Civil engineering basic knowledge in 2022

Civil engineering is a broad course and for every civil engineering student who wants to become a successful civil engineer, there is some civil engineering basic knowledge should know. because without knowledge you can not work in the construction field. This knowledge will help you to complete the work without any hazard or any failure within a given period .civil engineers have very particular skills that they have acquired over a long time in their engineering collage college this article, I am going to discuss civil engineering basic knowledge.


Civil engineering basic knowledge


In civil engineering courses, there are many concepts related to the different topics that are important to know. We can not cover all the topics in this article but we will discuss that concept that is important for every civil engineer.


this information will benefit not only civil engineers working at the site but also students pursuing their engineering program and it will help those who preparing for a civil engineering job interview.


Civil engineering basic knowledge.  how to calculate the quantity of material used in construction.


There are some commonly used materials in construction. and we will know how to calculate them before using them in elements of any structure.

  • Cement, sand, and aggregate quantity in PCC slab
  • Cement and sand quantity in plaster
  • The volume of cement bags
  • Cement, sand & aggregate in a concrete column
  • Quantity of bricks and mortar


Cement, sand, and aggregate quantity in PCC Slab


civil engineering basic knowledge


It is easy to calculate how many materials need to complete the PCC slab of any given dimension slab.


Let’s talk about this with an example, suppose we are going to construct a slab of length 30ft each length and thickness is 0.5ft. we know that for plan cement concrete work, the Grade of concrete is used M15.


The ratio of cement: sand: aggregate is 1:2: 4. So for the calculation of material in the slab, first of all, we need to calculate the volume of the slab (V), which is equal to L*B*H= 30*30*0.5= 450cft.


But this total volume is the wet volume of the slab. So now we find the dry volume of the slab which is equal to wet volume*1.54, that is 450*1.54= 693 ft ( 1.54 is a constant value ).


For the calculation of cement, we use the formula that is the ratio of cement /total ratio*dry volume, which is equal to 1/7*693= 99cft. this is the cement quantity.


Now for the calculation of sand, we use the same formula as given above which is the ratio of sand/total ratio*dry volume which is equal to 2/7*693= 198cft. this is the sand quantity.


Now we calculate the aggregate quantity by using the same formula,  which is equal to the ratio of aggregate /total ratio *dry volume which is equal to 4/7*693= 396cft. this is aggregate quantity.


Cement and sand quantity in plaster


civil engineering basic knowledge


Here we will know how to calculate cement and sand quantity for any plastering work. This is very helpful for civil engineers and those intending to do their home, office, and other building plaster.


Calculating the required quantity of cement and sand for the plastering work is not a tough job .it should be noted that for wall plaster the cement-to-sand ratio is generally 1:6. Which is 1 part of cement mixed with 6 parts of sand.


And for the roof plaster, the ratio of cement to sand is 1:4. And the thickness of plaster is commonly between 12 mm to 15 mm . let’s take an example to understand it properly.


Suppose we need to plaster a wall of area 300 sqft, so the ratio of wall plaster is taken as 1:6. So the total ratio is 1+6=7, and let’s use the thickness of plaster 13mm.


Given data is , Area = 300sqft , Ratio = 1:6 , total ratio =7 thickness of plaster =13mm (13*0.003=0.042ft ), so now the total volume of plaster is equal to Area of wall* thickness of plaster = 300*0.042=12.6cft .


This total volume is a wet volume of plaster so first convert it into a dry volume which is equal to wet volume *1.35 ( 1.35 is a constant ) = 12.6*1.35= 17cft.


The quantity of cement is equal to the Ratio of cement/total ratio *dry volume which is equal to 1/7*17=2.42cft.


Now the volume of sand is calculated by the same formula which is equal to sand ratio/total ratio*dry volume. after putting the all given data the volume of sand is equal to 6/7*17=14.57cft.


The volume of the cement bag


In this, I am going to calculate the volume of a cement bag in different units. we know that cement is an important part of the construction industry.


Whenever we need to estimate the quantity of material for concrete work or estimation of cement mortar quantity for plastering work, brickwork knowing the volume of a cement bag is an important criterion.


For calculating the volume of the cement bags we just need to know the unit weight of cement i.e, dry density of cement in lose state.


To calculate the volume of a 50kg bag the given data is, the mass of 1 bag of cement =50kg, the density of cement in losing state =1440kg/m^3, now using the Mass-Volume relationship, which is Volume=mass/density, so we will get the volume of 1 bag cement after substituting the given data in the formula which is equal to 50/1440=0.0347m^3.


