ITcon Vol. 1, pg. 25-50,

A Conceptual Framework for Classification of Construction Works

submitted:November 1995
revised:February 1995
published:March 1996
authors:Anders Ekholm, Dr
Div. of CAAD, School of Architecture, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
summary:Classification is a means to facilitate communication among actors in a field of practice. In the construction sector classification plays a major role in specifications, structuring of documents, calculation of costs, etc. The need for general classification systems grows with the increased internationalisation of the construction market and the rapid development towards a computer integrated construction process based on computer aided product data modelling. These processes require standardised ways of describing construction artefacts, and classification is a means to achieve this. Classification within the construction sector is based on pragmatic tradition and national needs, but internationally applicable classification tables must be founded on a neutral conceptual framework. The ISO Technical Report 14177 \"Classification of information in the construction industry\" aims at providing such a framework. This study analyses some basic concepts within the ISO Technical Report, among others facility, space, element, and work section, and suggests further developments. Fundamental semantic and ontological theories are applied to define some basic concepts within classification and to build a conceptual framework for construction works. A general conclusion of the study is that the proposed framework is useful as a foundation for identifying classes for construction works. Among the more specific conclusions are that: 1) a separate classification of socio-technical user systems may be a useful background for classifying infrastructure units, construction works, and spaces according to the activities they support; 2) a classification of construction work parts as \"shape objects\" is needed in the earliest stages of the computer-aided design process; and 3) a definition of space that includes its boundaries is proposed. 
keywords:classification, construction, facility, element, work section, space, CAD
full text: (PDF file, 0.15 MB)
citation:Ekholm A (1996). A Conceptual Framework for Classification of Construction Works, ITcon Vol. 1, pg. 25-50,