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PRESUMPTION OF SIZES FOR RCC STRUCTURAL MEMBERS

-A Practical Approach
C . Kalyanasundaram Structural Engineer,Chennai

Introduction

In general, a building consists of basic structural elements like slabs, beams,


columns and footings. These structural elements which are similar to bones in human
body are covered by cosmetic elements like wall cladding, flooring tiles, plastering etc.,
like flesh and skin of human body. Bones are meant for strength whereas flesh and skin
are to exhibit beauty.

Architects (and also Civil Engineers involved in planning), who of course are the
actual creators, concentrate only on planning of building from functional and aesthetic
point of view and only very meager importance and attention is paid by them on
structural aspects. Though the structural design is the duty of structural engineer it is
essential for the Architects and Civil Engineers as well to acquire sufficient knowledge
in structural aspects. This will enable them to make architectural plans keeping in their
mind the probable positions as well as the size of structural members like slabs, beams,
columns etc., which in turn will help the structural engineer to design a stable and
structurally sound structure later.

Architects/Planning Engineers themselves must have rough idea on the probable


size of structural members and have to plan and incorporate it in the architectural
plans which otherwise may need many alterations and revisions later while evolving
structural layout by structural engineers. Hence architects and Civil Engineers should be
well aware of the functions and general concepts of structural members in addition to
their innovative ideas in architectural planning.

SLAB

OVERHANG CANTILEVER
BEAMS

FIRST FLOOR

COLUMNS

Architectural (……flesh and skin) Structural (…..Bones)


Functions of Structural Members

1.SLABS:

Slabs serve as floor or roof by carrying the loads imposed on them.

2.BEAMS

Beams carry the loads transmitted from slabs and walls.

3.COLUMNS

Columns carry the loads transmitted from beams and transmit them to the
footings.

4. FOOTINGS

Footings distribute the loads transmitted from the columns into soil.
Preliminary assumptions of size of various Structural Members

1.SLABS:

How to calculate Thickness of slab?

Thickness of slab:

Assume 1cm thick per 1 foot span

if, lx = 5m

Span of slab in feet = 5 x 3 = 15 feet.

Hence thickness to be provided = 15cm.

Main reinforcements:

For Slab thickness < 5”

Provide 8T @ 6”(150mm) c/c (Both ways)

For Slab thickness ≥ 5”

Provide 10T @ 6” (150mm) c/c (Both ways)

Distribution steel in One-way slab

Provide 8T @ 8”(200mm) c/c

Slabs in a Typical Building Typical Floor Plan of a Building


Preliminary assumptions of size of various Structural Members

2.BEAMS:

EVOLVING SIZE OF BEAM

Concrete of Grade = M20

Steel = Fe415

Span = 6.0m

[7 (to) 8 cm depth per meter of span is assumed ]

Depth of beam for 6.0m span =

6.0 x 7 = 42cm

6.0 x 8 = 48cm

Hence adopt depth of Beam as 45 cm (i.e.,450 mm)

Assume size of Beam as

(300x450) / (230x450) Beam –Cross Section

Typical Beam – Column Junction


Preliminary assumptions of size of various Structural Members

3.COLUMNS

How to Judge COLUMN size ??

2.1 APPROXIMATE APPROACH FOR FINDING COLUMN FORCES

Table 1

COLUMN LOAD IN KN/M


2

RESIDENT OFFICE EXAMPLE


POSITION BLDG. BLDG.
INTERIOR 12 14 B2,B3
EDGE 17 19 A2,A3,C2,C3
CORNER 22 24 A1,A4,C1,C4
DESIGN OF COLUMN B2

Illustration

The buildng shown has three storeys .

i)CALCULATION OF LOAD ON COLUMN Table 2 (Area of Bars)

Load influence area on column B2 (i.e.tributory area)

= (3.70/2 + 3.70/2) ( 6.0/2+ 6.0/2 ) = 22m²

Load on column B2 due to single storey

= 22.0 x 12 =264 KN

( Area)x (Coef. as per table-1 of previous page )

Total load on column B2 = 792 kN say 800 kN

[Due to 3 storeys (264 x 3)]

ii) DESIGN OF COLUMN

Load on Column = 800 kN

Concrete grade = M20(say)

