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AIA, CSI, and NIBS Invite Software Developers to Implement National CAD Standard

Thursday, July 14, 2005  
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ALEXANDRIA, VA—The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), has jointly released a formal invitation to CAD and other software vendors to use the U.S. National CAD Standard Version 3.1 in software.

Among its many functions, the National CAD Standard (NCS) proscribes CAD layer names, drawing set organization, drafting conventions, and notations. It also contains an extensive symbols library and thousands of terms and abbreviations.

In an effort to make the NCS easier to use, AIA, CSI, and NIBS are offering software vendors the opportunity for a non-exclusive NCS license. The organizations believe that the National CAD Standard would be easier to use if folded into a CAD program through 'spell-check' functions, drawing templates, or symbols library, for example.

"Imagine how much more efficient your office would be if these functions were integrated into the software you already use," said CSI Executive Director Karl F. Borgstrom, Ph.D.

The invitation, along with detailed NCS information is available here.

About the NCS

U.S. National CAD Standard Version 3.1 consists of AIA's CAD Layer Guidelines, CSI's Uniform Drawing System (Modules 1-8), and the Tri-Service Plotting Guidelines.

The NCS coordinates these CAD-related publications to allow consistent and streamlined communication among owners and design/construction teams. Version 3.1 with searchable CD is now available for purchase. The price is $350 ($250 for members of AIA, CSI, or NIBS). Use of the NCS will result in reduced costs for developing and maintaining office standards and the transfer of building design data from design to facility management.

Adoption of the U.S. National CAD Standard by the building design and construction industry is voluntary. However, several government agencies have adopted the standard, while dozens of public and private organizations are in various stages of implementation for the design, construction and operation of building facilities. See a list of adopters.

About the AIA

Since 1857, the AIA has represented the professional interests of America's architects. As AIA members, over 74,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation's buildings and communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public, and colleagues of an AIA-member architect's dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. For more information visit, or call 800-AIA-3837.

About CSI

CSI is a national association of specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, building materials suppliers and others involved in commercial and institutional building design and construction. The organization has 145 chapters and more than 16,000 members. CSI provides technical information and products, continuing education, professional conferences, and product shows to enhance communication among all disciplines of building design and construction, and to meet the industry's need for a common system of organizing and presenting construction information. For more information, visit, or call 800-689-2900.

About NIBS

NIBS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization bringing together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to focus on the identification and resolution of problems and potential problems that hamper the construction of safe, affordable structures for housing, commerce and industry throughout the United States. NIBS provides an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sector of the economy with respect to the use of building science and technology. For more information, visit, or call 202-289-7800.

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