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We surveyed almost 600 UK designers and specifiers about how they find the product information they need and their associated views.

Find out what specifiers want from CPD, how that is changing and how the RIBA CPD Providers Network can help you to build lasting relationships with specifiers.

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Knowledge Case studies Downloads What Specifiers Want 2023 New Changing landscape of CPD The Specification Cycle


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Knowledge Case studies Downloads What Specifiers Want 2023 New Changing landscape of CPD The Specification Cycle

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About NBS

How long is the construction timeline?

A length of a construction timeline varies from project to project, but what each project has in common is the stages in the process. From the initial brief to research, modelling, and specification and beyond, the timeline follows a structure set out by the RIBA Plan of Work.

What are the stages of the RIBA Plan of Work?

The RIBA Plan of Work segments and organises the construction timeline into eight simplified stages; (0) Strategic Definition, (1) Preparation and Brief, (2) Concept Design, (3) Developed Design, (4) Technical Design, (5) Construction, (6) Handover and Close Out, (7) In use. Each NBS Product is tailored to provide manufacturer information to architects, in the right format, for the appropriate stage of the timeline. Download our comprehensive guide.

Product information

What is so good about NBS Source?
It is a revolutionary tool which will significantly help the construction industry on its digital journey. NBS Source presents a single digital source of construction product information, all presented in a standardised way, making it easy for specifiers to find, select and specify products.

NBS Source also enables manufacturers to be much more efficient in maintaining their product information, archiving de-listed products, rapidly adding new products and updating product information. NBS Source takes the headache out of data management, and soon with our ‘bulk update’ feature there will be no more manual entry, and users will have the ability to update products in just a few clicks.
When did NBS Source go live?
NBS Source went live in April 2020 and is currently running in parallel with RIBA Product Selector, NBS Plus and NBS National BIM Library. We will then bring each of these websites offline as the year progresses, ultimately making NBS Source our single platform for products.

I keep hearing about NBS Chorus, what is it?

NBS Chorus is a fully online specification platform for construction professionals, launched in 2019, it is the future of specification writing, connecting the model and specification across the entire life cycle of a building project. Over 3,500 architectural practices are creating their specifications with NBS tools, that’s over 300,000 active users making specifying decisions for their projects. They are using the NBS National BIM library to source objects for their models, and they are picking their products from NBS Plus, all connected through NBS Chorus. 

What is enhanced product data?
NBS will work with manufacturers who sign up to NBS Source, to provide an additional level of data about their products, written to a standardized set of properties and values – this is being referred to as ‘enhanced data’. This data is what specifiers are looking for, and enables powerful search functionality and easy product comparison, along with other features.
Why is it important to provide specifiers with enhanced product data?
If the product data format is consistent, then decision-making is easier. Specifiers have a duty to ensure that they choose the right products. Too frequently, they were finding it harder than necessary to make an informed choice between products. Information presented varied between products and between manufacturers meaning specifiers couldn’t easily tell if they were comparing similar products or not. This wastes valuable time, and creates the risk of specifying the wrong product.

What is happening to your other products?

NBS Source incorporates all the current content from RIBA Product Selector, NBS Plus and the NBS National BIM Library into one single platform. This means there will be over 1,110 manufacturers and 22,000 products in NBS Source from launch. It’s also fully linked to the RIBA CPD Providers Network.

The current websites for these products will continue to run alongside NBS Source for a period of time before eventually being retired as NBS Source becomes established. To take full advantage of NBS Source functionality, customers can upgrade to a single NBS Source contract at any time, or when their existing contracts expire.

What is the difference between Source tier 2 and Chorus for Manufacturers?

Listing your systems and products on Source is the best method of being discovered by specifiers at the point of specification. However, it's now possible to strengthen this position even further by offering a full specification writing consultancy service from the point where your systems and products are being considered.

This will allow you to better advise on which products are suitable for a specific project need and how they should be installed to ensure that the required performance is met. On more complex projects, the expertise of construction manufacturers is vital and being able to collaborate digitally on the same specification can ensure the best outcome and also eliminate the chance of being substituted at a later stage.

Simply - Source helps you get discovered by the wider industry and you can be added to spec with a click of a button. Chorus for Manufacturers - builds on Source so that specifiers and manufacturers can work collaboratively on more complex requirements.

