24 April 2024


The Construction Information Service (CIS) is a collaborative digital tool that offers access to an extensive library of over 28,000 construction industry-related publications from around 400 publishers. These publications include standards and guides from leading industry publishers such as BSI, BRE, RIBA and CIBSE.

CIS has now been the key source of industry-related publications for organizations involved in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings for 30 years. It is a joint offering from Accuris and NBS. Accuris provides customer support and manages the partnerships with the publishers. NBS develops the software platform and manages the content updates and associated summary information.

The features and benefits

As a digital platform, CIS offers:

  • Access to thousands of publications as part of a subscription service, meaning that when construction professionals need key publications, they can access these immediately. CIS essentially replaces the ‘company technical library’ of old – and, being a digital, cloud-based platform, it provides access and currency advantages that were never possible with physical libraries.
  • The functionality to arrange useful publications into folders, which can be shared with colleagues to make accessing the most important content as easy as possible across a practice.
  • The ability to monitor publications and topics for changes, so that when new documents are published or when existing documents are revised, then prompt notifications are received.

Furthermore, CIS is fully integrated into the NBS Chorus specification platform. This allows specification writers to click on citations within the specification or associated guidance and jump to the publication in CIS. Equally, for contractors and other recipients of specifications, these links are retained in the published PDF so that those receiving the spec can quickly access the relevant standard.

The short video below is taken from an NBS webinar that focused on CIS. Dr Stephen Hamil, Innovation Director at NBS, demonstrates the main features of the CIS platform and also shows how it integrates with NBS Chorus for specification writing.

Watch Stephen demonstrate the CIS platform

Customer stories

As part of the NBS webinar, the customer benefits of using CIS were discussed from both building design and building construction points of view. Richard Battye, Associate and Specification Writer from Purcell, demonstrated how his practice uses CIS to develop accurate specifications within NBS Chorus. Gary Neal, Head of Fire from Skanska, explained how the service can also be used by main contractors during a project's tendering and construction phase.

managing-risk-with-nbs-and-the-construction-information-service-cis-logo-purcell “Construction is a huge field, and you don’t know all of it ever. I think it’s very good to know that there is a good library somewhere. You can go and look things up. What you need to know is that you don’t know everything and there is somewhere where you can look things up. And as everything has moved online – having CIS online, we still have books in the office, but now it’s good to know you can find the latest version of something.” – Richard Battye, Purcell
managing-risk-with-nbs-and-the-construction-information-service-cis-logo-skanska “Our staff work at construction sites, work from home, work in the office, and we have to be very mobile and agile. The notion of buying printed standards and books isn’t something we can support at Skanska. We need an online service. This is fundamental to how we manage our business and how we communicate. This is why the CIS subscription is very important to us.” – Gary Neal, Skanska

Tina, Richard and Gary discuss the benefits of CIS

Find out more

To find out more about CIS and the NBS integration, please see: