Chairman of UK Government BIM Group opens launch of the National BIM Library

Press Release
30 March 2012

After more than a year of investigation, development, consultation and investment by NBS, the National BIM Library was officially launched at Ecobuild last week – with opening words by Mark Bew, Chairman of the UK Government BIM Implementation Group.

Mark Bew commented:

"The Government Construction Strategy is all about saving costs and carbon, the strategy is a sum of all parts and BIM is key to integrating that all together. We welcome initiatives such as the National BIM Library, which will provide an accurate and efficient way of working with BIM – ensuring that vital ‘open sharable asset information’ is available to everyone throughout the entire supply chain."

Dr Stephen Hamil, Head of BIM at NBS, unveiled the first batch of generic BIM objects at the Ecobuild ‘RIBA Village’ stand – where he was joined by the leading CAD software vendors including: Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Graphisoft, Tekla and Vectorworks, all of which were keen to endorse NBS’ latest free-to-use resource for the construction industry.

Dr Stephen Hamil said:

"NBS has provided high quality generic and proprietary information to the construction industry for the last forty years. In response to the wide-spread increase of Building Information Modelling (BIM), will provide construction professionals with a completely free resource for all their BIM components. It's also fantastic for manufacturers who can work with us to ensure that their physical products can be turned into BIM components, so that the whole supply chain can work in a more efficient and coordinated way."

"Receiving the endorsements from all of the leading BIM vendors at Ecobuild and also that of buildingSMART shows that the industry really believes in our initiative and sends out the clear message that improved coordination of 3D digital information in construction is here to stay."

The National BIM Library from NBS is the UK’s first platform-neutral, free-to-use library of high quality generic and proprietary BIM objects. It will be accessible online and will enable architects, contractors, interior designers and other construction professionals to locate and download generic BIM objects for a comprehensive range of systems and products such as walls, windows, doors, sanitary ware, cladding and roofs.

The library will be developed over the coming months to become the primary source of standard and proprietary BIM objects.

Alan Baikie from Graphisoft said:

"Whilst historically, BIM has relied on good, functional software, the industry has been lacking an effective and accurate information provider to progress BIM uptake. The National BIM Library provides a source of building components that will work in conjunction with BIM software, to benefit all sectors of the construction industry in a universal way."

By also publishing property definitions for all systems and products, NBS will help establish a common approach to quality standards across the construction industry, with a view to encouraging consistency and collaboration.

Simon Gillis from Autodesk commented:

"It is exciting to see further developments around the online content, in an overall drive by the NBS to address customer needs in the UK market with the steady increase of BIM in the mainstream industry."

The service will also offer manufacturers the opportunity to have their proprietary objects authored to the new standard and hosted within the National BIM Library. This will allow generic objects to be replaced at later stages of the design process with specific manufacturer's objects once specified.

The development of the National BIM Library is the latest step in NBS's efforts to provide, share and maintain quality information for the built environment and by extension, support the growth of BIM as an information-rich database and highly effective business process. It also supports the launch of NBS Create, the ground-breaking new specification tool, which brings specification into the BIM arena.

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Notes to editors


NBS, specialist providers of technical information for construction industry professionals, offers essential, innovative products and services, highly valued by those working in architecture, construction, design and engineering.

The premier source of construction-related information, NBS has produced the recognised national standard specification system for the UK for over 35 years. It provides solutions for a broad range of new build, refurbishment, retrofit, landscaping and domestic projects for construction professionals. Delivered within a powerful software package, NBS’s specification products continue to develop, leading an evolution of the specification and procurement process for buildings in the UK and overseas. NBS also provides solutions for contract administration and project information management.

NBS produces a range of information delivery products, including The Construction Information Service, a joint venture with IHS. Since 2005, NBS has published the Building Regulations’ Approved Documents for England and Wales. NBS TV provides specialist learning services for individuals and organisations working in the architecture, design and construction industry, offering unique high quality video content.

NBS Create is a ground-breaking new specification tool that ensures all documentation works together intelligently throughout the entire project timeline, from concept stage to completion and beyond, to save time and money.

More than 5,000 offices across the UK subscribe to NBS products, including 96 of the top 100 AJ practices. NBS is part of RIBA Enterprises Ltd, the commercial arm of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA Enterprises employs 250 staff and has offices in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and Newark.