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    Classification of Construction Costs—An International Overview from a UK Perspective

    Published: 2014

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    The development of elemental cost planning in the UK gave rise to a generally adopted Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) standard for classifying costs for buildings. The existence of data in this format has underpinned the development of cost control and, recently, the UK government”s cost reduction strategy, which is based on the existence of reliable benchmark data. Similar concepts and classifications have also been developed around the world. Attempts to exchange data with other European countries in the Conseil European des Economistes de la Construction (CEEC) identified some significant differences in national usages for similar concepts (i.e., that in our “common” exchange language of cost per unit area for a building type, neither the costs nor the area were measuring the same thing). This resulted in the CEEC Code of Measurement for Cost Planning, which proposes a common grouping for the building elements and identifies the different area definitions. UNIFORMATII will be mapped to the Code. RICS has undertaken surveys to identify element classifications in other countries and produced Principles of Element Classification for Buildings (International) to promote the concept and use of elements. Until recently, there has been no widespread adoption of these methodologies in civil engineering, despite the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) having produced a Standard Form of Civil Engineering Cost Analysis for use by the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). The government”s desire for benchmarks has led to a wider interest in consistent cost breakdown structures for civil engineering and the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is premised on the integration of classification systems used by all parties to the development of a project. The revisions to ISO 12006-2 Building Construction—Organisation of Information About Construction Works—Framework for Classification need to be reviewed in this context


    construction classification, cost planning, elements, entities, benchmarking, building information modelling, measurement, building, civil engineering

    Author Information:

    Martin, Joseph L. N.
    Executive Director, BCIS, RICS, London,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E06.81

    DOI: 10.1520/STP158620140034