Thursday 22 October 2020

Specification - Ten things you should be doing on every project

I delivered the final presentation at our recent Construction Leaders' Summit last week. The brief was to give some really practical examples of how NBS Chorus can help reduce risk and improve efficiencies when delivering construction projects.

I always like lists, so I thought going through a checklist of ten specification considerations through a typical project timeline may be an interesting approach. 

Each of the ten items has a short 60 second video with an explanation, and the presentation can be watched below.

After a presentation to several hundred people, it's always nice to see positive feedback. Especially nice to get this comment below on linkedin from Gio Vettori from Woods Bagot. Kind comments appreciated Gio!

All of the presentations from the summit can be watched on-demand at the link below:

To see examples of NBS users putting these principles into practice see our case studies page:

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Our NBS digital platforms

We needed a 60s video that communicated the NBS story in 60 seconds.

It was fantastic to work with Soluis to put this together in just a few weeks before our Construction Leaders' Conference. Watch it below...

Breaking the video down shot-by-shot...

The built environment can be represented by objects with associated data

New technologies are changing the construction industry

NBS platforms are now being used around the world

Teams now work collaboratively using cloud-based platforms

3D models provide a window into structured data held in the cloud

Products that meet specification requirements can also be queried on the cloud

Products that meet the requirements can be specified

Finally, the specification should develop as the building is built - the decisions verified

A fantastic outcome is achieved

Personally speaking, what I like about this video is that it features the same architectural practice that featured in our very first software promo video back in 1990, FaulknerBrowns.

Back in 1990 the move from typewriter and drawing board to PCs had just started. The video below shows architects at FaulknerBrowns working on NBS Specification Manager 3.0 to specify developments on Newcastle Quayside. Our new video again shows a step change in technology to lower risks and improve efficiencies. Great to look at both 30 years apart.

Find out more about both NBS Chorus and NBS Source below:

Also, finish with a big shout out to Soluis:

Monday 12 October 2020

NBS Chorus and publication styling (2 of 2)

 I previously blogged about the new stylesheet functionality in NBS Chorus:

As part of some fun testing we had a competition to see who could create the best output using the new feature. We asked Twitter to decide the winner.

In February 2002, 8.7million people voted to decide the X Factor winner between Will Young and Gareth Gates. The excitement and anticipation was no less in October 2020, we received 14 votes to decide the two finalists for the NBS print stylesheet championship.

A sad day for 'Double trouble' which was the Hamil effort :(

So the two finalists are 'Grey sky at night' and 'Front page pics'. Twitter will decide who wins the £20 Amazon voucher.

- Vote now

Grey sky at night
Word background imagery on cover page and great use of meta data throughout
Front page pics
Similar use of meta data - some of the crack team of testers on the lovely front page

- Vote now

Update - winner was Grey Sky at Night - well done BB!

One special mention for a final entry which just didn't make the finish deadline. This came in from our Platform Delivery Director early Saturday morning. Disqualified for (a) not being on brand and (b) missing the deadline. But worth posting due to the awesome use of of meta data on the spec pages.

Awesome front cover

Just showing off now by toggling the section meta data vertically on each page :)

Learn more about how the feature works in the previous post:

Saturday 10 October 2020

NBS Chorus and publication styling (1 of 2)

The two biggest customer requests right now for NBS Chorus are (a) importing of NBS Building specifications and (b) styling the published specification.

Both are developing really nicely and we're getting really close to the release of the styling functionality. To make final testing a bit more fun we did an 'end the week' challenge session where colleagues from the UK and Canada offices got together to see what they could do with the feature.

The rules of the game
A specification had been prepared. Everyone was given style guidelines (fonts, colours, imagery) and then let loose for just over an hour to see what sort of PDF could be created.

The outputs are below - and there is a Twitter poll to vote for the best effort (£20 prize at stake!). Below the outputs, the feature is also explained.
1. Slim shady - note the cool background effect and use of meta data on cover sheet
2. Printer ink guzzler - radical design, nice use of transparent logo top left of front cover

3. Front page pics - Very nice front cover - note also logo in main page headers

4. The biggest logo in town - Never mind the words on the page - it's all about the watermark :)

5. Retro pic - Nice use of olden days pic of the building on the front cover

6. Double trouble - why have one column of spec text when you can have two?

7. Grey sky at night - Nice skyline effect on cover page
In terms of the process involved...
There is an NBS MS Word template pre-loaded with all of the styles. Tweak this to your company/project brand then upload to Chorus.

Print wizard 1 - Select format and structure

Print wizard 2 - if you want to show revisions - select a comparison spec

Print wizard 3 - Add any project meta data

Print wizard 4 - Select from your uploaded sets of stylesheets

A fun way to do some end-the-week testing on the feature
Voting for the best effort will take place Sat 10th Oct to close of play Mon 12th Oct. 
If you want to cast some votes - scroll down my Twitter feed for the polls:

Update 12/10 - find out the winner at...