As per table-3 ( next page), for 230 mm 450mm size,

If 1.40% of steel is provided,

It’s load carrying capacity = 813 KN (>800 KN)

Hence ok

Steel area = (1.4/ 100) x 230x450=1449 mm²

Hence provide 8 nos of 16 mm dia bars ( ref. table-2 also )

Lateral ties (rings).

provide 8 mm dia rings @ 8”c/c


Table 3 Load Carrying Capacity of Column (1% to 2% reinft. is Generally Economical)
Tips - without Table in Hand: Load carrying capacity of Column = (0.90)xCross section Area in cm2 (with 2% reinft.)
ie.,30cmx40cm column (with 2.0% reinft.) can carry approximately 1080 kN. (M20 conc,Fe 415 Steel)
Preliminary assumptions of size of various Structural Members

4.FOOTINGS

Footings distribute the load transmitted from the column into the soil. Size of
footings depend on the type of soil on which the building rests.

S.B.C:

• The safe bearing capacity ( S.B.C) of soils like clay is very less

• S.B.C. of soils like hard gravel soil is high

• S.B.C. of soft / hard rock is very high.

• Generally SBC of clay is assumed as = 100 KN/m²

• & SBC of hard gravel as = 250 KN/m2

• However it is highly recommended to Conduct Soil Test by Soil Experts for


adopting the SBC and type of foundation.

Footing Design

Area of Footing, A = {(1.1 x Load On Column)/ (SBC of Soil)}

= {(1.1 x 800 )/ (100)} = 8.80 m2

Size of square Footing (in Plan) = √A = √8.80 = 3.0m x 3.0m

Thickness of footing and reinforcement are arrived by designing the footing Slab as
cantilever for the upward pressure exerted by the soil. However ready reckoners can be made
use of.

Footing (without Pedestal)


Footing (with Pedestal)
Ready Reckoner for Footing Table 4a

M20 Fe 415 SBC 100kN/m2

Least dimension Reinforcement


Load in Footing Size Reinforcement in
of column D in cm area in each
kN (m x m) each direction
pedestal direction in cm2

100 1.10x1.10 30 20 3.1 5-10#


150 1.30x1.30 30 25 4.3 6-10#
200 1.50x1.50 30 30 5.5 8-10#
250 1.70x1.70 40 30 7 9-10#
300 1.90x1.90 40 35 8.1 11-10#
350 2.00x2.00 40 40 8.4 11-10#
400 2.10x2.10 40 40 10.9 14-10#
450 2.30x2.30 40 45 11.9 16-10#
500 2.40x2.40 40 50 12.1 16-10#
550 2.50x2.50 40 50 14.7 13-12#
600 2.60x2.60 40 55 14.8 14-12#
650 2.70x2.70 40 55 17.4 16-12#
700 2.80x2.80 40 60 17.4 16-12#
750 2.90x2.90 40 65 18.8 17-12#
800 3.00x3.00 40 65 20.1 18-12#
850 3.10x3.10 50 60 22.6 20-12#
900 3.20x3.20 50 65 22.3 20-12#
950 3.30x3.30 50 65 25.2 13-16#
1000 3.40x3.40 50 70 24.9 13-16#
1050 3.40x3.40 50 70 26.5 14-16#
1100 3.50x3.50 50 70 29.6 15-16#
1150 3.60x3.60 50 75 29 15-16#
1200 3.70x3.70 50 80 30.2 16-16#
1250 3.70x3.70 50 80 30.3 16-16#
1300 3.80x3.80 50 80 33.3 17-16#
1350 3.90x3.90 50 85 33.9 17-16#
1400 4.00x4.00 50 85 35.9 18-16#
1450 4.00x4.00 50 90 36.9 19-16#
1500 4.10x4.10 60 80 40.1 20-16#
1550 4.20x4.20 60 85 39.2 20-16#
1600 4.20x4.20 60 85 40.8 21-16#
1650 4.30x4.30 60 90 40.2 20-16#
1700 4.40x4.40 60 90 43.3 22-16#
1750 4.40x4.40 60 90 44.9 22-16#
1800 4.50x4.50 60 95 44.4 23-16#
Ready Reckoner for Footing Table 4b