Why are you launching NBS Source now?

NBS Source is all about making the process of finding construction products better, by helping manufacturers meet the drive for high-quality digital product data, supporting specifiers in making the right product choices for their projects and helping the industry work towards delivering a ‘golden thread of information’.

We conducted research with specifiers and product manufacturers showing that people were frustrated with aspects of the specification process, in particularly finding products. Specifiers want accurate, up-to-date product information in digital form. Increasingly they require more structured data along with proof of product performance, such as sustainability information or third-party certification. Manufacturers, some of whom are managing thousands of product lines, wanted a more targeted way to provide this information to specifiers. People across both groups wanted a more unified approach, with well-structured digital product data which they can access wherever they need it, across the whole project timeline.

Specifiers also wanted to be able to bring in the manufacturer spec teams at a more detailed level, inviting them into the spec so they can easily get answers to their detailed questions and avoid specifying the wrong product.

Through NBS Source, we intend to put these ideas into practice, ensuring that the right products are specified.


Existing customers

Aren’t you asking existing manufacturer customers to pay twice?

No – your new NBS Source subscription will replace your previous subscriptions for RIBA Product Selector, NBS National BIM Library and NBS Plus. Manufacturers will subscribe according to their needs and the costs will be tailored accordingly. Get in touch with your account manager if you have any concerns; otherwise, we will be in touch closer to your point of renewal.

I’m an existing manufacturer customer, what does this mean for me?
All existing content has been migrated to NBS Source, so all NBS manufacturer customers’ information is now in NBS Source. At the point of renewal, manufacturers will be moved onto the new NBS Source subscription, which replaces all their existing subscriptions with NBS. As part of this new contract, NBS will work with each manufacturer to enhance their data so that they can better meet industry needs. For those manufacturers that would like their data enhanced sooner, please contact us to discuss bringing this date forward.
I’m an existing manufacturer customer – when will my data be enhanced?

We will contact you at your point of renewal to work with you on enhancing your data. If you wish to enhance your data earlier than this date, then please contact us to discuss bringing this date forward.

Technical content

Is NBS Source interoperable? Has it been developed with open standards in mind?

NBS Source is interoperable and API integrations will be available for customers to access and use the product data held within NBS Source. We will work with prospects and customers to understand what product data they want access to and how they wish to use it.

NBS Source has been developed from the ground up to be aligned with existing standards and also to be ready for standards that are currently in development. Please see the following technical article for further information: https://manufacturers.thenbs.com/resources/knowledge/nbs-source-and-industry-standards

What is NBS Chorus and how does it link to NBS Source?

NBS Chorus is our cloud-based specification tool which is used by architects, designers, engineers and other specifiers to develop their project specifications. NBS Chorus helps them work faster and gives them all the content they need to write specs, including manufacturers’ product information. This manufacturer product information comes from NBS Source, and allows manufacturer products to be dropped instantly into a project specification, along with all the associated properties.

Product support and information

Is there somewhere I can view analytics for the subscription I have?

Yes, please log in to your self-service My Account, click on 'Analytics' and you will be able to see how specifiers are interacting with your company and products.

I have forgotten my ‘My Account’ password
I’ve subscribed, how do I get my logos?

Once your products have been reviewed and approved by our team of specialists, you can download your logos from My Account.

How do I add or remove certificates on our ribaproductselector.com listing

Please email manufacturers@thenbs.com with the title of the certificates to be removed and provide updated certificates to be uploaded, and we’ll do this for you.

How do I advise you that our company has presented our CPD to a practice?

You can log your upcoming CPD events via My Account, and click on 'Register of CPD Events'.

Contact us

We'd love to help you get the most out of your marketing budget to help you on your journey to specification. Fill out the form below and one of our account managers will be in touch.

See our platform in action

See for yourself how NBS can help you on your specification journey. Speak to an experienced account manager, or request a free demo. We're here to help.

Ask for help

If you're already an NBS subscriber, and need help with your products. You can use your self-service, 'My Account', use the FAQs, or contact our support team.

Join our team

We're always on the lookout for talented people to join our team. To find out about NBS, our Vision, Mission and Values or see our current vacancies, visit the NBS website.

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