Bowmer + Kirkland helps NBS develop Chorus for contractors

Screen grab of NBS Chorus
Bowmer + Kirkland (B+K) is helping NBS to develop a contractor-friendly iteration of its cloud-based Chorus specification platform.

Since its launch, NBS has focused Chorus on architects and designers – more than 3,600 design practices use Chorus, it claims. But now, with B+K’s input, an iteration of the platform is being developed for contractors.

According to NBS, the “innovative functionality of Chorus… will allow design managers to better collaborate with their design partners and manufacturer supply chain, speeding up the design process and reducing defects in construction”.

The contractor-friendly Chorus will include improved features to help contractors work with their approved suppliers. Design managers can then take snapshots of specifications at key work stages to create an archive of ‘big data’ from previous projects, helping to maintain robust digital records.

NBS also plans to improve the embodied carbon metrics, supported by Environmental Product Declarations available from product manufacturers.

Bowmer + Kirkland’s input

The NBS/B+K partnership has been led by B+K framework delivery director James Vaux-Anderson. He noticed that, since 2019, the use of the NBS Chorus platform had increased among its design partner architects and engineers.

Vaux-Anderson explained: “Now that NBS is in the cloud, it means that collaboration across the project team is a reality. We’ve seen continuous improvement from Chorus in terms of functionality around masters, collaboration, manufacturer content, licence options and publishing. Discussing required additional functionality with NBS to make it really work for our design managers has now given us the confidence to recommend that this is our process for future projects.

“This approach has benefits on an individual project level, but also aligns with our greater vision, to build a rich set of searchable big data across all of our projects.”

Dr Stephen Hamil, innovation director at NBS, added: “We focused on the needs of the specification writer when we initially launched Chorus. We then became aware of other benefits that came with working in the cloud as architects and engineers invited manufacturers to collaborate on developing complex system specifications.

“We’ve worked hard on improving these collaboration workflows around licensing, audit history and permissions. The next natural step for NBS is to widen the usage of Chorus to the design managers that oversee this process on large contractor-led projects.

“Working alongside Bowmer + Kirkland will allow us to hone our platform to the needs of contractors, improving collaboration on future projects and supply chains and developing a standardised approach to specification development.”

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