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Principles of elemental classification for buildings (International)

For use with building costs and specification Including the BCIS standard classification of functional Elements for buildings Elemental classification is used for: Client brief Cost analysis and benchmarking Cost modelling Cost planning Lifecycle costs Procurement Performance specification Value engineering

Principles of elemental classification for buildings (International)


For use with building costs and specification Including the BCIS standard classification of functional Elements for buildings

Principles of elemental classification for buildings (International) For use with building costs and specification Including the BCIS standard classification of functional Elements for buildings
Published by BCIS RICS 2012 ISBN 978 1 907196 33 1 BCIS Parliament Square London SW1P 3AD www.bcis.co.uk contactbcis@bcis.co.uk BCIS is the Building Cost Information Service of RICS All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of the Copyright owner. While all reasonable care has been taken in the compilation of this document, BCIS, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the compilers will not be under any legal liability in respect of any mis-statement, error or omission contained therein or for the reliance any person may place thereon.

Contents
Introduction The applications of Elements
Client brief Cost analysis and benchmarking Cost modelling Cost planning Lifecycle costs Procurement Performance specification Value engineering

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International usage The BCIS Elements


Table 1 BCIS Elements data structure Table 2 BCIS Elements definitions and measurement

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Relationship of BCIS Elements to other elemental classifications Further advice from BCIS Glossary

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RICS

Principles of elemental classification

Principles of elemental classification

RICS

Introduction
Building clients, consultants and contractors need a standard classification framework to provide a consistent means of communicating functional requirements, costs and specification throughout the life cycle of a project and a building. This document presents a classification of the major parts of a building by their function. These are called Elements. BCIS defines a building as a structurally self supporting, enclosed, usable floor space. Elements are therefore the parts that make a building structurally self supporting, enclose it, provide the floor space and make it usable. An Element is defined as: A major physical part of a building that fulfils a specific function or functions, irrespective of its design, specification or construction. The concept of Elements was developed in the UK in the 1950s to structure costs in such a way that a robust budget could be put on a project before design had started. This approach allowed projects to be designed to a cost rather than costing a design as had happened previously. Today the elemental approach has been taken up as a framework for structuring performance specifications and is widely used for: Client brief Cost analysis and benchmarking Cost modelling Cost planning Lifecycle costs Procurement Performance specification; and Value engineering

The application of Elements is seen around the world. Many developed countries have their own classification of Elements. Almost invariably, these country codes are based on the elemental structures that BCIS originated. BCIS has produced this summary of the classification at the group element and elemental level for use internationally and in countries where there is no local standard. The classification is abstracted from the BCIS Elemental Standard Form of Cost Analysis: Principles, Instructions, Elements and Definitions, ISBN 9781907196294, April 2012. This contains guidance on preparing cost analyses for benchmarking and the treatment of the non-elemental costs such as preliminaries, facilitating works, contingencies, etc.

RICS

Principles of elemental classification

The applications of Elements


Client brief Elements define the functions of a building. Designing the building to fulfil those functions so that they meet the needs of the user is the design process. Therefore, Elements provide an invaluable checklist in setting out the clients brief. Cost analysis and benchmarking Analysing a project cost into Elements provides the data that allows comparisons to be made between the costs of achieving various building functions in a project with those of achieving equivalent functions in other projects. For example, it allows costs to be collected that will give data on the cost of an external wall of a hospital irrespective of how its constructed. This allows project costs to be benchmarked because they are all presented on the same basis at an elemental level. Cost modelling Having costs presented in an elemental form allows budget cost estimates to be generated from minimal information, e.g. a block model from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Building Information Modelling (BIM) system. This can then be varied for different options for shape, size and level of specification. Cost planning As the design develops, the elemental structure continues to be a good discipline to develop the costs to reflect the specification and construction choices made, and allows continual checking back to the original budget so that appropriate adjustments can be made either to the design or the funding. Lifecycle costs An elementally structured capital costs plan provides a good platform for projecting lifecycle costs as the design develops. Procurement Elements provide a good format for presenting the costing documents in a procurement process. Even where a bill of quantities provides the basis of a tender, it is common to structure the bill in Elements, adopting the prevailing trade rules of measurement underneath that. For many procurement methods, e.g. Design & Build, Target Cost, etc. the elemental cost plan will become the basis of procurement forming the structure for the contract sum analysis or target. Performance specification Since Elements reflect the parts of a building that need to be designed in order to fulfil the functional requirements of the building, they have proved a very useful way of presenting performance specifications. For example, the requirements for thermal insulation, sound insulation, colour, look and feel can be established before the final choice of material and construction is made. Costs can also be reflected as a requirement, which ensures that the clients wishes can be fulfilled at this detailed level. Value engineering Value engineering matches the expenditure to the clients perception of value. These are usually expressed as functional performance requirements. Mapping the clients ranking of the function of the building to the elemental costs, which reflect how the money is being spent in fulfilling these requirements, provides a useful structure for examining value. For example, if the building is a national archive where the preservation of the books and historic documents is the key function then expenditure on the control of the temperature, humidity, lighting, and so on will be more important than money spent on finishes. If budgets need to reduce, this approach helps to ensure that cost reductions are made in areas that do not affect the core client value.

