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Demystifying Thumb Rules in Construction Planning: A Practical Guide for Civil Engineers

s a civil engineer, there are several thumb rules that can be helpful in construction planning.


These thumb rules are general guidelines based on experience and can provide quick estimates for various aspects of construction. However, it's important to note that thumb rules may not be precise and should be used cautiously. Here are a few commonly used thumb rules:

  1. Concrete Estimation: The thumb rule for estimating the concrete requirement is to consider 0.038 cubic meters (1.34 cubic feet) of concrete per square foot of slab.

  2. Steel Reinforcement: For estimating the steel reinforcement required in concrete structures, a commonly used thumb rule is to consider 1% to 2% of the total volume of concrete.

  3. Excavation: The thumb rule for estimating excavation quantity is to consider a 1:1 ratio, which means that the volume of excavated soil will be roughly equal to the volume of the foundation.

  4. Brickwork: For estimating the number of bricks required for brickwork, a thumb rule is to assume 500 bricks for every 100 square feet of wall area.

  5. Plastering: The thumb rule for estimating plastering material requirement is to assume 0.02 cubic meters (0.71 cubic feet) of mortar per square meter (10.76 square feet) of wall area.

  6. Electrical Points: A common thumb rule for estimating the number of electrical points in a building is to assume 1 point for every 10 square meters (107.64 square feet) of built-up area.

  7. Water Supply: The thumb rule for estimating the water supply requirement is to assume a minimum of 135 liters (30 gallons) per person per day for residential buildings.

It's important to note that these thumb rules are approximations and may vary depending on specific project requirements, local building codes, and design considerations. They should be used as a starting point for preliminary estimations and further refined based on detailed calculations and engineering judgment.


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