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By - Prof. Ravindra shrivastava

School of Distance Education NICMAR, Delhi NCR

Estimate is a calculation of various items of an

engineering works so as to know its approximate cost
and quantities of various kinds of materials required
with labour involved for its satisfactory completion.
Purpose of Estimating
 To ascertain the necessary amount of money required by
the owner to complete the proposed work.
 For public construction works, estimates are required in
order to obtain administrative approval, allotment of funds
and technical sanction.
 To ascertain quantities of materials required in order to
program their timely procurement.
 To calculate the number of different categories of workers
that are to be employed to complete the work within the
scheduled time of completion.
 To assess the requirements of Tools, Plants and
equipment required to complete the work according to the
 To fix up the completion period from the volume of works
involve in the estimate.
 To draw up a construction schedule and program and also
to arrange the funds required according to the programming.
 To justify the investment from benefit cost ratio. (For
ideal investment, this ratio should be more than one).
 To invite tenders and prepare bills for payment.
 An estimate for an existing property is required for



 Fully dimensioned and to the scale drawings are
required for finding dimensions while doing

 Following drawings are required







 Ratesper unit of various items of work include

a. The rate of various materials which are
used in construction
b. Labour wages and categories
c. Location of work its distance from source
of material and cost of transport

 Ratescan be obtained from P.W.D. schedule of

rate book or can be calculated by “ Analysis of
Rates” method.



(Course FINE)


Measurement has a very important place in Planning and

Execution of any Civil Engineering work.

It is required from first estimate to the final completion of

work and payment settlements.
Each item shall be fully described and shall include all necessary
materials, transport, unloading, stacking, storing, wastage in
handling, labour required for finishing the work etc.

Booking of dimensions is done in order of length, breadth or width

and height or depth or thickness.

Dimensions shall be nearest

0.01 m in length
0.01 m2 in areas
0.01 m3 in volumes
0.001 tonnes in weights

Same work with different conditions or stages must be measured

separately stating the condition, height or depth or distances.
 Mass, voluminous and thick works shall be taken in
cubic unit or volume( M3).

 Thin, shallow or surface works shall be taken in

square unit or in area( M2).

 Long and thin work shall be taken in linear or running

unit (RMT)

 Piece works or job works etc shall be taken as


Sub heads :
 Earth work
 Concrete
 Brick work
 Steel and Iron work
 Stone masonry
 Roofing
 Flooring
 Wood work
 Finishing
 painting
 Dismantling and demolishing works

 Measurement of earth work is done in M3.
 Measurement shall be taken as the area of the bottom of
foundation trench multiplied by depth of foundation as give
in plans.
 When excavation is in fairly level ground than depth can be
measured from “Dead Man” or “Tell Tales” left out during



 When excavation is made in mixed type rock or soil then
measurement for total quantity shall be made by any above
methods. But from total quantity deduction of volume of one
type of rock must be done and that rock is stacked for


 When ground is more uneven levels shall be taken before

start excavation by surveying instruments and block counter
are drawn. Then excavation level can be found.
 Plain Cement Concrete is measured in m3
 Reinforced Concrete :
a. Unless other wise specified all concrete work shall
be measured in M3.
b. Form work should be measured, if required, in
square meter.
c. Reinforcement should be measured separately and
unit is K G.

e. No deduction shall be made for following :
1. Volume occupied by reinforcement
2. Opening up to 0.1 m2
3.Volume occupied by pipes, conduits etc not
exceeding (100)cm2 in cross section.
4. Small voids not exceeding 40 cm2 in cross section.
5. Chamfers, moldings, grooves up to 10 cm in width
and 15 cm in depth
f. columns shall be measured from top of column base to
underside of first floor slab and then top of floor to
underside of floor slab above.

g. Beam shall be measured from face to face of column
1. Depth of beam shall be measured from bottom of
slab to bottom of beam.
2. For inverted beams depth shall be measured from
top of slab to top of beam



h. Slabs is measured in M3, length and breadth shall be

taken as per plan and depth as specified .
i. Lintels shall be measured in M3 and bearing of lintels
should not be less than 0.12 m to 0.15 m.
Brick work generally measured in M3 unless specified.
Brick work one brick thick (20 cm) or less shall be measured
separately in M2.
No deduction shall be made if
a. opening up to 0.1 M2 in area.
b. cement concrete blocks for hold fast and holding down
Deduction shall be made for
a. door, window opening
b. lintels or arches above door or openings.

BRICK WORK : ( L X B X H = M3)

 Cornice should be measured in running meter.

 Partition wall are measured in square meter.

 Honey combing is measured in square meter.

 Brick on edge when laid along boundary of road

or path shall be measured in running meter.
 Normally steel work shall be measured by weight.
 Unless otherwise specified weight of cleats, brackets, packing pieces, bolts,
nut, washers, distant pieces, gusset plates, fish plates etc shall be added to
the weight in structural steel.
 In riveted work an additional 2.5% of weight of structure is made.
 In welded section welding material is not measured.
 Bar reinforcement shall be measured by weight in KG and shall include cutting
to length, hooked ends, cranking or bending, authorized overlaps, chairs and


 Binding wire for reinforcement shall not be measured but shall
be included in item list.
 In case of welding of joint is authorized the same shall be
described, joints shall be measured in numbers and lap welded
shall be measured in running meter of length of weld.
 Plain or barbed wire fencing shall be fully described and each line
shall be measured in running meter.
 Collapsible gate shall be measured in square meter describing
details of gate including erection, and securing hold fast.
 Rolling shutters /grills shall be measured in square meter.
 Steel doors and windows , ventilators shall be measured in square



 The measurement shall be done in square meter with out allowancing lap or
 Opening if any up to 0.4 M2 shall not be deducted and cutting of opening is
not measured.
 Opening more than 0.4 M2 shall be deducted and cutting required is
measured in running meter.
 Supporting wood work or steel work shall be measured separately
 In Sheet roofing and asbestos cement roofing ridges, hips, valleys shall be
measured in running meter.
 Roof tiling shall be measured in square meter and ridge, hips, valleys shall
be measured in running meter
 Straight cutting may be measured in running meter

Flat terrace shall be measured in square meter describing thickness,
size and quality of materials.
Tiles on chajjas and sundries may be measured in square mete


Including centering shall be measured in square meter stating clear
span, rise and thickness of arch, method of laying,jointing and pointing.