Hence the volume of 1 bag of cement is 0.0347m^3. So volume of cement bag in cft = 0.0347*35.314=1.225 cft or 1.25cft , also the volume of cement bag in ltr= 0.0347*1000=34.722~35ltr.


Cement, sand, and aggregate in the column


civil engineering basic knowledge


it is an easy task to calculate cement, sand, and aggregate material in clothes .anyone can do it by following this simple procedure.


so let’s take an example to understand it in a better way .suppose we need to construct a column with a height of 4m and a cross-section area is 300mmx300mm. and the volume of this column is equal to the product of this cross-section area and height of the column.


which is (V) = L*B*H=4*0.3*0.3=0.36M^3. But it is wet volume so we convert it into the dry volume by multiplying a constant factor of 1.54 to wet volume which is equal to 1.54*.36=0.554m^3. It is dry volume.


Suppose we are using M25 Grade concrete for the construction of this column. And we know that for the M25 Grade of concrete the ratio of cement: sand: aggregate, is 1:1:2, so the total ratio is 1+1+2=4.


So the volume of cement = ratio of cement /total ratio*dry volume. which is ¼*0.554=0.138m^3.


The same volume of sand = ratio of sand /total ratio*dry volume. which is 1/4 *0.554=0.138m^3.


Now the volume of aggregate = ratio of it/ total ratio*dry volume. Which is 2/4*0.554=0.277m^3.


Quantity  of bricks and mortar


civil engineering basic knowledge


In Asian countries majority of construction, buildings consist of 75% brickwork that’s why it is necessary to know everyone’s approximate quantity of bricks and mortar required for any specific construction work.


So let’s see how to calculate the number of bricks and mortar in any construction. let’s illustrate this concept with an example. suppose we need to construct a wall with a volume of 1m^3. And use the standard size of bricks which is 190mm*90mm*90mm ( as per BIS ) and the minimum thickness of mortar is 10mm.


And the volume of 1 brick with mortar will be 200*100*100 = 2*10^6 mm^3. Which is equal to 0.002m^2.


So no of bricks required with mortar in 1 m^3 wall is equal to the Total volume of the wall/volume of one brick with mortar which will be 1/0.002=500 bricks.


Now the volume of 1 brick without mortar is 190mm*90mm*90mm= 1539000mm^3 after converting it into m^3 is 0.001539m^3.


Hence the volume of 500 bricks without mortar is equal to 500*0.001539=0.7695m^3.and volume of cement mortar will be equal to the Total volume of bricks – the volume of bricks without mortar =1-0.7695=0.2305m^3. ( wet volume )


So to calculate the cement mortar we need to convert wet volume to dry volume by multiplying a factor of 1.33. so dry volume will be 0.2305*1.33=0.36565m^3.


It should be noted that the ratio of cement mortar is 1:6. means 1 part of cement mix with 6 part of sand .and volume of cement = ratio of cement /total ratio*dry volume =1/7*0.306565=0.043m^3.


Civil engineering basic knowledge tips and technical terms


1. The grade of concrete is denoted as the ratio of cement: sand: aggregate. for example M25 Grade concrete the ratio I am 1:2:4. which is 1 part of cement mixed with 2 parts of sand and 4 parts aggregate.


2. Water having a PH value less than 6 should not be used for construction purposes .because if the water having ph less than 6 uses. there will be noticeable degradation and surface damage as the cement loses its ability to bind concrete together.


3. For casting any structural member the concrete should not through a height of more than 1.5m As per IS 456:2000.


4. The initial setting of concrete is a minimum of 30 minutes and the final setting time is 10 hours.


5. For casting any RCC slab, the minimum thickness should be 5 inches.


6. The minimum compressive strength of bricks should be 3.5N/mm^2.


7. The term C/C means the center-to-center distance of any structural member


8. The full form of DL is development length and self-weight means a dead load of the structure.


9. Sand that has a moisture content greater than 5% is not used for concrete mix.


10. The full form of DPC is a damp proof course, which is provided in load-bearing structures, for bricks structure to prevent moisture rising by capillary action. that is to prevent the effect of water rising from the ground into the property .and its thickness should not be less than 2.5cm.




Hence we have seen above that these are the concept that is so important as civil engineering basic knowledge. without this knowledge, any engineers can not work at the site. and for increasing, any civil engineer’s skill, quantities survey concepts are really helpful. after you know this civil engineering basic knowledge point you can calculate the approximate estimation cost of any structure.




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A dedicated civil engineer with more than 5 years of practical experience in construction as a site engineer founded our company. I am passionate about all things civil engineering and construction. My mission is to make the complex field of civil engineering accessible to everyone.

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