Uniclass 2015 and NBS services

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

Here we outline the considerations required across a range of NBS services and our plans to incorporate Uniclass 2015:

NBS National BIM Library

All objects added to the NBS National BIM Library since October 2015 include Uniclass 2015 parameters. A programme of work to update the remaining objects with Uniclass 2015 codes will commence late 2016. Updates to this programme will be communicated here.

This work will see the removal of the Uniclass2 codes from the object library (with the NBSReference remaining to ensure integration between the object library and the NBS specification tools remains intact for continuing co-ordination between the model and drawings).

BIM objects currently contain four different parameters – NBSReference, Uniclass2, Description and NBSDescription.

Taking this BIM object externallinkas an example; NBSReference and NBSDescription are parameters for the code and title used in NBS Create. These differ as NBS Create predates Uniclass 2015 by five years.

Uniclass2 information will be removed from our BIM objects going forward and the parameters Uniclass2015Version, Uniclass2015Reference and Uniclass2015Description will be used to house Uniclass 2015 details.

NBS Plus

NBS Plus is a library of manufacturers' product information, linked to specific clauses within the NBS specification software products - NBS Create, NBS Building, NBS Landscape and NBS Scheduler. This information will be mapped to Uniclass 2015 in syncronisation with the NBS Create activity noted below.

NBS Create

In 2016, we have been liaising with customers to explore user preferences. Our ambiitions were to progress with implementation during 2016. Based on findings from research carried out in summer 2016, indications are that users wish to author and output specifications in the classification of their choice depending on the project – with Uniclass 2015 potentially being the default for new projects. Further beta research is required to investigate user requirements in more detail and also extending across the wider Create customer base. Currently we anticipate this exploratory work will result in development activity taking place in 2017.

Any customer interested in taking part in this activity and in providing input for this development should join the NBS Beta Test programme mentioning that they are interested in Uniclass 2015.

As one of the essential tools referenced on bim-level2.org externallink, Uniclass 2015 will eventually be the classification that is used across the UK construction industry. As NBS and other software providers adjust their applications to support its use, the need to classify and specify on current projects is still enabled using the current version of NBS Create.

NBS Building, NBS Scheduler and NBS Domestic Specification

NBS BuildingNBS Scheduler and NBS Domestic Specification will continue to use Uniclass 1.4 codes – a material-based work section classification. Although this classification system is no longer maintained, these codes remain suitable for use on projects. Uniclass 2015 is a systems-based classification and is not currently being considered for implementation within these NBS specification solutions.

RIBA Product Selector

RIBA Product Selector currently utilises CISfB. Decisions on any future use of Uniclass 2015 will be considered as part of ongoing product review.


Decisions on any future use of Uniclass 2015 within RIBA CPD will be considered as part of ongoing product review.