Standards for Building Economics

Subcommittee E06.81 on Building Economics

ACTIVE standards under the jurisdiction of E06.81    

E833-14 Standard Terminology of Building Economics

E917-15 Standard Practice for Measuring Life-Cycle Costs of Buildings and Building Systems

E964-15 Standard Practice for Measuring Benefit-to-Cost and Savings-to-Investment Ratios for Buildings and Building Systems

E1057-15 Standard Practice for Measuring Internal Rate of Return and Adjusted Internal Rate of Return for Investments in Buildings and Building Systems

E1074-15 Standard Practice for Measuring Net Benefits and Net Savings for Investments in Buildings and Building Systems

E1121-15 Standard Practice for Measuring Payback for Investments in Buildings and Building Systems

E1185-15 Standard Guide for Selecting Economic Methods for Evaluating Investments in Buildings and Building Systems

E1369-15 Standard Guide for Selecting Techniques for Treating Uncertainty and Risk in the Economic Evaluation of Buildings and Building Systems

E1557-09(2015) Standard Classification for Building Elements and Related Sitework—UNIFORMAT II

E1699-14 Standard Practice for Performing Value Engineering (VE)/Value Analysis (VA) of Projects, Products and Processes

E1765-16 Standard Practice for Applying Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to Multiattribute Decision Analysis of Investments Related to Projects, Products, and Processes

See also WK50280 proposed revisionE1804-12 Standard Practice for Performing and Reporting Cost Analysis During the Design Phase of a Project

See also WK54596 proposed revisionE1946-12 Standard Practice for Measuring Cost Risk of Buildings and Building Systems and Other Constructed Projects

See also WK54599 proposed revisionE2013-12 Standard Practice for Constructing FAST Diagrams and Performing Function Analysis During Value Analysis Study

E2083-05(2016) Standard Classification for Building Construction Field Requirements, and Office Overhead & Profit

E2103/E2103M-13 Standard Classification for Bridge Elements—UNIFORMAT II

E2150-13 Standard Classification for Life-Cycle Environmental Work Elements—Environmental Cost Element Structure

E2166-12 Standard Practice for Organizing and Managing Building Data

See also WK54600 proposed revisionE2168-10(2016) Standard Classification for Allowance, Contingency, and Reserve Sums in Building Construction Estimating

E2204-15 Standard Guide for Summarizing the Economic Impacts of Building-Related Projects

E2506-15 Standard Guide for Developing a Cost-Effective Risk Mitigation Plan for New and Existing Constructed Facilities

E2514-15 Standard Practice for Presentation Format of Elemental Cost Estimates, Summaries, and Analyses

E2516-11 Standard Classification for Cost Estimate Classification System

E2620-15 Standard Classification for Program and Project Estimate Summaries

E2637-13 Standard Guide for Utilizing the Environmental Cost Element Structure Presented by Classification E2150

E2691-16 Standard Practice for Job Productivity Measurement

See also WK51496 proposed revisionE3035-15 Standard Classification for Facility Asset Component Tracking System (FACTS)

Showing results 1-3 of 3 matching Proposed New Standards under the jurisdiction of E06.81     E06 Home

WK35212 New Classification for Highway Transportation Elements and Related Sitework UNIFORMAT II

WK54380 Proactive Management of Project Cost

WK48130 New Classification for Sitework – UNIFORMAT II

LEAN Construction and OPEN Standard Data

LEAN CONSTRUCTION 101  – Common Terms, Definitions, and Data Formats

Standard classification of facility and other physical infrastructure elements is a requirement for LEAN Renovation, Repair, Maintenance, & New Construction Delivery.

Efficient, early, and ongoing communication from concept through a structures complete life-cycle is impossible without common and OPEN data.

Did you know that the original UNIFORMAT was developed jointly by  General Services Administration (GSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1972 for estimating and design cost analysis?

UNIFORMAT II, issued in 1993 and updated since, was developed by a larger group including  AACE,  CSI, GSA,  Tri-Services, RS Means Company, CIQS and a host of volunteers.

