30 January 2017

Who is NBS?

NBS is leading the built environment with powerfully connected knowledge, products and services around the world.

Its distinctive specification and information solutions connect data and provide industry standard content across the entire project timeline. Designed for the whole industry, its tools and services are used by architects, engineers, landscape designers, surveyors and facilities management professionals, from small practices to global leaders.

NBS also provide building product manufacturers with a unique opportunity to present their standardised product information to the right people, in the right format, at the right time.

Based in Newcastle, in the North East of England, NBS has produced the recognised UK national standard specification system for more than 40 years.


Who is Digicon?

Digicon is a premier source of construction-related information in Canada - primarily in the form of master specifications, software for specifications and BIM, and related services to Canada. Digicon is a Canadian corporation based in Alberta for more than 20 years.

Digicon’s flagship products are its master specifications, designed for the large and small commercial sectors (CMS and MiniSPEC), and the residential sectors with HomeSPEC, and project management documents such as OutlineSPEC and MasterPP.

Digicon was a North American pioneer, developing time saving plug-in for Word called SpecMacros in the mid-1990s. During the 2000s, Digicon developed and continues to market BIMdrive – a specification management software tool designed to be compatible with BIM models.

Since 2003, Digicon has marketed and deployed its products through a web-based site known as Spex.ca; a marketing alliance between Digicon and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC).


Shared interests and values 

Both NBS and Digicon place the customer at the forefront of all that they do and believe firmly in the adoption of technology to improve the collaboration of high quality standardised data between all facets of the construction process.

The relationship between NBS and Digicon is not a new one.

In the early 1990s, forward thinking organisations in Europe banded together to see what was happening in other countries; NBS was there, and the USA and Canada were invited. Canada was then represented by Wayne Watson, one of Digicon’s founders, representing Construction Specifications Canada (CSC). They later formed the International Construction Information Society (ICIS) which Digicon joined in 2002. Thereafter, Wayne, and later David Watson, participated in ICIS conferences representing both CSC and Digicon on behalf of Canada. 

The Digicon directors and NBS representatives have a long history of watching each other evolve over the past 25 years.  Both organisations watched and respected the activity occurring in each other’s marketplace, and both recognised the importance of what standardised data and technology played in the transition to a digital future. 

In addition, Digicon invested time and effort monitoring the evolving ISO and buildingSMART International standards for BIM, and used that knowledge to help develop what is now BIMdrive technology.  Concurrently, NBS invested time and energy into the development of tools including the NBS BIM Object Standard, NBS National BIM Library and the industry recognised specification tool NBS Create.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does this acquisition mean for Digicon customers?

Digicon will continue to operate as normal, hosting the Spex.ca storefront where its specifications and software are marketed and deployed. It will continue to publish the National Master Specification (NMS) in file formats compatible with Digicon’s software.

This acquisition means that Digicon will be able to improve the quantity, quality, and support of its specification and software products, with full access to the resources and experience of NBS.

Will there be any new products added to the Digicon range?

NBS has several products which are already used by organisations in Canada, such as the NBS National BIM Library.

NBS welcomes any customers to get in touch should you have any requirements which are not currently being met or have new international requirements that cannot be met with the current Digicon range.

Who do I contact for support?

Who you contact for sales, support and customer service has not changed by this acquisition.


NBS - To contact the NBS support team, email info@theNBS.com or phone 0345 456 9594.

Digicon - To contact the Digicon support team email support@spex.ca or phone 1-800-610-7732


What does this acquisition mean to NBS customers?

There will be no change to existing NBS customers in the UK following this acquisition. NBS always welcomes any customers to get in touch though should they have any international requirements or queries.