BIM News

Integrating BIM objects as you work: how the NBS National BIM Library fits into your projects

 

Now with over 10,000 objects, recent additions include generic mechanical and electrical objects, and all major building fabric systems are also now covered. Manufacturer proprietary objects in major formats, including Autodesk® Revit®, and integration with NBS Create allow supply chain integration and the inclusion of appropriate materials and technology at the right time.

The NBS National BIM Library allows not only more accurate project modelling, specification, costings and quantities, but also better management of information for future maintenance and sustains BIM throughout the lifetime of the building.

 "It took over a year of investigation, development, consultation and investment by NBS to develop the NBS National BIM Library. And we made it free to use."

The concept

The NBS National BIM Library was launched at Ecobuild in 2012; it was to be the UK’s first platform-neutral, free-to-use library of high quality generic and proprietary BIM objects, accessible online. It enables architects, contractors, and other construction professionals to locate and download generic BIM objects for a comprehensive range of systems and products.

The library was launched with 200 generic BIM objects covering the main elements of a building. The aim was to develop this into thousands of generic objects, and eventually include many proprietary objects from the major construction system and product manufacturers. The NBS National BIM Library was to become an essential source of digital information for the whole supply chain.

We also wanted to help establish a common approach to quality standards across the construction industry and publish property definitions for all systems and products, with a view to encouraging consistency and collaboration.

It took over a year of investigation, development, consultation and investment by NBS to develop the NBS National BIM Library. And we made it free to use.

Progression

The NBS National BIM Library was an industry first – providing generic BIM objects that could be used at the early stages of design. These objects have been and still are freely available to use and are available in Autodesk® Revit® format and the buildingSMART IFC platform independent format. The concept was that designers would use these BIM objects at an early stage to document design intent and, as the project progressed, the generic objects would be replaced with proprietary objects. To facilitate this, we have now developed a vast selection of proprietary objects.

Kingspan Insulation were the first manufacturer to launch their own proprietary BIM objects on the NBS National BIM Library, and were swiftly followed by Kalzip Ltd, Triton Systems, Jacksons Fencing, Knauf Marmorit UK, Celotex Insulation Ltd, Axter Ltd, Eclisse, NEACO Ltd, Sika Sarnafil and SMET Building Products Ltd.

BIM and the NBS National BIM Library can provide opportunities for manufacturers and contractors to engage with more of the construction process, enabling their participation in decisions at early stages of the project. Closer supply chain integration gives them the chance to positively influence the design process by proposing appropriate materials and technology at the right time.

In fact, NBS offers a range of software tools and information resources that support the design team across the project timeline and enable the production of co-ordinated digital information. NBS Create and NBS Plug-ins, in addition to the NBS National BIM Library, can help information flow throughout the BIM process, enabling industry professionals to work more efficiently and accurately when generating design documentation. Even more importantly, these NBS tools now interact with each other.

Using NBS tools, you can select objects from the NBS National BIM Library and add them directly into your design model using the NBS Plug-in. An added benefit of subscription to NBS Create means that the direct linkage gives access to all the maintained, expert guidance relating to your selected objects.

 This is true project coordination; providing an extremely efficient way to work and removing the issues associated with duplicated or conflicting information. 

With the plug-in, an outline specification can be produced automatically in NBS Create from the design model which speeds up the process. This outline specification is synchronized with the model, making it possible to manage the links to that specification throughout the project. As the design evolves, you can replace generic objects with proprietary from the NBS National BIM Library, develop the specification detail within NBS Create and provide real-time information on cost and performance. This is true project coordination; providing an extremely efficient way to work and removing the issues associated with duplicated or conflicting information.

Award-winning

Last year at the Construction News Awards, the NBS National BIM Library won the BIM Initiative of the Year Award and NBS Create won the Digital Built Britain Award.

NBS was joined on the shortlist for the BIM Initiative of the Year Award by a host of leading clients, architects, contractors and developers such as Balfour Beatty, Crossrail, Great Portland Estates, Laing O’Rourke, Mace, Ryder Architecture and Skanska UK. The judges said:

“The winner here stood out to the judges as one to become the industry standard location for reliable quality controlled information.“This winning entrant has shown real leadership in helping to drive UK BIM adoption and consistently make BIM accessible across the supply chain.”Now

The comprehensive collection of objects in the NBS National BIM Library spans all major building fabric systems, and we are now adding generic mechanical and electrical objects. Content is continuously expanding with objects loaded every week; we currently have over 10,000 objects.

We have collated feedback by various methods. The outcome of commissioned reports and comments from our focus groups have influenced the way we have authored the mechanical and electrical objects. The aim was to ensure that these objects were geometrically accurate and instantly recognizable, with variable dimensions and connection sizes, and maximum flexibility. Where appropriate, they come complete with identifiable and visual detection zones or clearance/ maintenance zones. They come complete with the most applicable IFC2x3 and IFC4 property sets and COBie UK – 2012 properties. COBie output is a required deliverable as per the UK Government’s BIM mandate. . These property sets are useful for the end user and/or facility manager. It is information we provide already, we’re just trying to standardise it. IFC property sets are required to create an IFC model, which is a neutral, open format, for interoperability between model software from different vendors. The way in which we generate our IFC model ensures that other disciplines can see more than just the geometry; they also obtain the key data.

Some of the objects have impressive ‘array’ features; for example, with the pressure booster set; by adjusting the number of pumps in the Type Properties box you can increase or decrease the number of pumps displayed in the object.

 

The future

The NBS National BIM Library has been established to allow not only more accurate project modelling, specification, costings and quantities, but also to better facilitate management information for future maintenance and to sustain BIM throughout the lifetime of the building.

NBS Create has been designed with BIM in mind. It can accurately represent the asset and enable the record to be updated through the building's lifecycle. It includes content to support the specification of spares, operation and maintenance manuals and warranties for use in the occupancy phase.

With the current advances in the NBS Plug-in, which will pull information from a populated specification into an objects’ parameter fields of a 3D model, the NBS BIM suite is becoming an exceptional combination of tools.

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