M20 Fe 415 SBC:150kN/m2


Least dimension Reinforcement
Load in Footing Size Reinforcement in
of column D in cm area in each
kN (m x m) each direction
pedestal direction in cm2

100 0.90x0.90 30 20 2 5-10#


150 1.10x1.10 30 25 3 5-10#
200 1.20x1.20 30 30 3.6 5-10#
250 1.40x1.40 40 30 4.8 7-10#
300 1.50x1.50 40 30 6.8 9-10#
350 1.60x1.60 40 35 7 9-10#
400 1.70x1.70 40 35 9.3 12-10#
450 1.90x1.90 40 40 10.4 14-10#
500 1.90x1.90 40 40 11.9 11-12#
550 2.00x2.00 40 45 11.9 11-12#
600 2.10x2.10 40 50 12 11-12#
650 2.20x2.20 40 50 14.4 13-12#
700 2.30x2.30 40 55 14.5 13-12#
750 2.40x2.40 40 55 17 16-12#
800 2.50x2.50 40 60 17 16-12#
850 2.50x2.50 40 60 18.4 17-12#
900 2.60x2.60 40 65 18.3 17-12#
950 2.70x2.70 40 65 21 19-12#
1000 2.70x2.70 50 60 21.7 20-12#
1100 2.90x2.90 50 65 24.2 13-16#
1200 3.00x3.00 50 70 25.2 13-16#
1300 3.10x3.10 50 75 26.3 14-16#
1400 3.20x3.20 50 75 30.5 16-16#
1500 3.40x3.40 60 75 32.2 17-16#
1600 3.50x3.50 60 75 36.8 19-16#
1700 3.60x3.60 60 80 37.4 19-16#
1800 3.70x3.70 60 85 38.1 19-16#
1900 3.80x3.80 70 80 41.9 21-16#
2000 3.90x3.90 70 80 47 24-16#
2100 4.00x4.00 70 85 47.2 24-16#
2200 4.10x4.10 70 90 47.5 24-16#
2300 4.10x4.10 70 90 50.2 25-16#
2400 4.20x4.20 70 95 50.5 25-16#
2500 4.30x4.30 80 90 54.6 27-16#
Ready Reckoner for Footing Table 4c

M20 Fe 415 SBC:250kN/m2


Least dimension Reinforcement
Load in Footing Size Reinforcement in
of column D in cm area in each
kN (m x m) each direction
pedestal direction in cm2

100 0.70x0.70 30 20 1.2 4-10#


150 0.80x0.80 30 25 1.9 4-10#
200 1.00x1.00 30 30 2.9 4-10#
250 1.10x1.10 40 30 3.3 5-10#
300 1.20x1.20 40 30 4.2 6-10#
350 1.30x1.30 40 35 4.6 6-10#
400 1.40x1.40 40 35 6.2 8-10#
450 1.40x1.40 40 40 5.8 8-10#
500 1.50x1.50 40 40 7.5 10-10#
550 1.60x1.60 40 45 7.8 10-10#
600 1.70x1.70 40 45 9.7 13-10#
650 1.70x1.70 40 45 10.7 14-10#
700 1.80x1.80 40 50 10.9 14-10#
750 1.90x1.90 40 50 13.1 17-10#
800 1.90x1.90 40 50 14.2 13-12#
850 2.00x2.00 40 55 14.3 13-12#
900 2.00x2.00 40 55 15.3 14-12#
950 2.10x2.10 50 55 14.7 13-12#
1000 2.10x2.10 50 55 15.6 14-12#
1100 2.20x2.20 50 60 16.7 15-12#
1200 2.30x2.30 50 60 20.1 18-12#
1300 2.40x2.40 50 65 21.1 19-12#
1400 2.50x2.50 50 65 25 13-16#
1500 2.60x2.60 60 65 24.8 13-16#
1600 2.70x2.70 60 70 25.5 13-16#
1700 2.80x2.80 60 70 29.5 15-16#
1800 2.80x2.80 60 75 28.3 15-16#
1900 2.90x2.90 70 70 31.3 16-16#
2000 3.00x3.00 70 75 31.8 16-16#
2100 3.10x3.10 70 75 36 18-16#
2200 3.10x3.10 70 80 34.4 18-16#
2300 3.20x3.20 70 80 38.6 20-16#
2400 3.30x3.30 80 80 38 19-16#
2500 3.40x3.40 80 80 42.3 22-16#
2600 3.40x3.40 80 85 40.4 20-16#
2700 3.50x3.50 80 85 44.7 23-16#
2800 3.50x3.50 80 85 46.7 24-16#
2900 3.60x3.60 90 85 46 23-16#
3000 3.70x3.70 90 85 50.6 26-16#
Ready Reckoner for Stair Waist Slab Table 5a

M20 Fe415
Waist
Span
thickness IL=3.00KN/m2 IL=5.00KN/m2
(m)
D mm
MAIN REBARS DISTRIBUTORS MAIN REBARS DISTRIBUTORS
2.40 115 8mm @ 200 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 8mm @ 180 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
3.00 125 8mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 8mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
3.50 125 8mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 10mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
4.00 135 10mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 12mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
4.50 150 12mm @ 180 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 12mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
5.00 175 12mm @ 180 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 12mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
5.50 175 12mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 12mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
6.00 200 12mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c 12mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c
6.50 200 12mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c 12mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c
7.00 230 12mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 200 c/c 12mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 200 c/c

Ready Reckoner for Stair Waist Slab Table 5b

M20 Fe500
Waist
Span
thickness IL=3.00KN/m2 IL=5.00KN/m2
(m)
D mm
MAIN REBARS DISTRIBUTORS MAIN REBARS DISTRIBUTORS
2.40 115 8mm @ 250 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 8mm @ 200 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
3.00 125 8mm @ 180 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 8mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
3.50 125 8mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 8mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
4.00 135 8mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 10mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
4.50 150 12mm @ 200 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 12mm @ 180 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
5.00 175 12mm @ 200 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 12mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
5.50 175 12mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c 12mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 250 c/c
6.00 200 12mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c 12mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c
6.50 200 12mm @ 125 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c 12mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 230 c/c
7.00 230 12mm @ 150 c/c 8mm @ 200 c/c 12mm @ 100 c/c 8mm @ 200 c/c

Table 6 Development Lengths for various concrete Grades & Steel Fe 415

Conc. Grade M15 M20 M25 M30 M35 M40

Ld (Tension) 56 Ø 47 Ø 40 Ø 38 Ø 33 Ø 30 Ø

Ld (Compression) 52 Ø 38 Ø 32 Ø 30 Ø 27 Ø 24 Ø
Caution
This course material has been produced to satisfy the demand for a brief
handbook to guide the Architect/Civil engineers, beginners in structural design and
students as well. However the approximate methods and ready reckoners presented
here are to be used with care, since they are based on certain assumptions; for
example,

• The coefficients adopted for calculating column loads are based on the
assumption that the building consist of Full wall on outer boundaries and
Partition wall in interior portions. Suitable consideration is to be paid if it is
not so. Similarly for Staircase and Toilet portions suitable additional loads are
to be added.
• The spans of beams assumed are small/moderate and are not very long to
create moments in Columns. If significant moments are expected, rational
additional loads may be considered to account for this.

“Civil engineering is 50% common sense ;

but common sense is that sense which is quite uncommon”.

Hence it is advised to use these techniques with Civil Engineering sense and
Intuition.

Conclusion
Many times Architects/Civil Engineers come across variety of situations,

where they themselves have to decide up on the size of the structural members are not

conversant with the techniques. I am sure that this course material packed with

approximate methods and ready-reckoners will definitely relieve the reluctance of

Engineers and Architects towards structural design and will create confidence in their

minds to evolve size of structural members and structural design as well, rapidly.

• Students can make use of these techniques while giving member sizes in
the input of design software like Staad/pro, Etabs etc. ,

• When our neighbours/friends take us as an advisor to buy a Flat in an


apartment under construction (or even completed) the adequacy of member
sizes could easily be appraised on the spot itself knowing these techniques.
Author:

Er.C.Kalyanasundaram holds M.E in Structural Engineering from


College of Engineering guindy,Chennai. He has good experience in Structural
Design and Material Testing.

Also interested in delivering guest lectures to students on useful


practical topics and guide them in their project works.

Mob: 9444 10 87 28 e-mail: kalrenu@gmail.com