17 August 2022

1. Better coordinated design and specification

One of the most popular features of NBS Chorus is the ability to plug the platform into design tools such as Autodesk Revit, Graphisoft Archicad or Nemetschek Vectorworks to better connect the design and specification process.

This feature has a number of benefits:

  1. Improved efficiency through the ability to design and specify within a single, connected environment.
  2. Further efficiencies through annotating models, drawings and schedules directly from the project specification.
  3. Reduced errors through the ability to report on what is missing from the specification, and to report on where the model and specification have incorrect annotations.

The video below is an extract from a recent webinar; it gives an introductory presentation of the features, using Autodesk Revit as an example.

2. New in development – NBS Chorus Designer

Over recent years, when asking users for feedback on this feature, it has become clear that we could make further improvements to help practices with their design and specification workflow. In particular:

  • Many of those working on the design need to understand and comment on the specification; they need to annotate from the project specification clauses – but they do not need to edit the specification. Furthermore, in certain practices, the ability to edit the specification is protected, and only a small number of ‘specifiers’ have permission to edit it.
  • Equally, those who do have permission to edit the specification may work for periods on the design where they do not need to ‘check out’ a licence to the writer role. With this workflow in mind, we are currently developing a feature where practices can purchase bundles of lower cost NBS licences for those that want to work on the design and annotate from – but not edit – the specification.

At the point of signing into Chorus, the user will select whether they are undertaking the role of a specification writer or a designer. A summary of the functionality for each role is below:

Designer Role Writer Role
View the specification YES YES
Annotate the model YES YES
Modify the NBS clause prefix and suffix YES YES
View manufacturer content YES YES
Add spec notes YES YES
View org notes YES YES
View the NBS technical guidance YES YES
Edit the specification NO YES

Over and above the role permissions set when signing into the NBS Chorus platform, the permissions assigned at a project level by the administrator will also be enforced. Therefore, a user signing in using the writer role will not be able to edit a specification if the administrator has not provided the user with that permission level on that specific project.

3. Customer story

In a recent webinar, Nigel Rayner (Specification Writer at Sheehan Nagle Hartray Associates, SNHA) explained how they used NBS Chorus within Autodesk Revit to gain efficiencies and improve the quality of their coordinated project documentation.

The video below is an extract from this webinar. Nigel presents the SNHA workflow. This presentation is followed by a discussion with NBS Innovation Director Dr Stephen Hamil.

More information