STONE SLAB ROOF : measured in square meter stating type of stone.


 Material, method of fixing is stated and measured in square meter.

 Deduction shall be made for the opening more than 0.4 M2, labour
for cutting is measured separately.
 Circular cutting and waste shall be measured in running meter,
stating thickness of material.
 Sealing joints of plaster or fiber board shall be measured in running
 Insulation blocks shall be measured in square meter.
 Chamfering or rounding edges of fiber boarding and cutting V groove
in same shall be measured in running meter.
 All work shall be measured in square meter.
 Deduction for 0.1 m2 area is not done.
 Works in isolated width with general finish shall be measured as
a. width up to 30 cm or below in running meter.
b. width above 30 cm in square meter.
 Work in tread, riser and edges of landing shall be measured in
square meter
 Skirting shall be measured in running meter stating height
 Lining of channels shall be measured in running meter.
 In wooden floor supporting joints are estimated separately.

FLOORING : ( L X B = M2 )
 Length and width of wooden members shall be measured to nearest 1
 Area calculated to nearest 0.01 M2 and cubic contain 0.001 M3
 Wood work used in doors, windows partition panel shall be measured in
superficial unit (one unit).
 Doors of bigger sizes are taken separately from smaller size doors as
rate will be different.
 Wood work in framed and fixing in position such as wooden battens,
beams, purling in wooden tress are measured in M3.
 Boarding shall be described and measured in square meter.
 Staircase landing, riser and treads are measured in M2 and hand rails
shall be measured in running meter.

 Plastering
 Plaster shall be classified according to material used and
each type is measured separately, as
a. mix of mortar ( 1:3, 1:4 )
b. no. of coats and thickness of coat.
c. nature of base
d. nature of surface treatment ( neeru, sand face )
 Plastering of roof ceiling and walls should be measured
 30 cm or below width is measured in running meter and
above in square meter.
 All the plaster shall be measured in M2 unless specified.

FINISHINGS : ( unit = m2 )
 Various type and proportion of pointing shall be measured
 It should be measured in M2.
 Deduction are made same as plastering.
 All works shall be measured in M2.
 Measurement and deduction are same as plastering.
 measurement shall be done in m2.
 Different type of glass should be measured separately.
 Measurement of glazing in wood and metal is done
 Holes drilled in glass shall be measured in No. stating dia
meter of hole, type of glass.
 Grinding, polishing and rounding off edges are measured in
Running meter.
 Shall be measured in Square meter.
 Type of surface on bases of absorbent like steel ( non-
absorbent), wood (semi-absorbent), bricks, stone, plaster
( absorbent) shall be measured separately.
 No deduction is made for 0.5 M2 opening.
 In steel work priming coat shall be included with fabrication.
 Painting bends up to 10 cm width is measured in running
 Corrugated sheet surfaces are increased as follows for
a. Corrugated sheets 14%
b. Asbestos cement sheet (corrugated) 20%
c. Asbestos cement sheet (semi corrugated) 10%
 Painting on Eave gutters, rain water pipe soil and ventilator
and steel pole shall be measured in running meter stating

Types of Estimates

A preliminary or approximate or rough Estimate

Detailed Estimate
Revised Estimate
Supplementary Estimate
Combination of Revised and Supplementary Estimate
Annual Maintenance or Repair Estimate (A.R. or A.M. Estimate)
Approximate Estimate
Purpose of an approximate estimate
(i) To investigate Feasibility
(ii) To save time and money
(iii) To investigate Benefit and comparison of cost with utility
(iv) To obtain Administrative Approved
(V) For Insurance and Tax schedule
 This is made to find out an approximate cost in a short time
 Enable the responsible authority concerned to consider the
financial aspect of the scheme for getting sanction to the same.
 This estimate is prepared after preliminary investigation,
preliminary surveying and where required sub-soil investigation
and tests to determine the safe bearing capacity may be
 A line sketch of the project according to its requirements, may
be required. During presentation of the estimate detailed
surveying, design, drawings etc., are not required.
 Rates are determined either from practical knowledge or from
records for similar works.
 Such an estimate is prepared adopting different methods for
different types of works.
The estimate is accompanied with a brief report Stating the
sources of proposals, Necessity or demand provisions or
accommodations made, validity Basis on the estimate, rates
and how the expenditure involved can be met.Beside the
report the estimate is provided with a line plan, site or layout
plan, soil testing by trial boring etc.
Approximate Methods of Estimating for
• Plinth area method
• Cubic rate method
• Service unit method
• Bay method
(1) Plinth area or square-meter method

To prepare an estimate by this method the plinth area of a

building shall be determined first. Plinth area is worked out
from Floor area, or carpet area or Covered area or Remote
area of a building. Similarly the circulation area should be
known in order to calculate the plinth area of a building.

