Tuesday 31 March 2020

Short codes for similar system types

At NBS recently, we've been doing quite a few webinars. One of the most frequently asked questions has been about how practices are using codes to group similar types of systems together.

For example, if your project has 5 of 6 different floor covering systems, then giving each of these a code such as FCS001, FCS002, FCS003 etc... so these codes can be used in planning sheets, annotations, schedules etc...

Examples of this are shown below...
Planning the specification and drawings

Annotating drawings from a linked model and specification
So to get further feedback, I posted a request within our NBS Chorus ideas forum.
(to follow link you need NBS ID linked to Chorus subscription)
Chorus ideas forum

Request for contributions
It was great to then see some of our subscribers passing their codes to us to create a 'crowd sourced' Google Sheet. Thanks to Patrick C from AHMM for the list below...

Architectural codes
Lewis from Hydrock then pointed me in the direction of Carl from CIBSE who provided more...
Building services codes
It's an interesting subject. I personally really like the balance between Uniclass 2015 for the in-depth classification, but then an accompanying short code (a bit like a car registration plate) for packaging items and quickly verbally referring to a specific type.

Please keep the feedback coming in. Message me on Twitter or drop me an email into NBS.

Monday 23 March 2020

Coordinated Project Information - 1987

Found this on youtube.

Promotional video from CPIC (Coordinate Project Information Committee) back in 1987.

The members of CPIC contributed towards publications such as BS 1192 and then the PAS 1192 series. They also published versions of Uniclass for many years.

This video below was put together by BRE, found by Keith Snook in the archives, and uploaded to the web by Stuart Chalmers...

A section worth watching is at 19:17 with the NBS binders visible on the table...
NBS Binders bottom right - huge set of paper drawings centre screen

Essential publications for every office library

Strike out the clauses not needed with a pen and complete the clauses relevant to the project 

Thursday 19 March 2020

From the archives - Press articles on NBS from 1974

I got a nice email from Levitt Bernstein's Andy Jobling yesterday, he'd found some of the very first reviews of NBS from the Architects' Journal from back in 1974. Since I started working on developing NBS in 1999 Andy has always been one of those that has been hugely supportive with ideas on our customer groups and also one-to-one sessions. So a big thanks to Andy for sending this through.

Click the scans below to see them at a larger size.

10th July 1974 - Architects' Journal
Some interesting points from the first article:
  • An interesting debate over specification responsibility - architect or quantity surveyor?
  • Drawings, specifications, bills and schedules were not coordinated adequately
  • Controversary on classification :) - SMM or CI/SfB?
  • Computers mentioned - but generally 'architect makes amends to clauses and hands it to a secretary to type the clause in full'
  • Stressing that specification needs to be done by a professional - Modify NBS 'wisely rather than wilfully'.
  • Mentions of names from the past - Tony Allott (Technical Director of NBS Ltd) and Stuart Hendy (FaulknerBrown Architects) - notably FaulknerBrown's are still NBS users nearly 50 years later!
  • Early compters do not reduce the need for sound judgements - but do have the advantage of improving the speed and accuracy.
  • Using NBS on computer for a large job was estimated to have cost £1,000 - but this included a cost of 40p a page to print out!!!
  • Manufacturers should 'produce literature consistent with NBS'
  • Using NBS 'makes the job architect think'
  • 'It takes some initial courage and effort...but after that... its benefits are great' :)

31st July 1974 - Architects' Journal
And then a few weeks later.
  • Reflecting on the initial need for NBS - 'In 1968 the Economic Development Council for Building concluded that the general standard of building specification needed improvement, and that wide use of a national library of specification clauses would increase productivity and facilitate communication between the professions, the contractors and other limbs of the industry.'
  • This review is from two quantity surveyors from BDP. As with FaulknerBrown, BDP have been long-time NBS users.
  • A set of exemplar documentation from real projects had been published and reviewed.
  • A focus on drawing standards, referencing the RIBA Project Manual and the BRE paper 18/73.
  • More confusion between classification systems SMM vs CI/SfB.
  • 'Education an architect towards better specification writing is... fundamental'

A few other 'from the archive' blog posts below for those interested in this sort of thing...

Sunday 8 March 2020

Moving from NBS Building to NBS Chorus

As part of a recent webinar, I got the chance to ask an NBS user, Nick Greenwood from Maber Architects, about how their experience has been moving from NBS Building to NBS Chorus.

This ten minute sequence from the full webinar has been extracted and can be watched as a youtube video below...

If you only have a couple of minutes free, you can jump to the questions at the following timings... as Nick answers, he shows software (NBS and ArchiCAD) on his machine and illustrates his answers.

  • 1:20 - What are you opinions on structuring specifications by CAWS or Uniclass 2015?
  • 4:06 - How do you approach specifying differently whether specifying traditionally or writing a performance spec for a contractor design portion?
  • 5:53 - How do you add manufacturer information to your specifications?
  • 7:20 - How do you make sure that the specification and model have coordinated information?
  • 8:27 - How do you use specification information within schedules?
  • 9:40 - What have your first experiences been like with NBS Chorus?
  • 10:50 - How do you share specification best practice across Maber Architects?
To watch the full webinar, on demand, see the link below: