Friday 16 November 2012

NBS Create – Further integration of National BIM Library

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 last of these posts.

One feature of NBS that has always been appreciated by users is the integration between the generic specification and the manufacturer products that are on the market.

Existing NBS Plus displays the precise specification clause for a particular product at the point when a specification decision is made. NBS Plus also links to CPD videos and presentations for those specifiers who want to learn more about a particular issue. Manufacturer installation and maintenance information is also provided.

Since launching the National BIM Library in the first half of this year, we have been overwhelmed by enquiries from manufacturers as to how they can get their physical products modelled as BIM objects for use in software packages such as Autodesk Revit or Graphisoft ArchiCAD. It is not a trivial task to transform manufacturer data that exists in catalogues and data sheets into rich parametric BIM objects but the first of these are now going online.

Figure 1 and Figure 2 below show an example where the user has specified Kingspan Insulation as part of the external wall system. At the point of specification, the user may easily now download the corresponding BIM object.
Figure 1 - The user specifies a particular product
Figure 2- The corresponding BIM object can be downloaded for use
Figure 3 shows this corresponding BIM object in the graphical model. The link to the specification is retained in terms of a hyperlinked annotation. The BIM object includes the material’s performance parameters so that analysis can take place, for example to calculate the overall thermal properties of the wall. This graphical model also knows the quantities. The user can easily generate these quantities to help with cost estimation or purchasing.
Figure 3 - Linked central model and specification model
Figure 4 - Key performance information within each object
The tight link to the NBS (that is used by 5,000 practices in the UK and 97 out of the AJ100 architects) is not the only reason why National BIM Library is such a strong offering. The work flow is supported further by integrating this product selection and specification process through the entire RIBA Enterprises product range.
  1. Products can be researched through case studies on
  2. Detailed information on related topics can then be understood further through
  3. Manufacturer's literature and technical data sheets can be studied on
  4. Products can be specified through NBS Plus and then added to the model using (in ArchiCAD, Bentley, Revit or Vectorworks format)
  5. Finally installation and maintenance manuals can again be sourced through
Figure 5 - Linked specification, literature, CPD, Case studies, contact information etc...
Throughout this work flow the information is linked and cross promoted. Making it easier for end-users and also more appealing to manufacturers.

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