The methods and units of measurements for civil construction works are mainly categorised for their nature, shape and size and for making payments to the contractor. The principle of units of measurements normally consists the following:

units of measurement

a) Single units work like doors, windows, trusses etc., are expressed in numbers.

b) Works consists linear measurements involve length like cornice, fencing, hand rail, bands of specified width etc., are expressed in running metres (RM)

c) Works consists areal surface measurements involve area like plastering, white washing, partitions of specified thickness etc., and are expressed in square meters (m2)

d) Works consists cubical contents which involve volume like earth work, cement concrete, Masonry etc are expressed in Cubic metres.

Table below shows units of measurement of various items of civil engineering works based on IS 1200.

Sl. No.Particulars of itemUnits of measurementUnits of payment
1. Earthwork in excavationCUMPer CUM
2. Earthwork in filling in foundation trenchesCUMPer CUM
3. Earth work in filling in plinthCUMPer CUM
1. Lime concrete in foundationCUMPer CUM
2. Cement concrete in lintelsCUMPer CUM
3. RCC in slabCUMPer CUM
4. Cement concrete or RCC in chujja, sunshadeCUMPer CUM
5. Lean concrete in roof terracing (thickness specified)SQMPer SQM
6. Cement concrete bedCUMPer CUM
7. Reinforced concrete sunshade (specified width and height)CUMPer CUM
3Damp proof course (DPC) – thickness mentionedSQMPer SQM
4Brick work
1. Brickwork in foundationCUMPer CUM
2. Brickwork in plinthCUMPer CUM
3. Brickwork in super structureCUMPer CUM
4. Thin partition wallsSQMPer SQM
5. Brickwork in archesCUMPer SQM
6. Reinforced brickworkCUMPer CUM
5Stone work
1. Stone masonryCUMPer CUM
6Wood work
1. Doors and windows frames or chaukhats, rafters, beamsCUMPer CUM
2. Shutters of doors and windows (thickness specified)SQMPer SQM
3. Doors and windows fittings (like hinges, tower bolts, sliding bolts, handles)EachPer Each
7Steel work
1. Steel reinforcement bars etc. in RCC and reinforced brick workQuintalPer Quintal
2. Bending, binding of steel reinforcementQuintalPer quintal
3. Rivets, bolts and nuts, anchor bolts, lewis bolts, holding down boltsQuintalPer quintal
4. Iron hold fasts
5. Iron railing (height and types specified)
6. Iron grillsSQMPer SQM
1. RCC and RB slab roof (excluding steel)CUMPer CUM
2. Lean concrete roof over and inclusive of tiles or brick or stone slab etc. (thickness specified)SQMPer SQM
3. Centering and shuttering formworkSQMPer SQM
4. AC sheet roofingSQMPer SQM
9Plastering, points and finishing
1. Plastering – cement or lime mortar (thickness and proportion specified)SQMPer SQM
2. PointingSQMPer SQM
3. White washing, color washing, cement washing, (number of coats specified)SQMPer SQM
4. Distempering (number of coats specified)SQMPer SQM
5. Painting, varnishing (number of coats specified)SQMPer SQM
1. 25mm cement concrete over 75mm lime concrete floor (including lean concrete)SQMPer SQM
2. 25mm or 40mm cement concrete floorSQMPer SQM
3. Doors and window sills (CC or cement mortar plain)SQMPer SQM
11Rain water pipe / plain pipeRMPer RM
12Steel wooden trussEachPer each
13Glass panels (supply)SQMPer SQM
14Fixing of glass panels or cleaningEachPer Each


  • SQM = Square meter
  • CUM = Cubic meter
  • RM = Running meter

Methods for Measurement of civil engineering works:

The rules for measurement of each item are invariably described in IS – 1200. However some of the general rules are listed below:

1. Measurement shall be made for finished item of work and description of each item shall include materials, transport, labour, fabrication tools and plant and all types of overheads for finished the work in required shape, size and specification.

2. In booking, the order shall be in sequence of length, breadth and height or thickness.

3. All works shall be measured subject to the following tolerances.

  • Linear measurement shall be measured to the nearest 0.01m.
  • Areas shall be measured to the nearest 0.01 SQM
  • Cubic contents shall be worked out to the nearest 0.01 cum.

4. Same type of work under different conditions and nature shall be measured separately under separate items.

5. The bill of quantities shall fully describe the materials, proportions, workmanships and accurately represent the work to be executed.

6. In case of masonry (stone or brick) or structural concrete, the categories shall be measured separately and the heights shall be described as:

  • From foundation to plinth level
  • From plinth to first floor level
  • From first floor to second floor level and so on.

Read More: Units of Measurement and Payments for Civil Works