The plinth area is the built up covered area measured at the

floor level of the basement or of any storey of a building.
Plinth area can be calculated by taking the external
dimensions of the building excluding plinth area shall be
calculated including the following.
i) Area of the floor level excluding plinth offsets if any,
when the building consists of columns projecting beyond
cladding the plinth area shall be taken up to the external
face of cladding (in case of corrugate sheet cladding outer
edge of corrugation shall be considered),
ii) Stair cover (mumty) ,
iii) Internal shaft for sanitary installations and garbage
chute provided these do not exceed 2 sq m in area,
iv) Lift well including landing,
v) Machine room and
vi) Area of porch other than cantilevered.
The following shall not be included in the plinth area
1) Area of loft
2) Balcony
3) Area of architectural features like cornices etc
4)Area of vertical sun breaker or box projecting out
5) Cantilevered porch
6)Spiral staircases including landing
7) Open platform
8) Terrace at floor one
9) Towers, domes projecting above the terrace level
10) Additional floor for seating in assembly or theatres and
Cubic rate or cubic metre method :-

By this method the volume or cubic content of the proposed

building is worked out and multiplied by the rate per cubic
volume of similar building in that locality, constructed
So the preparation of such an estimate depends on
(i) determination of total volume, in cubic metres, of the
proposed buildings and
(ii) determination of the present rate per cubic metre of
similar buildings constructed recently in that locality.
Service Unit Method
In this method all costs of a unit quantity such as per
km for a highway, per mere of span for a bridge, per
classroom for school building, per litre for water
tank., are considered first and the estimate is
prepared by multiplying the cost per corresponding
unit by the number of units in the structure.
Bay Method
In this method, the approximate estimated cost =
Number of bays in the proposed structure x cost of
one such bay.
Bays are compartments or similar portions of a
structure. When the area of a structure consists of
similar cabins or parts railway platform, factor
sheds, etc. which have been built up with
intermediate columns or with roof trusses on walls
placed at equal distances with the same roofing on
top of those supporting members, then the area may
be divided from center to center of the supports .
Each such division may be treated as a Bay.
To form the basis for calculation of materials and labour CBRI
has recommended the following formulae which, after a study
of the specifications have been selected for this analysis.
The table given is for buildings of different shapes and plinth
areas varying from 30 to 300 sqm.
These information are useful for preparation of building cost
index, preplanning of materials and labour requirements in a
building project.
Equations for materials requirements (as recommended by
CBRI) A= Plinth area in sqm.
Name of material Equations for Four storey (super
Single storey Double storey structure RCC framed)
Bricks (% Nos) 2.26A + 66.8 2.15A + 63 -26.2 + 2.56A –
Cement (Tons) 0.153A + 0.57 0.145A +0.54 0.182A – 0.35
Steel (Kgs) 21.3A - 314 21.97A - 305 - 1491+ 92A- 0.36A2
Sand (Cum) 0.47A- 7 0.376A – 5.6 0.361A- 0.38
Coarse Aggregate 0.176A – 0.21 0.178A – 0.21 0.295A – 0.75
20mm and down (cum)
40mm and down (cum) 0.145A + 1.5 0.075A + 0.78 0.45 + 0.0027A +
Brick aggregate (cum) 0.113A-0.83 0.056A -0.42 0.021A+0.01

Lime (quintal) 0.145A – 0.35 0.073A- 0.17 0.063A-0.08

Surkhi (cum) 0.052A-0.37 0.026A-0.18 0.01A
Timber frames and 0.019A +0.23 0.019A +0.23 0.02A+0.11
Primer (litres) 0.068A 0.068A 0.061A+ 0.56
Paint (liters) 0.108A +0.27 0.108A+ 0.27 0.085A+1.93
Equations for Labour requirements (For superstructure
only) A= Plinth area in sqm.

Labour in days Equations for Four storey (super

structure RCC framed)
Single storey Double storey

Mason 1.335A+28 1.335A + 26 1.67A-2

Carpenter 1.184A-9 1.194A-9 1.61A

Painter 0.089A 0.089A 0.09A

Blacksmith 0.269A-4 0.274A-4 -16+1.01A-0.004A2
Mazdoor 4.769A+32 4.91A+33 5.49A-9.2
Equations for materials and Labour requirements for superstructure in
four storeyed (RCC framed building) A= Plinth area in sqm.

Materials Equations Labour(days) Equations

Cement (Tons) 0.0204A-0.014 Masom 0.023A

Steel (Kgs) -171A-10.46A- Mazdoor 0.343A
Sand (Cum) 0.036A Carpenter 0.05A
Coarse 0.071A-0.01 Blacksmith -1.6+0.1A-0.0003A2
20mm and down
Approximate estimate for main parts of building services like
Water supply,
Boundary wall,
Roads if any, cost of land etc., are made separately.
At the end a General Abstract of cost is drawn. Provisions
of contingency @ 5% to 10% is added with the Abstract
which is the total approximate cost of the project.
Sanitation and Water Supply Add 8 % of Building cost
Electrical Wiring Add 7 % of Building Cost
Electrical Fans Add 4 % of Building Cost
Direct and overhead cost
Direct Cost on Actual Work 85% of Whole Cost
Overhead Cost Due to Establishment 15 % of Whole cost

Cost On Account Of labour 30 to 35 % of Whole Cost

Cost On Account Of Material 70 to 65 % of Whole Cost

Cost Of Foundation and Plinth 10 to 15% of Whole Cost

Cost Of Superstructure 90 to 85 % of Whole cost
Cost Of Different parts or % break up of
Earthwork in Excavation 0.5 % of Whole Cost
Concrete in Foundation 5 % of Whole Cost
Damp Proof Course 1 % of Whole Cost
Brickwork 34 % of Whole Cost
Roofing 20 % of Whole Cost
Flooring 6 % of Whole Cost
Doors and Windows 16 % of Whole Cost
Plastering and Pointing 10 % of Whole Cost
White Washing , Colour Washing 2 % of Whole Cost
Miscellaneous 5 % of Whole Cost
100 % of Whole Cost
Cost Of Brickwork 22 % of Whole Cost
Cost Of Cement 12% of Whole Cost
Cost Of Steel Bars 10 % of Whole Cost
Cost Of Timber 10 % of Whole Cost
Cost of other Materials 14 % of Whole Cost
Wages Of Labour 30 % of Whole Cost
Work Establishment 2 % of Whole Cost
100 % of Whole Cost
Approximate cost for Bridge , Culvert and
Road Works

