Friday, 6 January 2017

Don't miss out on BIM Show Live 2017

BIM Show Live 2017 is fast approaching (1st and 2nd Feb) and it looks like it's going to better than ever.
BIM Show Live
Since BIM Show Live #2 NBS have always played a part in the UK's biggest and best BIM event and this year it will be no different. It's a little bit more special this year of course as the event is only a few hundred meters from our offices in Newcastle upon Tyne!

NBS will be doing technology demonstrations, contributing to panel discussions and running one of the classes. So if you want to catch up with us and know anything more about our products and services, we'll be on hand over the two days.

If you haven't booked your place then you can do so through our NBS portal below. The web article also includes a summary of the great speakers that will be at the event.

I hope to see lots of new and familiar faces over the two days. For those that need a reminder of what BIM Show Live is all about - some of my blog posts from me from 2012 onwards below:

Graphisoft's Morph in 2012

TV star Mordue in 2013

An ever present Dave Philp with some of his friends

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The NBS BIM Survey 2017 is now open

Since 2011 at NBS we have run a national BIM survey to gain a true reflection as to what the industry thinks about the topic of building information modelling.

This will be our seventh annual survey. The majority of questions are consistent with previous years to allow trends to be monitored. Additional questions are also added this year to gain an insight into the industries BIM Level-2 attitudes and also to see which emerging digital technologies will have the biggest impact on our industry.

So please take part in and forward the link below around your colleagues - from the BIM evangelists to the biggest of skeptics. It takes around ten minutes to go through the survey - the final report will be freely available on our website in a few months time.


Does anyone else have a hard copy version of all six previous reports?

All previous reports can still be downloaded from our website:

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...