s a lower limit.. and I think that’s south of £5 million. It’s a lot, lot less than £50 million.”
  • “If you think this is a race between institutions then you’re in the wrong sport.
  • “There is a huge gulf I think between those who get it and those who don’t. Probably the biggest misunderstanding is that some people think it is about software. They can buy a cellophane wrapped thing and that’s bim. It’s more about cultural change than it is about software and I think that’s not understood.”
  • “If you say right you’re going to be working in 3d, fully collaborative bim for big bits of the supply chain that would be a political issue. Small businesses in small towns will go to their local MP and say I can’t work for the government anymore because I haven’t got this bit of kit."
  • “We’ll work up slowly from nothing right the way through to fully collaborative. the expectation will be that the big players will support the smaller players in the supply chain. That’s what’s been happening in America.”

Monday 16 May 2011

Expert Building Information Modelling Articles from NBS

Over recent months we have published a number of expert articles on Building Information Modelling at

An overview of some of these articles is given below:
In addition to this we also published our Building Information Modelling Report March 2011, video interviews with some leading members of buildingSMART and we will soon be publishing videos from our BIM Roundtable.

If you'd like to contribute an article for inclusion by NBS, please get in touch.

To receive our information by email from NBS on subjects such as Building Information Modelling, Regulations & standards, Sustainability and Contracts & law see the website below:

    Saturday 14 May 2011

    Construction Excellence in the North East Awards 2011

    I attended the Construction Excellence in the North East Awards last night. One or two photographs below...
    After a few reception drinks it was into the main area for meal, drinks and the awards. 

    Northumbria University featured heavily including  presentation about their student work in construction  in Zambia

    Friend of NBS, Sam Collard from Laing O'Rourke gives the funniest speech of the night. Good also to catch up with one or two of the guys from Ryders, some of our ex-NBS Advisory Panel members and Jon Jo, Amanda and Amy from RIBA North East.

    Wednesday 11 May 2011

    NBS and Bentley Architecture - Software Tutorial Video

    Many thanks to Brenden from Bentley UK for providing us with a Flash software tutorial showing how to link the clauses in an NBS project specification to a CAD model in Bentley Architecture.

    To view this please go to our BIM mini site and then scroll to the "Useful links" section at the bottom of the page.


    A few screenshots below...

    1. Export the keynotes database from NBS Building (or the Annotator tool)

    2. Pick the relevant keynote from within Bentley Architecture

    3. Associate the relevant keynote with the CAD object