What is Uniclass 2015?

Uniclass 2015 is a unified classification system for the UK industry covering all construction sectors. It contains consistent tables classifying items of all scales from a facility such as a railway down through to products such as a CCTV camera in a railway station.

How has Uniclass 2015 come about?

Uniclass 2015 has its origins in Uniclass (and, later, Uniclass2), originally developed by the Construction Project Information Committee (CPIc) and released back in 2007.

In 2014 CPIc passed its intellectual copyrights in Uniclass to the UK government allowing it the system to be further developed for use with Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Today, Uniclass 2015 forms a key part of the UK government’s suite of tools and processes that underpin Level 2 BIM and is continuing to be refined in response to user needs and feedback.

How are NBS involved?

Developing Uniclass 2015 was a key deliverable of the BIM Toolkit externallink project, tasked to NBS by Innovate UK.

Over the past few years, NBS have consulted with a wide range of industry representatives, significantly extending the scope of what was referred to as Uniclass2 and taking on board industry feedback to the draft tables published by CPIc back in 2013. NBS are tasked with its future development and maintenance to support the needs of construction professionals.

How is feedback being taken onboard?

NBS receives lots of construction industry input, which is managed by an in-house team headed up by NBS Head of Classification, Sarah Delany.

She meets regularly with representatives from a range of construction disciplines, across public and private sector to review the tables, the feedback received and explore ideas for futher development. This feedback is vital to ensuring the tables meet the needs of real users and real-life project lifecycle activities.

You can feedback comments or request changes (via the feedback bar at the bottom of this externallink page).

As Sarah explains: “Developing clear ways of organising information in an open and consultative fashion and getting the tables into a state where the people who will use them can do so in a really practical and intuitive way has been a passion of mine from the very outset and underpins our work on Uniclass 2015.

"No two days are the same. Typically I could be doing anything from responding to requests for new codes for cranes for manoeuvring port containers and underpasses for mammals and amphibians, dealing with queries from overseas bodies about uniclass translation options or emails and calls requesting clarification on how to use the tables in the BS1192 container naming convention. Life is never dull and the contact I have with industry representatives is what helps to deliver a system the industry wiull be able to use and benefit from".

I recently heard about updated tables – what’s changed?

The latest update to Uniclass 2015 facilitates a broader adoption of classification - moving it beyond detailed design and construction to include concept design and asset management. Positive collaborative working continues.

Newly published tables moving out of consultation status include: Activities (Ac) externallink, Entities (En) externallink,
Complexes (Co) externallink, Spaces/ locations (SL) externallink.
Revised tables include: Elements/Functions externallink (formerly Elements (Ee)).
You can access full revision information for each of the tables here externallink.

Are the recent changes in response to feedback received?

Absolutely. This recent update delivers improved matching between elemental cost categories (NRM) to Uniclass 2015 codes and we’re continuing to work closely with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in this area.

Changes to the Complexes, Entities, Activities and Spaces/Location tables have benefitted from discussions with the Environment Agency and Highways England on how best to map central asset registers to Uniclass 2015 following their own consultation process. This saw new information being added to the tables and a reorganisation of existing information.

As Sarah Delany explains; “Highways England will now use Uniclass 2015 when designing new projects to describe what they want as well as being able to feed that pre-existing knowledge of what works and doesn’t from their asset registers into new construction specifications. Work continues with the Environment Agency to achieve the same goal”.

What’s next?

The initial classification work has focussed on the seven core tables that describe an asset required to support the Digital Plan of Work. Over the coming months we will consult with industry on the development of other tables. The Construction aids (CA) externallink and Form of information (FI) externallink tables remain in beta status and open to consultation. The Project Management (PM) table remains in draft and an initial consultation has started.

Where can I find out more about Uniclass 2015 and classification?

Our Uniclass 2015 page draws together a range of useful resources. Notably:

A guide to classification externallink and the development of Uniclass 2015 can be found on the NBS BIM Toolkit website. From here you can view and download the latest Uniclass 2015 classification tables externallink.

Articles charting the development of a range of classification systems over time feature on theNBS.com and can be viewed via the Classification systems page.

We've recently developed a range of videos exploring classification. These explore what classification iswhat the Uniclass 2015 numbering system means and how you can view and download the tables, drawing on a range of real-life examples. You can find these and more besides on our YouTube channel externallink.