Last edited 12 Aug 2016


The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS), Elemental Standard Form of Cost Analysis Principles, Instructions, Elements and Definitions 4th (NRM) Edition published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 2012, describes the rules for preparing an elemental cost analysis in standard BCIS format.

According to BCIS, the term 'superstructure' includes:

  • Frame: Loadbearing framework. Main floor and roof beams, ties and roof trusses of framed buildings; casing to stanchions and beams for structural or protective purposes.
  • Upper floors: Suspended floors over, or in basements, service floors, balconies, sloping floors, walkways and top landings, where part of the floor rather than part of the staircase.
  • Roof: Roof structure, roof coverings, roof drainage, rooflights and roof features.
  • Stairs and ramps: Construction of ramps, stairs, ladders, etc. connecting floors at different levels.
  • External walls: External enclosing walls including walls to basements but excluding walls to basements designed as retaining walls.
  • Windows, doors and openings in external walls.
  • Internal walls, partitions, balustrades, moveable room dividers, cubicles and the like.
  • Doors, hatches and other openings in internal walls and partitions.

This excludes; the substructure, finishes, fittings, furnishings, equipment and services.

Some broader definitions simply consider the superstructure to include all works above ground level, although clearly, this is a fairly ambiguous description.

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