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GBE Practice Specification Template A00 BRM 160818

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Features Benefits Practice Specification Templates PST Collaborate

Features Benefits Practice Specification Templates PST Collaborate

Legend: F = Feature, B = Benefit, D = Disadvantage, O = Opportunity

Subject: Features Benefits Disadvantages Opportunities of NBS Based Practice Specification Template (PST)

Specification writing is generally not enjoyed by the majority of Architects for a number of reasons:

  • Graphically minded designers are not at their best when reading and writing
  • We get bored after a paragraph without a Hellman cartoon, drawing, diagram, picture, chart or table.
  • Specifications are an interruption to designers normal tasks of designing and drawings
  • Specifications happen infrequently and at long intervals so familiarity rarely establishes itself
  • Requires a logical and meticulous mind to assemble and edit specifications
  • Most want readymade specification libraries to get started
  • Most want a software application to manage the process

National Building Specification (NBS) Specification Library:

  • F Specification library is maintained by others at National Master Document level
    • B Can be relied upon to be substantially up to date with current requirements (with 3 updates per annum)
    • B Up to date with current UK and EU legislation, regulation and contract practices
    • B Up to date with EU rules and will evolve as Brexit takes effect
  • F It aims to be competent and enables being green
    • F Some Green Clauses
    • B Enables compliance with ‘BRE Green’
    • D Needs more work to address Green Robustly
  • F NBS has many readymade work sections made of many readymade clauses
    • F Detailed product Clauses and Assembly clauses
    • B Should avoid missing out vital information
    • D Not always detailed enough about important criteria or performance characteristics
    • O Can copy a clause and unlimited editing as required to add detail and then delete the original clause
    • F Tick or cross many readymade clauses, if they apply or not
    • B Editing process can be partly simple and partly fast
    • F ‘insert-brackets’ in other clauses allows completion of those clauses
    • F General or Clause guidance note are there for completing ‘insert-brackets’
  • F Broad range of materials and methods of construction
    • B Addresses many current methods of construction
    • D It is not comprehensive some popular trades and methods of construction are missing
    • O Other specifications are missing and need to be added, (examples from GBS):
      • O A38 Waste minimization
      • O A90 Performance Specification
      • O G22 Cross Laminated Timber Panel (CLTP) Systems
      • O G26 Structural Insulated Panel Systems (SIPS)
      • O P14 Air and Wind tightness systems
      • O Z34 Hot Dip Galvanizing

NBS Software: (features of Both NBS Building and NBS Create)

  • F Is a database that looks like word processing
    • D Can be infuriating to use if used to work processing
    • D Not always detailed enough about important criteria or performance characteristics
    • O Can copy a clause and unlimited editing and then delete the original clause

NBS Building:

  • F Based on Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS) classification (Chapter or work section order)
    • F Predominantly Trade-based Specification with some element Specifications
    • B Industry standard since 1987 still current today
    • D NBS wish to stop supporting NBS Building during 2018
    • B NBS Subscribers will probably not migrate to NBS Create to allow NBS Building to be unsupported
    • D BIM is driving adoption of Uniclass 2015 classification
    • D BIM is driving adoption of Uniclass and NBS Create
    • O An Elemental approach can be implemented in NBS Building
    • O All missing work sections can be added to NBS Building easily
  • F Starts with a complete work section that has to be edited down
    • There is a lot to turn off or delete
  • F Generates 200-400 page whole building project specifications
    • B Quite efficient in terms of numbers of words and pages

NBS Create:

  • F Based on Uniclass II classification (Chapter or work section order)
    • B BIM is driving adoption of Uniclass in CAD and NBS Create in Specification
    • B Industry standard since 1997 and of growing importance with BIM
    • B Predominantly Elemental, Sub-elemental and Component Specifications
    • B Complimentary with Elemental:
      • Elemental Performance requirements of the Building Regulation
      • Elemental BRE Green Guide to Specification
      • Elemental Pricing Guides
      • Elemental Approaches and readymade BIM models
      • Elemental Robust Details
      • Practice Elemental and Standard Details or Standard Approaches
    • F Any missing work sections can be added to NBS Create
    • D Adding new work sections and supporting clauses needs a great deal more care and attention
    • D Uniclass splits the elements from their performances, assemblies and components each with their own Uniclass classification codes and then cross references them
  • F Facilitates the gradual development of the specification without lots of unedited clauses
    • B Evolves through briefing, designing, detailing, specifying, tendering, post tender value engineering, contracting, supervising, facilities managing
    • B Starts small grows as the knowledge grows than shrinks to suit the purpose
  • F Starts with an empty work section that needs to be built up
    • F Clauses can be assembled from readymade parts that need to be chosen and populated
    • D Can be intimidating and slow to create a work section
  • F Generates 500-1200 page whole building project specifications
    • D Sounds quite inefficient in terms of numbers of words and pages

