Just when you though we had enough TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) another one comes along; NOL – the National Object Library. This one is certainly worth knowing though (for Australians at least). The NOL is an initiative to provide a non-proprietary solution aiming to resolve the lack of standardised content.

I was lucky enough to attend a workshop today which was presented by Robin Drogemuller and Scott Beazley.  They explained how the NOL is built with three layers:


  • Meta Schema – defines data required to translate between formats
  • Schema – defines the industry requirements for which products and components are stored
  • Objects – geometry in generic format



The NOL is designed to be used within your BIM application of choice (Revit, Archicad, Bentley), with direct access provided within each application’s user interface. When you select an item from the NOL it is translated into your application’s native format. But that’s not all, you can select the LOD and the amount of information contained, and they haven’t skimped here either, considering national and international standards and schemas such as IFC property sets, COBIE/Lcie/Spie, VA, OmniClass, Natspec, and Australian Standards. You can also update existing objects in a model, adding additional parameters as required. This makes it quite a unique solution that has already gained interest in several other countries, plus they are constantly developing and refining even more functionality…



This is certainly shaping up to be the library of all libraries; ease of use, cross platform capability and smarts built right in. Best of all, they intend it to be free for end users, but you’ll have to wait until late next year before it is launched…

And yes, it’s not only going to lead to a betterRevit, but also much better BIM!

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