Metric Implementation in U.S. Construction
FLORIDA UNIV GAINESVILLE
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Throughout the history of industrialization, people have been trying to develop a single system of measurement with a worldwide acceptance. Since its inception two centuries ago, the metric system has been gaining ground over the traditional inch pound system. Today, the United States remains as the sole user of the inch pound system of measurements. The pressure for unification into the metric system has been mounting. With the emergence of the global economy, non metric products are becoming increasingly unacceptable in the world markets. Individual industries, societies and organizations in the United States have, however, been making steps to adopt metric for some time. Congress, understanding the need for adoption of the metric system in trade and commerce, has taken steps to introduce metric system into the commercial market of the United States. Federal agencies are now required to use the metric system in governmental related programs including procurements, grants, and other business related activities. However, no nationwide mandate for metric that includes the private sector has been established. This report contains background information on the development of metric to date, status of metric conversion in the federal government, current metric activities of professional and industry groups, planning for the metric change by the private sector, technical implications in the construction industries, metric building products and services, as well as a general explanation of the key aspects of metrication for the construction industry in the United States.