Principles of elemental classification

RICS

International usage
International clients Adoption of the BCIS elements structure for benchmarking project costs will provide international clients with a standard method of reporting building costs. For organisations building in different countries, it is difficult to produce meaningful benchmarks and comparisons when the costs are reported in the form that reflects local procurement practices. Implementing a standard reporting structure in elemental form and building a central data base for the project costs will provide an organisation with consistent benchmark data, forming a basis for planning, cost control and cost checking. Understanding where the money goes on a project is the first step in controlling costs. BCIS can advise on the development of databases and benchmarking processes. Countries without a recognised elemental data structure In countries where there is no accepted local elemental structure, this document provides a framework that can be adopted as a solution. The concept of elements is international but different countries have slightly varying building requirements, which leads to slightly different implementation. For example, in warmer climates functional spaces of the building may not need to be enclosed, so the rules for analysing external walls may need to be adjusted. However, the BCIS Elemental data structure has been adopted in many countries and has been a well established starting point in many others. BCIS can advise government, government agencies and national standards bodies on the use and implementation of an elemental data structure.

RICS

Principles of elemental classification

The BCIS Elements


An Element is defined as: A major physical part of a building that fulfils a specific function or functions, irrespective of its design, specification or construction. Table 1. BCIS Elements data structure 1 1.1 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 4 4.1 5 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 6 6.1 7 7.1 8 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 6 BCIS Elements Substructure Substructure Superstructure Frame Upper Floors Roof Stairs and Ramps External Walls Windows and External Doors Internal Walls and Partitions Internal Doors Internal Finishes Wall Finishes Floor Finishes Ceiling Finishes Fittings, Furnishings and Equipment Fittings, Furnishings and Equipment Services Sanitary Installations Services Equipment Disposal Installations Water Installations Heat Source Space Heating and Air Conditioning Ventilation Systems Electrical Installations Fuel Installations Lift and Conveyor Installations Fire and Lightning Protection Communication, Security and Control Installations Specialist Installations Builders Work in Connection with Services Prefabricated Buildings and Building Units Prefabricated Buildings and Building Units Work to Existing Building Minor Demolition and Alteration Works (Strip Out) External Works Site Preparation Works Roads, Paths, Pavings and Surfacings Soft Landscaping, Planting and Irrigation Systems Fencing, Railings and Walls External Fixtures External Drainage External Services Minor Building Works and Ancillary Buildings RICS

Principles of elemental classification

Table 2. BCIS Elements definitions and measurement Element 1.1 Substructure Functional definition Includes To transfer the load of the building to the ground and to isolate it horizontally from the ground All work below underside of screed or, where no screed exists, to underside of lowest floor finishes including damp-proof membrane, together with relevant excavations and foundations (includes walls to basements designed as retaining walls) Loadbearing framework. Main floor and roof beams, ties and roof trusses of framed buildings; casing to stanchions and beams for structural or protective purposes Upper floors including suspended floors over or in basements, service floors, balconies, sloping floors, walkways and top landings, where part of the floor rather than part of the staircase, e.g. insitu floor slab and PCC stairs Roof structure, roof coverings, roof drainage, rooflights and roof features Construction of ramps, stairs, ladders, etc. connecting floors at different levels Measurement Area of lowest floor measured to the internal face of the external wall (as for Gross Internal Floor Area) (m2)

2.1

Frame

To provide a full or partial system of structural support, where this is not provided by other Elements

Area of floors related to the frame measured to internal face of external walls (as for Gross Internal Floor Area) (m2)

2.2

Upper Floors

To provide floor space on upper levels (i.e. above the lowest floor level)

Total area of upper floor measured to the internal face of the external wall (as for Gross Internal Floor Area) (m2)

