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Building Product Classification

Uniformat vs Masterformat

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Classification of building products is critical to organizing and summarizing available knowledge in a structured way. To support the construction industry when dealing with specifications, reporting, cost estimation, and information exchange cove.tool has added industry standard classifications to our product database.

How are classifications done?

Building products are grouped together on the basis of two principles: direct grouping and combination or faceted grouping.

  1. Direct grouping includes identifying products that have the same combination of properties that are based on the purpose of the classification. For example, an example of direct grouping of the parts of a building is the wall, floor, foundation, roof, and window.

  2. Combination or faceted grouping includes a combination of one or multiple sets of attributes. In this type of classification, only simple subclasses that are based on a single principle of division are listed and are then grouped into facets.

Types of classification

There are mainly 4 types of classification systems developed in North America and UK.

  1. OmniClass (UK) - Faceted Grouping. Derived from standards developed by ISO and ICIS.

  2. MasterFormat - Direct grouping and a hierarchical classification system. Produced by CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) and CSC. Used since the 1960s. Consists of delivery methods, products, and installation methods.

  3. UniFormat - Direct grouping and hierarchical. Published by CSI and CSC. Consists of systems or assemblies.

  4. UniClass (UK) - Faceted Grouping. Provided by CPI.

What does the cove.tool product database use?

Cove.tool product database uses a combination of Masterformat and Uniformat system to bring in product layers and use them to create code minimum and generic assemblies. It compiles all the attributes of each product - thermal performance, cost, embodied carbon, dimensional properties, and much more from reliable sources and manufacturers.

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