Specifier Review

Good news for Government’s new industrial strategy as NBS reports rise in manufacturers going digital

Recognised as the primary source of generic and proprietary BIM objects, the NBS National BIM Library has seen a surge in interest from manufacturers keen to create objects that can be easily downloaded and imported into the building design and specification process.

The trend towards digital conversion is welcome news for the Government, which has placed advancements in technology and the supply chain at the heart of Construction 2025, its industrial strategy for the UK construction sector published on the 2nd July 2013.

Creating a competitive advantage in smart construction and digital design, through the widespread implementation of BIM, is identified by the strategy as key to the UK grabbing its share of a global construction market, which is forecast to grow by over 70% by 2025.

With the availability of digital information integral to more effective design for manufacture and assembly, the expansion of the NBS National BIM Library is a positive indicator that the construction industry is waking up to the enormous benefits of sharing fully transparent, high quality data across the supply chain.

More than 50 manufacturers have now signed up to the award-winning service including market leading brands such as Celotex, Kingspan and Rockwool.

The NBS National BIM Library allows architects, designers and other construction professionals to access BIM objects for free, both in industry-neutral IFC format and formats compatible with leading software such as Autodesk Revit, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Tekla, Bentley AECOsim Building Designer and Nemetschek Vectorworks.

Since its launch in March 2012, the service has attracted 6,000 registered users who have downloaded in excess of 100,000 BIM objects.

Later this month, NBS will, in an industry first, be making sample M&E generic objects available, as it begins the roll-out of a full M&E library of BIM objects.

These developments are being led by Ian Chapman, the newly appointed Director of National BIM Library, who was formerly Head of Specification at NBS.

Ian Chapman, said: “The Government’s requirement for collaborative 3D BIM as a minimum for projects by 2016 has meant that more and more manufacturers are looking at how to digitise their products, so that this information can be used in the design, construction and operation of buildings.

Some manufacturers are well on the way in terms of their BIM journey but others have still to understand their important role in the process and the quality of digital information their customers will require going forward.”

Tim Clark, Group Specification Director at Rockwool, said:

“Understanding BIM and delivering the best possible service and information to our clients has so far been a long yet interesting journey. With the NBS National BIM Library, we have created a first class selection of our products and solutions and plan to continue the investment and expansion of our resource during 2014.”