Annual Report 2004

Annual report 2004

We are pleased to present the annual report of the Construction Project Information Committee for 2004.
This year has seen significant developments throughout the construction industry as it identifies improved ways of working. Having been published in 2003, the CPIC Production information code has been adopted as the basis for new initiatives in promoting collaborative working. The code is now being used in live projects. We look forward to seeing the improvements that will result from these procedures.

Executive Summary

We are collaborating with the DTI Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project, which is aimed at implementing existing ICT into live projects. The CPIC Production Information Code will be used as a basis for the management of production information on the selected projects. We are also reviewing UNICLASS and the Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS) to establish what revisions, if any, are required. The Production Information Code has been well received and we are greatly encouraged by the endorsement given by Richard Saxon, Vice President- Practice, of the RIBA and Director of BDP;

“This Code should be the essential reference on production information for every designer in the construction industry. Its use will result in high quality drawings, specifications and schedules of work that in turn will result in high quality, better value projects. Clients would be wise to require the principles to be used on their projects”.


The Construction Project Information Committee (CPIC) is jointly sponsored by the RIBA, RICS, the Construction Confederation, CIBSE and ICE. The background to CPIC can be found in the history.
The main task of CPIC and its sponsors is to promote and maintain its publications on Production Information and the Common Arrangement of Work Sections, with the aim of reducing disputes and improving the efficiency of the construction process.

The terms of reference of the Committee are set out in the Constitution. and the Membership in Committee members.

The importance of production information

Production information is conveyed by drawings, specifications and bills of quantity or schedules of work. Unless this information is complete, accurate and co-ordinated it will not be effective and, no matter how good the design, it will not be satisfactorily realised on site. Poor production information causes delays, extra costs and poor quality, which in turn give rise to disputes over who is responsible for the problems. Good production information is thus of vital importance to the success of the project.

Recent developments in IT and CAD have made it possible to build a virtual prototype of a project in a computer. This enables errors, omissions and co-ordination problems in the production drawings to be identified and rectified before work starts on site, thus avoiding the expensive delays and re-working which are, at present, too common. A project at Stansted Airport for BAA on which 3D modelling was used, has shown that cost benefits of at least 10% of contract sum can be achieved.

At present most production drawings are produced using 2D CAD systems, but the inadequacies of manual methods remain. However, if the disciplined procedures associated with the use of 3D modelling are used to produce 2D models a substantial part of the benefits of 3D modelling can be achieved.

Computerised specification systems have also been developed to the point that they are now supplanting traditional word processing methods. Most recently, a computerised schedule of work system has been developed to assist the substantial small jobs sector of the industry.

The report of Sir John Egan’s Task Force “ Re-thinking Construction” 1999 highlighted the need for the UK construction industry to improve quality and eliminate waste of all kinds, particularly in the process (as well as the product) and for greater use of systems and standardisation.
The use of the new CPI Code will make a significant contribution to achieving these objectives.

The Avanti project

We are collaborating with the DTI Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project, which is aimed at implementing existing ICT into live projects. This work will take place over the next three years and will cost £5,809,000. Part funding by DTI amounts to £750,000 and the CPIC Code will be used as the basis for the management of production information. This should provide valuable feedback for the revision of our Code, which is scheduled for three years time.

Progress report from Avanti

Since the start of the Avanti project programme we have had to prepare and agree the content and delivery mechanisms for the programme along with the deliverables.

In order to achieve this we prepared a number of toolkit documents that would be used to as material for project workshops and to become the corporate procedures at the end of the live projects. There are a number of these documents covering a range of topics including:

  1. SMP- Standard, Method and Procedure for CAD spatial coordination and data management.
  2. DMP – Design management Procedure for the management and delivery of the detail design production information.
  3. Extranet – A specification for the development of extranets to support the collaborative activity and to give greater management to the data distribution and to aid the contractors design management requirements.

A separate group has been set up to develop the Extranet. This group reports to the steering group who are also researching the file naming, document naming and drawing naming conventions for electronic data and paper output. Representation on the steering group includes Avanti practitioners, BCIS including the RICS IT group, NBS, ICE IT group, BSRIA.

The above items will be fully documented along with the live project case studies to be view and considered by the CPIC committee for future publication.

To ensure full industry involvement we have persuaded the PIX Protocol (Project Information Exchange) Building Centre Trust and the AEC (UK) CAD layer naming group to work with Avanti to achieve a common set of documentation. Representatives of all the CPIC sponsors are involved in the work.

There are also some specialised documents covering the field of structural data generation and the M&E and building services design with drawing production, material scheduling manufacture/fabrication and erection/installation processes.
One other subject for pile design and delivery has already been carried out and will be tested on a live project shortly.

There are a number of live projects on which the processes are being tested and developed and the case studies will be published shortly.

Revision of CAWS and UNICLASS

Common Arrangement of Work Sections

Early in the year the Committee was approached by National Building Specification which saw the need to update the work sections in the Common Arrangement. Following discussion, it was agreed that it would be appropriate to conduct a formal review taking account of the proposals from NBS. This was publicised by letters to the sponsoring institutions, via a press release and via the CPIC website.
Unfortunately the response was very limited, though since the end of the formal consultation period several organisations have expressed interest and submitted comments and suggestions.
A small subcommittee was set up to take this forward. It is expected that the result will be a new edition of the Common Arrangement ready for publication in late 2005.


Members of the Avanti project are considering Uniclass as a draft document and making suggestions for expansion of the current classification. This is being carried out as a series of workshops and specialist working groups for architecture, structural engineering, civil engineering including road and rail, M& E including public health and building services.
The Uniclass group reports to the Avanti steering group which includes representatives from Avanti practitioners, BCIS including the RICS IT group, NBS, ICE IT group, BSRIA.


The Code is being publicised through newsletters and house magazines of our sponsors, NBS, and ITCB. Other routes include technical press, ITCBP conference and case study. We are currently examining ways in which we can provide material, which will assist education and training establishments in providing training in the preparation of production information. CPIC has an ongoing commitment to promoting the use of its Codes.

The Code is available for sale from our sponsors’ bookshops or direct from CPIC. It is also available on our web site.

Finance (year ending 31st. December 2004)

Details of the committee accounts for the year ended 31st. December 2004 are available here.

Appointment of new Secretary

Peter Jordan has stood down from the post of Secretary of CPIC which he has held for 12 years. The members of the committee are very grateful to Peter for all he that has contributed in the past and are pleased to welcome him as a co-opted member of the committee.
We are pleased to welcome the new secretary Sarah Delany.


Our work in preparing the new Code shows that there is clear evidence that there is a problem with the quality of production information and this is having a significant adverse effect on the efficiency of the construction process. We believe that the Production Information Code addresses this problem and that its use will result in significant savings in project costs.

The adoption of our Production Information Code for the Avanti project is welcome and will provide valuable feedback for our next edition