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Construction Calculations Manual
Construction Calculations Manual
Construction Calculations Manual
Ebook1,541 pages9 hours

Construction Calculations Manual

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars



About this ebook

Construction Calculations is a manual that provides end users with a comprehensive guide for many of the formulas, mathematical vectors and conversion factors that are commonly encountered during the design and construction stages of a construction project. It offers readers detailed calculations, applications and examples needed in site work, cost estimation, piping and pipefitting, and project management. The book also serves as a refresher course for some of the formulas and concepts of geometry and trigonometry. The book is divided into sections that present the common components of construction. The first section of the books starts with a refresher discussion of unit and systems measurement; its origin and evolution; the standards of length, mass and capacity; terminology and tables; and notes of metric, U.S, and British units of measurements. The following concepts are presented and discussed throughout the book: Conversion tables and formulas, including the Metric Conversion Law and conversion factors for builders and design professionals Calculations and formulas of geometry, trigonometry and physics in construction Rudiments of excavation, classification, use of material, measurement and payment Soil classification and morphology, including its physicochemical properties Formulas and calculations needed for soil tests and evaluations and for the design of retaining structures Calculations relating to concrete and masonry Calculations of the size/weight of structural steel and other metals Mechanical properties of wood and processing of wood products Calculations relating to sound and thermal transmission Interior finishes, plumbing and HVAC calculations Electrical formulas and calculations Construction managers and engineers, architects, contractors, and beginners in engineering, architecture, and construction will find this practical guide useful for managing all aspects of construction.
  • Work in and convert between building dimensions, including metric
  • Built-in right-angle solutions
  • Areas, volumes, square-ups
  • Complete stair layouts
  • Roof, rafter and framing solutions
  • Circle: arcs, circumference, segments
Release dateSep 19, 2011
Construction Calculations Manual

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    Book preview

    Construction Calculations Manual - Sidney M Levy

    Butterworth-Heinemann is an imprint of Elsevier

    225 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451, USA

    The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, UK

    Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.

    Permissions may be sought directly from Elsevier’s Science & Technology Rights

    Department in Oxford, UK: phone (+44) (0) 1865 843830; fax (+44) (0) 1865 853333; email: permissions@elsevier.com. Alternatively you can submit your request online by visiting the Elsevier web site at http://elsevier.com/locate/permissions, and selecting Obtaining permission to use Elsevier material.


    No responsibility is assumed by the publisher for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein. Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, in particular, independent verification of diagnoses and drug dosages should be made.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Application submitted.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    ISBN: 978-0-12-382243-7

    For information on all Butterworth-Heinemann publications visit our website at www.elsevierdirect.com

    Printed and bound in the USA

    11 12 13 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


    Construction Calculations provides the construction, engineering, and project owner community with a single source guide for many of the formulas and conversion factors that are frequently encountered during the design and construction phase of a project.

    The geometry and trigonometry lessons learned years ago sometimes need refreshing. Construction Calculations provides a refresher course on some of the formulas and concepts that tend to crop up from time to time.

    A book divided into sections devoted to most of the common components of construction makes it easier to determine how to achieve a Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC) rating of 50, for example, or how to equate the amperage capacity of copper and aluminum cable of the same wire size.

    A detailed index preceding each section makes it easy to locate the answer to one’s question or at least points the way to its solution.

    This one-source volume can prove invaluable for office- or field-based designers and contractors and will come in handy at project and design development meetings as well as provide assistance in specifying and purchasing materials and equipment.

    I have selected material that in my 40-some years in the construction business appears relevant to the many situations where answers to questions are required, and required yesterday.

    I hope you will find Construction Calculations a worthy addition to your professional library.

    Sidney M. Levy






    Section 1. The National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST)

    Appendix B: Units and Systems of Measurement: Their Origin, Development, and Present Status

    Appendix C: General Tables of Units of Measurement

    Section 2. Conversion Tables and Conversion Formulas

    2.0.0 Executive Order 12770—The Metric Conversion Law

    2.0.1 Inches to Feet Conversion Table

    2.0.2 Inches to Centimeter Conversion

    2.0.3 Centimeter to Inches Conversion

    2.0.4 Feet to Meters Conversion

    2.0.5 Meters to Feet Conversion

    2.0.6 Acres to Hectares Conversion

    2.0.7 Hectares to Acres Conversion

    2.0.8 Square Inch to Square Feet Conversion

    2.0.9 Square Feet to Square Inch Conversion

    2.0.10 Square Feet to Square Mile Conversion

    2.0.11 Square Mile to Square Feet Conversion

    2.0.12 Square Feet to Acres Conversion

    2.0.13 Acres to Square Feet Conversion

    2.0.14 Square Yard to Square Meter Conversion Table

    2.0.15 Square Meter to Square Yard Conversion Table

    2.0.16 Square Mile to Square Meter Conversion Table

    2.0.17 Square Meter to Square Mile Conversion Table

    2.0.18 Square Mile to Hectare Conversion Table

    2.0.19 Hectare to Square Mile Conversion Table

    2.0.20 Miles to Kilometers Conversion

    2.0.21 Kilometers to Miles Conversion

    2.0.22 Pounds to Kilograms Conversion

    2.0.23 Kilograms to Pounds Conversion

    2.0.24 Fahrenheit to Celsius Conversion

    2.0.25 Celsius to Fahrenheit Temperature Conversion

    2.0.26 Fahrenheit to Rankine Temperature Conversion

    2.0.27 Rankine to Fahrenheit Temperature Conversion

    2.1.0 Converting Water from One Form to Another

    2.1.1 U.S. and Metric Lumber Length Conversion Table

    2.2.0 Conversion Factors—Energy, Volume, Length, Weight, Liquid

    2.3.0 Conversion of Liquids—Specific Gravity to Degrees Baume

    2.4.0 Volume-to-Weight Conversion Table

    2.5.0 Convert Old A.I.S.C. Structural Shapes to New Designations

    2.6.0 USA Mesh Size—Convert to International Particle Size (Microns)

    2.7.0 Converting Wire Gauge from

    2.8.0 Map of United States Showing Four Continental Times Zones

    2.8.1 Convert Time Zones—UTC to Four Standard U.S. Time Zones

    2.8.2 Convert Time Zones-UTC to Four Daylight U.S. Time Zones

    2.9.0 Convert Roman Numerals to Arabic Dates

    2.10.0 Converting Speed—Knots to MPH to Kilometers per Hour

    2.11.0 Conversion Factors for Builders and Design Professionals Who Cook

    Section 3. Calculations and Formulas—Geometry, Trigonometry, and Physics in Construction

    3.0.0 Useful Formulas—Water, Pressure, Heat, Cooling, Horsepower

    3.1.0 Basic Mathematics—Algebra

    3.1.1 What Are Roots?

    3.1.2 Area and Circumference of a Circle by Archimedes

    3.1.3 Explaining Exponential Functions—Concepts, Solutions

    3.2.0 General Geometric Formulas

    3.2.2 Volume of Pyramids

    3.2.3 Area of Prisms and Right Area Prisms

    3.2.4 Cylinder Volume Theorem

    3.2.5 Cone Volume Theorem

    3.2.6 Sphere Volume and Area Theorem

    3.2.8 Theorems That Apply to Parallelograms

    3.2.9 The Small Angle Formula

    Angular Sizes


    3.2.10 Geometric Surface Area Formulas for Cubes, Spheres, Cones

    3.2.11 Angles of an N-gon

    3.3.0 Basic Trigonometric Functions

    3.3.1 Trigonometry's Sine and Cosine

    3.3.2 Trigonometric Ratios

    3.3.3 Basic Trigonometry Formulas

    3.3.4 What Is the Pythagorean Theorem?

    3.3.5 Pythagorean and Quotient Identities

    Special Rules

    3.3.7 Law of Sines

    3.3.8 Law of Cosines

    3.3.9 Reciprocal Ratios

    3.3.10 Cofunctions

    3.3.11 A Table of Common Logarithms

    3.4.0 Physics—Basic Formulas

    3.4.1 Physics Concepts—Force, Pressure, and Energy

    3.4.2 Physics—Circular Motion

    3.4.3 Physics—Gravitation

    3.4.4 Physics—Work Energy Power


    3.4.5 Physics—Laws of Motion

    3.4.6 Physics—One-, Two-, and Three-Dimensional Motion

    3.4.7 Physics—Electricity

    3.5.0 Financial Formula Calculations—Net Present Value and Compounding

    3.6.0 Formulas for Calculating the Volume of Cylindrical Tanks

    3.7.0 Round Tank Volume Tables for One Foot of Depth—1 to 32 Feet in Diameter

    3.8.0 Capacity of Round Tanks—1 to 30 Feet in Diameter

    3.9.0 Capacity of Rectangular Tanks—1 to 6 Feet in Depth, 1 to 10 Feet in Length

    3.10.0 Testing for Hardness in Metal—Mohs, Brinell, Rockwell, Scleroscope, Durometer

    Section 4. Site Work

    4.0.0 The Rudiments of Excavation—Classification, Use of Materials, Measurement, and Payment

    4.1.0 The Unified Soil Classification and Constituents—Explained The Word Picture of Soil Grain Size

    4.1.1 ASTM and AASHTO Aggregate and Soil Terminology

    4.1.2 Field Method of Classification

    4.1.3 Sediment Classification According to United Soil Classification System

    4.1.4 USCS Classification Flowline

    4.1.5 Group Names for Gravelly Soils

    4.1.6 Group Names for Sandy Soils

    4.1.7 Calculations to Determine USCS Classification Based upon Percentage Passing through Sieve

    4.1.8 Correlation between AASHTO and USCS Systems

    4.1.9 Classification of Soil and Soil-Aggregate Mixtures for Highway Construction Purposes AASHTO M-145-91 (2000) (Modified)

    4.1.10 USDA Soil Textural Classification Chart

    4.2.0 Soil Taxonomy—Formative Elements and Names of Soil Suborders

    4.3.0 Calculating Soil Compaction Utilizing Various Methods Soil Testing—Types—Hand, Proctor, Nuclear Density, Sand Cone

    4.3.1 Relative Desirability of Soils as Compacted Fill

    4.3.2 Calculating the Bearing Capacity of Soils

    4.3.3 Calculating Vibration Control

    4.3.4 Calculating Earth-Moving Equipment Production

    4.3.5 Calculating Production of Roller-Type Compaction Equipment

    4.3.6 Compaction Equipment Types—Applications and Illustrations List of Compaction Measuring Devices by Type and Manufacturer Moisture Density Relation—Compaction Test—Proctor and Modified Proctor

    4.4.0 Calculating the Maximum Dry Density and Optimum Moisture Content of Soil

    4.4.1 Calculating the In Situ Dry Density of Soil by the Sand Replacement Method

    4.5.0 Calculating the Percent of Slope Calculating Grade from a Map Calculating Grade by Measuring the Road Distance Calculating Grade by Using Slope Distance Formulas Showing Grade, Ratio, and Angle Relationships Chart Showing Slope Angles—0 Degrees to 80 Degrees

    4.5.1 Illustration of Slope Layback

    4.5.2 Common Stable Slope Ratios for Varying Soil/Rock Conditions

    4.5.3 Illustrations of Various Cut/Fill Configurations—Typical Fill, Benched Fill, Reinforced Fill

    4.5.4 Illustrations of Various Cut/Fill Configurations—Balanced Cut-Fill, Full Cut, Through Cut

    4.5.5 Calculating the Design of Gabion Retaining Walls to 20 Feet (6 Meters) in Height

    4.5.6 Calculating the Design of Common Types of Retaining Structures

    4.7.0 Material Density Chart—Ashes to Wood

    4.8.0 Calculating the Density of Rock, Sand, Till

    Section 5. Calculations Relating to Concrete and Masonry

    5.0.0 Standard American Concrete Institute (ACI) and Portland Cement Association (PCA) Divide the Production of Concrete into Seven (7) Basic Components and Ingredients

