Promoting collaborative working within the construction industry
Currently the classification system is based on a number of high level classifications.
Uniclass is for use in organising many different forms of information including documents in libraries, project information, cost information, specifications, etc. Many potential users of Uniclass are at present users of CI/SfB and/or CAWS (Common Arrangement of Work Sections for building works). Uniclass includes all the topics covered by these two schemes, and in addition it presents some new tables and parts of tables, notably Table L Construction products, and a new project lifecycle classification (part of Table C Management).
Uniclass comprises 15 tables, each of which represents a different broad facet of construction information. Each table can be used as a “stand alone” table for the classification of a particular type of information, but, in addition, terms from different tables can be combined to classify complex subjects (see section on signs, below).
Many of the tables are inter-related in the sense that the same or similar words can appear in more than one table. For example “windows” appears in the Construction products table, in the Elements for buildings table and in the Work sections for buildings table.
The difference is that in the:
Alongside is a full list of tables in Uniclass, with a brief description of their important features. Definitions of the terms used and examples are given in the introductions to each of the tables.
Uniclass notation consists of a single capital letter followed by one or more digits, except for the Work sections tables (Table J and Table K) which have two initial capital letters so as to incorporate the CAWS and CESMM3 codes. To allow easy shortening of the notation the numbers are not padded out with trailing zeros to create a fixed number of digits. This causes no problems for computerised sorting systems, but sometimes confuses people who may intuitively think that, for example, D11 files after D2 (see 2.3 Filing order, below).
The Uniclass notation is hierarchical; for example D21, D22, D23, etc. are always subclasses of D2. This means that if, for your purposes, you do not require the full detail of the Uniclass tables you can delete digits and classify at a higher level in the hierarchy. This allows Uniclass to be used in many different situations, with differing degrees of detail.
In the Uniclass system different scales/complexities of construction works are recognised. In order of decreasing scale/complexity these are: construction complexes, construction entities, spaces, elements.
In many cases it will not be necessary to distinguish between construction complexes and construction entities; for example, both office complex and office building may be classified at D32. However, if it is necessary to make this distinction of scale, then the appropriate class number from Table E Construction entities may be combined using a colon with the D32, thus: D32:E0 Office complex; D32:E8 Office building.
Similarly, if it is necessary to indicate that the construction object in question is a space rather than a complex or a building, the class number from the facilities table may be combined using a colon with the class number from the Spaces table – for example: D32:F Office space; D32:F2 Office room.
However, colons should only be used as indicated above when absolutely necessary. It is not necessary to use combined class numbers when:
This capability is available on the website tools as follows.
The double, or even triple, coding introduces a level of complexity that is unacceptable for the generation and collation of Building Information Models (BIM), including infrastructure projects. The granulation required by the generators of CAD/BIM data would follow the need to break the building into systems and construction elements:
Example of Construction Elements
This may need to be further defined for granulation purposes as:
This creates a problem of selection of the code; G gives the element, P will give the material description. If applied as described in the code we would get:
Core Fabric: Foundations: Reinforced Concrete
G21: G311: P227
Which does not allow for a full description for other elements such as Beam, Column, Slab or Staircase?
Sub sub code
|1 Insitu concrete|
|2 Precast concrete|
|3 Reinforced concrete|
|2 Pile caps|
|1 Insitu concrete|
|2 Reinforced concrete|
e.g G2113 would be Foundation_Pad Reinforced_Concrete as a single code using the underscore as a deliminator.
Example: The structure could be defined under G26 Frame/isolated structural members as follows:
|Element||Code||Sub code||Sub sub code||Sub sub sub code|
|2 Columns/ stanchions|
Other items such as the Stairs would come under G23 and Floors under G22.
In this way the high level three digit code is maintained and granulation can occur in a structured way. If required this can be redefined on extraction from the CAD/BIM model files in spreadsheets and word documents.
For steel or timber construction the staircase should be seen as a single element:
Not a collection of construction elements:
The tables being made available are to allow the industry to help develop the classifications for CAD/BIM use and to retain the current capability to link the classifications to Specification and Cost.
The original table can be selected or the current update based on extensive work on the Crossrail Project.
The tables G and H have been combined and re-titled as Construction Elements to eliminate the imposed distinction between building and infrastructure (civil) projects. In a BIM world there should be no distinction between the two.
This table is useful for organising reference material in libraries, and also, when using combined codes, for denoting the medium in which information is published.
Uniclass tables are intended to be used by practitioners of any discipline within the construction industry; however, this table will be useful where it is appropriate to organise information according to subject discipline.
This table has a similar basis to that of B, since it classifies management and project management as subject disciplines. The project management section is intended also for classifying project information according to the stage in the lifecycle of a project in which the information is generated.
This table classifies construction works according to the user activity (or purpose) which they are intended to serve; the scale of the construction works is not explicitly given, so each code can equally well be used for classifying a complex, a construction entity (see below) or a space.
A construction entity is an independent construction of significant scale, e.g. a building, bridge, dam, etc. This table classifies construction entities according to physical form/basic function, as opposed to user activity which is covered by the Facilities table. The table is to be used in two main ways: firstly to classify information on types of construction works which are not covered by the Facilities table; secondly as a qualifier to codes in the Facilities table to indicate the scale of a facility and the physical form/basic function of a facility. The Construction entities table can also be used to classify the scale of a construction works, i.e. whether it is a complex or an entity (see E0).
This table classifies spaces according to a number of different characteristics including their location, scale, and degree of enclosure, but not according to user activity (see Table D Facilities). It is to be used in a similar way to Table E: firstly to classify information on types of spaces not covered by the Facilities table; secondly as a qualifier to codes in the Facilities table to indicate the scale of a facility (in this case, that the facility is a space).
This table classifies major physical parts of buildings and can be used for organising both design and cost information.
This table uses the same main headings as the Construction entities table (with the exception of buildings and construction complexes). For each type of construction entity the table classifies the major functional parts. The primary use is expected to be for cost analysis.
This table is based on the well known Common Arrangement of Work Sections for building works (CAWS), and incorporates changes to be made for the second edition of CAWS. It is used for organising information in specifications and bills of quantities and for classifying information on particular types of construction operation.
This table is based on CESMM3, and has similar uses to those of Table J.
This table is based on Electronic Product Information Co-operation (EPIC), an international classification for construction products. It is used for classifying trade literature and design/technical information relating to construction products.
This table is for classifying trade literature and technical information relating to plant and equipment used for aiding construction operations.
This table is for classifying information on subjects related to properties and characteristics (for example a book on fire safety); for the arrangement of information in technical documents; and for adding as a qualifier to codes from other tables.
This table is for classifying different kinds of material, and also for adding as a qualifier to codes from other tables, especially the construction products table (for example classify aluminium framed windows at L413:P43).
This table indicates how UDC can be used to classify subjects not covered elsewhere in the Uniclass system. Only the main headings of UDC are given.