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NIST Special Publication 1122 presents a proposed UNIFORMAT II classification of bridge elements. Elemental classifications differ from traditional product-related classifications because their core concept is an element that performs a given function, regardless of the design specification, construction method, or materials used. The proposed classification represents a major revision and restructuring of ASTM Standard Classification E 2103, a bridge-related standard classification first issued by ASTM in 2000. The original bridge classification, E 2103, differed from the UNIFORMAT II elemental classification hierarchy in several ways which limited its applicability. The major revisions to E 2103 described in NIST Special Publication 1122 will promote its relevance, understanding, and acceptance in the bridge industry. Once approved and reissued by ASTM, the UNIFORMAT II Standard Classification of Bridge Elements, E 2103, will provide the basis for a comprehensive data set of bridge-related costs that will enable public and private decision makers to choose more cost-effective solutions for the design and construction of new bridges and the maintenance and repair of existing bridges across the Nation.
A set of alphanumeric designators for the proposed multi-level bridge classification is included in NIST Special Publication 1122. Because many users are interested in constructing databases for use in cost analyses associated with project planning, design, construction, maintenance and repair, and condition assessment, alphanumeric designators provide the basis for compiling, organizing, and referencing cost data.
NIST Special Publication 1122 also includes a proposed list of sub-elements for bridges. The UNIFORMAT II hierarchy consists of three levels: Level 1, Major Group Elements; Level 2, Group Elements; and Level 3, Individual Elements. Thus, the core concept of an element resides at Level 3. However, because elements are major components of a constructed entity, there is often ambiguity of what exactly is included in an Individual Element and what should be rightfully excluded from it. Because sub-elements can be tied into a work breakdown structure, they significantly enhance the usefulness of an elemental classification across all project participants throughout the lifecycle of bridges and other constructed entities.