12 December 2022

1. NBS - a global platform 

When launching NBS Chorus in 2019, we set out to create a best-in-class specification platform that worked with pre-written content libraries for building projects around the world. To date, we have released content libraries for different scales of projects (from small works to large, complex projects) and different types of documentation (Preliminaries and specifications) for construction work to UK, Canadian or Australian standards and practice. The table below shows the content libraries released to date.

Following the initial launch of Chorus, NBS was commonly asked to release a content library that was structured to the US Construction Specification Institute (CSI) MasterFormat structure, with specification templates and guidance referencing American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. These requests predominantly came from Canadian specifiers who work both sides of the Canadian/ USA border, and also UK specifiers who work on Middle Eastern projects where clients require CSI MasterFormat specifications to ASTM standards.

The launch of this new USMS library now allows specifiers to develop specifications in the NBS Chorus software platform that they are familiar with – using functionality such as model integration, collaboration and publication history – but using the content set required for these international projects. 
Figure 1.1 – Model and specification integration from NBS, using the USMS content library

2. The NBS USMS Library

The NBS Technical Content team took the established Canadian Master Specification content library (which had been tried and tested on thousands of projects over many years) and used this as a basis for the new USMS content library. All references to Canadian standards were removed; the team then researched the equivalent American standards and restructured the NBS template clauses and guidance as appropriate. Screenshot 2.1 below shows a typical architectural section being edited in the Chorus platform. The section code and name are 08 14 16 ‘Flush wood doors’, and it is a three-part specification as defined by the CSI MasterFormat data structure. Screenshot 2.2 shows an example engineering section 23 56 00 ‘Solar energy heating equipment’; references to related sections and referenced ASTM standards can be seen.
Figure 2.1 – Architectural specification in NBS Chorus using USMS content library
Figure 2.2 – Engineering specification in NBS Chorus using USMS content library

3. Initial USMS usage

Mark Schumann, Partner at Schumann International commented: 

"What NBS is doing as a business excites us in terms of global growth, and their vision is aligned with our own. There's a lot of confidence in NBS as a serious, international data-based business, which makes a big difference. At Schumann International we have clients around the globe. The Middle East is a big area for us where large developments will decide on a specification strategy for programmes of work over a number of years. Being able to offer clients specification services on a single platform with template content either to UK or US standards and methodology is something that we are delighted with." 

More information 

Find out more about the USMS content library