Last edited 13 Oct 2016

NBS National BIM Library

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a very broad term that describes the process of creating and managing digital information about a built asset such as building, bridge, highway, tunnel and so on.

Building information models comprise a series of federated models prepared by different design teams, including model files, documents and structured data files containing non geometric information about the facility, floors, spaces, systems and components. Together these create a digital replica of the built asset that starts by representing design intent, but by handover, reflects what has actually been built and installed.

NBS (National Building Specification) has been creating specification products for over 40 years. Its products include the national standard specification system for the UK which was launched in 1973 and describes the materials, standards and workmanship for construction projects. NBS is owned by RIBA Enterprises Ltd, part of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The NBS National BIM library is an online environment created for the storage of manufacturers BIM component model files. These components can range from kerb types and steel sections, to specific types of lighting or fittings, depending on what you are looking for in your discipline of work. All BIM components accessible through the librarys are authored to NBS standards. This ensures the user is able to select and use BIM components which contain all the information needed and are compatible across all working platforms. All electronic information about the component is stored within the model file and intelligently linked to its specification and geometric data. By providing information within the model this can potentially save time researching the specific product.

The list of manufacturers who produce BIM component models is growing daily as more and more companies adopt intelligent modelling. This library is also recognised by the top CAD platform producers such as Bentley, Autodesk, Tekla and ArchiCAD.

The online storage of BIM component models is an efficient way of finding the data needed to begin drafting, without having to redraw and reproduce this information. This can reduce costs and presents an effective solution when creating repetitive model information for larger projects.

The website is easy to use and comes with drag and drop functionality for CAD operators. This requires the installation of the appropriate NBS plugin for your CAD platform.

Once signed up to the National BIM library website you will be given regular updates and notifications, when manufactures models, that you have downloaded, have been changed or altered. Once you become an active user there is an option to contribute to the library by uploading generic BIM component models that you have created for the benefit of others.

Having information readily available online encourages collaboration on a global scale, driving competitiveness and innovation. It also reduces the need for mundane tasks and re-work, so that project teams operate more efficiently and focus their efforts on producing and enhancing designs.The initiative offers exciting prospects for the future.

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