Wednesday 22 October 2014

RIBA Building Contracts - coming soon

Today the RIBA announced that they will launch two building contracts. These will be available in the next few weeks.

There will be a domestic building contract for a customer and contractor. This is simple and clearly laid out and for all types of non-commercial work. There will also be a concise building contract for an employer and a contractor. This is suitable for all types of simple commercial building work.

At NBS, we have been working hard behind the scenes to develop a digital tool to allow users to generate a RIBA Building Contract online. This tool will be a pay-per-use service that architects and contract administrators can use through their web-browser whether on a PC or a Mac. Being pay-per-user means that there is no need to pay for a subscription service - the cost can simply be passed onto the project. Being online means that there is no need to download and install any software.
The NBS digital tool to generate your building contract
These new building contracts are designed specifically to be simple, comprehensive and effective. They are written in plain English, fair to all parties, allow the project to be completed in sections and allows the contractor to design parts of the project.

To read what Stephen Hodder (RIBA President) and Jane Duncan (RIBA President-Elect) said about the contracts launch please see the press statement on

For a video interview with Dale Sinclair (RIBA Vice President for Practice and Profession) please see the website.
Find out all about the RIBA Building Contracts in three minutes
I'll do a blog post with a walk through of the software and also link to some sample contracts once the tool goes live in November. There'll also be a proper CPD session on the contracts and a demonstration of the software at Guerrilla Tactics at the RIBA.

...and of course, being in R+D I am naturally pro-digital, but the contracts can be bought in paper too.

Thursday 16 October 2014

National BIM Library – Free-to-use MEP BIM objects

Throughout 2014, we have been publishing free-to-use generic BIM objects for service engineers to the NBS National BIM Library. Over this period, NBS Technical Author Andi Connolly Horsley has written articles on discussing the benefits of using these objects.
We’ve now got over 100 different types of objects for service engineers, so I spent a little time on the train (aka #bimtrain) earlier this week having a look at these in a test model. The screenshot below shows this model. With each object I have made the clearance zone for maintenance and the detection zone visible. I have also scheduled these to give an indication of the scope of content and consistency of our standard properties.

(For each image - please click to enlarge and see it fully)

A selection of our MEP objects
Boilers, heat exchangers, convectors and radiators
Various types of detectors
Tanks, chillers, air handling and power supply units
Sounders, keypads, rails and brackets

Transformers and generators
As detailed in our NBS BIM Object Standard, international standard properties from COBie and IFC have been respected. The screenshot below showing an export from this model to IFC2x3 displays these objects in DDS Viewer. The advantage of using objects authored to the NBS BIM Object Standard is that those using the data that the design team provides can rely on consistent information. For example, the architect may be using ArchiCAD, the structural engineer may be using Tekla and the service engineer may be using Revit. If all objects have been created to a common standard – the resultant IFC files (or federated single IFC file) will be of greater use with standardised data.
Viewing the property-sets for each object in an IFC viewer
In addition to the 100s of generic objects, it's great to see some manufacturer BIM content for service engineers too on NBS National BIM Library.
Lighting solutions from iGuzzini
If you are a manufacturer and or know of a manufacturer who you think should be joining NBS National BIM Library, please see the following page for more information:

Finally, all National BIM Library service engineering content is written to link with specifications created using NBS Create (see screenshot below). 
Our NBS Create specification system - built for BIM
For further information on NBS Create please visit:

To download our free-to-use NBS Plug-in for Autodesk Revit please visit:

Thursday 2 October 2014

Bird control systems

Arriving at Kings Cross Station yesterday I noticed that there was an interesting 'Bird Control System'. Instead of covering the beautiful architecture with spikes and nets, they have 'Dangerous' Denise the Harris Hawk. I imagine the pigeons have a peek into the station, see Denise, and then think twice about returning...
'Dangerous' Denise the Harris Hawk
...and a fun specification from me on this in NBS Create...
User created clause in NBS Create