SECClasS (Sustainability Enhanced Construction Classification System) is a research project financed by EEA Grants which aims to promote Circular Economy in the Construction industry by introducing an Information Classification System optimized for Sustainability..

In a nutshell

SECClasS (Sustainability Enhanced Construction Classification System) is a research project which aims to promote Circular Economy in the Construction industry by introducing an Information Classification System optimized for Sustainability. This system will be oriented towards the BIM methodology and will serve not only the sustainability component but also the other BIM uses, such as the management of the BIM process, quantification (model based takeoff), compatibility of specialties (clash detection) or work planning in all stages of the life-cycle.

This system will be used by design and construction professionals and also facility managers and will deliver a terminology that unifies all scales, facilitating communication, selection of materials and components, as well as an accurate assessment of the impacts on buildings throughout its life cycle.

The ultimate goal is to improve the performance of buildings and reduce waste through management tools and informed selection of building elements , made possible by digital tools.

Challenge and strategy

The Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO) sector represents about 10% of European GDP. However, its energy consumption and environmental impact is disproportionate: half of energy and raw materials consumption, one third of water consumption and 40% of greenhouse gases. While other industries have adopted innocuous materials and bet on reduction and reuse, AECO transition is, for several reasons, much slower.

Information technology, in particular the BIM methodology, is at the center of the sector’s modernization in European countries (mainly Nordic, Eastern Europe and United Kingdom). BIM allows the digital representation of buildings, associating the geometric description (3D model) with the various information on components and construction materials, functions and spatial.


Our approach and expected impact

BIM implementation in Portugal is under way and professionals have long asked for a National Classification System, a common language that facilitates communication and the sharing of information and models. The association of a CICS to BIM offers standard codes and descriptions that characterize the design and construction phases (including project organization, information structure, costs, specifications, etc.). This univocal classification of materials, elements, systems, spaces and activities is essential for the use of BIM models efficiently throughout the life cycle of buildings.

This project will deliver a CICS that, in addition to supporting current BIM uses such as take-off, budgeting, construction planning, management and clash-detection, supports sustainable project decisions and raises awareness to the choice of sustainable materials and components.


Select a Classification System

We selected Uniclass 2015 as a well established international construction classification system that fulfils the needs of the national market (Q1 2021)


Develop System and Objects

We have translatted Uniclass 2015 and developed rules for BIM Objects suitable for sustainability analysis (Q4 2021)


Develop Applications

We will develop web-based applications to support the use of the Classification and Objects (Q1 2022)


Apply and Disseminate

We will produce test cases and disseminate the system, objects and applications (Q3 2022)


ISTAR-IUL is an ISCTE research center that develops applied and multidisciplinary research in the areas of information technology, built environment and complexity sciences.

The National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC), founded in 1946, is a public institute of Science and Technology, which develops research in all domains of Civil Engineering and related areas. It has about 435 workers and 105 scholarship holders. 34% of its employees have a PhD or equivalent degree.

The University of Minho is a research center committed to enhancing the link between knowledge and research. It currently ranks 3rd in the Ranking of Portuguese Entities that generate the most funds in FP7. There are currently 6 ERC Advanced and Consolidator Grants in progress that result in a fund of 9.8MEuros. 

A-Lab is an architecture studio founded in 2000 in Oslo, committed to finding better solutions to improve cities. After simultaneously conducting two of the largest projects in Norway – Barcode masterplan in Bjørvika and Equinor’s headquarters in Oslo – he gained special recognition for the high level of execution of his projects. A-Lab is a reference for sustainable urban development and for projects of various scales and complexity using BIM in an interdisciplinary way for over 10 years. In 2017 they opened a studio in Portugal (Algarve).

Marta Campos Arquitetura is an architecture studio located in Porto that has fully integrated the BIM methodology in its services that include both new construction and renovations. However, a large part of the work involves the building rehabilitation, leading to the creation of the company “Norte Magnético”, a firm specialized in business management in the rehabilitation of buildings. Rehabilitation projects are based on the diagnosis of the building and its state of preservation, giving preference to less invasive and energy efficient interventions.


Ricardo Pontes Resende (PhD)


Professor, Researcher and Consultant. His areas of interest are development and teaching of BIM, integration of sensors (BIM + IoT), improving the efficiency and sustainability of construction and human-machine interfaces (VR and AR) for the built environment.

Paula Couto (PhD)


PhD in Civil Engineering, Master in Applied Economics, Degree in Civil Engineering. Post-graduated in Innovation and Quality Management and Strategy. Assistant researcher at LNEC in the area of Construction Economics and Management. Coordinator of the Project Management Office. Scientific interests: Construction economy, Multicriteria analysis, ACB, CICS and BIM.

Miguel Azenha (PhD)


He is the Coordinator of the Portuguese Course on “Building Information Modeling”. He is also a member of the National BIM Design Committee and director of the ERASMUS + Master Course in BIM Design.

Angie Mendez


Partner at A-lab and leader advanced technologies director. She is responsible for BIM operability throughout the organization and exercises her knowledge across all A-lab projects, leading the discussion of circular economy in the construction sector in Norway.

