The first time I designed a building with two levels, the boss told me to make the floor-to-floor height as tight as possible because that would keep the exteior wall cost as low as possible. I did it.
My main recollection of the construction of that building was the constant phone calls and trips to the site to explain how to run the ducts, conduits, and place the lights so everything would fit. I came to the conclusion that the boss may have been focused on the wrong issue.
Eventually I came to this Rule Of Thumb that I am going to share with you. But I always gave the floor-to-floor height more thought than on that first project.
To cut to the chase, start off every multi-story building with the assumption that the floor-to-floor height is going to be 14'-0". I know, that seems like a lot. Trust me, more often than not that will be the height you need. A side benefit is that you can charge ahead with elevations and building sections. But here is the actual Rule Of Thumb for setting floor-to-floor heights.
So here is an example calculation:
So my advice is to start with a 14'-0" floor-to-floor assumption and adjust by 8" increments if it becomes necessary. Share this with the design team and ask them to verify at the first opportunity that it works for them.
Some Other Tools That Might Be Helpful:
Trello-PM - project management system
FeeCalqs - fee estimating system
OFFPLAN - work load projecting system
MyCorbu - timekeeping and project bookkeeping system
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