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# DESIGN PROCESS FOR SHORT COLUMNS WITH SMALL ECCENTRICITY (AXIAL LOAD ONLY)

## PRELIMINARY DESIGN – same for all columns

GOALS DESCRIPTION
P1. Geometry, supports, Columns are part of a larger structure. The preliminary design of the column depends
materials and loads on the preliminary design of all the supported elements (slabs and beams). Typically
structural layout and materials are already defined, and all the loads (based on ASCE 7-
P2. Section Estimate design axial load from tributary area

Select a square or circular section with gross section area (minimum dimension = 10”)
Ag=Pu/(0.60 f’c) for tied columns (decide type of ties: rectangular, circular, triangular)
Ag= Pu/(0.75 f’c) for spiral columns

Note: use multiples of 2” for the dimensions of the sections (e.g. 10”, 14”, 22”…)

## STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS – same for all columns

GOALS DESCRIPTION
S1. Ultimate axial load Pu Perform a structural analysis of the entire structure. (Please note that in most of the
and moment Mu HW problems loads are given).
(demand)
Compute actual axial load Pu (shall be similar to the one used in the preliminary design)
and moment Mu from factored loads.

## Based on results of structural analysis, the preliminary section can be updated if Pu

differs from the one based on tributary area. If the structural analysis shows an
eccentricity >2h, increase the section height by 50% in the direction of the eccentricity.
If it shows an eccentricity >5h, increase the section height by 100% in the direction of
the eccentricity.

1
ELEMENT DESIGN FOR COLUMN WITH SMALL ECCENTRICITY (AXIAL LOAD ONLY
GOALS DESCRIPTION
This procedure applies to column with eccentricity e=Mu/Pu≤0.1h (tied columns) or
e=Mu/Pu≤0.05h (spiral columns)

D1. Area of steel rebars D1.1. Use the section defined in the preliminary design, with gross sectional area Ag.
Ast needed for DCR≤1
Recall that the reduced axial load capacity of the column is

## 𝑃𝑛 = 0.80𝜑[0.85𝑓′𝑐 (𝐴𝑔 − 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ) + 𝑓𝑦 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ] for tied columns, 𝜑=0.65

𝑃𝑛 = 0.85𝜑[0.85𝑓′𝑐 (𝐴𝑔 − 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ) + 𝑓𝑦 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ] for spiral columns, 𝜑=0.75

## Set 𝑃𝑛 = 𝑃𝑢 from structural analysis and solve for Ast

Tied columns
𝑃𝑢 −0.80𝜑(0.85𝑓′𝑐 𝐴𝑔 ) 𝑃𝑢 −0.442(𝑓′𝑐𝐴𝑔 )
𝑃𝑢 = 0.80𝜑[0.85𝑓′𝑐 (𝐴𝑔 − 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ) + 𝑓𝑦 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ] → 𝐴𝑠𝑡 = =
0.80𝜑(𝑓𝑦 −0.85𝑓′𝑐 ) 0.52𝑓𝑦 −0.442𝑓′𝑐

Spiral columns
𝑃𝑢 −0.85𝜑(0.85𝑓′𝑐 𝐴𝑔 ) 𝑢𝑃 −0.542(𝑓′𝑐 𝐴𝑔 )
𝑃𝑢 = 0.85𝜑[0.85𝑓′𝑐 (𝐴𝑔 − 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ) + 𝑓𝑦 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ] → 𝐴𝑠𝑡 = 0.85𝜑(𝑓𝑦 −0.85𝑓′𝑐 )
= 0.638𝑓
𝑦 −0.542𝑓′𝑐

D1.2. Choose even number of tension rebars (use #4-11) with total area ≥ Ast
Distribute evenly the reinforcement along the edges of the columns (reinforcement
needs to be symmetrical)

## CHECKS & DRAWINGS – same for all columns

GOALS DESCRIPTION
C1. Verify number of Verify that minimum number of rebars is provided (otherwise use different bar
rebars sizes/number)
For tied columns with:
• Rectangular ties: 4 bars minimum
• Circular ties: 4 bars minimum
• Triangular ties: 3 bars minimum
For spiral columns:
• 6 bars minimum

2
C2. Verify area of rebars Check that the area of rebars is

## 0.01𝐴𝑔 ≤ 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ≤ 0.08𝐴𝑔

Otherwise:
Increase column size if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 > 0.08𝐴𝑔
Reduce column size (or increase 𝐴𝑠𝑡 if you already have minimum size) if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 < 0.01𝐴𝑔