Preliminary estimates are prepared per km basis. The total

spans for bridges or culverts are surveyed separately and
their costs are worked out from the metre span. The total
costs of roads and waterways are added to find the
preliminary estimated cost. The estimate cost per km for the
specific type of road is as shown
Bridges and Culverts
Culverts (Small on Village Road) Rs 45000 Per R.M of Span
Culverts (Big on Main Road) Rs 80000 Per R.M of Span
Bridges (Small) Rs 120000 Per R.M of Span
Bridges (Medium) Rs 160000 Per R.M of Span
Bridges (large) Rs 2,00000 to 3,00000 Per
R.M of Span
ROAD WORKS for 3.7 m width
One layer of Metalling 12 cms Compacted Rs 250,000 Per Km
to about 8 cms with Stone ballast
One layer of Metalling 12 cms Compacted Rs 200,000 Per Km
to about 8 cms with Over Burnt Brick ballast
One layer of Metalling With Kankar Metal Rs 120,000 Per Km
12 cms Compacted to 8 cms
One layer Of Over Burnt Brick Flat Soling Rs 190,000 Per Km
I st Coat Of Bituminous Painting Rs 70,000 Per Km
II nd Coat Of Bituminous Painting Rs 35,000 Per Km
One Layer of Cement Concrete Rs 70,000 Per Km
10cms thick layer
Detailed Estimate
 This includes the detailed particulars for the quantities,
rates and costs of all the items involved for satisfactory
completion of a project.
 Quantities of all items of work are calculated from their
respective dimensions on the drawings on a measurement
 Multiplying these quantities by their respective rates in a
separate sheet, the cost of all items of work are worked
out individually and then summarised, i.e., abstracted
(which is the detailed actual estimated cost of work)
Detailed Estimate
(a) Report
(b) Specifications
( c ) Detailed drawings
(d) Design data and calculations
(e) Basis of rates adopted in the estimate
Such a detailed estimate is prepared for
Technical sanction.
Administrative approval
Execution of a contract with the contractor.
How to prepare a detailed Estimate:
The unit-quantity method is followed to prepare a detailed
In this method the rates per unit work of one item (viz., one
cu. m. concrete, one cu. m. brickwork etc.) including profit are
considered first and the total cost for the item is found by
multiplying the cost per unit of the rate by the number of
The procedure for the preparation of a detailed estimate is
divided into two parts.
(a) Detail of measurement and calculation of quantities is the
first part. Respective measurements for dimensions of all
individual items involved in the whole work arc taken off from
the drawing of the work and entered in the respective
columns of a standard Measurement Form as shown below.

Item Description No. Length Breadth Height Qty

No or Particulars
Abstract of Estimated Cost is the second part in the
preparation of a detailed estimate. The cost of each and every
individual item of work is calculated by multiplying the quantity
computed in the Measurement Form with the specified rate in
a tabular form known as ‘Abstract form' as shown below

S. No Description Quantity Unit Rate Unit of rate Amount

or Particulars
This estimated cost is increased by 3% to 5% for all
unforeseen expenditure and is called contingency Fund.
To maintain additional supervising staff at the work site and
called the ‘Work charged' establishment a amount of 21/2% is
directly charged to the estimate prepared from the item of
For big projects an amount 1% to 1 1/2% of the estimated cost
is also provided to purchase special Tools and Plants for
specific purposes .
The detailed estimate is generally accompanied
(1) Report.
(2) Specifications (for departmental works, departmental
specifications followed)
(3) Drawings consisting of (a) Plans, sections and
elevations, (b) Site plan or layout plan or Index plan.
(4) Design charts and calculations.
(5) Particulars of rates. In schedule of departmental
rates this is mentioned otherwise the analysis of rate is
( 1) The total estimated cost and the different items of works
required to complete a project can be known.
(2) This is the basis on which percentage rate tenders are
called after excluding the amounts for contingency and work-
charged establishment.
(3) This is a part of a tender document and a contractor can
arrive at his own rates from the schedule of work described in
the description column-
(4) This is the basis on which bills are prepared for payment.
(5) Comparative costs of different items of works can be
Taking Out Quantities

The procedure by which quantities of the various items in a

particular structure are worked out is known as taking out
The quantities are obtained by studying in detail the drawings of
the structure.

