Monday, 25 November 2013

The National BIM Survey 2014 - Now open

The NBS National BIM Survey is now in its 4th year. Please take the time to answer the questions and help us pull together a fantastic report that gives a glimpse into where BIM is at now.

Also, if possible, please share the link in your organisation - we want as large a sample size as possible - everyone from those who think "BIM is just a fad. a marketing term used to sell software" all of the way through to those that have the three letters "B", "I", "M" tattooed on their chest. :)

All of the reports from the last three years are available to download for free from our website (links below). I've also included the fantastic infographic that our design team put together as a summary of the 2013 report. Click on any of the images below for these downloads.
National BIM Report 2013 - Infographic

So the survey link is - - thanks to everyone who spreads the word internally in their organisation or externally through twitter/linkedin/newsletters etc...

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Computer Construction Awards 2013 - Team of the Year to NBS

Last night we won our first ever Construction Computing Award.

There was something a little bit special about this particular award as it was for our Research and Development team back at the office in Newcastle that I have been a part of since 1999.
CCA "Hammer" Team of the Year award celebrated by plenty of NBS on stage
The award ceremony last night was a fantastic evening. We didn’t invite any clients for this particular evening and just used it as a “thank you” to 10 or 11 of our colleagues for their hard work over recent years on our digital products. In the photograph above are boys and girls from our customer centre, HR, software development, QA, sales teams etc…

The NBS R+D Team itself is broken down into smaller teams of which I do my best to look after Interface Design, QA, Beta Testing and NBS Labs. Also photographed above is my colleague John Henderson who looks after the software development teams. Not at the event was our exec-director boss Richard Watson - but he monitored the good news closely on twitter as it unfolded.
The award
...and also to say, a big "well done" also to our #bimGeordie friends from kykloud (North Shields) and 4projects (Sunderland) on winning awards on the night too - great stuff. ...and thanks also to Pam for inviting me onto the Autodesk table as a guest - originally I wasn't attending the night so that was very much appreciated.

Update - thanks for all of the "likes" on linkedin!

And the official photograph...
Everyone all dressed up
Original "before the event" post below...

This evening is the Computer Computing Awards 2013 (The Hammers).

At NBS we are up for 5 awards. Fingers crossed we win at least one. If you are there - please come over and say hello.
  1. One to Watch Company (NBS)
  2. Team of the Year (NBS R+D Team)
  3. BIM Product of the Year (NBS National BIM Library)
  4. Product of the Year (NBS Create)
  5. Company of the Year (NBS)
So far this year, our record at award ceremonies is:
  1. Building Award - 1 nomination
  2. CN Awards - 2 nominations - won both
  3. Construction Excellence - award to team for BuildQatarLive
  4. BE2Awards - 3 nominations - won one
  5. CC Awards - 5 nominations - won team of the year!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Finchale Priory to Durham - Fantastic Cycle or Walking route

The powers that be at Durham have just re-surfaced the Brasside-to-Durham cycle path. A massive 'well-done' to whoever made this happen!

This puts the 7km from Finchale Priory to Durham Cathedral as a really top class UK walk (or short cycle).

View Larger Map

I'd advise parking at Finchale Priory if you have the car. If you arrive by train - then start at Durham and work your way up the opposite way. Some photographs below:

The 12th century Finchale Priory 

From the road from Finchale to Brasside you'll see the abandoned Brasside bunkers
Hidden away behind Frankland Prison a lake in the nature reserve
A little further off the beaten path is the grade 2 listed abandoned Belmont Viaduct
The majority of the route is on this fantastically re-surfaced cycle path
The view of the Wear and Cathedral from the grade 1 listed Prebends Bridge
And the 'not-too-shabby' Cathedral awaits -
compared in the same conversations as Prague and Avignon amongst Europe's finest

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The NBS "What is BIM?" video being used around the world

Almost once a month I'll get an email from someone that saying they love the NBS "What is BIM?" video. This is especially nice when it is from overseas. Last week I got an email from a Ben Fox from Melbourne Australia who had embedded the video in one of his presentations to students. The original video is below and so is a video of Ben's lecture:
Original video...

And skip to 16:30 below to see the same video within Ben's lecture...

As always, a big shout out to Soluis and HOK London (Dave/Cara) for working with us on the fantastic video.

To download quality, free-to-use, BIM objects please see -

To embed our video, please credit us "This is a 'What is BIM?' video from the NBS National BIM Library" and show the video in its entirety.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

NBS and Bentley AECOsim Building Designer Keynote Tools

Marc Thomas
A nice blog post below from Bentley's Marc Thomas. Marc is an Architect who has used Bentley tools since 1992. Earlier this year he joined the Bentley Technical Support Team specialising in AECOsim Building Designer.