UNIFORMAT II is a classification of building elements per ASTM standard (i.e. E1557). Elements  are the  “major components, common to most buildings, that perform a given function, regardless of the design specification, construction method, or materials used.” Elements are also a logical component of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

While UNIFORMAT II classifies common building elements, MASTERFORMAT is used to define the detailed  unit  line items  common to most buildings/structures.  While these are two distinct classifications systems, mapping information between them is also a requirement for efficient design, repair, renovation, maintenance, construction, costing, and overall life-cycle/total cost of ownership management.

lean construction delivery open dataLEAN construction - UNIFORMAT

Both UNIFORMAT II and MASTERFORMAT provide a common and OPEN data architectures to support collaborative LEAN construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Job Order Contracting – JOC.  They enable a common “language” to support all phased of life-cycle management from concept through disposal.  The afforded transparency drives shared knowledge, and common agreement throughout conceptualization, scope of work creation, procurement, project execution, project sign-off/acceptance, and information “hand-off”, as well as a living repository of current information.

UNIFORMAT II and MASTERFORMAT classifications are hierarchical data frameworks that allow for multiple levels of aggregation and viewing of design, cost, workflow, auditing, information reuses, and other related practices.  As MASTERFORMAT is a “low level” more granular classification system, is has a one-to-many relation ship wit UNIFORMAT.




MasterFormat / MasterFormat2004 Changes

MasterFormat® Updates:
Did you know CSI and CSC have a new annual revision cycle?
Did you know there is a new Division?
The major updates to MasterFormat2004 are:

  • A new division, Division 46 – Water and Wastewater Equipment, which significantly expands the document’s coverage of environmental engineering specifications
  • Revisions to Division 44 – Pollution and Waste Control Equipment, so that it complements the addition of the new Division 46
  • New specifications related to polished concrete (Division 03)

CSI and CSC designed the 50-division format of MasterFormat 2004 so that it can accommodate additional divisions and changes as the industry evolves. The 50-division format is now used in a majority of commercial projects in North America.
The MasterFormat revision process is conducted by the MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team (MFMTT), a committee of volunteers appointed by CSI, CSC and MasterFormat Sponsors (ARCAT, ARCOM, Building Systems Design, Inc., the Construction Sciences Research Foundation, Inc., McGraw-Hill Construction, and Reed Construction Data).

4D – 5D BIM – Strategic Total Cost of Ownership Framework

The true value of BIM is Total Cost of Ownership / Life-cycle Management, NOT 3D visualization.


Once we move toward this goal in an integrated manner, owners and the AEC industry will be able to transition toward a collaborative, efficient method of working together to address the significant sustainability and economic issues faced by all.

The consistent use of appropriate terminology provides a foundation for the establishment of robust, scalable and repeatable processes, best practices, methodologies, standards, metrics and benchmarks for facilities and
physical infrastructure management.  Common terminology also enables effective communication among the various decision makers, building managers, operators and technicians involved with facilities and physical
infrastructure investment and management.
4D – 5D – BIM provides a business process and a supporting technology backbone to leverage the above and drive transformational AEC industry change.
To help foster effective communication among public and private-sector organizations with interests in facilities, infrastructure and real property, a charter, inter-association  I catalyzed and organized the formation of a group several years ago.  A  Definitions Committee was established in June 2002. The Committee was comprised of representatives of the National Association of State Facilities Administrators, the Association of Higher
Education Facilities Officers/APPA, the Federal Facilities Council, the International Facility Management Association, Holder Construction Company and Infrastructure Strategies, my consulting company at the time.
The task was to put forward a framework and a glossary of terms commonly used to communicate about facilities-related issues, from space
planning and construction, through operations and upgrades, to demolition/replacement.
This document represents the culmination of the Definitions Committee’s work. The framework, glossary of terms and associated metrics contained within will be put forward for adoption or approval by the respective
governing bodies of the participating organizations.
The Asset Lifecycle Model for Total Cost of Ownership Management (Figure 1) defines the cradle to grave responsibility for measuring and managing a physical asset’s useful life. The framework provides a structure to help property owners, managers, overseers and others determine and manage the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to best support their particular organization’s overall business or mission. In this instance, the Model is
used as a framework for organizing the glossary of commonly used terms and definitions.
The Asset Lifecycle Model has its foundation in the activities that occur over the lifetime of a physical asset -programming, design, construction, operations, maintenance, repairs and utilization – and the core skills or
COMPETENCIES required perform these activities. The competencies are further aligned with the business areas supporting specialized asset management business processes and practices, referred to as
INDUSTRIES. This organization gives focus to the resources and skills required to effectively manage an asset in any particular phase of its lifecycle. How well the industry or competency is being performed will
impact an asset’s useful life. The glossary of terms and definitions is organized by industry – space management, project delivery
management, operations management, capital asset management – and competencies. Metrics and/or cost models that can be used to measure the level of performance of each industry and competency are identified.
The definitions for each of the identified terms are derived from earlier work of the participating organizations and modified by the Definitions Committee.
It is the hope of the Definitions Committee that by learning from each other, sharing best practices and otherwise developing a rapport for future partnering and cooperation, we can, in some small measure,
contribute to more effective facilities and infrastructure asset management across the entire industry.

