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How to calculate volume of concrete needed for a project

New concrete city skyscraper with volume cranes

Don’t run out of building materials mid-construction

No matter what project you’re working on, whether big or small, it’s important to order enough cement and aggregates to make enough concrete to complete the project. It can be a problem if you run out of concrete halfway through construction.

Concrete items that are set in a single pour are far stronger and will last many years. To avoid running out of concrete before the end of a project, you need to calculate how much cement, sand and gravel to order from suppliers.

Calculating the volume of concrete

To accurately calculate how much concrete the project requires, you’ll need a tape measure, notepad, pen and a calculator. Firstly, use the tape measure to take measurements of the area where you plan to place the concrete. Write down the length, width and height (or depth) of the project area.

Use the calculator to work out the volume of the area by multiplying the three measurements together (length x width x height). If you measured the three lengths in metres, then your answer will be the volume in cubic metres. For measurements in centimetres, divide the answer by one million to get an answer in cubic metres.

For example:

  • 15m (length) x 4.5m (width) x 0.2m (height) = 13.5 cubic metres
  • Or; 1,500cm (length) x 450cm (width) x 20cm (height) = 13,500,000 ÷ 1,000,000 = 13.5 cubic metres

Things to remember when ordering cement

Whether you order pre-mixed concrete or the raw materials to make concrete (cement, sand, stone), there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly, add 10% to your calculation. It’s always better to have more concrete than not enough. This extra 10% will also help with spillage or small errors in your measurements.

To work out 10%, multiply your volume by 0.1 and add the answer to your original volume. For example:

  • 13.5 cubic metres x 0.1 = 1.35
  • 1.35 + 13.5 = 14.85 cubic metres

Also, remember that different cement powders require different ratios of aggregates. Choose the right cement for your needs and then work out how much sand and stone you’ll need for the bags you buy. LafargeHolcim Tanzania can help you work these out.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring nations with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in the Mbeya Region at Songwe in Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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