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Last edited 22 Apr 2022
Classification, an introduction describes classification as, ‘what things are called, and how those names are arranged and structured’, or ‘the act or process of dividing things into groups according to their type.’
- Production information.
- Schedules of rates / quantities.
- Information management systems.
- Operation and maintenance information.
SfB stands for Samarbetskommitten for Byggnadsfragor, the initials of a Swedish committee that developed a common arrangement for three key construction industry books: a price book, a specification and a product book or set of data sheets. The system was adopted internationally by CIB (Conseil Internationale du Batiment) and recommended to members institutes. The RIBA took a licence to establish an Agency for SfB in the UK and recommended its use with UDC in 1961 for architects libraries.
In 1968 the RIBA published a revised version called CI/SfB (Construction Index SfB) which dropped the use of UDC and added two new tables to SfB tables 1, 2 and 3. Table 0 was roughly based on UDC and Table 4 on the CIB Master List of Properties, with additions. There was a further revision in 1976.
This system has been used in the UK and possibly elsewhere for technical and trade literature in the construction sector, more recently being used to define layers in computer aided design (CAD) construction drawings. It also formed the basis of the BS 1192-5 Construction drawing practice. Guide for structuring and exchange of CAD data.
In recent years it has been gradually superseded by Uniclass, which has a much wider coverage and is able to encompass new building types and concepts involving energy and environmental issues. However, many architectural libraries are still organised according to the CI/SfB system.
The method of displaying CI/SfB classifications is to use four boxes (or bays) with specific codes that appear in a particular box. References are based on five tables which then fit into the four boxes.
- Table 0, Box 1: Physical environment (such as bedroom).
- Table 1, Box 2: Element (such as utilities).
- Tables 2 and 3, Box 3: The form of the product and the material it is made from.
- Table 4, Box 4: Non-objects (such as administration, cleaning, and so on).
Window openings only as above (31.4)
With Table 3 - Construction form, the products are classed as components, with the code being X, followed by a code for the material used (such as metal - ‘h’), and a sub-code for the particular type of material (such as aluminium - ‘4’).
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