A long long long time ago in a life that seems a million miles away now I worked as a Technical Manager at RIBA Information Services – I had a great time and learned a lot of stuff about data management, IT, the web and all kinds of things which have served me well in later life- I had a great time with a great bunch of people.
Any way it was around that time that the first version of Uniclass was pulled together, to unify all the different classification systems that we have for everything in the built environment.
Since 1997 the world has changed a lot, as we know. And for any baby boomer who has lived through the last 15 years you know what I mean.
Facebook in terms of population is the third largest country in the world, well over 850 million users, ranked only behind China and India.
The smartphone I have in my pocket is a zillion times more powerful than the first Apple Mac I bought in 1992.
And information, lots and lots of information – more than we can ever assimilate in a lifetime, emails, texts, files, by the terabyte, let alone gigabyte.
Which brings us to classification and BIM. Could data classification be cool and sexy? I think it could, and I’ll tell you why grasshopper.
Its great having all this information over the whole asset or project lifecycle, vertical or horizontal seems to be the new terminology. But for the information to be useful, to be used efficiently in your BIM system, you need to be able to find it! Moreover the people you work with need to be using the same system too, and so on across the industry. And of course this classification system needs to be able to cope with any kind of project at any kind of stage in its whole lifecycle.
Uniclass 1.0 was a bit of a make do and mend. It contains CAWS(Common Arrangement of Work Sections, F10, H41, etc) and CISfB which as a system was discontinued several years ago. The current Uniclass is inconsistent, doesn’t have the room for expansion we need for the future, and can’t cope with the diversity of projects needed to be catalogued across the lifecycle.
Uniclass 2.0 currently under consultation answers these points, and whilst we will have to say goodbye to our old friends F10 and H41, we will have a whole new bunch of friends with their new codes and categories. More importantly the new Uniclass will enable us to work with the data we need in a BIM environment, consistently and efficiently.
Whilst this may seem the province solely for geeks and nerds, this affects us all, whatever your role, whatever your business or sector – you will need to store, find, retrieve and exchange your data. This does exactly what it says on the can!
So understanding this stuff could be the new cool. You need to anyway! So instead of a new series of the Big Bang Theory, it’ll be the Big Data Theory.
Mark my words – you heard it here first!
More to come on Uniclass soon in a few weeks.