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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 item Units of measurement Units of payment
1 Earthwork
1. Earthwork in excavation CUM Per CUM
2. Earthwork in filling in foundation trenches CUM Per CUM
3. Earth work in filling in plinth CUM Per CUM
2 Concrete
1. Lime concrete in foundation CUM Per CUM
2. Cement concrete in lintels CUM Per CUM
3. RCC in slab CUM Per CUM
4. Cement concrete or RCC in chujja, sunshade CUM Per CUM
5. Lean concrete in roof terracing (thickness specified) SQM Per SQM
6. Cement concrete bed CUM Per CUM
7. Reinforced concrete sunshade (specified width and height) CUM Per CUM
3 Damp proof course (DPC) – thickness mentioned SQM Per SQM
4 Brick work
1. Brickwork in foundation CUM Per CUM
2. Brickwork in plinth CUM Per CUM
3. Brickwork in super structure CUM Per CUM
4. Thin partition walls SQM Per SQM
5. Brickwork in arches CUM Per SQM
6. Reinforced brickwork CUM Per CUM
5 Stone work
1. Stone masonry CUM Per CUM
6 Wood work
1. Doors and windows frames or chaukhats, rafters, beams CUM Per CUM
2. Shutters of doors and windows (thickness specified) SQM Per SQM
3. Doors and windows fittings (like hinges, tower bolts, sliding bolts, handles) Each Per Each
7 Steel work
1. Steel reinforcement bars etc. in RCC and reinforced brick work Quintal Per Quintal
2. Bending, binding of steel reinforcement Quintal Per quintal
3. Rivets, bolts and nuts, anchor bolts, lewis bolts, holding down bolts Quintal Per quintal
4. Iron hold fasts
5. Iron railing (height and types specified)
6. Iron grills SQM Per SQM
8 Roofing
1. RCC and RB slab roof (excluding steel) CUM Per CUM
2. Lean concrete roof over and inclusive of tiles or brick or stone slab etc. (thickness specified) SQM Per SQM
3. Centering and shuttering formwork SQM Per SQM
4. AC sheet roofing SQM Per SQM
9 Plastering, points and finishing
1. Plastering – cement or lime mortar (thickness and proportion specified) SQM Per SQM
2. Pointing SQM Per SQM
3. White washing, color washing, cement washing, (number of coats specified) SQM Per SQM
4. Distempering (number of coats specified) SQM Per SQM
5. Painting, varnishing (number of coats specified) SQM Per SQM
10 Flooring
1. 25mm cement concrete over 75mm lime concrete floor (including lean concrete) SQM Per SQM
2. 25mm or 40mm cement concrete floor SQM Per SQM
3. Doors and window sills (CC or cement mortar plain) SQM Per SQM
11 Rain water pipe / plain pipe RM Per RM
12 Steel wooden truss Each Per each
13 Glass panels (supply) SQM Per SQM
14 Fixing of glass panels or cleaning Each Per 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

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Gopal Mishra

Gopal Mishra

Gopal Mishra is a Civil Engineer from NIT Calicut and has more than 10 years of experience in Civil Engineering and Construction. He is the founder of The Constructor.

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  1. I am using the software for recording the measurement. I need to put only the length, width and depth and it generates all the supporting sheets, invoices and material consumption deviation sheets. It supports all the measurement units. Previously i was doing it in excel sheet and being human i was doing the mistake in bills many times. The modification in rates and the PO is also easy, as it propogates the changes in all the documents for me.

  2. Measurements of civil works is very important and the Filed Engineer should have through knowledge in taking measurements, especially some special works like working in water or snow, site cleaning, materials shifting to various floors, trench excavation, coping of columns, ramming of earth, consolidation, curing etc.

    The Field Engineer should refer the concerned codes for measurements of that particular region/country before taking measurements, he/she should also have the idea of how many skilled and unskilled workers are required to do an unit of a particular job including labor cost, T&P cost, transport cost, material cost and all other overheads cost(Like supervision charges, inspection charges etc).

  3. Civil Engineering is a amazing field in the world i love civil engineering.

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