Maria João Falcão (PhD)


PhD in Civil Engineering, Master in Structural Engineering, Degree in Civil Engineering. Assistant researcher at LNEC and Assistant Professor at ULHT until 2019. Scientific Interests: BIM, Cost Benefit; Rehabilitation; Resilience. Author of around 350 scientific publications. Participation in several research projects, with global funding of around 30M €.

Marta Campos


Marta Campos is a BIM Architect from Porto, a pioneer in the use of BIM in the sustainable rehabilitation of Buildings. She teaches BIM courses and frequently presents her work at technical conferences.

Filipa Salvado (PhD)


PhD in Civil Engineering, Master in Structural Engineering, Degree in Civil Engineering. Assistant researcher at LNEC, Invited Professor at IST-UL (2016-2010) and ULHT (2009-2014). Scientific interests: building life cycle management; decision support models; BIM; Resilience. Author of about 140 scientific publications. Participation in several research projects.

Luís Fonseca


Architect, Co-founder of A-lab Portugal, has been part of the A-lab Norway team since 2004. He has extensive experience in all phases of BIM project, leading the project team of internationally awarded The Carve mixed-use  building (22 000m2).

Inês Almeida


Architect, Creative Director, responsible for the strategic development of A-Lab in Portugal. Assumes the coordination of multidisciplinary local development projects, involving several stakeholders.

Sara Parece


Architect and PhD student at Iscte-IUL interested in research areas such as Circular Economy, Sustainable Architecture, Life Cycle Assessment and BIM.

Manoel Wagner Gaia De Melo


Scholarship holder of the SecclasS Project, master’s degree in Integrated Decision Support Systems at ISTEC, graduated in Accounting Sciences at UFPA (Brazil), Specialized in Solidarity Economy UFTO (Brazil) and collaborator at the Iot-Iscte Laboratory.

Daniel Dantas Cale


Research Assistant at ISTAR-IUL (Research Center for Information Sciences, Technologies and Architecture) in the area of Software Systems Engineering. Master in Telecommunications and Computer Engineering at Iscte-IUL with interests in new technologies and how to integrate them in different aspects of contemporary life.

José Granja

Universidade do Minho

Researcher in the Civil Engineering department of the Minho University and vice coordinator of the ERASMUS Project + Master Course in BIM.

Mohamad El Sibaii


PhD student in Civil Engineering and Master in Sustainable Built Environment (University of Minho) with experience in geotechnical engineering, construction works management, and BIM implementation.

Rodrigo Tavares Lima


Scholarship holder at LNEC in the SECClasS project. Postgraduate in “Building Information Modeling in Integrated Project Delivery” by ULHT. Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Fortaleza (Brazil) and student of the Integrated Master in Architecture at IST. Scientific Interests: BIM, Circular Economy, Cost Management and Construction Planning.

João Guerreiro (PhD)


Assistant Professor and Researcher in Marketing, he has dedicated his research in the area of ​​Digital Transformation and implications of new technologies (AI, AR / VR, IoT) in the future behavior of consumers.

Miguel Torres Curado


Guest professor at the Lisbon University Institute, having also lectured at IST and the Colorado School of Mines. He worked in construction design, project management and real estate investment management. Consultant in the areas of construction, real estate and energy. He co-founded ‘AQS-Environment, Quality and Safety’, with pioneering work in these systems in the construction industry.


António Aguiar Costa (PhD PMP)

Research, Development and Innovation Director of Built Colab, President of the Technical Committee CT197 – mirror committee of CEN / TC442 and ISO / TC59 and Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico.

Paulo Vieira Fonseca

Executive Director of BUILT CoLAB – Collaborative Laboratory for the Built Space of the Future. Since 2013, he has been a member of the Executive Committee and the Strategic Council of the Portuguese Technological Platform for Construction PTPC, managing entity of the AEC Cluster, where he is the coordinator of the Infrastructure and Mobility Committee. Coordinator and responsible for the Mobilizador Digital Construction Revolution Program.

Ricardo Miguel

Master in Architecture from ISCTE-IUL, where he remained as a researcher for almost two years. In 2017 he was part of the S + A production team, where he has been involved in architecture projects in its various scales, sectors and phases of development. With a deep knowledge of BIM technologies, he is responsible for the management and coordination of this department, where he created and implemented the methodologies used by our project teams.

Rui de Klerk

Holds a MSc degree in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon (FAUL) since 2012 and is currently a PhD Candidate in Design and Computation applied to Architecture at the same Faculty, developing research on the subject of Semantic Design Systems.  He is a research fellow at Faculdade de Arquitetura (Universidade de Lisboa) with an FCT Doctoral Grant (SFRH/BD/131386/2017) since September 2017 and contributor investigator of architecture at the Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design (CIAUD) since 2015, where he was also Teaching Assistant in “Artificial Intelligence in Planning”, in the Doctoral Program in e-Planning


EEA Grants

Sobre EEA Grants

Through the EEA Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway established the objective of reducing social and economic disparities in Europe by strengthening bilateral relations with the Beneficiary States.

EEA Grants aim to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and to strengthen bilateral relations between these three countries and the recipient countries.

For the 2014-2021 period, a total contribution of € 2.8 billion was agreed to 15 beneficiary countries. Portugal will benefit from a budget of 102.7 million euros that will support five programs:

  • Blue Growt
  • Environment
  • Conciliation and Gender Equality
  • Culture
  • Active Citizens

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