Before any brickwork construction can begin, the contractor first needs to order the building materials (bricks, cement, sand, etc.) and have them delivered to the site. To do this, an accurate estimation will need to be made of the volumes of building materials that will be required. The contractor has to consider how many bricks are needed for the total area of the building.
When making estimations, contractors often work out the number of bricks needed to fill a space of one cubic metre. Clay bricks tend to have a standard size (roughly 222mm long by 106mm wide by 73mm high). For one cubic metre of standard-sized brick masonry, a contractor will need 494 bricks. This equates to about 60 bricks per square metre of single-brick wall or 120 bricks per square metre of double-brick wall.
The contractor needs to calculate the volume (for a double-brick wall) or area (for a single-brick wall) by multiplying the width, length and height. This can be done according to the architect’s drawings. Once the contractor knows the area of the wall, they can use the above guidelines to place an order. They can multiply the area by 60 (for a single-brick wall) or by 120 (for a double brick wall).
Once the number of bricks has been calculated according to the size of the wall, contractors should always add a 10% allowance on top of that number. This takes into account any additional bricks needed for verges, pillars or to replace broken ones. It is always better to have a few extra bricks than not enough.
The contractor will also need to estimate the quantity of mortar needed for one cubic metre of masonry. On average, buildings will require between 0.25 and 0.3 cubic metres of mortar per cubic metre of brick. This means that between 25% and 30% of brickwork consists of mortar (or sand and cement).
Contractors can use these estimations as a guideline to know how many bricks will need to be ordered and what volume of sand and cement to have delivered. Running out of building materials will cause time delays and cost the contractor money. However, builders do not want to have hundreds of bricks leftover at the end of a project either.
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.
LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.
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.