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Construction News Awards BIM Initiative of the Year

Winner: NBS – NBS National BIM Library

For the UK construction industry to fully benefit from using Building Information Modelling on projects, NBS realised it needed a reliable source of high-quality BIM data.

Creating a library of BIM data objects which are linked to the National Building Specification was seen by NBS as the best way to facilitate the effective use and exchange of information.

In March 2012, NBS launched the National BIM Library, which contains BIM data in formats widely used by members of a design and construction team. Accessible freely online, it contains BIM objects for systems and products including walls, windows, doors, foundations, cladding and roofs.

“NBS will become the industry standard location for reliable quality controlled information. NBS has shown real leadership in helping drive UK BIM adoption and consistently makes BIM accessible across the supply chain”

Judges’ comment

Both generic and proprietary objects are available, allowing the model to evolve through the design process, providing real-time information on cost and performance.

Downloaded content can be used on individual projects or used within a practice’s master BIM object library.  

Adoption of the NBS National BIM Library means designers do not have to generate their own BIM data libraries, which brings benefits in terms of consistency of construction information provided.

This benefit will be most apparent to project clients, who will see consistent models over multiple projects. Standardising this information in terms of classification, terminology and object definition will also allow BIM information to be used consistently to manage a single firm’s entire construction portfolio.

Input from Autodesk, Bentley, Tekla, Nemetschek and Graphisoft ensures that the BIM data held within the library can be offered on multiple platforms.

National BIM Library objects can be updated as a project develops, allowing a specifier to initially use concept objects, then detailed objects and (based on NBS’ work with manufacturers) proprietary objects.

The initiative will gain greater momentum as both the generic and proprietary libraries grow in size and stature. The library has already been recognised by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group as a resource to be used by the construction industry and also by international governments looking to progress their adoption of BIM.

With the NBS library being free to use, the cost of BIM adoption for the UK industry is reduced and ultimately helps the UK on a world stage.



Balfour Beatty Heathrow T2B Effective use of BIM in support of construction delivery


Great Portland Estates and Mace 240 Blackfriars

Laing O’Rourke, Ryder Architecture, Manchester City Council, NG Bailey, Davis Langdon The Manchester Town Hall Complex Transformation Programme

Skanska UK Woodlands School, Essex

Thomas Vale Construction InFormed Education

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