by Dr Stephen Hamil
What is the NBS Online Viewer?
The team at NBS have developed plug-ins for BIM design software for a number of years now. The aim being to allow our customers to better coordinate their models and specifications. Customers have asked us to build on this workflow to allow other members of the project team to benefit from viewing this linked information.
In response to this, the new NBS Online Viewer allows a linked model and specification to be uploaded to the web. This allows the rest of the project team to benefit from viewing coordinated information from the context of the 3D model. For example an architect may upload their design and specification to the NBS secure project area. They then can invite their project team members such as the cost consultant, the contractor or the client to view and interrogate this information.
As this information is stored in the cloud, and accessible through any modern web browser, project team members do need to install any additional software. It’s as simple as visiting a website and logging in using your NBS ID.
Using the NBS Online Viewer - Step-by-step
This new functionality may be accessed from any project within the NBS BIM Toolkit. It’s as simple as clicking the ‘model’ button and then uploading your model and associated specification. For the public beta both Autodesk Revit and IFC models are supported and specifications written using NBS Create.
Once uploaded the model may be navigated within the web browser. Any specifications may be viewed by selecting the associated object in the model. Equally, the content list may be browsed and any associated specifications selected will have their corresponding objects highlighted within the model.
The specification viewer gives approximate quantities calculated from the model. It also presents linked clauses together with hyperlinks. Links to external resources such as manufacturer websites and published documents such as British Standards are also included.
Others may be invited to view the model and specification by selecting the ‘Participants’ button and entering the relevant participant's email address.
Figures 1 and 2 below show screenshots from the viewer. The video at the top of this page serves as a short demonstration.
(Select to view larger)
(Select to view larger)
What's next for the NBS online viewer?
We intend to run this public beta for a number of months. This will allow us to gather customer feedback and determine how best to progress with this development.
We're looking for users to provide feedback on the NBS online viewer and this can be submitted through our ideas portal (registration required).
This development is another example of our work with Autodesk through the Solutions Provider partnership. Autodesk Forge components are used for the model viewing technology.Create an NBS BIM Toolkit project, upload your model and specification
- NBS Online Viewer
Find out more about the NBS Online Viewer.
- NBS Beta Test Programme
The NBS Beta Test Programme is a collaborative effort between NBS and our customers to assist in the development of innovative market leading specification and information products for the construction and built environment industry.
- NBS BIM Toolkit - Support
Learn more about the NBS BIM Toolkit using our technical and software support articles
- BDP share their thoughts on the NBS Online Viewer
The team took the NBS Online Viewer for a test drive on their Glasgow Queen Street project.