The above can be used in concert with COBIE / COBIE2 , IFC , as well as other important standards.

What is COBIE ?

COBIE is a process framework for collecting llife-cycle building information.  COBIE requires OmniClass,  a CSI data architecture/classification/taxonomy.  (Uniformat is a part of OmniClass).

The COBIE framework can be used with BIM or independent of BIM.

COBIE is intended to allow repair/maintenance/renovation task data to be electronically exchanged.

The Construction Operation Building Information Exchange (COBIE) is an “international standard format” intended to improve the transfer of  design and construction information to the operation and management team.

Life-cycle Costing Manual – Energy Management

There are reliable established guidelines and computer-based tools that effectively support Present Value LCC analyses.

Click here to download NIST Handbook 135 -- Life Cycle Costing Manual for the Federal Energy Management Program (PDF 9.7 MB).For example, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers NIST Handbook 135 — Life Cycle Costing Manual for the Federal Energy Management Program (PDF 9.7 MB).

NIST annually issues real growth Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life Cycle Cost Analysis as an Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135.

As a companion product, NIST also offers life cycle cost software with its Building Life Cycle Cost (BLCC) computer program to perform LCC analyses. The latest version of the BLCC program not only structures the analysis, but also includes current energy price indices and discount factor references.

These no-cost NIST materials define all required LCC methodologies used in GSA design applications. We recommend that the building design team obtain the BLCC software and updates from NIST.

When used in conjunction with the ASTM UNIFORMAT II standard, the NIST materials we recommend will result in best-value decisions throughout the entire design process… the perfect complement and answer to the question “What is life cycle costing for construction management?”

NIBS BIM Taxonomy – Initiatives | Whole Building Design Guide

Building Smart Alliance including International (IAI) Sites

The acronym “BIM,” is historically linked in the minds of many to 3-dimensional and now 4D (time) and 5D (cost) virtual modeling of buildings. BIM, however, has the capability and even the responsibility to be much more.

“Building” in this usage is a noun referring to the structure more than the process and accordingly, current BIM examples tend to be virtual models of individual or small clusters of buildings executed in proprietary software for the purpose of supporting the design, detailing and construction phases of the lifecycle. Used within this scope, BIM speaks primarily to architects, architectural engineers, specifiers, estimators, scientists interested in performance modeling, constructors and construction vendors, computer application vendors interested in this business space, and owners as they participate in the new-building development process. The future of BIM modeling is to expand the information model to include more of the life cycle phases (ie: real property commerce, maintenance and operations, environmental simulation, etc.), to standardize life cycle process definitions and associated exchanges of information, and to standardize information content so that meanings and granularity are clear and consistent. This expanded scope definition will make BIM useful to a wider community including, for example, real property managers, appraisers, brokers, mortgage bankers, facility assessors, facility managers, maintenance and operations engineers, safety and security personnel as incident responders, landscape architects, infrastructure engineers and operators, and others outside the business verticals associated with new building design and construction.

Although BIM applications and practices in current use are vastly superior to manual and 2D-only CAD methodologies, current usage of BIM technologies and techniques must be improved further. Currently, processes and content are locally negotiated on a project-by-project basis and data sets (i.e.: models) are not necessarily capable of being used for different purposes through unassisted machine-to-machine and application-to-application exchanges. To realize needed end-to-end efficiencies in the capital facilities industry these are the characteristics that are needed in BIM methods.