Methods of taking Out

English method
PWD method
Quantities are worked out by any one of the
Short Wall long wall method
Center line method
A Quantity Estimate or Quantity Survey
This is a complete estimate or list of quantities for all items of
work required to complete the concerned project. The quantity of
each individual item of work is worked out from respective
dimensions on the drawing of the structure. To find the cost,
quantity is multiplied by the rate per unit for that item. The
purpose of the Bill of quantities is to provide a complete list of
quantities necessary for the completion of any engineering project
and when priced gives the estimated cost of the project.
(4) Revised Estimate
A revised estimate is a detailed estimate for the revised quantities
and rates of items of works originally provided in the estimate
without material deviations of a structural nature from the design
originally approved for a project.
It is accompanied with a comparative statement abstract form
showing the probable variations for quality , rate and amount for
each item of work of the project as compared with the original
estimate side by side stating the reasons of variations.
A revised estimate is prepared and submitted for fresh technical
Required for the following reasons-
(i) When the expenditure of work exceeds or is likely to exceed be
more than 10% of the administrative approval (for work more than
Rs. 5 lakhs)
(ii) When there are material deviations from the original proposal
but not due to material deviation of a structural nature
(iii) When it is found that the sanctioned estimate is more than the
actual requirement
5) A Supplementary Estimate
While a work is in progress, some changes or additional works due
to material deviation of a structural nature from the design
originally approved may be thought necessary for the development
of a project.
The method of preparation of a supplementary estimate is the same
as that of a detailed estimate and it should be accompanied by a full
report of the circumstances which render its necessity .
The abstract must show the amount of the original estimate and the
total of the sanction required including the supplementary amount.
6 ) Combination of Revised and Supplementary Estimate
Necessary to revise the original estimate due to increased volume
of original proposed work
Sanction of supplementary works.
For such a case a revised estimate is prepared for the increased
volume of original work and a detailed estimate for the
supplementary works not included in the original schedule.
The amount of supplementary estimate is added to the revised
estimate, showing the amount separately, Thus the total amount of
the revised estimate includes tile amount for supplementary works
Revised estimate
(i) This is required when the sanctioned So, a revised is due to
material deviation from nature from the design originally
approved the original proposal,
(ii) It is accompanied with a comparative
(iii) Revised estimate is required due to change
Supplementary estimate
(i) This is required due to supplemental)' works amount is exceeded due to
change of rates which are fairly independent of the work at or
addition of works fairly dependent on first sanctioned, So,
supplemental estimate the work at first sanctioned.
ii) statement abstract form required that shows the probable cost. This is
an estimate for additional works able variations for quantity, rate and
only. The abstract shows the original estimate amount against each
item ,of work in- mate and the total amount of the sanction involved in
the project. required including supplemental)' amount
(iii) Supplementary estimate is required due to of rate or quantity of
materials, so no ad- some new works or due to change of design,
additions or revisions of drawings is necessary.
Revised Estimate and Supplementary Estimates due to
reduction of cost (following P. W .D. manual).
In cases, where a substantial section of a project costing not less
than 5% of the total sanctioned cost of the project is abandoned or
where material deviations front the original proposals are expected
to result in substantial savings, the estimate is revised by the
department and intimated the Engineer-In-Charge for execution of
the work.
A complete Estimate
This is an estimated cost of all items which are related to the work
in addition to the main contract or to the “detailed estimate".
One may think that an estimate of a structure includes only the cost
of land and the cost of the main or abstracts or labour , materials
and supervision.
In addition, there are many other cost items to be included.
Annual Maintenance or Repair Estimate
For proper function an estimate is prepared for the item which
require renewal, replacements , repairs etc. in the form of a
detailed estimate.
For buildings, such item of work like white washing, colour washing
and painting of doors and windows etc.,
Quantities are based on the previous measurements recorded in the
Measurement books as “Standard Measurement books”.
The total estimated cost of maintenance of a structure is generally
kept within the prescribed limits on percentage basis (variable
according to the age and importance of the structure)
What is Specification
A specification is a specific description of a particular subject.
An engineering specification contains detailed description of all
workmanship and materials which are require to complete an
engineering project in accordance with its drawings and details.
The technical drawings of a structure will show the proportions
and relative positions of the various components of the structure.
Many a time it is not possible to furnish the information on the
drawing, regarding the quality of materials to be used an the
quality of workmanship to be achieved during construction, due to
shortage of space.

This data regarding the material and workmanship is conveyed in

a separate contract document which is known as the
“Specifications” for the work.

Thus the drawings with the specifications “will completely define

the structure”.

The “specification” is furnished separately along with drawing and

is an essential part of all engineering contracts.
Necessity of Specification
i) The cost of an unit quantity of work is governed by its specification.
ii) Specifications of a work are required to describe the quality and
quantity of different materials required for a construction work and is one
of the essential contract documents. Thus a contractor can make a
program to procure the materials required for a project and the owner can
check the quality of materials confirming to the specifications changes the
tendered rate.
iii) This also specifies the workmanship and the method of doing the work.
Thus specification of a work serves as a guide to the supervising staff of
the contractor as well as to the owner to execute the work to their
iv) A work is carried out according to its specification and the contractor
is paid for the same. Any change in specification changes the tendered
v) As the rate of a work is based on specification a contractor can
calculate the rates of various items works in a tender with his procurement
rates of materials and labour. Thus tender paper without specifications of
work is baseless, incomplete and invalid.
vi) Specification is necessary to specify the equipments , tools and plants
to be engaged for a work involved in a project.
vii)The necessity of specifications is to verify and check the strength of
materials for a work an thus enables to procure them beforehand.
viii) Specification is an essential contract document and is required for
Arbitration or court cases.
How to write specification ?
a) Description of materials :- The quality and size of materials require to
do an item of work shall be fully described for checking up at site
according to the bindings provided in the specification. The proportion of
mixing or treatment of materials if required before use shall be clearly
b) Workmanship :- Complete description of workmanship, the method of
mixing to the proportion, the method of laying, preparation of base or
surface, compaction, finishing and curing etc. specifically applicable to the
item of work shall be clearly stated in different clauses.
c) Tools and plants ( T. & P.) :- The tools and plants to be engaged to carry
out a work shall be described. The method of operation and by whom to be
supplied shall be stated.
d) Protection of new work :- The method of protection of new works
against damage or the method of curing if required, the test of completed
work is necessary shall be described in separate clauses.
e) Expression :- While writing a specification endeavor shall be made to
express the requirements of the specifications clearly and in concise form
avoiding repetition and unusual words. The style of tense shall remain
same throughout. The sentences shall be short, simple and concise. As the
specifications are the legal documents, terms such as suitable, proper used
and words having more than one meaning shall be avoided.
f) Clauses of the specifications:- As far as possible, the clauses shall be
arranged in the order in which work shall be carried out. This does not
mean to follow the works according to the order of arrangements, but it
facilitates reference. While framing clauses for quality of materials,
workmanship, tools and plants etc. practical possibilities shall be realized.
Correct and complete but not repeated information shall be given so that
the owner and the contractor can carryout the work following the
Specifications depend upon the
Site conditions
Nature of work
Purpose for which the work is carried out.
Types of Specifications :-

