How To Calculate Loads On the Column?

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In the civil engineering field, we need to calculate the possible loads on the column during the design of the columns.

Before calculating the total loads on the column, we need to know the different types of loads applied to the column.

Types of loads on the column

  1. The self-weight of the columns.
  2. The Self-weight of the beams measured per running meter
  3. Load of the walls measured per running meter
  4. Total Load of a slab (Dead load, Live load, and Self-weight of a slab)

The bending moments are also present in the column which is considered at the final design.

You can use software like ETABS or STAAD Pro for advanced structural design. This software is easy to use and user-friendly tools are available for structural design, and highly recommended.

During structural load calculation, we use some basic assumptions.

Note: These assumptions are used in the calculation process below.

  1. The self-weight of Concrete is 2400 kg/m³, which is equivalent to 240 kN.
  2. Self-weight of Steel is 8000 kg/m³.
  3. The density of bricks 2000 kg per cubic meter.

1. For Columns:

Let us assume a column of size 400 mm x 400 mm in dimension.

Height of column 10ft and assume it contains 1% steel. Then, the self-weight of column is near around 1000 kg/floor, is equivalent to 10 kN.

Basically, in the calculation process, we can assume the self-weight of the column between 10 to 15kN per floor.

2. For Beams

Let us assume the dimensions of 400 mm x 450 mm excluding slab thickness. The self-weight can be around 3 kN per running meter.

3.For Walls

Let, the thickness of wall = 9 inches (9″)

Height of wall = 3 meter height and

Length = 1 meter,

For a 1 meter long wall, the euivalent weight is = 0.150 x 1 x 3 x 2000 = 900 kg which is equivalent to 9 kN/meter.

This is the load per running meter of a brick wall.

By using machine-made hollow brick or hollow block you can reduce the wall loads per running meter can be as low as 4 kN/meter for construction, which helps to reduce the building construction cost.

4. For Slab

Let’s assume, the thickness of slab = 125 mm.

For each square meter slab the self-weight of slab = 0.125 x 1 x 2400 = 300 kg, equivalent to 3 kN.

Now, always assume the Finishing load as 1 kN/m


imposed, live load = 2 kN/m.

So, we can calculate slab load to be around 6 to 8 kN/m².

Factor of Safety for column

Don’t forget to add the factor of safety in loads of column. And don’t add more because it will increase the cost of construction. Form IS 456:2000, the factor of safety is 1.5.

According to the importance of construction, the factor of safety may be increased or decreased as per requirement.

Always follow IS 456:2000 code during the calculation.

The above-mentioned data are may not as per IS code. We just try to provide you information about the best way to calculate the total loads on a column in an easy method.

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