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.
- Classification, an introduction.
- 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
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.
Sir Oliver Letwin to lead an independent review into the delays in the delivery of housing.
As Carillion collapses, read our article explaining insolvency in the construction industry.
43,000 jobs at risk as Carillion declares insolvency..
1961 saw the publication of three important books about urban design that remain relevant today.
Next week the planning fee increases by 20% and new fees are introduced.
How the transformative power of BIM and other digital technologies can be used to gain a competitive edge.
Relevant events and relevant matters are terms used in some contracts, but knowing the differences is important.
Government release statistics showing how many people are now on the property ladder due to Help to Buy schemes.