    5.0.1 Chemical Additives Provide Characteristics not Obtainable When Utilizing the Seven Basic Components Slump Maximum Aggregate Size Mxing Water and Air Content Estimation Water–Cement Ratio Cement Content Adjustments for Aggregate Moisture

    5.1.0 Portland Cement—ASTM Types

    5.1.1 Cement Composition

    5.1.2 Physical Properties of Portland Cement

    5.1.3 Blended Portland Cement

    5.1.4 Modified Portland Cement (Expansive Cement)

    5.2.0 Types of Cement and What They Do

    5.3.0 Concrete Compressive Strengths—U.S. and Metric

    5.4.0 Sieve Analysis Defining Coarse and Fine Aggregates

    5.4.1 Air-Entraining Admixtures


    5.4.3 Fly Ash

    5.4.4 Silica Fume

    5.4.5 Ground Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag

    5.5.0 Structural Concrete Components—Calculations to Achieve High-Strength Concrete

    5.6.0 Lightweight Concrete Mix Design—Calculations Utilizing Perlite

    5.7.0 Set-Retarding Admixtures Delay Hydration of Cement

    5.10.0 Calculate the Size and Weight of Concrete Reinforcing Bars

    5.10.1 Reinforcing Bar Designations–Size and Diameter—U.S. and Metric

    5.10.2 Welded Wire Mesh Designations—U.S. and Metric

    5.11.0 Embedded Anchor Bolt—Diameter, Length, Hook, and Thread Sizes—Plain Finish

    5.11.1 Embedded Anchor Bolts—Diameter, Length, Hook, and Thread Sizes—Galvanized

    5.12.0 Brick Sizes—Nominal versus Actual Size

    5.12.1 Diagrams of Modular and Nonmodular Bricks

    5.12.2 Brick Positions in a Wall

    5.12.3 Calculate the Number of Bricks in a Wall Calculate the Number of Bricks for Your Project

    5.12.4 Percentages to Add for Various Bond Patterns

    5.12.5 Types of Brick—by Material

    5.12.6 Chart Reflecting Nominal Size, Joint Thickness, Actual Size—Modular/Nonmodular Bricks

    5.12.7 Chart Reflecting Nominal Size, Joint Thickness, Actual Size—Other Brick Sizes

    5.12.8 Nominal Modular Size of Brick and Number of Courses in 16 Inches

    5.12.9 Calculate Vertical Coursing Height Based upon Number of Units

    5.12.10 Calculate Horizontal Coursing Based upon Number of Units

    5.12.11 Horizontal Coursing—Soft and Hard Metric Dimensioning

    5.14.0 Mortar Mixes—ASTM Minimums

    5.14.1 Mixture Calculations for Types N, M, S, O, K Mortar

    5.14.2 Mixture Calculations for Straight Lime Mortar

    5.14.3 Mixture Calculations for Glass Block Mortar

    5.14.4 Mixture Calculations for Waterproof Portland Cement

    5.15.0 Typical Properties of Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry

    Section 6. Calculating the Size/Weight of Structural Steel and Miscellaneous Metals

    6.0.0 Ingredients of Steel

    6.0.1 Structural Steel in the Construction Industry

    6.0.2 ASTM Designations for Most Common Types of Steel in Construction

    Home > Useful Information > Materials, Preparation, and Testing

    6.0.3 Worldwide National Standards for Steel Quick Review of U.S. Metric Conversions to Assist When Reviewing Steel Sizes EN, DIN, JIS Standards Tolerance on JIS Dimension and Shape of WF Beams

    6.1.0 Approximate Minimum Mechanical Properties of Some Steels

    6.2.0 Common Structural Shapes for U.S. Steel Sections

    6.2.1 How Steel Wide-Flange Beams Are Identified

    6.2.2 How Steel Channels Are Identified

    6.2.3 How Steel Angles Are Identified

    6.2.4 Cross Sections of Standard Structural Steel Members

    6.3.0 Calculating the U.S. Weight and Size of Wide-Flange Beams-4×4 to 36×16

    6.3.1 Calculating the Metric Weight and Size of Wide-Flange Beams W4s to W36s

    6.3.2 Calculating the Weight and Size of I Beams and Junior Beams

    6.4.0 Calculating the Weight and Size of U.S. Square High-Strength Steel Sections

    6.4.1 Calculating the Weight and Size of Metric Square High-Strength Steel Sections

    6.5.0 Calculating the Weight and Size of U.S. Rectangular High-Strength Steel Sections

    6.5.1 Calculating the Weight and Size of Metric Rectangular High-Strength Steel Sections

    6.6.0 Calculating the Weight and Size of U.S. Round High-Strength Steel Sections

    6.6.1 Calculating the Weight and Size of Metric Round High-Strength Steel Sections

    Metric Dimenstions and Section Properties of Round HSS

    6.6.2 Calculating the Weight of Standard, Extra Strong, and Double Strong Steel Pipes

    6.7.0 Calculating the Weight and Size of U.S. Steel C Channels Calculating the Weight and Size of U.S. A-36 and A-36 Modified C Channels Calculating the Weight and Size of U.S. Channels—Ship and Car

    6.7.1 Calculating the Weight and Size of Metric Steel C Channels Calculating the Weight and Size of Metric Channel, Box, Rectangular, and Square Tubing

    6.8.0 Calculating the Weight and Size of Structural Steel Angles

    6.9.0 Calculating the Weight and Size of Universal Mill Plates

    6.10.0 Bar Size Tees—Calculating Their Weight and Size

    6.11.0 Cold and Hot Rolled Rounds—Calculating Their Weight and Size

    6.12.0 Aluminum Structural Angles—Calculate Their Weight and Size

    6.12.2 Aluminum Structural Beams—Calculate Their Weight and Size

    6.14.0 Sheet and Coil Steel—Types and Uses

    Sheet and Coil Selection Guide

    6.14.1 Calculating the Weight of Various Types of Carbon, Stainless, and Galvanized Sheet Steel

    6.14.2 Calculating the Weight of Low-Carbon, Hot-Dipped, Galvanized Roof Deck

    6.14.3 Converting Gauge Inches to Decimals for Sheet Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steel

    6.15.0 Carbon Steel Expanded Metal Grating—ASTM A1011

    6.15.1 Carbon Steel Catwalk Expanded Metal Grating—ASTMA569/569M

    6.16.0 Aluminum Rectangular Bar Grating

    6.16.1 Aluminium I Bar and Rec Bar Grating

    6.16.2 Aluminum Plank Sections and Pattern Availability

    Section 7. Lumber—Calculations to Select Framing and Trim Materials

    7.0.1 How Lumber Is Cut from a Log Affects Its Grain, Drying Process, and Waste Factor

    7.0.2 The Physical Properties of Wood–Illustrated

    Courtest: Western Wood Products Association

    Framing Lumber

    Section 8. Fasteners for Wood and Steel—Calculations for Selection

    8.1.0 Nail Sizes—Common Wire Nails

    8.1.1 Bright Common Nails, Box Nails, Annular Nails—Length and Diameter in United States and Metric

    8.1.2 Nail Sizes—Common Wire Spikes

    8.1.3 Nail Sizes—Casing Nails

    8.1.4 Nail Sizes—Finishing Nails

    8.1.5 Nail Sizes—Deformed Shank Nails

    8.1.6 Nail Sizes—Roofing Nails

    8.1.7 Nail Sizes—Joist Hanger Nails

    8.1.8 Cut Nails—Various Configurations

    8.2.0 Instructions on Nail Selection and Usage for Exposed Wood Structures

    Section 9. Calculations to Determine the Effectiveness and Control of Thermal and Sound Transmission

    9.0.1 Heat Transmission Modes

    9.0.2 Definitions and Thermal Property Symbols

    9.0.3 R- and U-Values—Measuring the Resistance to the Flow of Heat and the Measure of Heat Conductivity

    9.0.4 Basic Types of Insulation—Where Applicable—Installation Methods—Advantages

    9.1.0 Sample R-Value of Materials

    9.1.1 Sample R-Value Calculations for Masonry Wall Assemblies

    9.1.2 R-Values for Blanket-Batt Insulation

    9.1.3 Calculating the R-Values for Wall Assemblies

    9.1.4 Properties of Solid Unit Masonry and Concrete Walls

    9.1.5 Properties of Hollow Unit Masonry Walls

    9.2.0 Exterior Brick and Block Cavity Wall R-Values

    9.2.1 An Exterior Masonry Wall Assembly with a Total R-Value of 20.21

    9.2.2 An Exterior Masonry Wall Assembly with a Total R-Value of 28.21

    9.2.3 Concrete Block Walls Utilizing Perlite Cavity Fill as an Insulator

    9.3.0 Effective R-Values on Wood-Metal Framing Assemblies

    9.3.1 Metal Framing Factors

    9.3.2 Standard Air Film R-Values

    9.4.0 Framed Wall Assemblies—U-factors for Size/Spacing of Wood-Metal Studs

    9.5.0 Acoustics 101—Reflection, Absorption, Isolation—the Methods by Which Sound Can be Identified, Measured, and Controlled

    9.5.1 Reverberation Time Creating a Buildup of Noise

    9.5.2 Isolation—Measured by Sound Transmission Class (STC)

    9.5.3 Impact Insulation Class—IIC—Blocking Noise from Being Transmitted Floor-to-Floor

    9.5.4 More Sound Absorption Factors for Building Materials and Finishes

    9.5.5 Absorption Coefficients for Various Wall and Floor Coverings

    9.6.0 Checklist for Masking Open Space Systems

    9.6.1 Use of Loudspeakers and Formula for Installation Spacing

    9.7.0 Decibel Levels of Some Common Sounds

    9.7.1 ANSI Recommended Levels for Various Types of Occupancy

    9.7.2 Decibel Comparison Chart of Environmental Noises

    9.7.3 OSHA Daily Permissible Noise-Level Exposure

    9.7.4 Perceptions of Increases in Noise Levels

    9.7.5 Sound Levels of Music

    9.8.0. Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC) of Various Types of Insulated Partitions

    STC Ratings For Masonry Walls

    Section 10. Interior Finishes

    10.1.0 Gypsum Drywall Panels—Types, Thickness, Width, Length

    10.1.1 Wall Framing and Drywall Panel Measurements—U.S. and Metric

    10.1.2 Gypsum Wall Panel Coverage Calculator

    10.1.3 Fastener/Compound/Tape Calculator

    10.1.4 Drywall Finishing Guide

    10.2.0 Calculations to Determine Sealer and Filler Yield

    Wallcovering BasicsCoversion Table

    10.3.0 Understanding Wall Coverings—Types and Usage

    10.3.1 Basic Types of Fabric-Backed Vinyl Wall Coverings

    10.3.2 Formulas for Estimating Wall Covering Quantities

    Estimating Commercial Square Footage

    10.3.3 Calculating How Much Wallpaper Is Required

    10.3.4 Wall Covering Adhesives

    10.4.0 General Information to Calculate Various Types of Floor and Wall Tiles

    10.4.1 Calculating Requirements for Ceiling Tile

    10.4.2 Painting Ceilings and Walls

    10.5.0 Types of Carpeting

    10.5.1 Calculating the Amount of Carpet Required—Rooms 8–35 Feet in Length and 13–20 Feet in Width

    10.6.0 Solid Hardwood Flooring

    10.6.1 Janka Wood Hardness Scale for Wood Flooring Species

    10.6.2 Laminate Flooring

    10.7.0 Finishing of Interior Wood

    10.7.1 Opaque, Transparent Finishes, Stains

    10.7.2 Fillers and Sealers

    10.7.3 Finishes for Floors

    10.7.4 Finishes for Items Used for Food

    10.7.5 Finishes for Butcher Blocks and Cutting Boards

    10.7.6 Wood Cleaners and Brighteners

    10.7.7 Paint Strippers

    10.8.0 Characteristics of Selected Woods for Painting

    10.9.0 When Calculating and Measuring for Interior Trim and Millwork—Learn Tool Basics

    Section 11. Plumbing and HVAC Calculations

    11.0.0 Water Supply Force Units (WSFUs) Established by the Uniform Plumbing Code Determines the Water Supply Required for Proper Functioning of Plumbing Fixtures. Developing Plumbing Fixtures that Conserve Water, at an Economic Cost, is the Biggest Challenge Facing the Construction Industry Today

    11.0.1 Mean Daily Residential Water Use as Determined at 12 Study Sites

    11.0.3 Calculate Water Usage of Various Types of Low- and High-Volume Toilets

    11.0.4 Reported Savings Due to Use of Low-Flow Toilets in Four Studies

    11.1.0 Evolution of Low-Flow Toilet Testing Procedures

    11.1.1 Three Common Types of Toilet Construction and Related Efficiencies

    11.2.0 The National Efficiency Standards and Specifications for Residential and Commercial Water Using Fixtures Enacted in 1992 and updated in 2005—Relating to Residential Fixtures

    11.2.1 Current and Proposed Residential Dishwasher Standards

    11.2.2 Current and Proposed Commercial Plumbing Fixture Water Usage Rates

    11.2.3 Current and Proposed Commercial Clothes Washers Water/Energy Usage Rates

    11.2.4 Commercial Dishwashers—Only Current Energy Star, Water Sense Specifications Prevail

    11.2.5 Automatic Commercial Ice Makers—No Current Standards—Proposed Only for 2010

    11.3.0 U.S. Green Building Council LEED (R)—Plumbing Fixture Water Efficiency Goals

    Innovative Waste Water Technologies: WE Credit 2, 1-Point



    Example Case:

    11.3.1 Preexisting State and Local Standards for Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures

    11.3.2 Projected Reduction in Walter Consumption 2010–2020—With and Without Daily Savings

    11.4.0 Where Does Our Water Come From? Volume of Earth's Oceans

    11.5.0 How Much Water Do We Use on Average?

    11.5.1 Create a Personal Water Usage Chart

    11.6.0 Calculating the Size of Storage and Heat Pump Water Heaters

    11.6.1 Calculating the Cost of a Demand, Storage, or Heat Pump Water Heater

    11.7.0 HVAC—Understanding and Calculating Relative Humidity

    11.7.1 HVAC—Understanding and Calculating Dewpoint

    11.7.2 Methods of Calculating Heating Efficiency—Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

    11.7.3 How Much Moisture Can the Air Hold?

    11.7.4 General Heating Formulas—Energy Required to Heat, Offset Losses

    11.7.5 General Heating Formulas—Energy Required to Heat Air Flow

    11.7.6 Formula to Convert Actual CFM (ACFM) to Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM)

    11.8.0 Estimated Average Fuel Conversion Efficiency of Common Heating Appliances

    11.8.1 Reading Those Gas Meters

    11.9.0 Calculating Home Heating Energy—Gas versus Electric Resistance Heating

    11.10.0 Comparing Fuel Costs of Heating and Cooling Systems—Gas, Electric, Kerosene, Wood, Pellets

    Comparing Fuel Costs of Heating and Cooling Systems

    11.11.0 Residential Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Savings versus Electric, Gas, and Fuel Oil

    11.11.1 Paybacks for Residential GSHP Economics

    11.11.2 Commercial Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Savings versus Electric, Gas, Fuel Oil

    11.11.3 Paybacks for Commercial GSHP Economics

    Section 12. Electrical Formulas and Calculations

    12.0.0 Converting Watts to Volts

    12.0.1 Converting Watts to Amps

    12.0.2 Converting Amps to Watts

    12.0.3 Converting Horsepower to Amps

    12.0.4 Converting KVA to Amps

    12.0.5 Converting Kw to Amps

    12.0.6 Symbols for Electrical Terms

    12.1.0 Ohm's Law

    12.1.1 Resistors Networks—Terminology and How Identified

    12.1.2 Inductor Networks—Terminology and How Identified

    12.1.3 Capacitor Networks—Terminology and How Identified

    12.1.4 Watt's Law

    12.1.5 Calculating Reactance

    12.1.6 Resonance in RLC Series Circuit—Explanation and Formula

    12.1.7 Bandwidth and Quality Factor

    12.1.8 Wavelength–Explained

    12.1.9 Frequency and Time–Explained

    12.1.10 Impedance of a Circuit—Formula and Rules for Circuits with Both Capacitive and Inductive Reactances

    12.2.0 Rules for Amp Draw per Horsepower at Voltage Ranging from 115 V to 575 V

    12.2.1 How to Figure Out the Phase for a Certain Circuit Number

    12.3.0 Typical Wattage of Various Appliances

    12.3.1 Typical Start-up and Running Wattage for Tools and Equipment

    12.3.2 Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use

    12.3.3 Appliance Energy Use Chart Based on an Operating Cost of $0.095 per KWh

    12.3.4 Recommended Product Specifications Proposed by the State of Florida

    12.3.5 Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Ratings Explained—EER, SEER, COP, HSPF, AFUE

    12.4.0 Electric Generators—Understanding Your Power Needs

    12.4.1 Electric Generator and Power Generator Safety

    12.4.2 Typical Specifications for a Residential Emergency Generator

    12.4.3 The Left-Hand Generator Rule

    12.4.4 The Right-Hand Generator Rule

    12.5.0 Dielectrics and Dielectric Constants of Various Materials

    12.5.1 Wire Gauges Table—AWG Gauge—Ft/Ohm Calculations

    12.5.2 Wire Gauge Comparison Chart—AWG—Strandings/Wire Diameter, Overall Diameter

    12.5.3 Resistance in Ohms per 1000 Feet of Conductor—Aluminium and Copper Solid and Concentric Stranding of Class B and Class C Strandings

    12.5.4 Copper to Aluminium Conversion Tables

    12.5.5 Conduit inside Diameters and Electrical Conductor Areas—U.S. to Metric Conversion

    12.5.6 Conduit Weight Comparisons—Rigid, EMT, PVC

    12.5.7 Recommended Power and Ground Cable Sizes—By Power and Distance

    12.6.0 Types of Transformers

    12.6.1 Dry-Type Transformers—KVA Ratings—Single- and Three-Phase

    12.7.0 Enclosure Types for All Locations


    Section 1

    The National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST)










    A book on construction calculations that includes references to material dimensions, weight, volume, and conversion factors should introduce the reader to the National Institute of Standards and Testing, generally referred to simply as NIST.

    Founded in 1901 under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NIST is a nonregulatory federal agency whose mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

    NIST maintains four cooperative programs to carry out its mission:

    • NIST Laboratories, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and a campus in Boulder, Colorado, to research and advance U.S. technology infrastructure.

    • The Baldrige National Quality Program to promote excellence in the performance of manufacturing, service, educational and health care industries recognizing excellence in those organizations with its highly prized annual Malcolm Baldrige Award.

    • The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership consisting of a nationwide network of local centers that offer technical and business assistance to small manufacturers

    • The Technology Innovations Program providing cost-shared awards to industry, academia, and key organizations that meet national and societal needs.

    The NIST Handbook 44 was first published in 1949 and is issued yearly at the Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Weights and Measures.

    The Table of Contents of Handbook 44 reflects the type of information contained in this volume, the contents of which hold much value for the design and construction industry. Copies of the entire handbook can be downloaded from the NIST website.

    I have chosen to include only Appendix B: Units and Systems of Measurement—Their Origin, Development, and Present Status, and Appendix C: General Tables of Units of Measurement, which seem to be a fitting start to a book on construction calculations.

    Appendix B: Units and Systems of Measurement: Their Origin, Development, and Present Status

    1 Introduction

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (formerly the National Bureau of Standards) was established by Act of Congress in 1901 to serve as a national scientific laboratory in the physical sciences, and to provide fundamental measurement standards for science and industry. In carrying out these related functions, the Institute conducts research and development in many fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and engineering. At the time of its founding, the Institute had custody of two primary standards—the meter bar for length and the kilogram cylinder for mass. With the phenomenal growth of science and technology over the past century, the Institute has become a major research institution concerned not only with everyday weights and measures, but also with hundreds of other scientific and engineering standards that are necessary to the industrial progress of the nation. Nevertheless, the country still looks to NIST for information on the units of measurement, particularly their definitions and equivalents.

    The subject of measurement systems and units can be treated from several different standpoints. Scientists and engineers are interested in the methods by which precision measurements are made. State weights and measures officials are concerned with laws and regulations that assure equity in the marketplace, protect public health and safety, and with methods for verifying commercial weighing and measuring devices. But a vastly larger group of people is interested in some general knowledge of the origin and development of measurement systems, of the present status of units and standards, and of miscellaneous facts that will be useful in everyday life. This material has been prepared to supply that information on measurement systems and units that experience has shown to be the common subject of inquiry.

    2 Units and Systems of Measurement

    The expression weights and measures is often used to refer to measurements of length, mass, and capacity or volume, thus excluding such quantities as electrical and time measurements and thermometry. This section on units and measurement systems presents some fundamental information to clarify the concepts of this subject and to eliminate erroneous and misleading use of terms.

    It is essential that the distinction between the terms units and standards be established and kept in mind.

    A unit is a special quantity in terms of which other quantities are expressed. In general, a unit is fixed by definition and is independent of such physical conditions as temperature. Examples: the meter, the liter, the gram, the yard, the pound, the gallon.

    A standard is a physical realization or representation of a unit. In general, it is not entirely independent of physical conditions, and it is a representation of the unit only under specified conditions. For example, a meter standard has a length of one meter when at some definite temperature and supported in a certain manner. If supported in a different manner, it might have to be at a different temperature to have a length of one meter.

    2.1 Origin and Early History of Units and Standards

    2.1.1 General Survey of Early History of Measurement Systems

    Weights and measures were among the earliest tools invented by man. Primitive societies needed rudimentary measures for many tasks: constructing dwellings of an appropriate size and shape, fashioning clothing, or bartering food or raw materials.

    Man understandably turned first to parts of the body and the natural surroundings for measuring instruments. Early Babylonian and Egyptian records and the Bible indicate that length was first measured with the forearm, hand, or finger and that time was measured by the periods of the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies. When it was necessary to compare the capacities of containers such as gourds or clay or metal vessels, they were filled with plant seeds which were then counted to measure the volumes. When means for weighing were invented, seeds and stones served as standards. For instance, the carat, still used as a unit for gems, was derived from the carob seed.

    Our present knowledge of early weights and measures comes from many sources. Archaeologists have recovered some rather early standards and preserved them in museums. The comparison of the dimensions of buildings with the descriptions of contemporary writers is another source of information. An interesting example of this is the comparison of the dimensions of the Greek Parthenon with the description given by Plutarch from which a fairly accurate idea of the size of the Attic foot is obtained. In some cases, we have only plausible theories and we must sometimes select the interpretation to be given to the evidence.

    For example, does the fact that the length of the double-cubit of early Babylonia was equal (within two parts per thousand) to the length of the seconds pendulum at Babylon suggest a scientific knowledge of the pendulum at a very early date, or do we merely have a curious coincidence? By studying the evidence given by all available sources, and by correlating the relevant facts, we obtain some idea of the origin and development of the units. We find that they have changed more or less gradually with the passing of time in a complex manner because of a great variety of modifying influences. We find the units modified and grouped into measurement systems: The Babylonian system, the Egyptian system, the Phileterian system of the Ptolemaic age, the Olympic system of Greece, the Roman system, and the British system, to mention only a few.

    2.1.2 Origin and Development of Some Common Customary Units

    The origin and development of units of measurement has been investigated in considerable detail and a number of books have been written on the subject. It is only possible to give here, somewhat sketchily, the story about a few units.

    yards each.

    The introduction of the yard as a unit of length came later, but its origin is not definitely known. Some believe the origin was the double cubit, others believe that it originated from cubic measure. Whatever its origin, the early yard was divided by the binary method into 2, 4, 8, and 16 parts called the half-yard, span, finger, and nail. The association of the yard with the gird or circumference of a person's waist or with the distance from the tip of the nose to the end of the thumb of Henry I are probably standardizing actions, since several yards were in use in Great Britain.


    ounce and then 0.2 gram.

    Goods of commerce were originally traded by number or volume. When weighing of goods began, units of mass based on a volume of grain or water were developed. For example, the talent in some places was approximately equal to the mass of one cubic foot of water. Was this a coincidence or by design? The diverse magnitudes of units having the same name, which still appear today in our dry and liquid measures, could have arisen from the various commodities traded. The larger avoirdupois pound for goods of commerce might have been based on volume of water which has a higher bulk density than grain. For example, the Egyptian hon was a volume unit about 11% larger than a cubic palm and corresponded to one mina of water. It was almost identical in volume to the present U.S. pint.

    The stone, quarter, hundredweight, and ton were larger units of mass used in Great Britain. Today only the stone continues in customary use for measuring personal body weight. The present stone is 14 pounds, but an earlier unit appears to have been 16 pounds. The other units were multiples of 2, 8, and 160 times the stone, or 28, 112, and 2240 pounds, respectively. The hundredweight was approximately equal to two talents. In the United States the ton of 2240 pounds is called the long ton. The short ton is equal to 2000 pounds.

    Units of time and angle: We can trace the division of the circle into 360 degrees and the day into hours, minutes, and seconds to the Babylonians who had a sexagesimal system of numbers. The 360 degrees may have been related to a year of 360 days.

    2.2 The Metric System

    2.2.1 Definition, Origin, and Development

    Metric systems of units have evolved since the adoption of the first well defined system in France in 1791. During this evolution the use of these systems spread throughout the world, first to the non-English speaking countries, and more recently to the English speaking countries. The first metric system was based on the centimeter, gram, and second (cgs), and these units were particularly convenient in science and technology. Later metric systems were based on the meter, kilogram, and second (mks) to improve the value of the units for practical applications. The present metric system is the International System of Units (SI). It is also based on the meter, kilogram, and second as well as additional base units for temperature, electric current, luminous intensity, and amount of substance. The International System of Units is referred to as the modern metric system.

    The adoption of the metric system in France was slow, but its desirability as an international system was recognized by geodesists and others. On May 20, 1875, an international treaty known as the International Metric Convention or the Treaty of the Meter was signed by seventeen countries including the United States. This treaty established the following organizations to conduct international activities relating to a uniform system for measurements:

    (1) The General Conference on Weights and Measures (French initials: CGPM), an intergovernmental conference of official delegates of member nations and the supreme authority for all actions;

    (2) The International Committee of Weights and Measures (French initials: CIPM), consisting of selected scientists and metrologists, which prepares and executes the decisions of the CGPM and is responsible for the supervision of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures;

    (3) The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (French initials: BIPM), a permanent laboratory and world center of scientific metrology, the activities of which include the establishment of the basic standards and scales of the principal physical quantities and maintenance of the international prototype standards.

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides official United States representation in these organizations. The CGPM, the CIPM, and the BIPM have been major factors in the continuing refinement of the metric system on a scientific basis and in the evolution of the International System of Units.

    Multiples and submultiples of metric units are related by powers of ten. This relationship is compatible with the decimal system of numbers, and it contributes greatly to the convenience of metric units.

    2.2.2 International System of Units

    At the end of World War II, a number of different systems of measurement still existed throughout the world. Some of these systems were variations of the metric system, and others were based on the customary inch-pound system of the English-speaking countries. It was recognized that additional steps were needed to promote a worldwide measurement system. As a result the 9th GCPM, in 1948, asked the ICPM to conduct an international study of the measurement needs of the scientific, technical, and educational communities. Based on the findings of this study, the 10th General Conference in 1954 decided that an international system should be derived from six base units to provide for the measurement of temperature and optical radiation in addition to mechanical and electromagnetic quantities. The six base units recommended were the meter, kilogram, second, ampere, Kelvin degree (later renamed the kelvin), and the candela.

    In 1960, the 11th General Conference of Weights and Measures named the system based on the six base quantities of the International System of Units, abbreviated SI from the French name: Le Système International d'Unités. The SI metric system is now either obligatory or permissible throughout the world.

    2.2.3 Units and Standards of the Metric System

    In the early metric system there were two fundamental or base units, the meter and the kilogram, for length and mass. The other units of length and mass, and all units of area, volume, and compound units such as density were derived from these two fundamental units.

    of a second.

    The kilogram, originally defined as the mass of one cubic decimeter of water at the temperature of maximum density, was known as the Kilogram of the Archives. It was replaced after the International Metric Convention in 1875 by the International Prototype Kilogram which became the unit of mass without reference to the mass of a cubic decimeter of water or to the Kilogram of the Archives. Each country that subscribed to the International Metric Convention was assigned one or more copies of the international standards; these are known as National Prototype Meters and Kilograms.

    The liter is a unit of capacity or volume. In 1964, the 12th GCPM redefined the liter as being one cubic decimeter. By its previous definition—the volume occupied, under standard conditions, by a quantity of pure water having a mass of one kilogram—the liter was larger than the cubic decimeter by 28 parts per 1 000 000. Except for determinations of high precision, this difference is so small as to be of no consequence.

    The modern metric system (SI) includes two classes of units:

    base units for length, mass, time, temperature, electric current, luminous intensity, and amount of substance; and

    derived units for all other quantities (e.g., work, force, power) expressed in terms of the seven base units.

    For details, see NIST Special Publication 330 (2001), The International System of Units (SI) and NIST Special Publication 811 (1995), Guide for the Use of the International System of Units.

    2.2.4 International Bureau of Weights and Measures

    The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) was established at Sèvres, a suburb of Paris, France, by the International Metric Convention of May 20, 1875. The BIPM maintains the International Prototype Kilogram, many secondary standards, and equipment for comparing standards and making precision measurements. The Bureau, funded by assessment of the signatory governments, is truly international. In recent years the scope of the work at the Bureau has been considerably broadened. It now carries on researches in the fields of electricity, photometry and radiometry, ionizing radiations, and time and frequency besides its work in mass, length, and thermometry.

    2.2.5 Status of the Metric System in the United States

    The use of the metric system in this country was legalized by Act of Congress in 1866, but was not made obligatory then or since.

    Following the signing of the Convention of the Meter in 1875, the United States acquired national prototype standards for the meter and the kilogram. U.S. Prototype Kilogram No. 20 continues to be the primary standard for mass in the United States. It is recalibrated from time to time at the BIPM. The prototype meter has been replaced by modern stabilized lasers following the most recent definition of the meter.

    meter). We call this foot the U.S. Survey Foot, while the foot defined in 1959 is called the International Foot. Measurements expressed in U.S. statute miles, survey feet, rods, chains, links, or the squares thereof, and acres should be converted to the corresponding metric values by using pre-1959 conversion factors if more than five significant figure accuracy is required.

    Since 1970, actions have been taken to encourage the use of metric units of measurement in the United States. A brief summary of actions by Congress is provided below as reported in the Federal Register Notice dated July 28, 1998.

    Section 403 of Public Law 93-380, the Education Amendment of 1974, states that it is the policy of the United States to encourage educational agencies and institutions to prepare students to use the metric system of measurement as part of the regular education program. Under both this act and the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, the metric system of measurement is defined as the International System of Units as established in 1960 by the General Conference on Weights and Measures and interpreted or modified for the United States by the Secretary of Commerce (Sec. 4(4)—Pub. L. 94-168; Sec. 403(a)(3)—Pub. L. 93-380). The Secretary has delegated authority under these subsections to the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    Section 5164 of Public Law 100-418, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, amends Public Law 94-168, The Metric Conversion Act of 1975. In particular, Section 3 Metric Conversion Act is amended to read as follows:

    "Sec. 3. It is therefore the declared policy of the United States–

    (1) to designate the metric system of measurement as the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce;

    (2) to require that each federal agency, by a date certain and to the extent economically feasible by the end of the fiscal year 1992, use the metric system of measurement in its procurements, grants, and other business-related activities, except to the extent that such use is impractical or is likely to cause significant inefficiencies or loss of markets to U.S. firms, such as when foreign competitors are producing competing products in non-metric units;

    (3) to seek ways to increase understanding of the metric system of measurement through educational information and guidance and in government publications; and

    (4) to permit the continued use of traditional systems of weights and measures in nonbusiness activities."

    The Code of Federal Regulations makes the use of metric units mandatory for agencies of the federal government. (Federal Register, Vol. 56, No. 23, Page 160, January 2, 1991.)

    2.3 British and United States Systems of Measurement

    In the past, the customary system of weights and measures in the British Commonwealth countries and that in the United States were very similar; however, the SI metric system is now the official system of units in the United Kingdom, while the customary units are still predominantly used in the United States. Because references to the units of the old British customary system are still found, the following discussion describes the differences between the U.S. and British customary systems of units.

    After 1959, the U.S. and the British inches were defined identically for scientific work and were identical in commercial usage. A similar situation existed for the U.S. and the British pounds, and many relationships, such as 12 inches = 1 foot, 3 feet = 1 yard, and 1760 yards = 1 international mile, were the same in both countries; but there were some very important differences.

    In the first place, the U.S. customary bushel and the U.S. gallon, and their subdivisions differed from the corresponding British Imperial units. Also the British ton is 2240 pounds, whereas the ton generally used in the United States is the short ton of 2000 pounds. The American colonists adopted the English wine gallon of 231 cubic inches. The English of that period used this wine gallon and they also had another gallon, the ale gallon of 282 cubic inches. In 1824, the British abandoned these two gallons when they adopted the British Imperial gallon, which they defined as the volume of 10 pounds of water, at a temperature of 62 °F, which, by calculation, is equivalent to 277.42 cubic inches. At the same time, they redefined the bushel as 8 gallons.

    In the customary British system, the units of dry measure are the same as those of liquid measure. In the United States these two are not the same; the gallon and its subdivisions are used in the measurement of liquids and the bushel, with its subdivisions, is used in the measurement of certain dry commodities. The U.S. gallon is divided into four liquid quarts and the U.S. bushel into 32 dry quarts. All the units of capacity or volume mentioned thus far are larger in the customary British system than in the U.S. system. But the British fluid ounce is smaller than the U.S. fluid ounce, because the British quart is divided into 40 fluid ounces whereas the U.S. quart is divided into 32 fluid ounces.

    avoirdupois ounces, and the U.S. gallon is equivalent to 4 × 32, or 128 fluid ounces.

    1 U.S. fluid ounce     = 1.041 British fluid ounces

    1 British fluid ounce    = 0.961 U.S. fluid ounce

    1 U.S. gallon       = 0.833 British Imperial gallon

    1 British Imperial gallon  = 1.201 U.S. gallons

    Among other differences between the customary British and the United States measurement systems, we should note that they abolished the use of the troy pound in England on January 6, 1879; they retained only the troy ounce and its subdivisions, whereas the troy pound is still legal in the United States, although it is not now greatly used. We can mention again the common use, for body weight, in England of the stone of 14 pounds, this being a unit now unused in the United States, although its influence was shown in the practice until World War II of selling flour by the barrel of 196 pounds (14 stone). In the apothecary system of liquid measure the British add a unit, the fluid scruple, equal to one third of a fluid drachm (spelled dram in the United States) between their minim and their fluid drachm. In the United States, the general practice now is to sell dry commodities, such as fruits and vegetables, by their mass.

    2.4 Subdivision of Units

    In general, units are subdivided by one of three methods: (a) decimal, into tenths; (b) duodecimal, into twelfths; or (c) binary, into halves (twos). Usually the subdivision is continued by using the same method. Each method has its advantages for certain purposes, and it cannot properly be said that any one method is best unless the use to which the unit and its subdivisions are to be put is known.

    For example, if we are concerned only with measurements of length to moderate precision, it is convenient to measure and to express

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