Tuesday 19 May 2020

NBS Source

At NBS, we are delighted to announce the launch of NBS Source, our new platform for manufacturer product information:

We have been working extremely hard at NBS over recent years to simplify our offerings and to fully move to the cloud. We now have three information platforms:

The information platform for the construction industry

1. The launch of Source:

We believe that Source is the best location to discover information about manufacturer product information throughout the project timeline. From case studies and brochures when preparing for a project, to digital objects and specifications when designing, through to manuals and certifications when assembling handover information.

Five great features for launch include...

1.1 Filters and comparisons
We've made it easier to find the product that meets your requirements...
Searching for 'window', then filtering to show composite windows from Velfac that have digital objects

Selecting three products to compare

Comparing the technical features of the selected products 
1.2 Linked information
By pulling all of the content from RIBA Product Selector, the NBS BIM Library and NBS Plus together we are connecting all of this content to make it easier to discover...
Discover a PDF brochure or case study, then jump to the technical data about the relevant products
1.3 Uniclass 2015
The primary classification system for the site is Uniclass 2015. So all products are categorised by their TE or Ss or Pr code.
Viewing insulated panels within the context of the 'sibling' classifications
Using the Uniclass terminology and structure - but with the codes in the background
1.4 Search suggestions
An innovative search interface within a responsive modern web platform
As you type your third letter, search categories, manufacturers and products are suggested

...and if you know the product you want, just type in its reference
1.5 Permalinks
Easy to use, very short hyperlinks, that can be used in emails, objects, QR codes... anywhere... that will always return to the NBS Source.
For any item on the site - click to get the permalink
Try this particular permalink below...

Or scan this QR code with your phone:

2. Enhanced data:

Now, in May 2020, all of the existing RIBA Product Selector, NBS Plus and NBS BIM Library has been ported across. The next stage is now to make the content even better.

At the point of renewal, we will be enhancing all of our manufacturers' content. In particular...

2.1 Certification
Our focus groups, The Hackitt Report, our joint research with the CPA all clearly stated that manufacturers should display their third party certification that verifies their declared performance.

Making this certification more visible is a priority for us going forward...
Third party certification will be a primary search filter (left of screen)
2.2 Alignment to spec
We will be standardized the specification content - so that Source is a mirror of Chorus
Each manufacturer product's specification will be aligned to the NBS specification clause definitions
2.3 Sustainability
In addition to third party certification, our focus groups have clearly told us that the industry needs better quality sustainability information. Even without focus groups, it is clear that this is a global challenge that government and the industry are giving real focus.

To support the industry, we will be asking all of our manufacturers to provide us with the following information for their products:

  • Relevant third party certification (WRAS, EPD, FSC...)
  • Recycled content
  • Recyclability guidance
  • Embodied carbon
  • Contains Red List materials
  • Country of origin

So, we're really pleased to announce the launch - and we're also really pleased with the road map we have committed to ahead. Our vision is to be the information platform for the global construction industry. With Chorus, Source and The Construction Information Service we believe we have the foundations to achieve this.

3. Further reading:

I have written a few articles for the NBS website to accompany the launch of Source. Check them out below...

The launch of NBS Source
A bit of a 'long read' that goes through the same structure as our launch event presentation

NBS Source and Industry Standards
A more technical article:

But enough words, have an play with the platform now at:

Manufacturers that want to be part of Source, find out more at: