Uniclass is a voluntary classification system for the construction industry that can be used to organise information throughout all aspects of the design and construction process. Adopting a standard classification facilitates interoperability between different systems.
Uniclass was created in 1997 by the Construction Project Information Committee (CPIC), a pan-industry organisation with representatives from key industry institutes. However, early versions were criticised for not being genuinely unified, for inconsistencies between the labelling and depth of tables, for poor integration of civil engineering and building works and for being an essentially paper-based system.
As a result CPI developed a new version, Uniclass 2. CPIC stated that 'Uniclass 2 has been developed to produce a classification system for structuring information that is freely available for all participants throughout the life cycle of a project and beyond, which is endorsed by all construction and property bodies and professional institutions.'
Uniclass2015 covers all sectors of the industry and extends the scope of previous versions to allow consistent classification of buildings, engineering, landscape and infrastructure. It is compliant with ISO 12006-2, compatible with BIM Level 2 and is adopted by the BIM Toolkit. Classification mappings are in place for mapping to NRM1 and NBS Create and may be expanded to include systems such as CESSM.
The initial classification provides 7 core tables:
- Complexes – the overall project such as a university campus.
- Entities – such as a building.
- Spaces / locations – such as a space in a building where an activity takes place.
- Activities - the activities to be carried out in the complex, entity or space.
- Elements - the main components of a structure or a building such as walls or roof.
- Systems – a collection of components that make an element, such as the components of a roof.
- Products – the products that are used to construct a system.
Codes within the classification system consists of four or five pairs of characters.
Uniclass2015 will be maintained and updated by the NBS, the lead organisation behind the BIM toolkit to ensure that it remains relevant, and mapped to other systems. Synonyms are being developed to make it easier to find the appropriate classification, and the core tables are expected to be expanded to include; form of information, project management, construction aids and properties and characteristics.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Bills of quantities.
- Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.
- Construction Project Information Committee.
- Model Format for Building Services Specifications BG56 2016.
- New Rules of Measurement.
- Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7).
- Uniclass 1.4 legacy release.
- Uniclass 2.
- Uniclass2 development release classification (2014).
 External references
- Classification, Sarah Delany, NBS, 8 April 2015.
Featured articles and news
“UK waste data needs improving” say BRE specialists, in this summary of their report into construction waste.
UandI announce new joint venture with US developer to work on office refurbishment projects.
BSRIA give critical response to Theresa May's speech on leaving the EU.
Why buildings crack, how cracks are categorised and what can be done.
Inaugurated last week, the new Elbphilharmonie concert venue; a soaring new addition to Hamburg's skyline.
Summary of a new ICE Transport journal which says improving transport infrastructure is essential to eradicating global poverty.
BRE look at a new government report into the accuracy of heat meters.
Herzog & de Meuron get planning permission for revamp of Chelsea FC football stadium.
UK-GBC green paper proposes more powers for cities on new-build housing.
The Pompidou Centre – not a monument but an event.
The Chartered Institute of Building restructures and launches 29 new local hubs.
Designing Buildings Wiki talks to the founder of the world's first indoor biophilic gym, now open in London.