The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) have released a 2010 edition of UniFormat, a method of arranging construction information based on functional elements, or parts of a facility characterized by their functions, without regard to the materials and methods used to accomplish them.
This new edition harmonizes UniFormat with CSI's suite of standards and formats, including MasterFormat 2010 and the new PPDFormat. PPDFormat guides the development of preliminary project descriptions, and when used together with UniFormat, represents a comprehensive approach to organizing construction information during the design stage, the organizations stated.
"With this new edition of UniFormat, estimators and design teams can stay on budget and save time from the point when construction documentation development begins," CSI Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Walter Marlowe said.
"We've been working towards harmonization for five years, and the result will provide tremendous benefits for the construction industry," CSC President Corinne Golding said. "In addition to saving time and money, UniFormat 2010 will play an important role in facilitating BIM by organizing data attached to a model during the preliminary design stages."
UniFormat breaks a facility into systems and assemblies that perform a predominating function -- such as substructure, shell, interiors, and services -- without defining the technical solutions to provide these functions. This allows the facility to be priced at the elemental level, allowing design alternatives to be better evaluated, and allows facility performance to be established at the system level as the project design is being refined, according to the organizations.
Additional Information About UniFormat 2010
UniFormat 2010 edition is a common elemental classification for the description, economic analysis, and management of a building for its life cycle. Elements, often referred to as systems or assemblies, are considered major components common to most buildings that are identified as performing a given function regardless of the design specification, construction method, or materials used.
UniFormat is most often seen in the hands of estimators and design teams, who use it as a cost analysis format or arrangement for early project design documentation. Because it breaks a facility into the systems that perform distinct functions -- shell, foundation, interiors, etc. -- without naming the specific solutions used to achieve them, it provides a consistent method for tracking and estimating costs and evaluating options even before the design team has finished developing drawings and specifications.
This new edition of UniFormat harmonizes with CSI's suite of standards and formats, including MasterFormat's 50 divisions and the new PPDFormat, which guides the development of preliminary project descriptions.
Used together, UniFormat and PPDFormat are a comprehensive approach to organizing construction information during the design stage, CSI and CSC stated. "They can save the design team time when the development of construction documentation begins, and help estimators keep the team on budget.
"UniFormat also has a future with BIM. It is key to organizing the data that is attached to a model during the preliminary design stages.
"The 2010 edition of UniFormat resulted from a five-year development effort. The project included five workshops and commentary on three public drafts, resulting in what is considered a major enhancement and improvement to the 1998 edition. Changes to the 2010 edition of UniFormat include the following:
- Revising UniFormat to increase its usefulness for classifying information for new applications such as BIM.
- Changing the title of the introductory element from "Project Description" to "Introduction" and adding additional material on project criteria and owner's development activities.
- Moving stairs from Category C Interiors to B Shell.
- Reorganizing Category D Services to reflect more of a systems approach with generic functional categories.
- Providing standardized numbers for Level 4 titles throughout UniFormat.
- Adding example performance requirements to many functional elements.
- Separating Related Activities from physical elements in the A Substructure and G Sitework elements. These activities may be included with functional elements as appropriate.
- Placing supplementary components for many functional elements into separate categories to avoid repeating them with each functional element. The Supplementary Components are intended to be included with each functional element in that category as appropriate.
The UniFormat 2010 edition includes the following documents:
- A searchable PDF of the full UniFormat document, including added descriptive information for titles and an index.
- A full listing of the UniFormat numbers and titles as an Excel spreadsheet for import into databases and other applications.
- A transition matrix between CSI/CSC UniFormat 2010 edition, CSI/CSC UniFormat 1998 edition, ASTM UNIFORMAT II, GSA UNIFORMAT, and NAVFAC UNIFORMAT.