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Significance and Use
4.1 This classification defines building elements as major components common to most buildings. The classification is the common thread linking activities and participants in a building project from initial planning through operations, maintenance, and disposal.
4.2 The users of UNIFORMAT II include owners, developers, facilities programmers, cost planners, estimators, schedulers, architects and engineers, specification writers, operating and maintenance staff, manufacturers, and educators.
4.3 Use this classification when doing the following:
4.3.1 Structuring costs on an elemental basis for economic evaluations (Practices , , , , , and ) early in the design process. Using UNIFORMAT II helps reduce the cost of early analysis and contributes to substantial design and operational savings before decisions have been made that limit options for potential savings.
4.3.2 Estimating and controlling costs during planning, design, and construction. Use UNIFORMAT II to prepare budgets and to establish elemental cost plans before design begins. The project manager uses these to control project cost, time, and quality, and to set design-to-cost targets. See for an example of a UNIFORMAT II building elemental design cost estimate.
4.3.3 Conducting value engineering workshops. Use UNIFORMAT II as a checklist to ensure that alternatives for all elements of significant cost in the building project are analyzed in the creativity phase of the job plan. Also, use the elemental cost data to expedite the development of cost models for building systems.
4.3.4 Developing initial project master schedules. Since projects are built element by element, UNIFORMAT II is an appropriate basis for preparing construction schedules at the start of the design process.
4.3.5 Performing risk analyses. Simulation is one technique (Practice ) for developing probability distributions of building costs when evaluating the economic risk in undertaking a building project. Use individual elements and group elements in UNIFORMAT II for developing probability distributions of elemental costs. From these distributions, build up probability distributions of total project costs to establish acceptable project contingencies or to serve as inputs to an economic analysis. (See Practice for guidance as to what economic method to use.)
4.3.6 Structuring cost manuals and recording construction, operating, and maintenance costs in a database. Having a manual or database in an elemental format helps you perform economic analysis early in the design stage and at reasonable cost.
4.3.7 Structuring preliminary project descriptions during the conceptual design phase. It facilitates the description of the scope of the project for the client in a clear, concise, and logical sequence; it provides the basis for the preparation of more detailed elemental estimates during the early concept and preliminary design phases, and it enhances communications among designers and other building professionals by providing a clear statement of the designer's intent. See for a sample preliminary project description (PPD) based on UNIFORMAT II.
4.3.8 Coding and referencing standard details in computer-aided design systems. This allows an architect, for example, to reference an exterior wall assembly according to UNIFORMAT II element designations and build up a database of standard details structured according to the classification.
4.4 UNIFORMAT II, as described in this classification, includes sitework normally related to buildings but does not apply to major civil works. It is also unsuitable for process applications or for preparing trade estimates.
1.1 This classification establishes a classification of building elements and related sitework. Elements, as defined here, are major components common to most buildings. Elements usually perform a given function, regardless of the design specification, construction method, or materials used. The classification serves as a consistent reference for analysis, evaluation, and monitoring during the feasibility, planning, and design stages of buildings. Using UNIFORMAT II ensures consistency in the economic evaluation of buildings projects over time and from project to project. It also enhances reporting at all stages in construction—from feasibility and planning through the preparation of working documents, construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, and disposal.
1.2 This classification applies to buildings and related site work. It excludes specialized process equipment related to a building's functional use but does include furnishings and equipment.
1.3 The classification incorporates three hierarchical levels described as Levels 1, 2, and 3. presents a more detailed suggested Level 4 classification of sub-elements.
1.4 UNIFORMAT II is an elemental format similar to the original UNIFORMAT elemental classification. UNIFORMAT II differs from the original UNIFORMAT, however, in that it takes into consideration a broader range of building types and has been updated to categorize building elements as they are in current building practice.
1.5 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
E833 Terminology of Building Economics
E917 Practice for Measuring Life-Cycle Costs of Buildings and Building Systems
E964 Practice for Measuring Benefit-to-Cost and Savings-to-Investment Ratios for Buildings and Building Systems
E1057 Practice for Measuring Internal Rate of Return and Adjusted Internal Rate of Return for Investments in Buildings and Building Systems
E1074 Practice for Measuring Net Benefits and Net Savings for Investments in Buildings and Building Systems
E1121 Practice for Measuring Payback for Investments in Buildings and Building Systems
E1185 Guide for Selecting Economic Methods for Evaluating Investments in Buildings and Building Systems
E1369 Guide for Selecting Techniques for Treating Uncertainty and Risk in the Economic Evaluation of Buildings and Building Systems
E1804 Practice for Performing and Reporting Cost Analysis During the Design Phase of a Project
E2083 Classification for Building Construction Field Requirements, and Office Overhead & Profit
E2168 Classification for Allowance, Contingency, and Reserve Sums in Building Construction Estimating
E2514 Practice for Presentation Format of Elemental Cost Estimates, Summaries, and Analyses
AdjunctsDiscount FactorTables, Adjunct to Practices , , , , and Available from ASTM International Headquarters. Order Adjunct No. .
ICS Number Code 91.060.01 (Elements of buildings in general)
|Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)|
ASTM E1557-09(2015), Standard Classification for Building Elements and Related Sitework—UNIFORMAT II, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015, www.astm.orgBack to Top