23 March 2023

We recently hosted a webinar where our panel of industry experts answered your questions about everything to do with specification. 

Tina Pringle, Director of Technical Information, Dr Stephen Hamil, Innovation Director at NBS and Nick Schumann from NBS Schumann covered topics such as the technical content, the new NBS specification consultancy service and the latest features coming soon to the NBS platforms.

There wasn’t enough time to answer everybody's questions, so we’ve included some responses to those that we couldn't fit in. 

1. “We manufacture waterproofing systems and are looking to introduce BIM as part of our offering. How does NBS support manufacturers who want to deliver BIM?"

Manufacturers who want to provide BIM objects to their clients can have them authored by NBS and can also host the objects on NBS Source. We recommend that all BIM objects are authored to the NBS BIM Object Standard. Please contact your account manager for more information, or if you're new to NBS, complete this form and one of the team will be in touch.

2. “I work for a porcelain tile supplier and architects often ask me to send them an NBS specification of a particular tile. What does this mean?”

NBS Source allows manufacturers to structure their product data in a format that enables their products to be easily specified. In addition to being included on NBS Source, manufacturers also have their products placed within the NBS Chorus specification platform for easy addition to project specifications. 

3. “Apart from through CPD, how can a manufacturer obtain a face-to-face meeting with specifiers to discuss projects and affect specification choice?”

For manufacturers offering technical consultancy we’d suggest that you mention this within your NBS content. So, if a specifier visits your NBS Source page you can make it clear that this option is available. Specifiers can then easily contact you through the ‘contact manufacturer’ button.

4. "What strategies do you apply to improve collaboration and solve trust issues for a BIM project when developing the NBS platform? For example, do you use blockchain to protect data security or support data traceability?"

Our main BIM developments have been around integrating the 3D model with the specification. More information can be found here

This year, we’re looking to improve this workflow by synchronising more properties between the model and the specification. We also want to better integrate the ‘export to IFC’ workflow so that NBS data can be utilised once exported from the design tools.

With respect to blockchain, we have ideas around creating digital records when specifications are published that are independent of NBS and permanent. However, this is very much prototype work currently as the requests for features such as this are not yet common.

5. "Should the industry have a standard (or predominant) taxonomy for prefixes and suffixes to the Uniclass Pr / Ss codes given they are excellent at classification and machine readable, but difficult for humans to parse?" 

There is a recommended discussion thread on this topic in our support forum. This includes some suggested suffix codes that have been community created and are available to download. You can find the thread here

6. “Is there a newsletter or similar to receive notifications of the quarterly updates?”

All new features are announced here and content updates are announced here. Both of these forum threads can be ‘followed’ to receive updates.

7. "What are they key differences between specification in the UK and Ireland?"

There's basically no difference producing a specification in Ireland compared to the UK as all of the fundamental principals are the same. As in any jurisdiction, the specification does have to reflect the design and comply with local codes, standard and procurement preferences. The NBS Schumann team has delivered many specifications for Ireland-based architects over the years. 

8. "How do you keep developing workmanship standards which are not governed by building services etc, but are setting installation quality levels?"

Our team of technical authors are from a wide range of professional disciplines including architects, building services, civil and structural engineers. They're constantly researching the latest changes in the marketplace and they regularly speak to our specifier customers as well as manufacturers. All of the technical authors attend trade shows and have great relationships with trade organisations. From this research activity, our authors can maintain the specification clauses so they can be used on projects to define quality levels.


You can watch the full webinar below. You can also find out more about product information platform NBS Source here, and our specification-writing tool NBS Chorus here

Watch now