Sunday 29 September 2013

NBS Live - Conference from NBS - 26 November

More details from our one day "NBS Live" one day conference are now on-line...

Registrations can be made now for the 26th November event at the Building Design Centre London.

The day starts with the "Build Digital Britain" keynote from Peter Hansford, Chief Construction Advisor to UK Government.
Peter Hansford - keynote speaker
There are then four main themed areas around key issue areas to the industry.

Technical Room - Sinclair
1. Business and Practice
Exploring the future construction market for those organisations that want to learn more about expanding their work overseas.

2. Technical
A look at new products and innovation, followed by speakers introducing changes to the plans of work from RIBA and CIC.

3. Design
Presentations and debate on masterplanning, housing challenges and sustainability.

4. BIM
BIM Room - Philp

BIM and collaboration. BIM and sustainability. BIM in action and also the chance to hear the latest from UK Government on their 2016 and 2025 visions.

Partners for the event include CIAT, CPA, ICE, RIBA and the RIBA Journal.

To book your place - see the website below:

Thursday 26 September 2013

Do you want to define how our NBS products work?

Within our Research + Development (R+D) team at NBS we have designers, developers and testers. We are currently recruiting for two interface designers – we are looking for recent graduates and also those with industry experience.

The NBS R+D team is based in Newcastle and is currently short-listed for “Team of the Year” at the upcoming Construction Computing Awards.

Join a CCA nominated "Team of the Year"
If you are skilled at digital design, want to work with latest technologies and be part of our great team then check out the details below:

Examples of recent software products we have launched and the design/development/test stages we follow are below…

- How RIBA CPD was developed...
Pencil sketches
- How NBS Annotator was developed...
Detailed designs, Adobe and web skills a bonus
I haven’t yet done “behind the scenes” posts on the following two products – but they are both CN Award winning innovations…
- NBS National BIM Library and NBS Create

...and we occasionally have a bit of fun too...
Fancy your chances against the finest pool players in the North East of England?
Contact us at:

Oh - and thanks for the nice share on linkedin from Pritesh from Pauley Creative...
"game changing software", "excellent org"

Be2Award success for NBS marketing and PR

A big congratulations to our Marketing Team here at NBS for winning the award for Best Marketing and PR at the Be2Awards this week in London.

The Be2Awards recognise excellence in the built environment for all things digital.
Be2Awards 2013 winner
The winner was voted for by the industry. A few reasons why our marketing/PR team won this award may be…

1. Excellent solutions-based marketing campaigns like our current campaign on integrated BIM through the project timeline
Coordinated project information
2. Fantastic market research leading to well-respected free-to-download industry reports
Free-to-download market research reports
3. Social media activity including
- 48-hour live blogging
- tweeting
- and linkedin groups
48 hour BIM competition live blogging (where's the Red Bull?)
…and also a very special mention to our excellent PR agency ING Media who have helped us with activity like our BIM Roundtable, publicising the findings of our National BIM Reports and our submissions to get shortlisted for the Building and CN Awards.
Sarah, Robert, Parker thanks
Me picking up the award on behalf of Marketing from Phillipa from sponsor Bottle Alley Glass  

Tuesday 24 September 2013

40 years of NBS

It's great to see our "40 years of NBS" website go live.

For the next few weeks nostalgic pictures from the last forty years will be posted to the website.

40 years of NBS website
There is also going to be a Twitter hash tag for users of NBS to post their memories to...

- #NBS40

This all got off to a great start last Friday when an NBS user from back in the 1970s came over to say hello at the BIM for small practices conference at the RIBA and gave me this picture...

The "Spec Man Dongle"

Friday 20 September 2013

RIBA Conference - BIM - The small practice perspective

Today was the RIBA "BIM - the small practice perspective" conference. A selection of pictures from the day below.

The conference was fully booked out for London, but there are still some places available for the Manchester and Birmingham sessions. For more information please see:
bblur's Richard Fairhead looks at the RIBA POW 2013 and discusses its role in BIM
bblurry James Austin explains how you can provide more to your client through BIM
First recorded glimpse of a Gartner Hype Cycle graph at a BIM conference - I think we need more of this 
Solibri UK MD Dave Jellings gets amongst the delegates with ex-RIBA presidents looking on
What did BIM adoption mean for David Miller Architects - Rebecca De Cicco tells the story
How Eurobuild simulated the shade from the sun at design-time compared with in real-time.
The NBS for Autodesk Revit plug-in on the screen as Simon Gillis gives a BIM-for-beginners live software demo
Stefan Mordue NBS presents NBS tech info, IFC standards, classification and COBIe as the key ingredients
Daniel Walsh from BIM Academy demonstrates the power of automated checking of models
Team Graphisoft UK finish the conference off with a live demo of ArchiCAD
The view from the second floor of the RIBA

Thursday 19 September 2013

BSI BIM Conference 2013

Today was the BSI BIM Conference 2013.

My presentation focussed on the BIM Task Group Labs work that was done earlier this year. This was around:
  • The need to understand the client requirements through plain-language-questions from which the information requirements can be defined;
  • The need for an object-based classification system based on ISO 12006-2;
  • The need for defined specific property sets against these objects; and
  • The need to define when in the project time line this information is required by the client.
Rather than post the presentation - an article version of this can be read at:

And the content of the BIM Task Group Labs can be found at:

B/555 work explained - Mssrs Oakley, Richards, Suchocki, Philp and Nisbet
The main part of the conference was looking at the work in progress and published by the BSI B/555 BIM committee. A list of BSI BIM documentation can be found at:

This includes links and info about PAS 1192-2,3, BS 8541-1,2,3,4,5,6, BS 1192, BIP 2207, BS 7000-4 and more.

