Uniclass 2015: A Comprehensive Classification System for the UK Construction Industry
This blog post is a part of a series focused on classification management in BIM. To gain a complete understanding of the subject, it is recommended to follow the reading order below:
The UK construction industry has long been in need of a unified classification system that can be used across all sectors and levels of construction. Uniclass 2015 is a system that has been developed by the Construction Industry Project Information Committee (CPIC) to meet this need. This system is a heavily revised version of the original Uniclass, which was released in 1997. It has been designed to be more suitable for use with modern construction industry practices and to be compatible with Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards.
Uniclass 2015 was developed by experts from across the construction industry, with the National Building Specification (NBS) leading the effort. The new system is designed to be a comprehensive system that can be used by the entire industry, including the infrastructure, landscape, and engineering services, as well as the building sector. It also provides a means of structuring project information that is essential for the adoption of BIM Level 2, which is a component of the UK BIM Mandate.
The initial classification work has focused on the seven core tables that describe an asset required to support the Digital Plan of Work. Additional tables covering Form of Information, Project Management, and Construction Aids are also under development. Uniclass 2015 is structured in accordance with ISO 12006-2 Building construction – Organization of information about construction works – Part 2: Framework for classification. This means that it is particularly suited to use in an international context, as mapping to other similarly compliant schemes around the world is streamlined.
Uniclass 2015 is divided into a set of tables, each covering a different 'class' of information. These tables can be used to categorize information for costing, briefing, CAD layering, and when preparing specifications or other production documents. They are also suitable for buildings and other assets in use, as well as maintaining asset management and facilities management information.
The suite of tables is broadly hierarchical and allows information about a project to be defined from the broadest view of it to the most detailed. For detailed design and construction, the main starting point are Entities, which are composed of Elements; Elements are made up of Systems, which in turn contain Products. Entities can also be described using the Spaces and Activities tables, if required, and at the more general level the Complexes table contains terms that can be thought of as groupings of Entities, Activities, and Spaces.
The tables are designed to be flexible and to be able to accommodate sufficient codings to ensure coverage to allow for a multitude of items and circumstances, including new technologies and developments that are yet to emerge. Each code consists of either four or five pairs of characters. The initial pair identifies which table is being used and employs letters. The four following pairs represent groups, sub-groups, sections, and objects. By selecting pairs of numbers, up to 99 items can be included in each group of codes, allowing plenty of scope for inclusion.
Uniclass 2015 is a comprehensive classification system that has been developed to meet the needs of the UK construction industry. It is designed to be flexible, comprehensive, and suitable for use in an international context. The system is particularly well-suited for use with BIM standards, and provides a means of structuring project information that is essential for the adoption of BIM Level 2. With the support of industry experts and the National Building Specification, Uniclass 2015 is sure an essential tool for the UK construction industry. Want to know more about differend classification systems? Take a look at our information about OmniClass.