Floating Column Details
The column is an integral part of the construction, its main work is to transfer load from the beam to the structure's foundation.
The load is transferred from the slab to the beam and then to the foundation.
Columns are of many types and one type of column that is most commonly used is a floating column, it is a vertical column connecting one beam to another and transferring load from one beam to another, that is the beam on which the floating column is resting hence, preventing the load form directly transferring to the foundation.
In this blog, we will discuss floating columns and their uses.
What is a floating column?
The floating column is also known as a hanging column, they rest vertically on the beam and prevent the transfer of load directly to the foundation thus leaving a lot of room on the base that can be utilized as parking in residential buildings.
Use of Floating Column
The most common use of a floating column is to give space on the lower floors.
In structures such as residential buildings, complexes, banquet halls, and all other commercial buildings where parking space is necessary for the free flow and convenience of people, floating columns are introduced to obtain a clear space, and this provides liberty to alter the structure of the above floor plans.
These floating column buildings are generally made where space is less or the structure must have parking.
Floating Column Designs
The design of a floating beam is simple.
In a structure, the load from the floor above is held by columns which are then held by beams, this is where the floating column rests i.e on the beams.
The design of a floating column is like a regular common whereas the beam on which the floating column rests is so designed to carry the load as a single point load these beams are called grinder beams.
While constructing a floating column the design of the grinder beam is very crucial as it is subjected to torsion.
Types of Floating Columns
There are two types of floating columns.
- Structural floating column
- Stiffener columns
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Structural floating column
The floating column that loads in form of tension or compression from any beam is called a structural floating column.
Structural columns are further divided into two groups.
- Floating columns carrying axial compression are compression columns.
- Floating columns carrying axial stress due to bending are tension columns.
Stiffener floating column
These columns are designed for some purpose for example to avoid cracks in the wall. These columns are also constructed to fix any ill element in the structure.
Floating column and earthquake
Floating columns are discouraged in earthquake-prone zones as floating columns are good against vertical pressures but when it comes to lateral forces they don’t perform very well.
However, still, commercial buildings glorify the idea of floating columns as giving them the flexibility to alter above-floor planning and give them a good clear space at the bottom.
Therefore, it becomes the duty of a structural engineer to analyze the building and carefully design the floating column.
This was all about the floating columns, they indeed are great tools but don’t perform well in seismic zones.
However, with proper planning and structural knowledge a structural engineer can fulfill the needs of the client without any risk of damage to the structure.