Ironically, many BIM applications are already capable of supporting standardized interoperable processes and content if they existed. But in the absence of standards and associated best practice definitions, this support is only utilized on an ad-hoc, project-by-project basis and often is re-negotiated and/or recreated for each services contract and/or project.

It is true that associating BIM with the development and use of 3D virtual building modeling techniques and technologies can yield very productive results. However, when used in this context, BIM tends to be focused on data and technology standards during design and construction and may not fully realize the potential for information-based, interoperable business processes related to “building” (the verb). The application of BIM is pertinent to at least all the following participants in the facilities industry:

  • Owners—High level summary information about their facilities
  • Planners—Existing information about physical site(s) and corporate program needs
  • Realtors—Information about a site or facility to support purchase or sale
  • Appraisers—Information about the facility to support valuation
  • Mortgage Bankers—Information about demographics, corporations, and viability
  • Designers—Planning and site information
  • Engineers—Electronic model from which to import into design and analysis software
  • Cost & Quantity Estimators—Electronic model to obtain accurate quantities
  • Specifiers—Intelligent objects from which to specify and link to later phases
  • Contracts & Lawyers—More accurate legal descriptions as well as more accurate to defend or on which to base litigation
  • Construction Contractors—Intelligent objects for bidding and ordering and a place to store gained information
  • Sub-Contractors—Clearer communication and same support for contractors
  • Fabricators—Can use intelligent model for numerical controls for fabrication
  • Code Officials—Code checking software can process model faster and more accurately
  • Facility Managers—Provides product, warranty and maintenance information
  • Maintenance & Sustainment—Easily identify products for repair parts or replacement
  • Renovation & Restoration—Minimizes unforeseen conditions and the resulting cost
  • Disposal & Recycling—Better knowledge of what is recycleable
  • Scoping, Testing, Simulation—Electronically build facility and eliminate conflicts
  • Safety & Occupational Health—Knowledge of what materials are in use and MSDS
  • Environmental & NEPA—Improved information for environmental impact analysis
  • Plant Operations—3D visualization of processes
  • Energy, LEED—Optimized energy analysis more easily accomplished allows for more review of alternatives – impact of re-siteing by 5 degrees for example
  • Space & Security—Intelligent objects in 3D provide better understanding of vulnerabilities
  • Network Managers—3D physical network plan is invaluable for troubleshooting
  • CIO’s—Basis for better business decisions and information about existing infrastructure
  • Risk Management—Better understanding of potential risks and how to avoid on minimize
  • Occupant Support—Visualization of facility for finding places – people can’t read floor plans
  • First Responders—Minimize loss of life and property with timely and accurate information Each of the above requires information as well as creates information for others. The optimized BIM would only contain the information needed by others, however since this is currently an expanding concept it is likely better to err on the side of collecting too much information.

Each of the above requires information as well as creates information for others. The optimized BIM would only contain the information needed by others, however since this is currently an expanding concept it is likely better to err on the side of collecting too much information.

National BIM Standard (NBIMS)

The work of the National BIM Standard Committee (NBIMS), a committee of the National Institute for Building Sciences (NIBS), is to knit together the broadest and deepest constituency ever assembled for the purpose of addressing the losses and limitations associated with errors and inefficiencies in the building supply chain¹.

The current NBIMS Charter signatories (a list of which can be seen at the NBIMS web site) represent most, of the active end-user constituencies as well as many of the professional associations, consortia, and technical and associated services vendors who support them.

Several organizations have initiatives underway to develop data technology (i.e., interfaces, encodings, schema, etc., that enable different technologies to “plug and play”), generic business process workflows and content standards. One of the most important tasks for NBIMS is to coordinate these efforts and harmonize work between all organizations with similar products and interests. Many professional organizations are actively endorsing NBIMS as well as providing subject matter expertise and important development resources. In addition, over 300 applications now support IFC’s and most BIM application vendors have indicated their support for BIM standards and are participating on the committee both in an advisory capacity and through participation in test bed demonstrations. Lists of the active organizations are found at the end of this resource page.

NBIM standards will merge data interoperability standards, content values and taxonomies, and process definitions to create standards which define “business views” of information needed to accomplish a particular set of functions as well as the information exchange standards between stakeholders. This is significantly different from previous initiatives, which have focused primarily on data-centric approaches. Using business views as guides, NBIMS standards will identify information needed to support these views, appropriate content standards, and provide a technical description that developers can use to provide supporting computer-based applications.

