Common Arrangement of Work Sections
It was developed as a result of research demonstrating that the quality of construction information was a very significant determinant of the quality of construction. It was recognised that standardisation of the way production information was created and classified could help improve quality, and that the commonly used CISfb classification was not sufficiently comprehensive to achieve this.
CAWS established a consistent arrangement for specifications and bills of quantities. It was first published in 1987 and was updated by CPIC in 1998 to align it with the Unified Classification for the Construction Industry (Uniclass). In 2005 nbs submitted to CPIC, modifications to the services sections of CAWS for consideration and following 5 years of consultation these changes were accepted.
CAWS is the categorisation of work that is used for the National Building Specification (nbs – which before 1987 followed the CISfB structure), National Engineering Specification (NES), the Standard Method of Measurement, currently in its 7th Edition (SMM7) and a number of industry pricing books such as Spons, Laxtons and Wessex.
The main categories of work sections are:
- A - Preliminaries and general conditions.
- B - Complete buildings, structures and units.
- C - Existing site, buildings and services.
- D - Groundwork.
- E - In situ concrete and large precast concrete.
- F - Masonry.
- G - Structural carcassing, metal and timber.
- H - Cladding and covering.
- J - Waterproofing.
- K - Linings, sheathing and dry partitioning.
- L - Windows, doors and stairs.
- M - Surface finishes.
- N - Furniture and equipment.
- P - Building fabric sundries.
- Q - Paving, planting, fencing and site furniture.
- R - Disposal systems.
- S - Piped supply systems.
- T - Mechanical heating, cooling and refrigeration systems.
- U - Ventilation and air conditioning systems.
- V - Electrical systems.
- W - Communications, security, safety and protection systems.
- X - Transport systems.
- Y - General engineering services.
- Z - Building fabric reference specification.
Each section includes further sub-classification and offers detailed information and supplementary rules.
CAWS has been incorporated into Table J of Uniclass, which was also developed by CPIC. Uniclass is a classification system for organising library materials, product literature and project information.
In 2011, the CPIC used the nbs proposals for re-classification of the work sections in CAWS and Uniclass Table J as the basis of a consultation process for revising Uniclass. This is the classification system adopted by NBS Create. This development of Uniclass as a whole is considered to better accommodate civil engineering and process engineering alongside architecture and landscape, it also better enables the description of systems in performance terms, and is more suited to accommodating facilities management.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Bills of quantities.
- BIM classification.
- Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.
- Construction Project Information Committee.
- Elemental cost plan.
- How to take off construction works.
- New Rules of Measurement.
- Production information.
- Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7).
 External references
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