Practice Specification Templates:

  • F Both NBS Building and NBS Create enable its users to set up Practice template Specifications
  • B Templates can be pre-edited to part complete the specification before any projects are created from it
  • F Practice Templates are linked to NBS Specification Library and can be made into a bespoke version of it
  • F Project Specifications are linked to the Practice template, the pre-edited version of NBS Specification Library
  • B Templates help create project specifications with less work to do and therefore be done more quickly
  • F Can be used as repository of Corporate Knowledge, in the right place, at the right time
  • F Practice Policy can be turned into Practice actions via the specification software
  • B Clauses can be made Mandatory by choosing them at Practice template level, making them unable to be undone or turned off at project level
  • F Practice guidance notes can include: practice guru notes, hyperlinks to office intranet, links to external internet, links to files on servers, images, cad files
  • B All the right information is available, in the right place, at the right time, to inform competent decision
  • F Work sections can be deleted and clauses can be crossed or turned off at Practice template level and not be available at project level
  • F Bespoke work sections covering missing methods of construction can be added, with the guidance of Practice Gurus and manufacturers and they can have both practice general and clause guidance notes
  • B Methods of construction used by the practice can be easily adopted when the specification is readily available too
  • F Versions of clauses can be created and ‘insert-brackets’ populated with preferred products, materials, accessories or systems, manufacturers or suppliers
  • B Once the specification clause is created at Template level it can be chosen at project level with very little effort, except perhaps choosing the colour or size
  • B A level of consistency can be achieved by having ready made competent and consistent clauses
  • B With a high level of non-english mother tongues in our practices today spelling errors or poor grammar can be avoided if more clauses are already written and populated
  • F We are familiar with readymade standard details and objects in BIM
  • B These details and objects can come with readymade standard clause
  • F Versions of clauses can be left unedited and Practice Guidance notes can have optional text to use to complete the ‘insert-brackets’
  • B A specification clause with or without pre-edited ‘insert-brackets’ at Template level can be left un-ticked and then edited within the ‘insert-bracket’ at Project level
  • F Versions of clauses can be created to suit the procurement method and practice clause guidance notes clarify which version to use, if it is not obvious
  • B Time can be saved editing the same changes in every project specification.
  • F There is room in work sections to add additional clauses to make the specification bespoke to the Practice
  • F The ticking of clauses at Practice Template level enable faster editing of project specification
  • D It is essential that great care is taken when ticking at Template level to ensure all possible scenarios are considered and the clause will not be a problem in any situation.
  • O If there are lists of possible options within a clause, they should always be in a ‘insert-bracket’ and left unticked so they can be edited at project level and ticked at project level only.

Practice commitment to maintain the Template

  • Having decided to develop a practice template specification within NBS Building or NBS Create it must then be maintained for as long as the subscription service is maintained.
  • NBS updates its services 2-3 times a year
  • Its library of clauses gets updated and selectively work sections get overhauled when the sector or its reference publications change
  • Every time the NBS updates, the Practice Specification needs to be validated against the new NBS clauses
  • Validation: A change in an NBS clause that has been modified in the Practice Template needs to be compared with the bespoke clause and the bespoke clause updated as necessary.
  • This process is handled in a bespoke part of the software to make it as painless as possible.
  • It remains a challenge for most users.
  • If a project is created between NBS updates it is tempting to not validate it against any NBS updates, unless big changes have occurred that need to be engaged with.
  • Validation of the practice template specification needs to occur before a new project is started.

Practice Template as a Practice Overhead

  • Since the development of the practice template potentially improved the efficiency of all project specifications they its development could be considered as a Practice overhead and its costs shared between all projects
  • Its maintenance could also be considered as a Practice overhead
  • If a Project is about to start then the NBS update validation should be carried out first and this could be considered either as a practice overhead or a project cost.

Roll out of the Practice Template Specification

  • If the Practice uses the template specification as a means to drive Practice Policy into Practice Action then the use of the template needs to be considered as a mandatory requirement.
  • Training will need to be provided to ensure everybody knows how to use it, where to find the files and how to implement them.
  • The Practice members need to be introduced to the Features and Benefits so they can see the benefits are real and relevant to them and their projects.

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
15th August 2018 – 17th August 2018

Features Benefits Practice Specification Templates PST Collaborate

GBE Practice Specification Template A00 BRM 160818

GBE Practice Specification Template A00 BRM 160818

GBE Practice Specification Template A00 BRM 160818 PDF

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
15th August 2018 – 16th August 2018

Features Benefits Robust Specification Templates RST Collaborate
See Also:

GBE Collaborate

GBE Services

GBE Specification Templates

GBE Shop

  • Features & Benefits of Practice Specification Templates (Shop) DOCX G#_____
  • Features & Benefits of Contractor Specification Templates (Shop) DOCX G#_____

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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
15th August 2018 – 16th August 2018

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