a) General Specifications.
b) Detailed specifications.
General specifications :- In general specifications, nature
and class of works names of materials and proportion that
should be used in the various items of works are described.
Only a brief description of each and every item is given. It is
useful for estimating the project.
Without going through the lengthy detailed specifications,
general information for the quantities of materials, nature and
class of work can be known from the general specifications,
but they do not form part of the contract document.
Foundation and Plinth: Ist class brickwork in lime mortar or Cement Mortar
1:6 over lime concrete or 1:4:8 of Cement Concrete.
Damp Proof Course:Should be 2.5 cms thk cement concrete 1:11/2:3 mixed
with one kgs of Impermo per bag of cement or other standard water
proofing materials and painted with 2 coats of bitumen.
Superstructure: I st class brickwork with lime mortar or 1:6 cement mortar
. Lintels ver doors and Windows shall be of RCC
Roofing: Shall be RCC slab with an insulation layer and lime concrete
terracing above, supported over R.S.Joists or RCC beams As required. Ht
of rooms shall not be less than 3.7m.
Flooring: Drawing room and dining room floors of mosaic, Bath ,WC and
dado of mosaic (terrazo). Bed rooms coloured and polished of 2.5cms
cement concrete over7.5cms lime concrete polished. Floors of others shall
be 2.5 cms cement concrete over7.5cms lime concrete polished.
Finishing: Inside and outside shall be 12 mm cement lime plastered
.Drawing,dining and bed rooms inside shall be distempered others white
washed 3 coats. Outside shall be coloured snowcem washed two coats over
one coat of white wash.
Doors and Windows: Chaukats shall be seasoned teak wood.Shutters shall
be Teak wood 4.3 cms thk panelled glazed or partly panelled and partly
glazed as required with additional wire gauge shutters. All fittings of
brass. Doors and Windows shall be Varnished or Painted two coats with
high class enamel paint over one coat of priming.Windows shall be provided
with iron gratings or grills.
Detailed Specifications :-
The detailed specifications form a part of the contract document.
Detailed specification for a particular item specify the qualities, quantities
and proportions of materials, and the method of preparation and execution
for that particular item of work in a project.
The detailed specifications of the different items of woks are prepared
separately and they describe what the works should be and how they shall
be executed and constructed.
Physical chemical and electrical tests if any requires for then finished
work to ensure the desired strength or quality are specified in the
detailed specification.
The type of machinery, equipments and special tools and plant their method
of operation when involved during execution are described in the detailed
The method and duration of protection of finished works as required are
specified in the detailed specification.
This also specify the involvement and responsibility for auxiliary works,
incidental damages etc. during execution of the original work. While
writing the detailed specifications the same order of sequence, as the
work is to be carried out, is maintained.
Engineering departments maintain detail specifications for different
items of work those are followed to carry out works.
Standard Specifications :-
Detailed specifications for different works are drawn up by an engineering
department and printed to serve as a standard guide to the department
and also to refer it in the specification part of a tender paper to avoid
writing the lengthy specifications.
Thus, standard specifications save valuable time, labour, stationary
expenditure and above all eliminates the scope of deviations and mistakes
during preparation of huge number of tender papers through a Divisional
Special Specification :-

Some items that are covered or works not well covered by the
departmental standard specifications, special specifications for such items
are drawn up by the Engineer-in-Charge, approved and include in the
tender paper under a heading “Special Specifications”.
Open specifications or Manufacturers Specification :-
Open specification re specifications of products of manufacturers which
state both physical and chemical properties and such other information of
the product, but not description of workmanship to be achieve during
construction. The physical properties specify mainly the strength, weight,
thickness or size and such other physical properties of the product. The
chemical properties specify mainly the composition of chemical contents of
the product and precautionary measures if any required for storing the
Advantages and disadvantages of open specifications :-

a) When procurements of materials are not restricted among a few traders

with their respective trade marks and any trader can supply materials
satisfying the open specifications, progress of work does not suffer due to
short supply of materials.
b) Due to open specification materials can be procured at more competitive
c) Regional or local manufacturers can take the advantage to
manufacturers the material as a result the transportations charge and
delivery time may be reduced.
d) Due to open specifications , the quality of material is standardized and,
as a result, private parties the easily select a material depending on its
Disadvantage of open specifications :-
a) Frequent checking of materials of various manufacturers becomes
necessary. But checking of properties of materials is done mainly from
Govt. test laboratories. Due to heavy rush from different manufacturers
the result of test reports are delayed. As a result procurement order to a
new manufacturer cannot be placed timely.
b) Due to limitations of open specifications interest for further
improvements of the quality of materials is hampered.
c) New manufacturers may receive the order offering very low rates but
after a short supply may fail to supply or maintain the quality of materials
throughout the supply period.
Restricted Specifications :- In restricted specification the material for
an item of work is described and the procurement among some approved
manufacturer or brands of the material is restricted.
Thus the standard of materials such as for plumbing, painting , fitting., are
assured to be of a certain degree of quality up to the satisfaction of the
The materials of the approved manufacturers should be equivalent in
quality and more or less at per cost.
Example of an detailed Specification
Reinforced Cement Concrete (R.C.C.) :-

