News & Press: Announcements

Revision Cycle Period For the Next Version of NCS to Open On Monday, December 7, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009  
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From NCS Steering Committee:
Mark Butler, HDR Inc. - NCS Project Committee Chair
Rick Green. Wilson and Company - Vice Chair NCS Steering Committee
Greg Jordan, Dewberry - Secretary NCS Steering Committee
Kevin Busacker, Leo A. Daly
Ed Lowe, Burgess & Niple Inc.
Stephen Spangler, USACE CAD/BIM Technology Center
Sarah Meyers, CSI
Dominique Fernandez, NIBS

Dear Project Committee Members,
We are pleased to announce that the next revision cycle of the U.S. National CAD Standard (NCS) will open on Monday, December 7, 2009. The NCS revision cycle is the method by which changes to the NCS are proposed, debated and ultimately voted upon to amend the current version of the NCS. Each revision cycle actively engages the NCS Project Committee in a process designed to keep the NCS current and responsive to industry needs.

This revision cycle is designed to solicit proposals to amend NCS Version 4.0, leading to the creation of the next version of the NCS. The official document to be amended consists of the NCS Version 4.0.

NCS Project Committee Members Website

As many of you are aware, the Steering Committee had elected to postpone the start of this revision cycle until such time as we had been able to develop and test a new collaboration portal to support the efforts of the NCS Project Committee. That effort is now complete and we are pleased to announce the availability of the buildingSMART alliance collaboration portal to support submission, review and voting on proposed amendments to NCS Version 4.0.

NCS Project Committee membership is required to gain access to the collaboration portal. An email with your member portal user name and password was sent to you in October of this year. To gain access to the member portal go the NCS website at and click on the "Member Portal Login" link. We invite you to log on the portal and take a tour of the new collaboration portal by clicking on the "Take a Tour" video located on the portal landing page. The video describes how to navigate through, and use, the site.

Work Flow for NCS Proposed Amendments

Members of the NCS Project Committee can propose a change or addition to the NCS. The NCS Rules of Governance, located in Appendix F of NCS Version 4.0, describe the methods for submitting a proposed amendment and the process for reviewing and voting on the amendment. Each proposal follows essentially the same four steps:

  1. Ballot Item Submission - A proposed amendment must be documented on an NCS ballot form. Three forms have been developed for the submission of proposed changes to the NCS: a CAD Layers Form, a UDS Symbols Form and a general Multiple Form for amendments other than layers or symbols amendments. The forms must be submitted through the balloting module of the portal. The balloting module will be officially opened on December 7, 2009. The ballot forms can be downloaded from the "NCS Ballot Forms and Review Procedures V5" folder located on the NCS Project Committee page of the collaboration portal.
  2. Task Team Review - Ballot forms submitted are first reviewed by the appropriate NCS Task Team. Dialog may take place between the Task Team and the author of the ballot to clarify a proposed amendment. Task Teams will either "approve" or "reject" a proposed amendment and notify the author. Task Teams also have the purview to suggest that the author resubmit the ballot item with appropriate changes. Approved ballot items are moved to the Accepted Ballot items group for full NCS Project Committee review and discussion. Rejected Ballot Items will also be available for comment in the Rejected Ballot Items group.
  3. Project Committee Discussion - After approval by the Task Team, the merits of each proposed ballot are open for review and discussion by the full NCS Project Committee.
  4. Voting - At the close of the discussion period, the NCS Steering Committee will announce the opening of the voting period. NCS Project Committee members will be asked to vote on each of the task team approved ballot Items. Voting will take place electronically on the collaboration portal.

The NCS ROG indicates that results of a ballot to amend the NCS shall be valid only if votes are cast by a minimum of 2/3 of eligible Project Committee members. The Steering Committee respectfully requests that all Project Committee members recognize their voting responsibility as part of their participation on the NCS Project Committee as noted in the ROG." 1.8e...Members who fail to submit a vote on any written ballot shall be considered inactive and no longer a member of the Project Committee..."


The Ballot Submission Period due to open on December 7, 2009, is scheduled to run through February 6, 2010. During that period ballots can be submitted and will be reviewed by the appropriate Task Teams through March 6, 2010. Ballots that are approved by Task Teams will be promoted for full Project Committee discussion. That discussion period will remain open through April 3, 2010. At the conclusion of that discussion period, the Project Committee will meet on April 19-20, to review the ballot summary that will be submitted to a vote. Project Committee members will be asked to vote on each of the ballots. We expect that the voting period will commence on May 12, 2010, and will remain open until June 21, 2010. The results of the vote will be distributed to the Project Committee on or before June 30, 2010. Changes and updates to the NCS will be incorporated in the document with a new release tentatively planned for March 2011. The NCS revision cycle schedule will be maintained and updated on the NCS collaboration portal.

We Appreciate Your Involvement

We are glad that you have chosen to become an active participant in this NCS revision cycle. We appreciate the patience that everyone involved has shown as the Steering Committee tested the new collaboration portal. We look forward to your contributions to serve the interests of the NCS and its constituents.

Mark Butler
Chair, US National CAD Standard Project Committee

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