Last edited 05 Aug 2022

Building systems

The Uniclass classifications, state that: “Systems are typically single-trade built objects made up of several products, collectively serving a common purpose, such as the load-bearing blockwork inner skin of an external wall Element. In ISO 12006-2, they roughly equate to the concept of ‘designed elements’.” NB ISO 12006-2 is the international standard: Building construction -- Organization of information about construction works -- Part 2: Framework for classification.

Uniclass 2015 suggests that: “Systems are the collection of components that go together to make an element or to carry out a function. For a pitched roof, the rafters, lining, tiles, ceiling boards, insulation and ceiling finish comprise a system, or a low temperature hot water heating system is formed from a boiler, pipework, tank, radiators, etc. A signal system for a railway has a number of components and products; and the scum removal system is part of a wastewater treatment entity.”

The RIBA Plan of Work 2020 defines building systems as: ‘The constituent parts of a building, including, but not limited to, structural systems, mechanical and electrical systems, façade, ceiling, floors and wall systems.’

Flourishing systems, published by the Centre for Digital Built Britain in 2020 suggests that: 'A system is a connected collection of interrelated and interdependent parts; a complex whole that may be more than the sum of its parts. A system is influenced by its environment, defined by its structure and purpose, and expressed through its function. Infrastructure is the interconnected ‘system of systems’ that provides the physical foundation for our society. It does more than just provide water, power or transport services; it helps to make cities liveable, boosts quality of life and supports productivity and prosperity, all in the context of its interface with the natural environment.'

Illustrated Guide to Mechanical Cooling (BG 1/2010), written by Kevin Pennycook and published by BSRIA in 2010, defines a system as: ‘An organised arrangement of plant and equipment that works together to provide a function such as heating or cooling.’

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