A) form work :- Form work shall include all forms or moulds required for forming
the concrete which is cast-in-situ, together with all temporary construction
required for their support.
1) Materials for Form work :- Form work shall be plywood, or steel approved by the
Engineer-in-Charge. Timber used for form work shall be easily workable with
nails without splitting and of light weight. It shall be stiff and strong enough
to avoid undue deflection when loaded and not liable to warp when exposed to
sun and rain or wetted casting of concrete.
Form work shall be of rigid construction true to shape an dimensions shown on
drawings. It shall be strong enough to withstand the dead and live loads and
forces caused by ramming and vibrations of concrete and other incidental loads
imposed upon it during and after casting of concrete. It shall be made
sufficiently rigid by using adequate number of braces and ties. To make up any
settlement in the form work either before or during the placing of concrete,
hard wood wedges shall be provided where required.
All form work shall be so constructed as to be removable in sections in the desired
sequence, without damaging the surface of concrete or disturbing other sections.
Forms should be easy to strip after connecting and no price should be keyed into
the concrete. The completed form work shall be approved after inspection by the
Engineer-in-Charge before the reinforcement bars are placed in position.
2) Propping and Centering :- Props used for centering shall be of steel, timber,
posts, ballies or any other material approved by the Engineer-in-Charge. In case
when ballies are used none shall be less than 100mm in diameter measured at mid
length and 80mm at thin end. Ballies shall rest on wooden sole plates of not less
than 40 mm thickness having a minimum bearing area of 0.1 square metre laid on
ground or on 40 x 40 mm thick brick masonry pillars in mud mortar of height not
exceeding 40cm. All props shall further be provided with double wedges between
the sole plates and the props so as to facilitate tightening and easing of shuttering
without causing shock to the concrete.
In case a span exceeds 4.50 metres and height exceeds 3.50 metres
suitable horizontal as well as diagonal bracings shall be provided after accounting
for all forces including action of the wind which may produce lateral forces. In
case the height of centering exceeds 3.50 metres, the props may be provided in
multi-stages. The detail of splicing the props at each stage shall be as per
approved drawing.
Before the casting of concrete is started, the props and wedges shall be
thoroughly checked to see that these are intact. While the casting of concrete is
an progress., at least one carpenter shall keep a constant watch on the props and
take immediate remedial measures, as soon as any of them gets loosened.

b) Shuttering :- The shuttering shall be of approved dressed timber of well

seasoned wooden boards to give a smooth and even surface and the joints shall not
permit leakage of cement grout. The timber shall be free from loose knots,
projected nails, splits, adhering grout or other defects that may mar the cement
surface of concrete. It shall not be so green or wet as to shrink after erection.
Species of timber which are not affected appreciably by its contact with water
shall be used. When metal forms are used, all bolts and nuts shall be countersunk
and well ground to provide a smooth plain surface. Opening for fan clamps and
other fittings connected with services shall be provided in the shuttering as
directed by the Engineer-in-Charge.
i) Surface treatment for shuttering :- The surfaces of timber shuttering that
would come in contact with concrete shall be thoroughly cleaned and well wetted
and coated with soap solution , raw linseed oil, or form oil of approved
manufacturer, or any other approved material such as polythene sheets, to prevent
adhesion of concrete to form work
The Engineer-in-Charge shall inspects and accept the form work as to its
strength, alignment and general fitness before placing any concrete in the
forms. But such inspection shall not relieve the contractor of his
responsibility fir safety of man, machinery, materials and for result

ii) Camber :- Suitable camber shall be provided in horizontal members of

structures specially in long members to counteract the effects of
deflection. The camber for beams and slabs shall be 4 mm per metre i.e. I
in 250 and for cantilevers, at free end shall be 1/50 th of the projected
length or as directed by the Engineer-in-Charge.

iii) Removal of Form Work :- The form work shall be removed avoiding
shock or vibration that may cause any damage to concrete. In a slab and
beam construction, sides of beam shall be stripped first; then the under
sides of slab and lastly the underside of the beam. The period that shall
elapse after the concrete has been laid before undertaking the work of
easing and removal roof centering and shuttering shall be as given below
according to IS 456-1978.
Parts of structure Where ordinary Portland cement is used
forms may be removed after expiry of the following periods :

1. Walls columns and vertical faces of 24 to 48 hours as may be decided by

all structural members the Engineer-in-Charge.
2.Slabs (props left under) 3 days
3. Beams soffit (props left under ) 7 days
4. Removal of props under slabs 7 days
a) Spanning up to 4.5m 7 days
b) Spanning over 4.5m 14 days
5. Removal of props under beams and arches :
a) Spanning up to 6 m 14 days
b) Spanning over 6m 2 days

