I am delighted to announce that our new online specification service NBS Domestic Specification is now live. Many thanks to all of the Beta Testers who've given us help pushing this over the finishing line over the last few days!
Below is an article I have written for the upcoming RIBA Practice Newsletter about this service...
Best practice specification for domestic projects – now online
By Stephen Hamil, Head of NBS Software Development
There are around 2,500 architectural practices in the UK with only one or two practicing architects. A large portion of their work is on small domestic building projects. In 2007 NBS Domestic Specification, a loose-leaf paper specification template for use on small domestic projects was launched. Following its success and customer feedback received, it has been developed into the first 100% online NBS specification writing service and was launched in November 2010.
NBS have been producing specification writing tools for over 35 years, which include products to suit projects varying in complexity. NBS Domestic Specification is a new tool designed to better address the needs of those working on small domestic buildings. It is ideal for domestic clients, professional designers and domestic builders, including home owners/occupiers who need to produce technically accurate and up-to-date specifications.
Building on the success of the paper edition, this new online version allows the user to quickly and easily produce a professional specification online that can be published as a PDF. It works on a PC or a Mac and there is no subscription or installation required – users simply buy each specification for £40 (plus VAT) as and when it’s needed for a project.
As with all electronic NBS specification products, NBS Domestic Specification is updated three times a year by our team of in-house technical authors, and provides onscreen guidance to help complete the specification.
You can create a new specification using NBS Domestic Specification in just six simple steps:
Firstly login to or create an NBS Website Account. Creating your free account is a quick and easy process that asks you for a few standard details.
Create a new specification and give it some project details such as a title, client name and project address.
From the full list of preliminaries and work sections available, select the specific content you need for your project. The service can be used with JCT or SBCC minor works contracts and the JCT home owner contracts. You are provided with around 25 work sections which allow best practice specification for work on small domestic buildings. These include site preparation, board and sheet cladding, ventilation and heating systems.
Pay for your specification using our quick and secure payment facility.
The principles behind NBS Domestic Specification are the same as existing NBS products. Each work section contains pre-written technical specification clauses that you edit to produce a project specification. The clauses are pre-written, so very little typing is involved. Where clauses require completion, optional drop down values and technical guidance are provided. Where information is not required, you simply exclude it. The result is a precise project specification without the unnecessarily high page count.
General guidance with information on materials and design, including workmanship advice and tips on how to avoid pitfalls is provided for each work section.
You don't have to complete your specification in one go – you can save your work and come back at any time. In the meantime, you can trust NBS to securely look after your data.
At any time you can publish your specification to PDF format which you can then print, email or put on a DVD. The specification is a priceable document. It has cash columns, collections and a tender summary to allow the tenderers to clearly enter their prices.
“Using NBS Domestic as part of my construction documentation will certainly assist me, particularly in ensuring that all elements of works are considered in preparation of documentation, yet providing me with a document tailored to the specific project in hand. It's pay as you require, is brilliant in assisting in keeping practice overheads down particularly in the current economic climatic.”
Michael Ahearne & Associates Ltd
NBS have been responding to the needs construction industry for over 35 years, providing the best tools for producing up-to-date, technically robust specifications. NBS Domestic Specification is the latest specification writing solution from NBS, designed to meet the needs of practices in the UK who require a master specification service for small domestic building projects. It has received extremely positive feedback from beta testers and was very well received when launched at the RIBA Guerrilla Tactics 2010 conference.
To write your first NBS Domestic Specification visit: