How To Build Cost Effective House | Cost-Effective Construction | Breakup Cost For Housing -lceted LCETED INSTITUTE FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS

Post Top Ad

Jul 26, 2021

How To Build Cost Effective House | Cost-Effective Construction | Breakup Cost For Housing


The building is a product involving time, material, labour and other resources under various constraints. Today’s construction scenario presents steeply escalating material costs and time overrun leading to project cost escalation, in spite of the earnest efforts to keep the situation within limits.

The total costs of a building can be defined as the sum of the costs that develop at the planning stage, the cost of construction and maintenance after construction. The cost of any building can be reduced by giving proper attention to these three aspects. Cost and quality are two important and interdependent aspects of any product. Saving money along with providing better value is a concept that attracts all. Efficient design and construction management techniques employed in a systematic way are essential to assuring cost and quality control. It is not sufficient to merely reduce cost. All the requirements of function, space and quality and strength have to be met too. With high urban land values and increased cost of construction due to the ever-increasing cost of building materials and labour, people are on the lookout for cost efficiency in the building.

Cost efficiency can be achieved by efficient layout design, choice of appropriate materials and appropriate building technology. In any project involving the construction of building units, the major share of expenditure is the construction work. Land subdivision and development is an essential requirement for any scheme. Layout determines the environment as well as a distribution network for services. Thus, optimization of layout will lead to the overall economy in land development works.


The breakup cost of housing in developing countries is generally as follows:

Cost of materials – 73%

Cement – 18%

Iron and Steel – 10%

Bricks – 17%

Timber – 13%

Sand  – 7%

Aggregates – 8%

Labour – 27%

Masons – 12%

Carpenters – 10%

Unskilled labour – 5%



Planning Considerations For Layout Planning

1. Layout plan should be prepared after thorough investigations of site conditions, considerations of a number of factors that determine project content, cost levels and levels of facilities to be provided.

2. An analysis of site development costs should be made in terms of density, construction types, topography, grading and local requirements with regard to zoning and utility services.

3. The design of an the enclosure of the required volume should be achieved by using the minimum amount of materials and labour consistent with the structural stability and it should provide adequate control of the external climate with the lowest maintenance cost.

4. With regard to orientation, buildings, in general, should be oriented on the east-west axis:

i. The long elevations should face north and south to reduce heat gain.

ii. Buildings should be planned around small courtyards as thermal storage is required for most of the year.

iii. Breeze penetration must be provided.

iv. Rooms may be single banked with windows in the north and south walls for cross-ventilation.

v. If rooms are double-banked, the plan should allow temporary cross-ventilation through large interconnecting doors.


Means And Methods To Achieve Cost Effectiveness In Construction


Planning Aspect

For proper cost-effective construction, planning should be implemented to achieve:

1.   Efficient arrangement of spaces that are cost-conscious in their utilization of materials and space.

2.   The design of spaces that are function-oriented, while at the same time adaptive, so as to accommodate change which may be in the form of an increase in the size of the spaces or their functional requirements effectively.

3.   A simultaneous synthesis of the infrastructural requirements with respect to both their quantities and their most economic arrangement should be undertaken and their fusion into the design scheme is to be ensured.


Arrangement Of Spaces

This includes both the arrangement of spaces within a dwelling unit as well as the disposition of spaces/zones for any planned development. The design of these spaces should take in cost effectiveness in the use of materials. Materials are to be selected based on their local availability as well as the cost of their conversion into possible building materials.

Spaces should be function specific and space-saving. These are achieved through an understanding of the functional requirements they are to accommodate.



It is desirable that individual dwelling units have adaptive properties. These are achieved through flexible open plans so that future changes may be accommodated through minimum expenditures. The same holds true for settlements also.



Modular co-ordination

Modular units ensure that the planning is not random and renders units with simple additive qualities that facilitate easier and more economic adaptation to change, besides ensuring economization through mass production of building units.


Incorporating infrastructure

The economization of infrastructure is a major priority in the planning process, as a careful layout can reduce costs manifold. Therefore, planning should ensure the minimization of infrastructural lines, with the adoption of local know-how and technology with regard to matters such as waste and sewage disposal. A careful analysis of the types of wastes ensures a more eco-friendly development. However, the common tendency of planning along a grid is to be avoided as this hampers the growth of the settlement and thus increases costs in the long run.


Cost-effective methods and techniques

Building construction involves two factors:

a. Materials for construction and

b. Techniques employed in construction


Choice of the materials

While choosing the materials for construction, emphasis should be given to the prevention of environmental degradation, energy conservation and ecological balance. The choice of materials depends a lot on the availability in a particular location.

An efficient type design for a given plinth area is evaluated on the basis of

i. Length of the load-bearing wall

ii. Percentage of wall area by floor area

iii. Area meant for circulation

iv. Wall space provided for storage and arrangement of furniture

v. Adequate lighting and ventilation for the house

vi. Grouping of wet cores

vii. Provision for future expansion of the house


Foundation is one of the most important components. There can be no compromise regarding the foundation, as on average about 20 per cent of the overall cost of a building goes for the foundation.


The life, durability and strength of the superstructure depend mainly on the materials that are used for the construction. About 25 per cent of the overall construction cost should be earmarked for the superstructure. As far as the rural areas are concerned people are well contented with burnt brick masonry using lime or cement mortar.


The roof consumes about 20 per cent of the overall cost. Periodical replacement, the susceptibility of fire hazards and certain other factors advocate against the use of thatched roofs. Though tiled roofs are familiar in many areas, the high cost, thermal discomfort and the non-availability of well-seasoned palmyra or other wooden rafters are major disadvantages.

Asbestos roof substituted the tiled roof to a certain extent but is not popular due to health hazards, cost and thermal discomfort. Madras Terrace is now obsolete because of the non-availability of skilled labour and due to heavy deadweight.

Reinforced concrete (RC) slab is a very good substitute for flat roofs in such conditions.

If you find 


This information is helpful, please share it.


Thanks! For reading the article.     

No comments:

Post a Comment


For Instant updates Join our Whatsapp Group. Save our Whatsapp contact +919840140396 as LCETED and Send us a message “JOIN”

Post Bottom Ad