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U.S. National CAD Standard Version 3.1 Now Available

WASHINGTON, DC—Three leading construction industry organizations jointly announced today the release of Version 3.1 of the U.S. National CAD Standard (NCS), which streamlines delivery of commercial and institutional building projects by standardizing the organization and presentation of computer-aided (CAD) drawings and other design data.

The NCS is published jointly by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Revised significantly by industry experts, one of the new version's enhancements is that its structure has been aligned with the 2004 edition of MasterFormat™, the predominant organizational standard for commercial construction projects' specifications and other written data.

A voluntary standard reflecting industry-wide input, the NCS enables architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers, and building owners to eliminate the time-consuming and unproductive task of developing and maintaining proprietary formats for organizing their building data.

The NCS defines standards for many aspects of commercial structures' design data. They include: CAD layers; organization of drawing sets, sheets, and schedules; drafting conventions; terms and abbreviations; graphical symbols; notations; code conventions; and plotting.

How the NCS Advances Project Delivery

"Delivering a facility involves different groups that may never have worked together before, and for today's projects they must develop and share more information faster. A common language aids communication among everyone involved, and that helps increasingly complex projects go more smoothly. For organizing and exchanging CAD drawings, the common language is The National CAD Standard as MasterFormat is for specifications. And because NCS Version 3.1 synchronizes with MasterFormat 2004 Edition, project teams can manage more efficiently than ever the unprecedented volume and complexity of project information, both visual and written," said CSI Executive Director Karl Borgstrom, Ph.D.

In addition to reflecting the new MasterFormat 2004 Edition's structure, NCS Version 3.1 also incorporates all previous versions' changes and updates.

NCS Version 3.1, which also can be used for manually-prepared drawings, comes as a hardcopy binder with a searchable and printable CD. To promote industry accessibility, the new version's price has been deeply discounted compared to previous editions. Cost is $250 for members of CSI, AIA or NIBS (a $150 reduction) and $350 for others (a $190 decrease).

Components of NCS Version 3.1

About NIBS

National Institute of Building Sciences brings together labor and consumer interests, government representatives, regulatory agencies, and members of the building industry to identify and resolve problems and potential problems around the construction of housing and commercial buildings. NIBS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization. It was established by Congress in 1974. For more information, visit or follow @bldgsciences on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

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