Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Please take part in our national specification survey

Please give us your views on the place of specifications in the construction industry.

Our survey closes on Sunday and we've had a fantastic response so far. But this is one final call out to help us push those numbers up even higher so that we can deliver as strong an insight as possible into this topic.

Our Research and Analysis team do surveys and publish the corresponding reports for free to industry throughout the year. Recent examples being our BIM report and Brexit report.

For a little more background and a link to the survey, please click below:

Please distribute around colleagues and/or project teams if you are willing ;)

Thursday, 24 November 2016

A new building for NBS in Newcastle

We officially opened our new NBS building in Newcastle this week.

The local media was at the launch...

Check out the following video from our Twitter account telling the story of the building and an amazing story of a couple who met in the building in 1942!
...and for all stories on our website on the building please see:

...and the building model of course has been used in our recent promotional videos such as the 'NBS for BIM projects' story below:

Friday, 18 November 2016

Machine Learning demonstrated beautifully in a fun game

The website of the year winner has just been won...

It is cool and fun for three year olds up to 103 year olds... and demonstrates machine learning beautifully. Lovely to play around with on a desktop with your mouse - or on a touch screen device with your finger.

Watch the video...

...and how did I do when I gave it a go?

It guessed four out of six of my sketches (you get 20 seconds for each).

A bit disappointed that my brilliant penguin sketch though. Come on a fire hydrant!!!???

Check it out,..

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Enhancements to the NBS plug-in for Autodesk Revit

A quick blog post below with some screenshots showing the functionality in our recent update to our NBS plug-in for Autodesk Revit.

The plug-in allows users to link their models and NBS specifications, view design guidance and drag-and-drop National BIM Library objects directly into their models.

1. Better integration into Revit
The National BIM Library panel and the NBS design guidance panel are now integrated into Autodesk Revit. This provides a better user experience and makes the NBS plug-in feel like an integrated part of Revit as opposed to just a floating window...
Dockable window
2. A more personalised experience
Once logged into the NBS National BIM Library you can add tags against your most used objects and also these will be easily accessible from the home page and from search results...
Logged into the 'My Library' area of the NBS National BIM Library

Viewing only the items tagged against a project or subject
3. Update functionality
It is now possible to check whether there are more current versions of the BIM objects you have downloaded from the library. In the example below, the object has been updated to include values for providing guidance on the positioning of the component with respect to the floor...
A report on which objects in the model are no longer up to date with the library
Details of the changes to the object are shown to the user

4. Assistance in aligning your objects to the NBS BIM Object Standard
By clicking the 'Add Properties' button the basic set of parameters specified in the NBS BIM Object Standard may be added to your objects...
Selecting a BIM object for modification
Stamping in the properties from the NBS BIM Object Standard

5. Accessible from the Autodesk App Store
Until now, the NBS Plug-in has only been available from the NBS website. But now the plug-in may be downloaded from the Autodesk App Store.
NBS on the Autodesk App Store
To download the plug-in for free please visit:

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The Mining Institute

Today I was fortunate enough to have a tour of the North of England Mining Institute in Newcastle City Centre.

Two hundred years ago, the North East led the way in terms of engineering techniques around deep mining. In this building the lead engineers from collieries around the UK came together and shared knowledge so that the UK were world leaders in mining and so that safety and efficiency could be continuously improved.

Some photographs and links to further information below...
As featured in the RIBA love architecture series
The Neville Hall Library
"I advise and protect"

Marble statue of ex-chairman Nicholas Wood

Fantastic carvings and details everywhere
The historic steep sided lecture theatre - inspired the room in London's Royal Institution
Stuff lying about in the storage rooms - like a 200 year old map of Newcastle
If you are ever in Newcastle - I can recommend planning a visit.

Visit their website -
Check out the Wikipedia page -

Friday, 28 October 2016

UK Construction Week 2016 - BIM Level 2 - Was it worth it?

Last week I was at UK Construction Week and participated in a panel discussion on the main stage.

The title for the session as set by the organisers 'BIM Level 2 - was it worth it?' was deliberately provocative. The BBC's Victoria Fritz did a very good job of adapting to the subject matter and chairing it. Malcolm Taylor Crossrail, Mac Muzvimwe Faithful+Gould, Guy Hammersley BRE and Sasha Reed, Bluebeam where also panellists.
Malcolm Taylor from Europe's biggest construction project Crossrail talks BIM
In terms of preparing for the discussion, I thought I'd ask Twitter what it thought of the key question...
My snap poll on Twitter the morning before the event
As we discussed the topic, an artist illustrated the discussions
Innovation Arts drew what we discussed
...and finally, I tidied up my preparation notes and popped them on our NBS website as an article...
My thoughts
If you have an opinion on the subject - please add it as a comment below...

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Graduate careers at NBS

Our @theNBS twitter account tweeted quite a nice video last week showcasing some of the NBS team members who joined us as graduates.

Claire who designed the new look National BIM Library, Calum who has worked on NBS Create and our Revit plug-in, Andrew who manages the software development of our product offerings for manufacturers and Jane from our BIM authoring team are all featured.

Eagle eyed National BIM Library fans, may notice that the back of Claire's head is now on the website homepage too :)
The new look National BIM Library website
For more information about careers at NBS please see:

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

First Fiver - Newcastle Snow Dogs

I saw the #firstfiver campaign on Twitter last month, where everyone is encouraged to give the first new design five pound note to charity and thought, it was a really nice idea.

Earlier this week I got my first fiver (the change from a lovely jacket potato at independent Newcastle sandwich bar Hippo House) and wondered who to give it to?

Well, the easy decision was St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice who NBS are currently supporting as part of the Newcastle Snow Dogs initiative. Our snow dog was painted by Newcastle College - black and white - and called WorGeordie.

Lots of fund raising activities are planned over the next few months - but nice to be able to give my #firstfiver to a good cause.

Some Snow Dog photographs from lunchtime walk around the Quayside and then evening walk up to Newcastle University and back...
Arriving into Central Station - On the right in the distance is the 'New castle'
Our very own Wor Geordie Snow Dog with our Old Post Office building in the background

Three snow dogs on display in the Sage Gateshead with RIBA Sterling Prize winning Millennium Bridge in the background

Outside of the Sage Gateshead
Pitcher and Piano pub with Tyne Bridge in the background
Newcastle Eldon Square shopping centre
The beautiful Theatre Royal on Grey Street
Looking up Grey Street to Central Arcade, Greys Monument and the Monument Mall
So, if you are wondering what to do with your first fiver - then maybe a donation to one of your local charities would be a nice touch.