This paper investigates the difference in the classification systems between MasterFormat® in U.S., CAWS in U.K., and the Standard specification for the public buildings in Japan. Standardization of the classification system is mandatory for the information management, especially in the BIM environment. However, the classification system for specification in Japan is not systematically classified under the specific ID. First, the historical background of the three classification systems was investigated. Then, compare the difference between them with the example of stainless-steel door. Finally, clarify the difference between U.S. and Japan, and U.K. and Japan.
MasterFormat® in the U.S. is described by descriptive, performance, reference standard, and proprietary method. It is utilized by architects, estimators, contractors, and manufacturers. In 2012, SMM7, based on the CAWS classification system, was replaced by NRM2, but SMM7 is still utilized mainly by quantity surveyors and contractors. In 2013, Uniclass was replaced by Uniclass 2. At this moment, the work section in CAWS was eliminated.
Comparison between MasterFormat® in U.S. and the Standard specification for the public buildings in Japan.
- MasterFormat® covers broader items than the Japanese system., such as Procurement and Contracting Agreement, special constructions, and process equipment.
- MasterFormat® defines its unique ID for each item.
- Both SectionFormat and Japanese one has a hierarchical structure under the category.
Comparison between CAWS in U.K. and the Standard specification for the public buildings in Japan.
- CAWS does not have clear intent to classify information hierarchically.
- CAWS deals with Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and civil engineering items, which is much broader than the Japanese systems.
- CAWS has some unidentified categories, which is not appropriate for the classification system for BIM.