2.3

Roof

To provide the horizontal component of the external enclosing envelope To allow vertical circulation

Area on plan measured to the internal face of the external wall (m2) Number of storey flights (Nr), i.e. the number of staircases multiplied by the number of floors served (excluding the lowest floor served in each case)

2.4

Stairs and Ramps

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Principles of elemental classification

Element 2.5 External Walls

Functional definition Includes To provide the vertical component of the external enclosing envelope in conjunction with 2.6 Windows and External Doors External enclosing walls including walls to basements but excluding walls to basements designed as retaining walls and items included with 2.3 Roof and 2.6 Windows and External Doors

Measurement Area of external walls measured on the inner face (excluding openings measured as for 2.6 Windows and External Doors) (m2). NB: the total of the area of 2.5 External Walls and 2.6 Windows and External Doors should equal the area of the vertical enclosure Total area of windows and external doors measured over frames (m2). NB: the total of the area of 2.5 External Walls and 2.6 Windows and External Doors should equal the area of the vertical enclosure

2.6

Windows and External To allow access Windows, doors and Doors through external openings in external walls for physical walls movement, natural ventilation and light and provide the vertical component of the external enclosing envelope in conjunction with 2.5 External Walls Internal Walls and Partitions To divide the floor space Internal walls, partitions, balustrades, moveable room dividers, cubicles and the like

2.7

Total area of internal walls and partitions measured on the centreline over door openings and the like (m2)

2.8

Internal Doors

To allow physical circulation between internally divided floor space To provide a functional and/or decorative finish to walls To provide a functional and/or decorative finish to floors To provide a functional and/or decorative finish to ceilings

Doors, hatches and other Number of doors (door openings in internal openings) (Nr) walls and partitions Preparatory work and finishes to surfaces of walls and other vertical surfaces internally Preparatory work and finishes to internal floor surfaces Preparatory work and finishes to internal ceiling surfaces Total area of finished walls (m2), i.e. the area of wall to which the finish is applied Total area of finished floor, i.e. area of floor to which finish is applied (m2) Total area of finished ceilings, i.e. area of ceiling to which finish is applied (m2)

3.1

Wall Finishes

3.2

Floor Finishes

3.3

Ceiling Finishes

Principles of elemental classification

RICS

Element 4.1 Fittings, Furnishings and Equipment

Functional definition Includes To provide functional and/or decorative items

Measurement

Fittings, fixtures, Gross Internal Floor Area furniture; works of art, (m2) and non-mechanical and electrical equipment. Note: Includes domestic kitchen equipment supplied with kitchen fittings Baths, basins, sinks, WCs and the like Mechanical and electrical equipment Internal drainage, refuse disposal and chemical and industrial liquid waste disposal to the external face of the external walls Mains supply, hot and cold water services, steam and condensate services Number of fittings (Nr) Number of fittings (Nr) Number of fittings serviced (Nr)

5.1 5.2 5.3

Sanitary Installations Services Equipment Disposal Installations

To provide sanitary appliances To provide serviced equipment To remove liquid and solid waste from the building

5.4

Water Installations

To provide water and steam

Floor area serviced by water installation (m2)

5.5

Heat Source

To provide a central source of heat

Boilers and other sources Rating in kilowatts (kW) of heat production for heating, hot water and power generation, including combined heat and power and ancillary installations Treated floor area (m2)

5.6

Space Heating and Air To control the internal Heating, cooling and air Conditioning temperature and/or conditioning systems air quality and fixed equipment Ventilation Systems To provide the movement of air To provide electrical power, and to control the light levels (electrically) To provide fuel as a source of energy Ventilating system not incorporating heating or cooling installations Electric source and mains, power distribution, electric lighting distribution and fittings Fuel services from meter or from point of entry to appliances and equipment

5.7

Treated floor area (m2)

5.8

Electrical Installations

Floor area serviced by electrical installation (m2)

5.9

Fuel Installations

Floor area serviced by the systems using the fuel (m2)

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Principles of elemental classification

Element 5.10 Lift and Conveyor Installations

Functional definition Includes To provide vertical and horizontal mechanical transportation Lifts, hoists, escalators, moving pavements, stair lifts, conveyors, cranes, document handling and the like

Measurement Number of stops (Nr), i.e. the number of lifts multiplied by the number of floors served (excluding the lowest floor served in each case), include non-stopping floors of express lifts Floor area serviced (protected) (m2)

5.11

Fire and Lightning Protection

To protect the building and its inhabitants from hazards To provide systems for communication to and between inhabitants for information and security

