Do you think your NBS Building or NBS Landscape specification is too long?

Before looking at options for educating the client or contractor on reading specifications, there are various ways of reducing the length of your document to create a more concise and clear specification. The following guidelines may describe features of NBS Building or NBS Landscape that you may not be aware of: 

1 - Using the library suitable for the job

There are three work section libraries available in NBS Building or NBS Landscape: Minor Works, Intermediate and Standard. The type and scale of project that you work on determines which library is better suited. This means that for a small house extension or refurbishment project for example, you do not see clauses developed for larger scale projects such as hospitals or schools, which may be far too detailed. 

2 - How to edit a clause in NBS Building

You may already be aware that you cannot directly edit the text outside the clause inserts in NBS Building, but many clauses can and should be edited as they contain too much information. The copy clause option in NBS Building can be used to help reduce the length of your specification by removing the unnecessary text that is included in generic NBS Clauses. By copying the clause you have unlimited editing restrictions and therefore can easily remove those clause items that are not needed in your project.

Watch our support video on how to copy a clause in NBS Building.

3 - Good specification writing

If a specification is written badly it can cause major problems for every member of the construction team, and can cost the client a great deal of money. If the specification is well written it can enhance project delivery for the whole construction team while saving money. 

Read this article on the benefits of master specifications to learn more about how you can be more efficient in writing specifications within your organisation. 

4 - Detailing manufacturer objects

We have a free to access library of Manufacturers and their products within all our software packages.  NBS Plus allows you to add specific pre-authored manufacturer and product information. By using the ‘add to job’ button it adds the relevant information to your specification which can then be used by the contractor.

See our support video on how to add manufacturer products from NBS Plus.

If the manufacturer or product you are looking for is not in NBS Plus, you may need to add the manufacturer and product details manually. If you receive a product catalogue or in-depth details of the products, all of this information does not necessarily need to be added to the specification and may unnecessarily lengthen your document. For many products, the only details needed within the specification is the manufacturer name, contact details and a product reference.

5 - Export to Microsoft Word

The export to Microsoft Word option via the Export wizard provides you with additional options for customising your published document. Microsoft Word enables you to change the margin sizes, change the orientation, amend line spacing and insert columns which can all help to reduce the size of the document. Note that we do not recommend editing the clause text in the Microsoft Word document and that this should only be done in NBS Building.

Watch our support video on how to export to Microsoft Word from NBS Building

For further examples, please download our sample specifications.