AIA, CSI, NIBS release new CAD Standard

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) have released the newest edition of the United States National CAD Standard (NCS). NCS Version 5 is now available online.
   The NCS helps architects, constructors, and operators coordinate efforts by consistently classifying electronic design data and making information retrieval easier. It improves communication among owners and project teams, cuts or eliminates costs of developing and maintaining company-specific standards, and reduces the expense of transferring building data from design applications to facility management applications.
   NCS Version 5 is the first update to the standard in three years. Unlike previous versions, Version 5 is Web based, making it available at any time for purchase and use. The NCS website received an update as well, making it easy to log in to the new NCS online product.
   “CSI and its partners, AIA and NIBS, are pleased to introduce NCS Version 5,” said CSI Executive Director and CEO Walter Marlowe, P.E., CSI, CAE. “The refinements to the NCS, including round-the-clock online access, reflect the changing needs of the industry and how they work with design data.”
   Among a number of changes, the NCS:

  • Added new “Distributed Energy” Discipline Designators
  • Added a new Level 2 resource Discipline Designator for “Real Estate”
  • Expanded Discipline Designator for “Survey/Mapping”
  • Changed group definitions in “Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, Resource, Structural, Survey / Mapping and Telecommunications Layer Lists” to allow broader use
  • Expanded file extensions (up to four characters allowed now) to respond to changes in software application file extensions.

   To learn more about the United States National CAD Standard or to order NCS Version 5, visit