**1. Over view :**

**You would have heard people mentioning different units such as Acres , Hectors , Ares or Square Meters or**

**Square yards in reference to the land.**

**Similarly you would be knowing Inch, foot, Meters ,Yards and Millimeters**

**as being used in connection with lengths.**

**These units mentioned above do , in fact , belong to two different systems of measurements called**

**English system of measurements and Metric system of**

**measurements**

**( Read this web resource on : British & Metric systems )**

**For a person working in the construction field, it is essential to have a complete knowledge about**

**both these**

**measurements systems**

**;**

**The English and the Metric .**

**This article explains both the units ,**

**their brief history and**

**also discusses the**

**basic reasons as to why both these systems must be equally understood.**

**2 Basics :**

**In this article , we shall only discuss about the units for length , area and volume . Before we go further ,**

**let us revise our basic knowledge :**

**2.1 . Any physical object has three dimensions. length , width and Depth .**

**Width ( W ) is sometime written as Breadth ( B )**

**2.2 . The Depth ( D ) can be written as Height ( H )**

**or some times as Thickness ( T ).**

**For example , if it is a building , we shall write :**

**2.3. Length , Width and Height of a building .**

**( Width and Breadth are synonyms and can be interchanged )**

**2.4 . If it is a steel plate ,**

**we shall write :**

**Length , Width and Thickness .**

**2.5 . Thickness or Height both are measured in vertical direction . As a convention , for a small object like a brick ,**

**we shall mention the thickness whereas for a larger object , such as a room , we shall mention the height.**

**2.6. The word Depth is also related to the vertical direction but is used for indicating a**

**vertical dimension which is going lower than where we are standing.**

**3. Length , Area and Volumes :**

**3.1 Linear dimensions :**

**Length : The longest horizontal dimension of an object is called length.**

**Width or Breadth : The smaller horizontal dimension is called as**

**Width or Breadth**

**Depth or Height or Thickness : the third dimension which is measured in the vertical axis is mentioned as**

**Depth or Height or Thickness**

**3.2 Area :**

**It is the product of two dimensions of adjoining side .**

**For example , if a rectangular plot has a length of A and width of B , the area is given by :**

**Area = A x B**

**3.3 Volume :**

**It is the product of three dimensions of an object .**

**For example , if the 3 dimensions of a truck are : a , b and c ,**

**Volume = a x b x c .**

**4. The British or English systems of Measurements :**

**For length : Inch , Foot , Yard or Mile**

**For Area : Square Inch , Square Foot ,**

**Square Yard ,**

**Square Mile**

**For Volume : Cubic Inch ,**

**Cubic Foot ,**

**Cubic Yard ,**

**Cubic Mile**

**4.1 For construction purpose , we normally use :**

**For Length : Inch , Foot ,**

**For Area : Square Foot ,**

**For Volume :**

**Cubic Foot ,**

**5. The Metric systems of Measurements :**

**For Length : Millimeter , Centimeter , Meter and Kilometer**

**For Area : Square**

**Millimeter**

**, Square**

**Centimeter**

**,**

**Square**

**Meter**

**,**

**Square Kilo**

**Meter**

**For Volume : Cubic**

**Millimeter**

**,**

**Cubic**

**Centimeter**

**,**

**Cubic**

**Meter**

**,**

**Cubic**

**Kilo**

**Meter**

**5.1 For construction purpose , we normally use :**

**For Length :**

**Millimeter , Centimeter , Meter**

**For Area :**

**Square**

**Meter**

**For Volume :**

**Cubic**

**Meter**

**6. Direct measurement :**Length or Width or height of an object can be measured with a measuring tape

**(**

**Inch , Foot or**

**Millimeter , Centimeter , Meter .) but**

**Area or Volumes have to be calculated with the formula as mentioned above .**

**Thus ,**

**Area or Volumes are**

**Derived from the linear measurements**

**7. Why a construction person needs to know both the English and Metric systems ?**

**This is simply because both of these measurement systems are prevailing at the site of construction .**

**Let us take a few examples which shall clarify this point :**

**7.1 While discussing about a plot or showing it to a customer , the plot area is mentioned in Square Yards**

**( This is actually a**

*Chauras Var*but in colloquial language , it is called*VAR*only. )**or Guntha or Acres but when you refer to the government documentation for the same plot ,**

**the plot area shall be recorded in Metric units such as either Square meters or Are or Hectors.**

**7.2 The drawings given by Architect or RCC consultant shall be necessarily in Metric units ( mm , cm or meter ) and thus ,**

**all quantities worked out shall be either in Square Meters or Cubic meters.**

**However, when buying the materials at the site , the rates for murrum , sand and aggregate are quoted by the supplier in British units only**

**( In Brass which means 100 Cubic Foot ).**

**7.3 The rates quoted by the RCC / Masonry and plastering contractor shall also be in British units only .**

**( Per Square Foot of the built up area )**

**7.4 While the area of the flats to be sold shall be described by the builder in British units ( Square foot of carpet area or built up area ) , while transferring the sold flat to the customer through Sale letter or registered deed , this flat area shall be compulsorily recorded in metric units only . ( Square meters )**

These four examples are adequate to explain why the construction person needs to have a working knowledge about both the systems.

**Reader :**

In case you wish to know further about the

**history of these English and Metric measurement systems**right from the ancient times to the Metrication of the units , the following links shall certainly take you much further :

**Web Link : International system of units**

**Web link : Measurements**

**For people staying in Maharashtra , India , the following link shall be an important resource :**

**Web link : Land measurements in Maharashtra**

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