Component (Jargon Buster) G#1280 N#1273

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Component (Jargon Buster)

Component (Jargon Buster)


COMPONENT (In the context of LCA)

  • A component part of an elemental assembly, secondary element, system or sub-system
  • Use COMPONENTS instead of MATERIALS as the European standard EN 15643-1 names a construction product “component”

(NGS BRM ’11)

COMPONENT: (in the context of BIM)

  • I use this term for the objects that Products are composed of.
  • For a fan, for example, this would include the casing, the impeller, the motor and so on.
  • However, this is NOT in Uniclass2 or ISO 12006-2.
  • It is just John Gelder’s personal usage, at the moment.
  • Objects at this level need a specific name, after all, and Component seems good to me!
  • Components may be proprietary, or custom-made.”

(NBS JG ’13)

Relevance to Environmental Construction:

  • Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) are increasingly carried out at elemental level and whole building level.
  • This is driven by violet sectors and violet companies using violet materials to make violet products not wanting their outputs to be compared with green sectors and green companies using green materials to make green products.
  • The aggregation of the impacts from many components in an element or in many elements of a building helps to lose the violet component’s impacts in a much larger total and makes their comparison more difficult.
  • As a designer and specifier we choose building components for their individual properties to suit the function and performance requirements of their application.
  • We also want to know about the environmental impact of the components at component level not at elemental level or building level.
  • PEF Product Environmental Footprinting was proposed by the EC European Commission to overcome the development of LCA towards elemental and building level assessments.
  • However stakeholder engagement in PEF is driving PEF closer towards LCA practices to maintain Business As Usual (BAU)
  • Knowing the impact of individual components is the only way to make progress and improve manufacturing practices, and reduce the impact of building.
  • In the absence of information on the individual impact of materials then specifiers will prefer to choose products which comply with competent products with technical labels, healthy products with health labels and green products with green labels; unless forced by EAM Environmental Assessment Methods like BREEAM to compromise and choose from BRE Green Guide to Specification elemental assemblies.



  • When designing and specifying a University building arts centre extension the brief included complying with BREEAM we chose timber framed construction but BREEAM with Green Guide to Specification did not permit timber framed in education buildings.
  • No Credits were available unless we chose concrete construction so we negotiated with the client, and we would not be complying with BREEAM, instead making the building competent and lower impact.


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
23rd November 2013 – 31st December 2016

Component (Jargon Buster)

GBE Robust Specification, clauses, work sections, Legend, Product, System, Details, Sub-elements, Elements, Whole Building

A diagram to explain the parts of a building in the world of BIM, Classification and Specification

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
23rd November 2013 – 31st December 2016

Component (Jargon Buster)
See also:

GBE Jargon Buster

  • Accessories
  • Assembly
  • BIM
  • BIM Definitions
  • Building
  • Component (this page)
  • Coved Skirting
  • Element
  • Elemental Assemblies
  • Generic Material
  • ISO 12006-2
  • Material
  • NBS
  • NBS Create
  • Object
  • Product
  • Recursive
  • Region
  • Resource
  • Secondary element
  • Sub-elements
  • Sub-systems
  • System
  • Uniclass2



GBE Links

  • Organisation/Website

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
23rd November 2013 – 31st December 2016

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