In case cantilever slabs and beams, the centering shall remain till
structures for bearing down have been erected and have sufficient
c) Reinforcement :- Mild steel bars shall conform to the I.S. specification, free
from loose rust, dust, loose mill scales, coats of paints, oil or other coatings which
may destroy or reduce bond. It shall be stored in such a way so as to avoid
distortion and to prevent coorosion.
i) Bening of Overlapping :- Bars shall be bent cold, correctly an accurately to the
size and shape as shown on the detailed drawing or as directed by the Engineer-in-
Charge. Preferably bars of full length shall be used. Overlapping of bars, where
necessary, shall be done as directed by the Engineer-in-Charge. The overlaps shall
be staggered for different bars an located at points, along the span, where neither
shear nor bending moment is maximum. Overlapping of bars can be kept apart by
25mm or 1 ¼ times the maximum size of coarse aggregate whichever is greater,
with concrete between them. But where this cannot be done, the overlapping bars
shall be bound together at intervals not exceeding twice the diameter of such bars,
with two stands of annealed steel wire of 0.90 mm to 1.6 mm thickness twisted
tight. In case of mild steel the ends of rods shall be bent in to semi-circular books,
having clear diameter equal to four times the diameter of bar, with a length beyond
the bend equal to four times the diameter of the bar. In case of deformed bars
the books are not required. Welding of bars shall be permitted in lieu of overlap if
approve by the Engineer-in-Charge.
ii) Placing in position :- Reinforcement bars shall be placed ion position as shown in
the drawings. Bars at their points of intersection shall be securely tied together
with two strands of annealed steel wire 0.90 to 1.6 mm thick twisted tight to make
the skeletion of the steel work rigid so that the reinforcement does not get
displayed during the deposition o concrete. Tack welding shall be permitted in lieu
of binding with steel wire if approved by the Engineer-in-charge.
The bars shall be kept in position by the following methods as the case may
For beam and slab construction , precast cover blocks in cement mortar 1:2 about 4
x 4 cm section and of thickness equal to the specified cover shall be placed
between the bars and shuttering, to avoid sagging and to maintain requisite cover
of concrete.
For cantilevered and double reinforced beams or slabs the vertical distance
between the horizontal bars shall be maintained by introducing chain spacers or
support bars of steel at 1.0 metre or at shorter spacing to avoid sagging.
For columns and walls the vertical bars shall be kept in position by means of timber
templates with slots accurately cut in them; or with block of cement mortar (1:2)
suitably tied to the reinforcement.
d)Placing of Concrete :-a) Materials for concrete : Same as cement concrete
except the size of coarse aggregate shall be 20 mm unless specially mentioned in
the type of work.
i) Proportioning of concrete : Same as cement concrete 15-24 (b).
ii) Mixing : Concrete shall be mixed by mechanical mixer except or small
quantity when Engineer-in-Charge permits otherwise. Same as item no. 15-24 ©.
iii) Consistency or Workability :- The concrete, which will flow sluggishly into the
forms and around the reinforcement without any segregation of coarse aggregate
from the mortar shall be used. The consistency shall depend on whether the
concrete is vibrated or hand tamped. It shll be determined by slump tests as per
I.S. recommendation.
E ) Placing of concrete :-Pouring into moulds. Placing of concrete shall be
commenced only after the Engineer –in-Charge has inspected the centering,
shuttering and reinforcement as placed and approved the same. Shuttering shall be
taken and free from all saw dust, pieces of wood or other foreign material an shall
be treated as prescribed ion surface treatment for shuttering.
In case of casting of concrete o slabs and beams, wooden planks or cat-walks
supported directly on the centering by means of wooden blocks shall be provided to
convey the concrete to the place of deposition without disturbing the
reinforcement. Labourers shall not be allowed to walk over the reinforcement.
In deep trenches and footings, concrete shall be placed through chutes as
Directed by the Engineer-in-Charge. In case of columns and walls, the shuttering
shall be so adjusted that the vertical drop of concrete is not more than 1.5
metes at a time. During cold weather, with below 4.5 C. temperature, laying of
concrete shall not be done. During hot weather, precaution shall be taken to see
that the temperature of wet concrete does not exceed 38 C. Unless permitted by
the Engineer –in-Charge no concrete shall be laid within half an hour of the closing
time of the day. The time between mixing and placing of concrete shall not exceed
the initial setting time of cement of 30 minutes.
F ) Compaction :- Concrete shall e compacted into a dense mass immediately after
placing by means if mechanical vibrators designed for continuous operations during
the whole period occupied for placing of concrete. The vibrators shall be so
adjusted that the center of vibrations approximates to the center of the mass
being compacted at the time of placing. For certain items, such as roof slab,
depending on the thickness of the members and feasibility of vibrating the same,
the Engineer-in-Charge may permit hand compaction. Hand compaction shall be
done with the help of 16 mm dia steel tamping rod and tamping with wooden
tampers so that the concrete is thoroughly compacted and completely worked
around the reinforcement and into corners of the form work. The layers of
concrete shall be so placed that the bottom layer does not finally set before the
top layer is placed.
Compaction shall be continued until the mortar fills the spaces between the coarse
aggregate and begins to cream up to form an even surface. Needle Vibrators shall
be withdrawn slowly so as to prevent formation of loose pockers in the case of
internal vibrators. The specific instructions of the makers of the particular type
of vibrator used, shall be strictly complied with. Shaking of reinforcement for the
purpose of compaction should be avoided. Compaction shall be completed before
the initial setting starts. Overvibration or vibration of very wet mixes is harmful
and shall be avoided; under vibration is also harmful.

g) Construction Joints :- The position where construction joints are to be made

shall be as shown in structural drawing or as directed by the Engineer-in-Charge.
Such joints shall be kept to the minimum and shall be located where the shear
force is the minimum and these shall be straight and at right angles to the
direction of main reinforcement.
When stopping the concrete on a vertical plane in slabs and beams, an
approved, stop-board shall be placed with necessary slots reinforcement bars or
any other obstruction to pass the bars freely without bending. The construction
joints on a vertical plane shall be keyed. Inclined or feather joints shall not be
Any concrete flowing through the joints of stop-board shall be removed soon after
the initial set. When concrete is stopped on a horizontal plane, the surface shall be
roughened and cleaned after the initial set. In case of columns, the joints shall be
horizontal and 10 to 5 cm below the bottom of beam running into the column head.
Concreting shall be carried out continuously up to construction joints.
When the work has to be resumed, the joint shall be thoroughly cleaned with wire
brush and loose particles removed. A cost of neat cement slurry at the rate of
2.75kg of cement per square meter shall then be applied on the roughened surface
before fresh concrete is laid.

h) Curing :- Same as cement concrete item no 15-24 (f)

i) Finishing :- In case of roof slabs the top surface shall be finished even and
smooth with wooden trowel, before the concrete begins to set.
Immediately on removal of forms, the R.C.C. work shall be examined by the
Engineer-in-Charge , before any defects are made good. The work that
has sagged or contains honeycombing to an extent detrimental to
structural safety or architectural concept shall be rejected. Surface
defects of a minor nature may be accepted and shall be made good as per
direction of the Engineer-in-Charge. The R.C.C. work shall be done
carefully so that the thickness of plaster required for finishing the
surface is no more than 6mm.
J ) Testing Concrete :- Regular mandatory tests on the consistency and
workability of the fresh concrete shall be done to achieve the specified
compressive strength of concrete. Work tests and slump tests shall be
carried out as per standing practice. Three test specimens shall be made
from each sample for testing at 28 days.