Fire suppression systems, fire fighting and lightning protection installations Communication, warning, access and building control installations

5.12

Communication, Security and Control Installations

Floor area serviced (m2)

5.13

Specialist Installations To provide electrical and mechanical systems related to the user function of the building, not included elsewhere Builders Work in Connection with Services To provide builders work for services

All other mechanical Floor area serviced (m2) and/or electrical installations (separately identifiable), related to the user function of the building, which have not been included elsewhere Work carried out solely Gross Internal Floor Area to facilitate the provision (m2) of services installations not provided by other Elements Prefabricated complete building and room units Floor area measured as for Gross Internal Floor Area for each unit (m2)

5.14

6.1

Prefabricated Buildings and Building Units

To provide enclosed usable floor area installed as a prefabricated unit. Note: Not a building Element, included to account for general works that cannot be allocated to Elements

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Principles of elemental classification

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Element 7.1

Functional definition Includes Minor Demolition and Not a functional Alteration Works Element; included to account for the cost of general works that cannot be allocated to Elements Site Preparation Works To prepare the site for building Minor demolition and stripping out for refurbishment or conversion that cannot be allocated to Elements Site preparation

Measurement Floor area of building subject to stripping out (m2)

8.1

Area of external works (m2), i.e. site area excluding the building footprint Area of external works (m2), i.e. site area excluding the building footprint Area of external works (m2), i.e. site area excluding the building footprint

8.2

Roads, Paths, Pavings and Surfacings

To provide unenclosed usable hard surfaces

Roads, paths, pavings and other hard surfaces

8.3

Soft Landscaping, Planting and Irrigation Systems

To provide Soft landscaping and unenclosed usable planting soft surfaces and decorative and usable planting To enclose and divide the site

8.4

Fencing, Railings and Walls

Fences, railings and walls Area of external works (m2), i.e. site area excluding the building footprint Site, street, park and play Area of external works furniture, equipment (m2), i.e. site area and ornamental features excluding the building footprint Drainage from the building and the site, on-site waste water treatment, etc. Service supplies to the building and services to external works Ancillary buildings; alterations to existing buildings; other buildings, and work included in the contract Area of external works (m2), i.e. site area excluding the building footprint Area of external works (m2), i.e. site area excluding the building footprint Area of external works (m2), i.e. site area excluding the building footprint

8.5

External Fixtures

To provide fittings required to make the site usable To remove liquid waste from the building and the site To provide services to the building and the site To provide buildings required by external services and minor buildings to support the function of the building

8.6

External Drainage

8.7

External Services

8.8

Minor Building Works and Ancillary Buildings

Note: The table shows Group Elements and Elements. The BCIS Elemental Standard Form of Cost Analysis1 breaks the Elements down into Sub-Elements; the RICS New Rules of Measurement NRM12 provides a further breakdown into Designed Elements and Components, and NRM33 will include a further level of detail for classifying maintainable assets.

1 BCIS Elemental Standard Form of Cost Analysis : Principles Instructions, Elements and Definitions, ISBN 9781907196294, April 2012. 2 RICS New Rules of Measurement Order of cost estimating and cost planning for capital building works (NRM1), ISBN 9781842197684, April 2012. 3 RICS New Rules of Measurement Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works (NRM3), to be published late 2012. RICS Principles of elemental classification 11

Relationship of BCIS Elements to other elemental classifications


The need for elemental classification is acknowledged in International Standard Building Construction Organization of information about construction works Part 2: Framework for a classification of information (ISO 12006.2) Within this, standard Elements is one of the recommended classification tables. It defines Elements as a part of an entity (building) which, in itself or in combination with other such parts, fulfils a predominating function of the construction entity [building]. Elemental tables are produced by many national standards organisations and professional institutions. For example, in the United States ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM), publish Standard Classification for Building Elements and Related Siteworks UNIFORMAT II. Also in the US, the OmniClass Construction Classification System (known as OmniClass or OCCS) is a complete set of ISO tables that includes an Elements table (Table 21). In Europe, many countries have elemental tables, all of them slightly different. The European Council of Construction Economists (CEEC), agreed a common elemental cost grouping, the CEEC Code of Measurement for Cost Planning, which provides links back to the national elemental cost planning systems in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and Ireland. The CEEC code, which BCIS helped to prepare, enables costs prepared in one system to be compared with costs in another system on a common basis. This has established a methodology for mapping any elemental classification. A BCIS International survey of Elements also identified elemental classification systems in Australia, South Africa, Canada, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The survey is available on the BCIS website at http://bit.ly/ies2009

