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NBS launches new Uniclass tool to support adoption

NBS, the leading provider of connected construction information, today launches a new Uniclass tool showcasing an intuitive and user-friendly design with improved accessibility to support increasing Uniclass adoption levels.

uniclass-banner-2022

NBS, the leading provider of connected construction information, today launches a new Uniclass tool showcasing an intuitive and user-friendly design with improved accessibility to support increasing Uniclass adoption levels.

Aware of the importance of having a classification structure for information to achieve interoperability, NBS was part of the team that first created Uniclass back in 1997 to provide a unified classification structure for all disciplines in the built environment. Uniclass contains various tables that allow for products, materials, buildings, landscape, and infrastructure to be classified using one unique system, independently of their scale, and it is also a requirement for BIM projects as set by the ISO 19650 series of standards.

The system is widely used to identify and manage the assets involved in a construction project and throughout the whole lifecycle of an asset, from design to demolition, and to organise information across all disciplines (from architecture and civil engineering to landscape design and infrastructure). However, as adoption increased, the Uniclass website needed to become more accessible for users.

The new tool has been redesigned to support interoperability between software platforms, by providing the user with the ability to see the relationships between classifications and offering a more user-friendly platform with an improved search functionality returning results based on synonyms.

The tool is now more interactive, allowing users to browse Uniclass’ structures through a more accessible format that ensures codes can be found instantly, and the latest and historical tables can be downloaded easily. The site offers an improved visual layout, which has been modernised and adapted to the needs of the user. Website content has also been updated and refreshed with new articles and users’ case studies to showcase examples of the classification in use, including its use by the specialists at the Palace of Westminster, for which additional codes were created so they could be applied to the historic items inside.

Also included in the new tool are:

Improved user support

A new area has been included for users to get help and technical support when using Uniclass and submit feedback on tables and Uniclass improvements.

API and downloads

Easy access is provided to the Uniclass API, so data can be easily extracted and downloaded, in line with the efforts to support interoperability. Mapping, partnership, translation and licensing information have been made available and accessible and there is a clearer call to action on what users can do next.

Futureproofing Uniclass

The Uniclass tool redesign is the latest in a series of measures to futureproof the classification system and support with adoption. Last year, the Uniclass Advisory Board (UAB) was formed with the purpose of providing advice on potential improvements to Uniclass, the evolving need for data security around sensitive assets, buildings, and infrastructure and to ensure the system remains up to date as the digital construction matures.

Tina Pringle, Director of Digital Information at NBS and a member of the team who initially devised Uniclass, is one of the board members along with a cross-section of relevant stakeholder organisations, including representatives from bodies who supply, consume and procure construction data.

Tina Pringle said, “Digital construction is the future of the UK’s built environment. However, to make technology use ubiquitous we need to establish common protocols and approaches, including having a classification system that’s widely used across the sector.

“Uniclass is such a tool and despite being a requirement of public sector projects, private sector adoption is still somewhat lacking. That’s why we’ve looked at what we can do to make Uniclass easier to use, and this new website will go a long way in helping more industry professionals unlock the benefits of consistent classification.”