O Level Notes : Agriculture - Farm Buildings

Every building in the farm is designed to suit its functions. Various farm buildings which are designed for livestock housing include fowl runs, cattle pens, piggery units, dairy parlours, and other essential buildings like farm sheds, garages, offices, dip tanks and toilets.

Before construction of a farm building, the budgets are prepared whereby all the required materials are compiled and costs are calculated. In calculating the cost of material quotations are taken from various suppliers of material and a comparison is made in order to consider least cost material but at the same time maintaining the best quality.

Building plans for livestock

A building plan is a scale based drawing on a piece of paper which represent the actual building on the ground. The builders will interpret the plan in order for them to construct the buildings according to given specifications.

Piggery plan


Piglet room

During construction of a piggery unit, the following materials are required. Their quantities will depend on the size of the structure to accommodate the proposed number of animals.

Poultry unit plan

Materials required will depend on the size of the structure so as to accommodate the number of birds that are to be kept. The following materials are needed;


Bricks, pit sand, river sand, ¾ stones, roofing sheets, door frames, doors, chicken mash wire, roofing poles, roofing nails, dump proof material, tying wire, electricity tubing material, electric bulbs, cement, quarry stones and air vanes.

Calculating cost of construction of a farm building

The total cost of all materials needed to construct a farm building is calculated by adding together the cost of all the materials to be used. The cost of each type of material can be calculated using the formula;


Total cost  =  quantity x unit price


  1. Roofing sheets

If 100 roofing sheets are required, each costing $25.00



Cost of roofing sheets             = 100 x $25.00

                                                 = $2500.00



  1. Bricks

The number of bricks will depend on the size of bricks used. Also the size of brick wall and the building length, width and height will determine the quantity of bricks required. If 10000 bricks are required whereby 1000 bricks cost $900.00

Total cost of bricks                 = 10000/1000 x $900.00

                                               = 10 x $900.00

                                               = $9000.00



  1. Cement

The quantity required will be estimated basing on the mixing ratio with sand and quarry for concrete making, mortar and plastering mixture. The total cost will be found by multiplying the quantity by the cost of a packet. If 5000kg of cement is required and the cost of each 50kg bag is $10.00



Number of bags                      = 5000/50

                                                = 100

Total cost of cement                = 100 x 10.00

                                                = $1000.00



  1. Pit sand, river sand and ¾ stones

They are usually charged per cubic metre. The amount will depend with the size of the structure thickness of the slab and mixing ratio of the materials on the preparation of concrete. If 50m3of sand is required and each m3is costing $10.00



Total cost of sand                   = 50 x $10.00

                                               = $500.00



The way costing is done is almost similar for all the materials required. In case of electricity tubing, the electrician may decide to supply materials and then fix and the charges are done at once or the farmer may purchase the material alone.



Material cost effective

Cost effectiveness refers to the relationship of the total cost of material used in structure construction to the intended use of the structure. The cost return period should be as short as possible in order for the project to start realise profits earlier. Usually quotations are made to compare prices of materials of the same quality or different qualities from different suppliers. The cheapest material will be considered provided the quality is not compromised.

Here is what we discussed on this topic

  • A building plan is a scale based drawing on a paper which represents the actual building on the ground.
  • The requirement for different farm buildings also differs.
  • The amount of material required depends on the size and type of the building.
  • The cost of construction material can be calculated by multiplying the quantity by the unit price.
  • Some of the materials required include cement, bricks, pit sand, roofing sheets, river sand, ¾ stones, dump proof material and electricity pipes and wires.
  • Cost effectiveness refer to the relationship of the total cost of material used in structure construction to the intended use of the structure.



Definition of terms used in this topic

  • Concrete – this is a mixture of cement, quarry stones and river sand with water.
  • Effectiveness – the measure of the ability to save purpose to the expected standard.
  • Quotation – refers to a list of materials, their quantities and unit prices prepared for the customer by the supplier upon request at a specified time.