Further advice from BCIS


Elements have become an established way of presenting costs and specification from the earliest stages of a project and will become increasingly important with the implementation of Building Information Modelling. This elemental data structure has been made freely available by BCIS in support of the wider adoption and application of Elements across the construction sector worldwide. Electronic versions are available. BCIS is able to provide advice on local adaptation of these Elements and the setting up of elemental databases. For further information, please contact BCIS at contactbcis@bcis.co.uk

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Principles of elemental classification

RICS

Glossary
Building: A structurally self supporting, enclosed, usable floor space. Building life cycle: All the stages of a buildings life, from construction, operation and maintenance, to end of life including decommissioning, deconstruction and disposal (BS ISO 15686-5). Client brief: Statement of the clients requirements for the performance of a building at the outset of a project. Component: A product or group of products that forms part of an Element or Sub-Element manufactured or designed to serve a specific function or functions. Cost management: The total process, which ensures that the final cost is within the clients budget or cost limit. It is the process of helping the design team design to a cost rather than the quantity surveyor (cost consultant), costing a design. Cost planning: A technique by which the budget is allocated to various Elements of a building project to provide the design team with a balanced cost framework within which to produce a successful design. It allows for redistribution of the budget between Elements as the design develops. Designed Element: Element on a project for which the work result(s) have been defined (ISO 12006-2), i.e. the prescriptive specification that fulfils the function of the Element has been defined. Element: A major physical part of a building that fulfils a specific function or functions, irrespective of its design, specification or construction (BCIS SFCA). Elemental cost analysis: The analysis of costs of a project into Elements and cost categories for contractors overheads, temporary works, etc. in a standard format to facilitate the comparison with other buildings analysed in the same way. Entity: Independent construction of significant scale classified by its physical form/basic function (Uniclass - BCIS Standard Form of Civil Engineering Cost Analysis). Functional requirement: What an Entity, building, Element, etc. is designed to do as distinct from how it is to be built. Group Element: Grouping of Elements defined by their overarching function. Life cycle costing: Methodology for the systematic economic evaluation of life cycle costs over a period of analysis, as defined in the agreed scope (BS ISO 15686-5). Performance specification: A specification for a building, Element, Sub-Element or component written in terms of its performance. Prescriptive specification: A specification of the materials and workmanship of what is to be built. Project life cycle: The process from project inception to completion. It includes initiation, business case, outline design, detailed design, procurement, construction, handover and sign off. Sub-Element: Part of an Element that fulfils a specific function or functions, irrespective of its design, specification or construction (BCIS SFCA). Value engineering: A systematic approach to delivering the required functions to the required quality at the least cost.

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Principles of elemental classification

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The development of elements


The concept of elements was developed in the UK in the 1950s to structure costs in such a way that a robust budget could be put on a project before design had started. This approach allowed projects to be designed to a cost rather than costing a design as had happened previously. This elemental approach has been taken up as a framework for structuring performance specifications and is now widely used for: Client brief Cost analysis and benchmarking Cost modelling Cost planning Lifecycle costs Procurement Performance specification; and Value engineering

BCIS
BCIS (The Building Cost Information Service) is a business of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It was established in 1961 to provide comparative building cost information in elemental form. Today, BCIS continues to provide information in elemental form. It publishes information on the capital and refurbishment costs of buildings, occupancy costs, rebuilding costs, maintenance costs and lifecycle costing. It analyses and interprets information collected from clients, cost consultants, and others working in the construction industry as well as sourcing information directly. The elemental approach has been developed so that it can also be applied on infrastructure projects. BCIS also provides consultancy to government clients on price movement and measurement. BCIS is the leading independent expert on rebuilding costs and its residential rebuilding cost models are accepted as standard by surveyors and loss adjusters. It has been consulting to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for over 30 years. www.bcis.co.uk

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors


With around 100,000 qualified members and over 50,000 students and trainees in some 140 countries, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides the worlds leading professional qualification in land, property, construction and associated environmental issues. An independent organisation, RICS acts in the public interest setting and regulating the highest standards of competence and integrity among its members, and providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues for business, society and governments worldwide. RICS was founded in London in 1868 and granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1881. The Charter requires the Institution: To maintain and promote the usefulness of the profession for the public advantage. The commitment to act in the interests of society continues to be the guiding principle of RICS. www.rics.org