How To Store Common Construction Materials On Site?

1. Storing Of Bricks On Site


Stack the bricks close to the site of work so that less effort is required to unload and transport the bricks again by loading on pallets or in barrows.

Different types of bricks (such as clay bricks, clay fly ash bricks etc.) shall be stacked separately.

Bricks of different strengths and sizes (i.e. modular and non-modular) should be stacked separately.

Bricks of different types such as solid bricks, hollow bricks, and perforated bricks should be stacked separately.

While stacking the bricks, following guidelines must be followed for easy quality inspection and counting.

·         Stack the bricks on dry firm ground.

·         Stack should be 50 bricks long, 10 bricks high and not more than 4 bricks in width.

·         Clear distance between adjacent stacks should not be less than 0.8m.

·         Put bricks of each truck load in one stack.

2. Storing Of Steel On Site

Steels should be stored in such a way, so as to avoid distortion and to prevent deterioration and corrosion. Steels of different classes should be stored separately. Follow the guidelines given below while storing steel on site.


·         Store bars of different classes, sizes and lengths separately to facilitate issues in such sizes and lengths so as to minimize wastage in cutting from standard lengths.

·         Paint the ends of bars of each class in distinct separate colors.

·         Coat steel reinforcement with cement wash before stacking to prevent scaling and rusting.

·         If reinforcement bars have to be stored for a long period, then stack it above ground level by at least 150 mm.


·         Assign separate areas for storing structural steel of different classes, sizes and lengths.

·         Store it above ground level by at least 150 mm upon platforms, skids or any other suitable supports to avoid distortion of sections.

·         In coastal areas or in case of long storage, apply protective coating of primer to prevent scaling and rusting.

3. Storing Of Cement On Site


·         Store cement in a building which is dry, leak proof and as moisture proof as possible.

·         There should be minimum number of windows in the storage building.

·         Stack the cement bags off the floor on wooden planks in such a way, so that it is about 150 mm to 200 mm above the floor.

·         The floor may comprise of lean cement concrete or two layers of dry bricks laid on well consolidated earth.

·         Maintain a space of 600 mm all-round between the exterior walls and the stacks.(see figure below)

·         Stack the cement bags close to each other to reduce circulation of air.

·         The height of stack should not be more than 10 bags to prevent the possibility of lumping under pressure.

·         The width of the stack should not be more than four bags length or 3 meters.

·         In stacks more than 8 bags high, the cement bags should be arranged alternately length-wise and cross-wise, so as to tie the stacks together and minimize the danger of toppling over.

·         Stack the cement bags in such a manner so as to facilitate their removal and use in the order in which they are received.

·         Put label showing date of receipt of cement on each stack of cement bags to know the age of cement.

·         When it is required to store cement for a long period of time or during the monsoon; completely enclose the stack by a water proofing membrane such as polyethylene.

·         Different types of cement must be stacked and stored separately.

4. Storing Of Aggregates On Site

·         Store aggregate at site on a hard dry and level patch of ground

·         If such a surface is not available then prepare a platform of planks or old corrugated iron sheets, or a floor of bricks, or a thin layer of lean concrete so as to prevent contamination with clay, dust, vegetable and other foreign matter.

·         Maintain sufficient distance between stacks of fine and coarse aggregates to prevent the material at the edges of the stock piles from getting intermixed.

·         If possible then construct dividing walls to give each type of aggregate its own compartment.

·         Stack the fine aggregate in such a place where loss due to effect of wind is minimum.

·         Stacking of the aggregates should be carried out in regular stacks. The suggested sizes for stacks are as follows.


5. Storing Of Timber On Site

·         Store the timbers in stacks upon well treated and even surfaced beams sleepers or brick pillars so as to be above the ground level by at least 150 mm.

·         Store members of different length and material separately.

·         Materials of equal length are piled together in layers with wooden batters, called crossers, separating one layer from another.

·         If crossers are not available, smaller section of the available structural timber can be used in their place.

·         Provide an air space of about 25 mm between adjacent members.

·         Place the longer pieces in bottom layer and shorter pieces in the top layer, but keep one end of the stack in true vertical alignment.

·         Suitable width and height of a stack are recommended to be about 1.5 m to 2.0 m.

·         Protect the stacks from hot dry winds, direct sun and rain.

·         It is recommended to place heavy weight, such as metal rails or large section of wood, on top of the stack to prevent distortion or warping of the timber in the stack.

·         If it is required to store the timber for about an year or more, then coat the ends of all members with coal tar, aluminium leaf paints, micro crystalline wax; to prevent end cracking in the material.

6. Storing Of Concrete Blocks On Site

Concrete blocks are available in different forms to be used as construction material, such as

·         Solid concrete blocks

·         Hollow concrete blocks

·         Solid & hollow light weight concrete blocks

·         Autoclave aerated concrete blocks

·         Concrete stone masonry blocks


While storing these concrete blocks at site, following guidelines should be followed.

1.      Do not dump concrete blocks at site.

2.      Store the blocks close to the site of work so that least effort is required for their transportation.

3.      Unload one block at a time and stack it in regular tiers to minimize breakage and defacement.

4.      The height of the stack should not be more than 1.2 m. the length of the stack should not be more than 3 m. and width of the stack should not be more than 2 to 3 blocks.

5.      If blocks are cured for less than 28 days, then stack these blocks separately.

Note: Generally all blocks should be water cured for 10 to 14 days and air cured for another 15 days; thus no blocks with less than 28 days of curing is used in building construction.

1.      If blocks are manufactured at site, then mention date of manufacture of the blocks on the stack of blocks.

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