15 December 2021

Throughout the year, we’ve focussed on the improving the way the construction industry specifies projects, finds products and uses data. We’ve also aimed to tackle the major issues of the day, including sustainability, digital transformation and navigating the pandemic.

We wanted to take a step back and reflect on 2021, so here are ten highlights of our year, and a look ahead at what’s to come in 2022. 

1. Customer collaboration 

To help us to offer our customers the best experience, we continually engage with both our specifiers and manufacturers, who provide invaluable feedback around how we can improve our platforms. This year, we had a total of 206 customers helping us to make our platforms even better through our insight community and activities including forum discussions, user testing, surveys, focus groups and A/B testing.

NBS’s leading platforms NBS Chorus and NBS Source are constantly improving and evolving as new features and functionality is added. This includes the exciting launch of our new ‘add to spec’ button which makes it quick and easy for products to be added from Source directly into Chorus specifications. 

Another example is the introduction of the Organisation Notes feature to NBS Chorus, which enables users to share best practice and lessons learnt on their projects to help improve the decision-making process.

Our expert technical authors have updated hundreds of content sections and reference documents in Chorus to ensure specifications are up-to-date and accurate, helping to manage risk and make life easier for specifiers. 

2. The Construction Leaders’ Summits

Due to the popularity of the Construction Leaders’ Summit in 2020, it returned for two successful digital events in 2021 – ‘Building for the Future’ in April and ‘Building Better’ in September. 

Across the two events, we heard from a wide range of industry experts discussing the pressing issues construction is facing at present and in the future. 

In April we discussed digital transformation, regulatory changes and the economic landscape, and heard from speakers including UK Construction Minister the Rt. Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP and Simon Rawlinson, Head of Strategic Research & Insight at Arcadis, author of the Construction Playbook and member of the Government’s Construction Leadership Council.

Check out this article for the key points aimed from the event.

September’s event covered sustainability, digitisation and how we can create a better future for the construction industry. The summit featured key speakers such as the Rt. Hon. Claire O’Neill, Managing Director, Climate & Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council.

Here are five key takeaways from the Construction Leaders’ Summit: Building Better

3. Informing the industry

Our webinar programme continued in 2021 with 40+ webinars taking place during the year, which were attended by over 14,000 participants. We covered everything from new product features and key industry topics to masterclasses and everything in between.

Here are our top three most popular webinars from 2021:

Are you looking to brush up on a particular subject? Visit our events page to find more of our webinars that are available to on demand and see what we’ve got coming up in 2022. 

4. Our climate commitment 

Sustainability has been a hot topic for everybody this year, both inside and outside of the construction industry. To help tackle the climate crisis, we unveiled our own commitment to sustainability by aiming for net zero carbon by 2030. 

A number of NBS employees took part in a bike ride to St John’s Wood in County Durham which, alongside Doddington North in Northumberland, is one of the sites where we’ll be planting a total of 3000 trees in partnership with Forest Carbon

We also ran a miniseries of five webinars to share the knowledge construction professionals need to start working towards a more sustainable future. The NBS Sustainability Series looked at topics including how to become a sustainable business, sustainable marketing and our takeaways from COP26. One of our hosts for this series, NBS’s Head of Manufacturer Solutions Lee Jones, was also recently awarded the title of Sustainability Champion by the Bathroom Manufacturers’ Association for his work this year.

In addition, we launched the Sustainable Futures survey in order to further understand attitudes and behaviours around sustainability in construction. We pledged to plant one tree for every survey response – meaning we’re now planning to plant an extra 600! 

Visit our sustainability page to find out more. 

5. Bygger and Better

At the end of last year, NBS was acquired by Byggfakta Group, a leading data and software provider to the European construction industry. 2021 was a big year for the group as it became a publicly traded company through its listing on NASDAQ Stockholm.

Being part of the Byggfakta Group means that NBS is in a position to further invest in our products and continue to provide a range of significant benefits to our customers – especially now that we’re able to work closely with our sister company Glenigan

There’ll be lots more to come in 2022 as we all work even closer together. 

6. The Digital Construction Report 

Digital transformation in the built environment means so much more than just BIM. So, after ten years of our annual BIM Report, we relaunched it this year as the Digital Construction Report with the aim of covering digital transformation more broadly. Over 900 specifiers, designers, contractors, suppliers and clients from over 60 countries shared their thoughts with us. 

We found that the vast majority are on a digital transformation journey of some kind and there is strong agreement that digital ways of working are helping to create better buildings and places (80%), having a positive impact on environmental sustainability (75%) and helping to create a safer built environment (74%). 

The majority also believe that they need to work digitally (78%) and to adopt BIM (70%) in order to realise the golden thread of information. To support that way of working, 77% (82% in the UK) are now using cloud computing solutions like NBS Chorus. 

You can find the full report here

7. NBS in the community 

At NBS, we try to help in the community wherever we can. All our colleagues are able to take up to two days every year to volunteer for a good cause of their own choosing.

Through our survey responses, we’ve also raised over £1400 for CRASH in 2021, a charity that helps homelessness and hospice organizations with their construction projects – creating places that care for people when they’re at their most vulnerable.

8. Back on the road with RIBA CPD 

As part of our mission to raise standards within construction, the RIBA CPD Providers Network continued to go from strength to strength, with us seeing even more innovative ways providers share and deliver their CPD materials to architects and specifiers. Online learning has still proved to be very popular for both providers and specifiers, but we’ve also finally seen the return to face-to-face seminars. We’ve got lots of great RIBA-approved CPD materials available on ribacpd.com.

We also saw the return of our in-person RIBA CPD Roadshows which we work on with the RIBA. For 2022 we’re taking a hybrid approach into our events programme: both RIBA CPD Roadshows are being held in-person across the UK while live online seminars will also be available. Find out more here.

9. New partnerships 

NBS has partnered with several organisations within the industry this year, in order to provide further benefits to our customers. 

One of our recent collaborations is with the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Through the partnership, we’re providing content and resources for CIBSE members to help them improve the way they specify their projects using NBS Source and NBS Chorus. We’re offering all CIBSE members a preferential rate on an NBS Chorus subscription. 

Other partnerships we’ve announced this year include Quiet Mark, ASFP and BBA. Find out more about our partnerships

10. 2022 we’re coming for you!

2022 is set to be another exciting year at NBS: we’ve got some insightful research reports launching in Q1 which includes the Sustainable Futures Report and the Construction Manufacturers Marketing Index, which compares how manufacturers across the industry are marketing their products. 

We’re always working to improve Source and Chorus in line with the needs of our customers and the wider industry, and we’ve got some great developments to our platforms over the course of the year to further connect specifiers and manufacturers.  

To find out more about the year ahead, sign up for our webinar ‘How NBS Can Help You in 2022’ being held on Tuesday 25th January 2022.

Register now

Enjoy the festivities and see you in the new year!