Use this guide to ensure that you save money while maintaining your site construction quality
Construction materials demand up to 60% of the total cost. It thus becomes necessary to optimize for cost while maintaining the quality of the construction. Steel and concrete are engineered materials and, if used scientifically, could save a lot of money and wastage.
Use IS codes.
Why refer IS Code
If you try to design a structure on your own, you will need a lot of research. IS codes are reference manuals compiled using the tested results carried over by various construction practitioners on wide infrastructure projects. The resulting manual is a handy reference for you to ease your research work and accelerate the speed of construction.
Think of steel and concrete. These materials are available in various grades. If you have a slab due next week, you cannot try out every grade to match your requirement because doing so will cost time, money, and rework.
IS codes are handy guides that help you optimize for your need. You need not trial and error in every scenario. With the tested data from across the country, IS code gives you a validated answer and helps you decide on the right variant, and enables you to move forward with the actual construction quickly. Let's see how you can use IS code for concrete:
IS codes related to concrete
There are various codes of practice you can refer to if you want to work with concrete. All codes are available for free in the public domain. However, you need not to refer every code. You just need to refer to those relevant to your work domain.
For example, if you are into building construction, you might know that there are three codes on concrete that are widely used by builders and engineers:
- I.S. 456: 2000 Plain and Reinforced Concrete Code of Practice
- I.S. 10262: 2019 Recommended Guidelines for Concrete Mix Design
- I.S. 4926: 2003 Ready Mix Concrete Code of Practice
Make sure you use the latest version of any code, as it contains the updated data.
As you know, civil engineering is a tough branch. Considering the technicalities of the subject, reading IS codes can become boring. But if used effectively, these codes can make a significant difference in the quality and cost of construction. Let’s take reference of IS 456 2000 to understand how to make the best use of any code of practice to save cost.
How to make the most effective use of an IS code
The basic format of all the IS codes is similar.
Each code has definitions, terms, formulas, diagrams, and references to relevant reads. However, for a layman, the codes are not easy to understand. If you have to use any code, you must have your fundamentals strong.
IS 456 2000, is the code of practice for Plain and Reinforced Cement Concrete. In the year 2000, the Bureau of Indian Standards published the updated (4th) version of the code. This code guides you to design a PCC or RCC structure using the Limit State Method - a widely used structural analysis procedure to design an RCC structure.
The code covers scenarios like environmental exposure conditions of India as mild, moderate, severe, very severe, and extreme that a concrete structure might face. IS 456 2000 has 5 sections:
Section 1: General
The general section covers the scope, references, terminologies, and symbols used in the code.
Section 2: Materials, Workmanship, Inspection, Testing
This section caters to all the quality standards to be followed from the start to the end of the construction process.
Section 3: General Design Considerations
In this section, the code covers all the precautions to be taken while designing and erecting the structural elements, like beams, slabs, and columns. You can also use the code to add loads, such as wind or snow, and analyze their effects on your structure.
Section 4: Special Design Requirements
This section assists you in analyzing and designing structural members and systems like Deep Beams, Flat slabs, stairs, walls, and footings.
Section 5: Structural Design using the Limit State Method
Finally, the code is helpful in designing a structural element using the limit state method. In this, there are two conditions a structure needs to satisfy: limit state of collapse and limit state of serviceability.
The limit state of collapse safeguards the structure from falling.
The designer needs to analyze four structural parameters: Flexure, Compression, Shear, and Torsion
The limit state of serviceability takes care of the functional aspect of the element for the designed period. Here, the designer needs to analyze two functional parameters: Deflection and Cracking.
Once all the structural analysis requirements are fulfilled, a designer can suggest a suitable design that will be safe and also have the least probable cost.
The code also contains Annexures from A - H. The annexure is supplementary information relevant to the code.
How you can save the cost of rework without compromising on quality
Once you get familiar with the code, you can easily analyze and create handy structural drawings to be given to the contractor. And that's where the real challenges will begin. Although IS code can make your design immortal (for the designed period), it is the quality in the execution phase that will help withstand the structure for an extended period.
The other two codes viz I.S. 10262: 2019 for Concrete Mix Design and I.S. 4926: 2003 for Ready Mix Concrete come into the picture while execution. Adhering to these codes can help enhance concrete quality in terms of durability, consistency, and strength. These codes can also assist you in setting up the terms and conditions of the contract with the RMC supplier.
A word of caution: Section 3, clause 18 states, "Mere calculations do not produce safe, serviceable, and durable structures. Suitable materials, quality control, detailing, and supervision are equally important."
That's where digital construction tools come to your rescue.
Whether you are a contractor, consultant, or owner of real estate projects, if you are quality conscious and want to maintain construction quality control, save troubles down the line, don't ignore doing quality control checks at your construction site.