To illustrate this and to give readers a sense of what to expect, here are some of the distinguishing characteristics of and goals for the Committee:

  • The scope and planned products are much more practice-oriented rather than data-centric. Both the organization of and representation on the Committee reflect this intent.
  • The Charter assumes and encourages participants from, and value propositions for, all phases of the building process lifecycle.
  • A primary goal is to maximize value for all process participants involved in the building lifecycle.
  • A primary strategy is to maximize existing research and development through alliances, cross-representation, active testing and prototyping, and an open and inclusive approach to both membership and results. NBIMS will, through memorandums of understanding, recognize and harmonize its work with other standards-development organizations.
  • The Committee has significant representation from government owners, private and government practitioners, vendors, and specialist professionals. It is actively seeking more involvement from, for example, private owners, A/E/C practitioners, property and facility managers, and real property professionals.
  • The Committee supports the view that a building process lifecycle is not a strictly linear process but is a primarily cyclical process with feedback and cycle-to-cycle knowledge accumulation. The best representation of the building process lifecycle is therefore believed to be a business process helix with a central knowledge core and external nodes representing process suppliers and external consumers. Between these three elements exist information interchange “synapses” which require exchange rules and agreements.
A helical building process lifecycle model

A helical building process lifecycle model (used with permission)

  • One of the principal products of the Committee’s work will be process standards describing parties to a process and the contracted information exchange requirements between the parties. It has been estimated that about 250 process definitions will eventually be required to support an interoperable building supply chain. Through a spiral development process, NBIMS plans to release developments in packages that will be immediately useful even as each release adds additional and more mature concepts and practices. The first packages are scheduled to be available in late 2006.
A NBIMS scoping diagram showing business processes and exchanges on a backdrop of life-cycle phases

A NBIMS scoping diagram showing business processes and exchanges on a backdrop of life-cycle phases
(© NIBS 2006)

  • NBIMS will support the development of content standards including taxonomy standards such as CSI OmniClass; which provides organized classification of elements important to the building process lifecycle.
  • NBIMS will recognize and facilitate the harmonization of software implementation views as they provide necessary “machine interpretable” data sources to the building information exchange process. buildingSMART™, .ifc, ifcXML, BLIS, AEX, CSI/2 and others are examples of software implementation views.
  • Vendors are actively participating on the Committee because they see value in having consistent and predictable processes to which they may apply their technical solutions. Having to develop, market and maintain products to support multiple, inconsistent processes, content, and interchange methods is expensive and complicates the product development cycle.
  • Though not a CAD standard, NBIMS will address CAD graphic and non-graphic information and processes as well as phases both before and after design and construction (where CAD is most often used). However, the National CAD Standard will continue to be important as, for the foreseeable future, building processes will continue to need standards for 2D drawings as well, and even into the future to define standard reports out of a model.

By now, readers should understand that the work of the National BIM Standards Committee is the next logical step in transforming the building supply chain. The Standard assumes that a paradigm change is required, since the definition of paradigm change is “reforming the underlying pattern or model on which actions are based”. Participants in the building supply chain, through standards development and use of existing BIM technologies are already well on the way to changing the underlying patterns and operating practices used during the building lifecycle. But to realize the greatest efficiencies, BIM approaches must be based on broad aggregations of best practices rather than narrow, project-specific, proprietary solutions. By focusing now on the business view of contracted information exchanges and best-use of interoperable data sources, and by expanding the conceptual scope of BIM to include all phases of the building lifecycle, we can realize promised new levels of quality and efficiency.

Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBIE)

COBIE is an IFC reference standard supporting the direct software information exchange and a spreadsheet that can be used to capture COBIE data for both small renovation and capital projects. COBIE may be directly incorporated into existing post-construction data exchanges using existing contract specifications. COBIE data can also be captured during the design and construction process by adding information as it is created. Capturing COBIE data during the project and eliminating paper exchange is expected to significantly decrease existing paper based exchange costs. Owners and construction managers’ implementation instructions will allow COBIE data to integrate within existing maintenance, operations, and asset management systems.

National Institute of Building Sciences Council Involvement

via NIBS BIM Initiatives | Whole Building Design Guide.