The web link to Marc's post is below. I also pinch a few screenshots for this blog post.

Select the keynote that is taken from the specification export
Format the annotation on the drawing generated from the model

NBS Create, NBS Building and NBS Scheduler all export to a file format suitable for keynoting in Bentley AECOsim Building Designer.

Monday, 4 November 2013

NBS Live - List of speakers now announced

The list of 80 expert speakers at our RIBA accredited double CPD points conference NBS Live is now published.

Delegate spaces can be booked for this event now at the URL

Peter Hansford
The conference's keynote speaker is Peter Hansford, Chief Construction Advisor to UK Government. This is an excellent opportunity to hear Peter's thoughts on where the construction industry stands today and the key challenges facing it.

The conference then splits into four main streams, delegates can choose a single stream or jump between seminars to get a flavour of many different topics. I am involved in running the BIM Room, more on that later - but first the other rooms.

1. The Design Room
The opening session looks at design, but beyond buildings, and in particular public space and interconnected communities. This session has speakers from Accenture, Argent and Farrells.
Brendan Kilpatrick

Following this there is a session on balancing cost management and design - how to get maximum value without compromising quality. Senior members of Gleeds, Faithful and Gould and Pascal and Watson will all present.

After lunch there are sessions on Housing with speakers from PRP Architects and Levitt Bernstein and then modern methods of construction and contemporary procurement with Edge Structures.

2. The Business and Practice Room
A chance to look at your practice from a business point of view. The first session is on winning work and
Rob Manning
communicating to clients. Speakers are from MarketingWorks and 3D Reid. This is followed by looking further than just the UK with a session on how to operate overseas. Speakers from Jones Lang LaSalle and AECOM discuss these opportunities.

In the afternoon BIS, BAM, Hoare Lea and Dyer take a practical look at the new RIBA Plan of Work 2013. Dale Sinclair the author of the new plan of work and associated documentation leads this session.

3. The Technical Room
The first session looks at what Part L means for design. We are delighted to have Ken Yeang, the founder of
Ken Yeang
Ken Yeang Design International as one of the main speakers for this session. Following this speakers from Bauman Lyons and Argent LLP will discuss the four "r's" Reuse, Refurb, Recycle and Retrofit.

Mott MacDonald and Aedas will then look at post-occupancy evaluation studies and evidence based design before the future of green buildings will be analysed by bere, John Robertson Architects and the Technology Strategy Board.

4. The BIM Room
...and last, but not least is the "BIM Room" - I've been going to many BIM conferences over the last 4-5 years, and I am confident to say that we have an amazing line up of speakers here from the world of BIM...

Session 1 - BIM for beginners
Casey Rutland
A selection of industry experts who know how to explain BIM to those new to the process...
  • Steve Race - BIM regional ambassador for CIC and author of BIM Demystified
  • Paul Woddy - White Frog and also one of the original Revit team from before Autodesk
  • Casey Rutland - Associate Director Arup Associates
  • Sarah Davidson - R+D Director at Gleeds and chair of East Midlands BIM Hub
Session 2 - BIM and sustainability
Elrond Burell
When it comes to BIM and Passivhaus, I have seen Elrond and James both present over the last couple of years and they have some excellent case studies to support their knowledge...
  • Elrond Burrell - Associate at Architype
  • James Anwyl - Director at Eurobuild

Session 3 - BIM in action
Malcolm Taylor
Case studies from notable projects - a chance to listen and question those involved...

  • Matt Blackwell - Head of BIM, Costain
  • Malcolm Taylor - Head of Technical Info, Crossrail
  • Tahir Ahmad - BIM Specialist, Crossrail
  • Chris Brown - Digital Engineer, Laing O'Rourke

Session 4 - BIM and the Government
Mervyn Richards
A fantastic selection from the people delivering the current Government and defining the plan to 2025.

  • Dave Philp - Head of BIM at Mace Group and Head of Government BIM Implementation
  • Neil Thompson - Principle BIM Integrator Balfour Beatty
  • Nick Nisbet - buildingSMART international expert - one of the team that defined COBie
  • Rachael Park - Cost Consultant Mace and BIM 2050 group member
  • Tom Loader - BIM Director Balfour Beatty
  • Mervyn Richards - Main author of BS 1192:2007 and PAS 1192-2 - the standards that define the BIM process
...and in addition to all of this, NBS experts from key topic areas such as sustainability, contracts and law, building regulations and BIM will all be present to facilitate with the discussions and help run the sessions.

So if you want a fantastic day of learning and a chance to network with a number of though-leaders in UK construction then book your ticket at the website below: