Building a 3-bedroom flat is a very nice thing. While an average 2-bedroom flat will require about 2,200 blocks for construction, an average 3-bedroom flat will require about 2650 blocks. The absolute difference in the stated amounts of blocks for 2-bedroom flat and 3-bedroom flat is just 450 blocks.

The number of blocks required to construct a building is largely dependent on the type of block, size of the building, area of walls to be built, etc.

## What You'll Learn

- The number of blocks needed depends on the type of block and size of the building
- The simplest approach to estimate the number of blocks is to calculate the number required for one square metre of wall
- The number of blocks needed also depends on the number of coaches
- The number of blocks needed will be higher if you are building on a swampy site
- The number of blocks needed will be lower if you are buying pre-made blocks instead of moulding them yourself

**The number of blocks needed depends on the type of block and size of the building**

The number of blocks needed to build a 3-bedroom flat depends on several factors, including the type of block used and the size of the building. Let's take a closer look at these factors and how they influence the number of blocks required.

First and foremost, the type of block plays a significant role. Different types of blocks are available in the market, such as sandcrete blocks, concrete blocks, and clay blocks. Sandcrete blocks, for instance, come in various sizes, including 5-inch (125mm), 6-inch (150mm), and 9-inch (225mm) blocks. The size of the block will directly impact the number of blocks needed to construct the walls and other structural components.

Additionally, the size of the building is a crucial factor. A larger 3-bedroom flat will naturally require more blocks than a smaller one. The floor plan, the number of storeys, and the overall dimensions of the building will influence the block count. For example, a 3-bedroom flat with a spacious living room, larger bedrooms, and additional features like a balcony or a porch will demand more blocks compared to a compact design.

Furthermore, the design of the building and its architectural features will also contribute to the block count. Complex designs with intricate architectural details, curved walls, or unique shapes will likely require more blocks than simpler, rectangular structures. The number of openings, such as doors and windows, will also make a difference. A building with many windows and doors will need fewer blocks compared to one with fewer openings, as the wall area to be covered is reduced.

To estimate the number of blocks needed accurately, it is essential to have a detailed plan of the building. This plan should include dimensions, architectural drawings, and a bill of quantities (BOQ) that specifies the materials required. With this information, a quantity surveyor or a builder can provide a more precise estimate of the number of blocks needed, taking into account the specific type of block and the size of the building.

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**The simplest approach to estimate the number of blocks is to calculate the number required for one square metre of wall**

When estimating the number of blocks required to build a 3-bedroom flat, the simplest approach is to calculate the number of blocks needed for one square metre of wall. This involves determining the planar dimensions of a standard block and calculating the number of blocks required to cover that area.

For example, let's consider a standard block in Nigeria, which has planar dimensions of 450mm x 225mm, resulting in a planar area of 0.10125 m^2. To find out how many blocks are needed for one square metre of wall, we divide 1 by the planar area of the block: 1/0.10125 = 9.876, which we can round up to 10 blocks.

Using this information, we can estimate the total number of blocks required for the entire flat. First, we need to determine the total area of walls by multiplying the total length of the walls by the height of the walls. This calculation should be done separately for each phase of construction, taking into account any openings, such as doors and windows.

**Let's assume the following dimensions for a 3-bedroom flat:**

- Total length of walls at the foundation level: 100256 mm or 100.256 m
- Height of the walls from the foundation to the DPC: 900 mm or 0.9 m
- Total length of walls at the lintel level (excluding openings): 87420 mm or 87.42 m
- Height of the walls from the DPC to the lintel level: 2100 mm or 2.1 m
- Total area of doors: 19.74 m^2
- Total area of windows: 18.72 m^2

**Now, we can calculate the number of blocks needed for each phase:**

Phase 1: Foundation to DPC

Total area of walls = 100.256 m x 0.9 m = 90.2304 m^2

Number of blocks required = (90.2304 m^2 / 1 m^2) x 10 blocks = 903 blocks

**Phase 2: DPC to Lintel Level**

Total area of walls = 87.42 m x 2.1 m = 183.582 m^2

Total net area of walls = 183.582 m^2 - 19.74 m^2 - 18.72 m^2 = 145.122 m^2

Number of blocks required = (145.122 m^2 / 1 m^2) x 10 blocks = 1452 blocks

By summing up the number of blocks required for each phase and adding an additional amount for wastage, we can estimate the total number of blocks needed to complete the construction of the 3-bedroom flat.

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**The number of blocks needed also depends on the number of coaches**

The number of blocks needed to build a 3-bedroom flat depends on several factors, including the type of block, size of the building, and area of the walls. The most common types of blocks used are 6" and 9" sandcrete blocks, with dimensions of 450mm x 225mm and 450mm x 300mm, respectively.

**Let's calculate the number of blocks needed for each phase, assuming a flat terrain that is not swampy:**

Phase 1: Foundation to DPC

During this phase, we consider the total length of the walls at the foundation level and the height of the walls at the substructure level. We disregard any openings, such as doors and windows. For a 3-bedroom flat with external wall dimensions of 39.9 meters and internal wall dimensions of 8.65 meters, the total area of the walls is approximately 90.23 square meters.

**If one square meter of a wall requires 10 blocks, then for this phase, we will need:**

**23 m^2 * 10 blocks/m^2 = 903 blocks**

**Phase 2: DPC to Lintel Level**

In this phase, we take into account the doors and windows by calculating the total area of these openings and subtracting it from the total wall area. Assuming standard door and window dimensions, the total area of openings is approximately 38.46 square meters.

**Therefore, the net area of the walls is:**

58 m^2 - 38.46 m^2 = 145.12 m^2

**This means we will need:**

**12 m^2 * 10 blocks/m^2 = 1451 blocks**

**Phase 3: Lintel Level to Overhead Level**

For this phase, we assume that the building will be chained at the lintel level, which helps to reduce cracking. We consider the length of the walls without any openings, so we use the same total length as calculated for Phase 1.

The height of the walls in this phase is 0.675 meters, so the total area of the walls is:

26 m * 0.675 m = 67.67 m^2

**This means we will need:**

**67 m^2 * 10 blocks/m^2 = 677 blocks**

**Total Blocks Required**

**To complete the construction of a 3-bedroom flat, we add the number of blocks required for each phase:**

**903 blocks (Phase 1) + 1451 blocks (Phase 2) + 677 blocks (Phase 3) = 3031 blocks**

To account for wastage, it is recommended to add 10%-20% more blocks. Therefore, the total number of blocks needed for the project is approximately 3334 to 3638 blocks.

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**The number of blocks needed will be higher if you are building on a swampy site**

Constructing a building on a swampy site requires careful planning and consideration to ensure the structure's safety and longevity. The number of blocks needed to build a three-bedroom flat on a swampy site will indeed be higher than on a regular site, and here's why:

Firstly, the foundation requirements for a swampy site are more complex. The foundation is crucial for any building as it provides stability and prevents collapse. On a swampy site, the soil is often unstable and saturated with water, which can lead to an increase in moisture levels within the building, promoting the growth of mould and mildew. To counteract this, a special drainage system and an effective barrier below the foundation are necessary. This may involve the use of a pile foundation or a raft foundation, as recommended by professionals based on soil tests and the specific characteristics of the site.

The type of blocks used and the overall design of the three-bedroom flat also influence the number of blocks required. Sandcrete blocks, for example, are a popular choice for construction, and they come in different sizes: 5", 6", and 9" blocks. The size of the block will determine how many are needed to complete the building. Additionally, the design of the flat, including the number of doors and windows, will impact the total count.

Furthermore, the construction process on a swampy site may involve additional steps to ensure stability. For instance, excavation to a minimum depth is recommended, followed by the laying of hardcore stones and compaction to prevent water penetration. An elevated platform is then constructed, and its height depends on the level of waterlogging in the area. This platform provides a stable base for the building, ensuring it remains dry and secure.

When calculating the number of blocks needed for a three-bedroom flat on a swampy site, it is essential to consider the unique challenges posed by the site. The foundation requirements, choice of blocks, and additional construction steps will all contribute to a higher number of blocks compared to a standard site. A thorough understanding of the site conditions and careful planning are crucial to ensure a successful and safe building project.

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**The number of blocks needed will be lower if you are buying pre-made blocks instead of moulding them yourself**

The number of blocks you will need to build a three-bedroom flat will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of block, the size of the building, and the area of the walls to be built. If you are moulding your own blocks, you will also need to consider the wastage involved in the process.

Sandcrete blocks are a very popular construction material for building walls. They can be used as load-bearing elements or as partition panels. There are different types and sizes of sandcrete blocks, including 5-inch, 6-inch, and 9-inch blocks. The length of a standard sandcrete block is 18 inches or 450mm or 0.45m.

When calculating the number of blocks needed, you must first have a plan of the building. The plan will show the dimensions of the building and the layout of the walls, doors, and windows. You can then calculate the total external and internal girth of the building by adding up all the external and internal dimensions, respectively.

Once you have the total girth, you can estimate the number of blocks needed to reach the DPC (damp proof course) level by dividing the girth by the length of one block. You then need to multiply this number by the number of coaches or levels required for your site. For a non-swampy site, you will usually need 4 coaches to reach the DPC level.

To determine the total number of blocks needed for the entire flat, you need to calculate the number of blocks for each segment of the building, including from the foundation to the DPC, from the DPC to the window level, from the bottom of the window to the top, and from the lintel to the base of the roof. You then need to add the number of blocks required for each segment, taking into account any voids such as doors and windows.

If you are moulding your own blocks, you will need to factor in wastage. A good rule of thumb is to increase the number of blocks by 20% to account for any damages or waste. However, if you are moulding high-quality blocks, a 10% increase may be sufficient.

On the other hand, if you are buying pre-made blocks, you can avoid the hassle and cost of moulding your own. Pre-made blocks are readily available and can be more cost-effective, especially if you need a large quantity. By buying pre-made blocks, you can also save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on the block-moulding process. This can streamline your construction process and potentially reduce the overall cost of your project.

Therefore, if you are considering building a three-bedroom flat, it is worth exploring the option of purchasing pre-made blocks to lower the overall number of blocks needed and streamline your construction process.

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**Frequently asked questions**

An average 3-bedroom flat will require about 2,650 blocks for construction. This number can vary depending on the size and complexity of the flat, as well as the type of blocks used.

To calculate the number of blocks needed, you need to have a plan of the building. The plan will show the dimensions and specifications of the flat, which will help determine the number of blocks required. The calculation takes into account factors such as the size of the block, the size of the building, and the area of the walls to be built.

Yes, there are different types of blocks available, such as sandcrete blocks, which come in various sizes like 5", 6", and 9". The type of block chosen will impact the overall number required for the construction.