## C3. Select size of ties to For tied columns with:

provide concrete • Longitudinal bars ≤ #10, provide min #3 ties
confinement • Longitudinal bars > #10, provide min #4 ties
For spiral columns
• Minimum spiral diameters = 3/8”
Check that a rectangular column is wide enough to accommodate the rebars

## Check width of 𝑂𝐾𝐴𝑌 𝑖𝑓 𝑏 ≥ 𝑏𝑚𝑖𝑛

C4. Check: { (from Table A.5)
column 𝐶ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑟 # & 𝑞𝑡𝑦. 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑖𝑠𝑒
For spiral columns check that the clear distance between bars is > 1” and db (diameter
of the bar)
C5. Select spacing of ties For tied columns, the center-to-center spacing shall not exceed
to provide concrete • 16x diameter of longitudinal bars
confinement • 48x diameter of tie bars
• Least dimension of column
For spiral columns
• Clear spacing between 1” and 3”, in order to maintain a minimum spiral steel
ratio
𝐴𝑔 𝑓′
𝜌𝑠,𝑚𝑖𝑛 = 0.45 ( 𝐴 − 1) 𝑓𝑐 (you can use Table A.14 to determine the pitch)
𝑐 𝑦

C6. Verify actual DCR Verify that DCR≤1 with actual section, rebars and 
C7. Draw section Include reinforcement, ties/spiral, and main dimensions
For tied columns, determine clear space between rebars, and provide cross-ties if
needed (non-tied bars are allowed if they are at ≤6” from a tied one)

3
EXAMPLE 1 – Design of a short column for axial load (small eccentricity)
Design a square tied column to support an axial dead load D of 130k and axial live load of 180 k.

## Given: fy = 60,000 psi, f’c=4000 psi

SOLUTION:

Preliminary design

## P.1. Geometry, All relevant information are given

supports, materials 𝑓𝑐′ = 4000𝑝𝑠𝑖 𝑁𝑊 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑒
𝑓𝑦 = 60000𝑝𝑠𝑖 𝐺𝑅60 𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑒𝑙
𝑃𝐷 = 130000 𝑙𝑏
𝑃𝐿 = 180000 𝑙𝑏

## P.2. Section 𝑃𝑢1 = 1.4𝑃𝐷 = 182000 𝑙𝑏

𝑃𝑢2 = 1.2𝑃𝐷 + 1.6𝑃𝐿 = 444000 𝑙𝑏 ← governs
For tied columns
Ag=Pu/(0.65f’c) = 444k / (0.60 4ksi) = 185 in2

## Decide type of ties: rectangular

Structural analysis

## S1. Moment Mu Not needed (forces are given)

Element Design
D1.1. Use the section defined in the preliminary design, with gross sectional area Ag.
D1. Area of steel Use =0.65 (compression controlled failure)

## Set 𝑃𝑛 = 𝑃𝑢 from structural analysis and solve for Ast

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Tied columns
𝑃𝑢 −0.80𝜑(0.85𝑓′𝑐 𝐴𝑔 ) 𝑃𝑢 −0.442(𝑓′𝑐𝐴𝑔 )
𝑃𝑢 = 0.80𝜑[0.85𝑓′𝑐 (𝐴𝑔 − 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ) + 𝑓𝑦 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ] → 𝐴𝑠𝑡 = 0.80𝜑(𝑓𝑦 −0.85𝑓′𝑐 )
= 0.52𝑓𝑦 −0.442𝑓′𝑐

## 444𝑘 − 0.442(4𝑘𝑠𝑖 196𝑖𝑛2 )

𝐴𝑠𝑡 = = 3.31𝑖𝑛2
0.52(60𝑘𝑠𝑖) − 0.442(4𝑘𝑠𝑖)

D1.2. Choose even number of tension rebars (use #4-11) with total area ≥ Ast
Distribute evenly the reinforcement along the edges of the columns (reinforcement
needs to be symmetrical)

## Checks & drawings:

C1. Number of bars Verify that minimum number of rebars is provided (otherwise use different bar
sizes/number)
For tied columns with rectangular ties: 4 bars minimum → OKAY

## C2. Area of rebars

Check that the area of rebars is

## 0.01𝐴𝑔 ≤ 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ≤ 0.08𝐴𝑔

Otherwise:
Increase column size if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 > 0.08𝐴𝑔
Reduce column size (or increase 𝐴𝑠𝑡 if you already have minimum size) if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 < 0.01𝐴𝑔

## 𝐴𝑠𝑡 3.61 𝑖𝑛2

0.01 ≤ = = 0.018 ≤ 0.08 → OKAY
𝐴𝑔 196 𝑖𝑛2

## C3. Size of ties For tied columns with:

• Longitudinal bars ≤ #10, provide min #3 ties → choose #3 ties
• Longitudinal bars > #10, provide min #4 ties

C4. Width of Check that a rectangular column is wide enough to accommodate the rebars
column
𝑂𝐾𝐴𝑌 𝑖𝑓 𝑏 ≥ 𝑏𝑚𝑖𝑛
Check: { (from Table A.5)
𝐶ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑟 # & 𝑞𝑡𝑦. 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑖𝑠𝑒

## bmin = 9.00 in → OKAY

C5. Spacing of ties For tied columns, the center-to-center spacing shall not exceed
• 16x diameter of longitudinal bars = 14 in
• 48x diameter of tie bars = 18 in
• Least dimension of column = 14 in

Use #3 @ 14 in o.c.

5
C5. DCR 𝑂𝐾𝐴𝑌 𝑖𝑓 𝐷𝐶𝑅 ≤ 1
Check: {
𝐼𝑛𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑖𝑠𝑒

Need to calculate reduced axial load capacity based on actual steel reinforcement and 
𝑃𝑢 444𝑘
𝐷𝐶𝑅 = 0.80𝜑[0.85𝑓′ = 452.8𝑓𝑡−𝑘 = 0.98 < 1 OKAY
𝑐 (𝐴𝑔 −𝐴𝑠𝑡 )+𝑓𝑦 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ]

C6. Drawing Show main dimensions and reinforcement. For tied columns, determine clear space
between rebars, and provide cross-ties if needed (not-tied bars are allowed if they are at
≤6” from a tied one)

## Thickness of the lines increases along

the following sequence:

1. Dimensions (thinner)

2. Concrete section

3. Reinforcement (thicker)

## The clear space between tied and non-tied bars is given by

9”/2 - (7/8)” = 3.625” < 6” → NO NEED FOR CROSS TIES

6
DESIGN PROCESS FOR SHORT COLUMNS WITH LARGE ECCENTRICITY (AXIAL LOAD +
MOMENT)
Main design goal: (Pu/, Mu/) within interaction diagram

## PRELIMINARY DESIGN – same for all columns

GOALS DESCRIPTION
P1. Geometry, supports, Columns are part of a larger structure. The preliminary design of the column depends
materials and loads on the preliminary design of all the supported elements (slabs and beams). Typically
structural layout and materials are already defined, and all the loads (based on ASCE 7-
P2. Section Estimate design axial load from tributary area

Select a square or circular section with gross section area (minimum dimension = 10”)
Ag=Pu/(0.60 f’c) for tied columns (decide type of ties: rectangular, circular, triangular)
Ag= Pu/(0.75 f’c) for spiral columns

Note: use multiples of 2” for the dimensions of the sections (e.g. 10”, 14”, 22”…)

## STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS – same for all columns

GOALS DESCRIPTION
S1. Ultimate axial load Pu Perform a structural analysis of the entire structure. (Please note that in most of the
and moment Mu HW problems loads are given).
(demand)
Compute actual axial load Pu (shall be similar to the one used in the preliminary design)
and moment Mu from factored loads.

## Based on results of structural analysis, the preliminary section can be updated if Pu

differs from the one based on tributary area. If the structural analysis shows an
eccentricity >2h, increase the section height by 50% in the direction of the eccentricity.
If it shows an eccentricity >5h, increase the section height by 100% in the direction of
the eccentricity.

7
ELEMENT DESIGN FOR COLUMN WITH SMALL ECCENTRICITY (AXIAL LOAD ONLY
GOALS DESCRIPTION
This procedure applies to column with eccentricity e=Mu/Pu≤0.1h (tied columns) or
e=Mu/Pu≤0.05h (spiral columns)

D1. Area of steel rebars D1.1. Select the appropriate interaction diagram: match the material properties, the
Ast needed for DCR≤1 shape of the section and the reinforcement pattern. You will need to compute

## (Select 2 diagrams if  falls in between available values)

D1.2. Define normalized demand values for Pu and Mu (use =0.65, for compression
controlled failure of tied columns, and =0.75 for compression controlled failure of
spiral columns)

𝑃𝑢 𝑀𝑢 𝑀𝑢 𝑀𝑛
Set 𝑃𝑛 = , 𝑀𝑛 = ,𝑒 = =
𝜑 𝜑 𝑃𝑢 𝑃𝑛

𝑃 𝑒 𝑃
𝑅𝑛 = 𝑓′ 𝑛𝐴 ℎ , 𝐾𝑛 = 𝑓′ 𝑛𝐴
𝑐 𝑔 𝑐 𝑔

D1.3. Locate the point (Kn, Rn) in the interaction diagram and select the required
percentage of steel  (interpolate between diagrams, if necessary)

D1.4. Choose even number of tension rebars (use #4-11) with total area ≥  Ag
Distribute evenly the reinforcement along the edges of the columns (reinforcement
needs to be symmetrical)

## CHECKS & DRAWINGS – same for all columns

GOALS DESCRIPTION
C1. Verify number of Verify that minimum number of rebars is provided (otherwise use different bar
rebars sizes/number)
For tied columns with:
• Rectangular ties: 4 bars minimum
• Circular ties: 4 bars minimum
• Triangular ties: 3 bars minimum
For spiral columns:
• 6 bars minimum

## 0.01𝐴𝑔 ≤ 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ≤ 0.08𝐴𝑔

Otherwise:
Increase column size if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 > 0.08𝐴𝑔
Reduce column size (or increase 𝐴𝑠𝑡 if you already have minimum size) if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 < 0.01𝐴𝑔

8
C3. Select size of ties to For tied columns with:
provide concrete • Longitudinal bars ≤ #10, provide min #3 ties
confinement • Longitudinal bars > #10, provide min #4 ties
For spiral columns
• Minimum spiral diameters = 3/8”
Check that a rectangular column is wide enough to accommodate the rebars

## Check width of 𝑂𝐾𝐴𝑌 𝑖𝑓 𝑏 ≥ 𝑏𝑚𝑖𝑛

C4. Check: { (from Table A.5)
column 𝐶ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑟 # & 𝑞𝑡𝑦. 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑖𝑠𝑒
For spiral columns check that the clear distance between bars is > 1” and db (diameter
of the bar) Table A14
C5. Select spacing of ties For tied columns, the center-to-center spacing shall not exceed
to provide concrete • 16x diameter of longitudinal bars
confinement • 48x diameter of tie bars
• Least dimension of column
For spiral columns
• Clear spacing between 1” and 3”, in order to maintain a minimum spiral steel
ratio
𝐴𝑔 𝑓𝑐′
𝜌𝑠,𝑚𝑖𝑛 = 0.45 ( − 1) (you can use Table A.14 to determine the pitch)
𝐴𝑐 𝑓𝑦

C6. Verify actual DCR NO DCR CHECK IS NEEDED (the method is graphical)
C7. Draw section Include reinforcement, ties/spiral, and main dimensions
For tied columns, determine clear space between rebars, and provide cross-ties if
needed (non-tied bars are allowed if they are at ≤6” from a tied one)

9
EXAMPLE 2 – Design of a short column for axial load + moment (large eccentricity)
Design the reinforcement for the following column, used to support the following loads:

## PD = 125 kip, PL= 140 kip, MD = 75 ft-k, PL = 90 ft-k

2 ½”
20”

2 ½”

14”

Section

SOLUTION:

Preliminary design

## P.1. Geometry, All relevant information are given

supports, materials 𝑓𝑐′ = 4000𝑝𝑠𝑖 𝑁𝑊 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑒
𝑓𝑦 = 60000𝑝𝑠𝑖 𝐺𝑅60 𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑒𝑙
𝑃𝐷 = 125 𝑘, 𝑀𝐷 = 75 𝑓𝑡 − 𝑘
𝑃𝐿 = 140 𝑘, 𝑀𝐿 = 90 𝑓𝑡 − 𝑘

## P.2. Section Given

Structural analysis

## S1. Moment Mu 𝑃𝑢1 = 1.4𝑃𝐷 = 175 𝑘 , 𝑀𝑢1 = 1.4𝑀𝐷 = 105 𝑓𝑡 − 𝑘

𝑃𝑢2 = 1.2𝑃𝐷 + 1.6𝑃𝐿 = 374 𝑘, 𝑀𝑢2 = 1.2𝑀𝐷 + 1.6𝑀𝐿 = 234 𝑓𝑡 − 𝑘 ← governs

Element Design
D1.1. Select the appropriate interaction diagram: match the material properties, the
D1. Area of steel shape of the section and the reinforcement pattern. You will need to compute

= 15”/20”=0.75

Select 2 diagrams with  =0.7 and  =0.8 (Graph 3 and Graph 4 from the textbook
Appendix)

10
D1.2. Define normalized demand values for Pu and Mu (use =0.65, for compression
controlled failure of tied columns, and =0.75 for compression controlled failure of
spiral columns)

𝑃𝑢 𝑀𝑢 𝑀𝑢 𝑀𝑛
Set 𝑃𝑛 = 𝜑
= 575.4 𝑘, 𝑀𝑛 = 𝜑
= 360 𝑓𝑡 − 𝑘, 𝑒 = 𝑃𝑢
= 𝑃𝑛
=7.51 in

𝐴𝑔 = ℎ𝑏 = 280in2

𝑃𝑛 𝑒 𝑃𝑛
𝑅𝑛 = =0.193 𝐾𝑛 = =0.514
𝑓′𝑐 𝐴𝑔 ℎ 𝑓′𝑐 𝐴𝑔

D1.3. Locate the point (Rn,Kn) in the interaction diagram and select the required
percentage of steel  (interpolate between diagrams, if necessary)

07=0.022 08=0.019

Interpolate:

## 𝜌075 −𝜌07 0.75−0.70 (0.75−0.70)(𝜌08 −𝜌07 )

= → 𝜌075 = 𝜌07 + (0.80−0.70)
= 0.0205
𝜌08 −𝜌07 0.80−0.70

11
D1.4. Choose even number of tension rebars (use #4-11) with total area ≥  Ag
Distribute evenly the reinforcement along the edges of the columns (reinforcement
needs to be symmetrical)

 Ag = 5.74 in2 Select 6#9 bars (3#9 + 3#9) → Ast = 6.00 in2
Checks & drawings:

C1. Number of bars Verify that minimum number of rebars is provided (otherwise use different bar
sizes/number)
For tied columns with rectangular ties: 4 bars minimum → OKAY

## C2. Area of rebars

Check that the area of rebars is

## 0.01𝐴𝑔 ≤ 𝐴𝑠𝑡 ≤ 0.08𝐴𝑔

Otherwise:
Increase column size if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 > 0.08𝐴𝑔
Reduce column size (or increase 𝐴𝑠𝑡 if you already have minimum size) if 𝐴𝑠𝑡 < 0.01𝐴𝑔

## 𝐴𝑠𝑡 6.00 𝑖𝑛2

0.01 ≤ 𝐴𝑔
= 280 𝑖𝑛2
= 0.021 ≤ 0.08 → OKAY

## C3. Size of ties For tied columns with:

• Longitudinal bars ≤ #10, provide min #3 ties → choose #3 ties
• Longitudinal bars > #10, provide min #4 ties

C4. Width of Check that a rectangular column is wide enough to accommodate the rebars
column
𝑂𝐾𝐴𝑌 𝑖𝑓 𝑏 ≥ 𝑏𝑚𝑖𝑛
Check: { (from Table A.5)
𝐶ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑟 # & 𝑞𝑡𝑦. 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑖𝑠𝑒

## bmin = 9.76 in → OKAY

C5. Spacing of ties For tied columns, the center-to-center spacing shall not exceed
• 16x diameter of longitudinal bars = 16 (1.128in) = 18.05 in
• 48x diameter of tie bars = 48 (0.375 in) = 18 in
• Least dimension of column = 14 in

Use #3 @ 14 in o.c.

## C6. DCR NO DCR CHECK IS NEEDED (the method is graphical)

12
C7. Drawing Show main dimensions and reinforcement. For tied columns, determine clear space
between rebars, and provide cross-ties if needed (not-tied bars are allowed if they are at
≤6” from a tied one)

## Thickness of the lines increases along

3#9 the following sequence:
2 ½”
20” 1. Dimensions (thinner)

## #3@14” o.c. 2. Concrete section

2 ½”
3#9
3. Reinforcement (thicker)

14”

The clear space between tied and non-tied bars is given by the center-to-center spacing
minus the diameter of the bar
9”/2 - 1.128” = 3.37” < 6” → NO NEED FOR CROSS TIES

13
APPENDIX. DESIGN TABLES FROM TEXTBOOK

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