The chair and opening speaker was David Philp from Mace/Cabinet Office. At the start of the day, one of David's key messages was for everyone to download the Government's 2025 construction strategy. Essential reading for everyone.
Government 2025 Construction
And at the end of the day, David summed the session up with points along the following lines...
  1. Whatever an organisation's role in the construction industry - client, designer, contractor, manufacturers - there are tremendous drivers to adopt BIM.
  2. There is now a need to "close off" the level-2 BIM supporting literature. This includes PAS 1192-3, Uniclass 2 and the digital plan of work information sets.
  3. The importance of establishing "who" is doing "what", "how" and "when" through comprehensive BIM Execution Plans is essential.
  4. Within organisations moving to a digital age, cultural change is required and strong leadership is needed.
  5. Credit must be given to the B/555 committee for their progress with their publications over the last year.
And finally, another request for the industry to read the Government 2025 Construction Strategy, keep in touch with the BIM Task Group website and engage with the work within the BIM Task Group Labs area.

Philp entertains delegates with a story from his latest fishing trip

Tekla's Duncan Reed solves the mystery of BIM on one side of a flip-chart
No BIM conference is complete without some Twitter-work - @djhreed67 and @NigelPDavies

Wednesday 11 September 2013

The Be2Awards - Best blog nomination

Absolutely delighted to make the shortlist for the Best sustainability or built environment blog for the upcoming Be2Awards. The Be2Awards are the world's only awards focused on social media in the built environment. Voting closes at midnight 23 September 2013.
This blog!
If you are new to this blog - as an introduction, a selection of posts that may be of interest from the last 7 or 8 months are below:
  • RIBA Plan of Work 2013 is now live - an overview of the new plan of work from the RIBA (and accompanying website) that was launched in June this year
  • 2012 - A year of BIM - 2012 was the *year-of-BIM* - check out a short overview of many of the things that happened
  • The CIC Growth through BIM report - My review of the BIS/CIC report that had been authored by Richard Saxon CBE (the UK Government BIM Ambassador for Growth).
  • Singapore 48 hour BIM challenge - Late, late night blog post with some video footage of prototype IFC software we were writing as part of this international BIM competition.
  • BIM and LOD - An attempt to pull together some of the information and view points on BIM and level of detail/development/information following a week of discussions on various social media channels.
And occasionally a light-hearted post or two:
I'm in London for the 2-3 days around the award ceremony, so I very much hope to get along on the night and have one or two drinks. The bad news unfortunately is that the competition is very, very strong. But still - nice to get nominated.
The shortlist
Finally, delighted with the selected quotes from a couple of the people who nominated me - a big thanks to whoever they were for the kind words:

Nominator - "often one of the first places I will now go to for information on BIM".

Seconder - "the very best kind of BIM evangelist – one who is as knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his subject as he is practical about its applications".
Award trophy

Voting is at the website below:

Other categories sees NBS receive two nominations and thinkBIM (the Leeds BIM conference series I help chair) get one...

1. Best AEC PR/marketing campaign
Check out:
So a big well done to Clare and Ellie for their work over the last year in this area!

2. Best education/learning or charity project

Our free-to-use NBS TV service has been nominated here. To watch hundreds of free construction industry videos online please see:

3. Best virtual or hybrid event

Well done to ThinkBIM for their nomination here -

To see more on what a ThinkBIM event is like - see some of my blog posts from past events...

Monday 9 September 2013

Understanding Collaborative Construction Contracts

For details on how to attend the NBS Briefing on "Understanding Collaborative Construction Contracts" please see the links below:
Understanding Collaborative Construction Contracts
The event is on 3rd October in London. Experts from Atkins, Trowers+Hamlins LLP, Bond Dickinson, Hill International, NEC 3 and NBS will all be present.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Five ways to specify manufacturer product information

I recently did a short tutorial video on how to specify manufacturer products within NBS Create v1.4.5 for our website:

I've just been testing the latest version of NBS Create 1.4.6 and I'm very pleased to say that specifying manufacturer product information has now got even better. This release will be with customers as soon as it gets through QA - but some sneak previews below.

Specifying manufacturer products can happen in a number of workflows depending on the project and the product - Five of these workflows are explored below...

1. The specifier knows the product they require as part of a parent system
In the example below, the specifier has picked a number of products from the parent system "Unit suspended ceiling system".
1.1 From the generic NBS product clause - pick the manufacturer
1.2 Then pick the product reference (with the help of guidance if required)
1.3 - Finally specify any optional values for that range of products
2. The specifier needs to browse products from the context of a parent system
In this second example, the specifier knows that they would like "mineral fibre infill units", but does not know which brand.
2.1 The specifier browses the relevant products available
2.2 - Specification decisions may be made on product performance - eg. fire, humidity, thermal, acoustic, aesthetics...
2.3 - Then click "Add product" to specify the required product 
3. The specifier knows the product they require but not necessarily the parent system
Consider the situation below where the specifier wants to add a particular brand of hand drier to the job. They do not know exactly what parent system the product belongs to.
3.1 - The user browses to the manufacturer
3.2 The user finds the product they require and clicks to add it to the job
3.3 The product is specified and added to the correct parent system
4. The specifier needs to search for products and requires help on finding the parent system
The user may search for products that meet their requirements and at any point click to "Add to job". Note below how guidance is provided on what potential parent systems can be selected.
4.1 - The database of 20,000 construction products may be searched
4.2 - Once the product has been found, the user may select the correct parent system for the job
5. The specifier needs to add a product to one of the parent systems in their job
Finally, taking the fourth situation a little bit further, the user may wish to select from a system already in the job.
5.1 The user has found an additional product to specify and has added it to an existing system in the job
Further information
For information on how manufacturers can join NBS Plus and appear in the NBS specification products please see: