Updated: Apr 1, 2020


Many young students pose me this question '' what is a floating column'' during seminars and etabs training or staad pro training. I thought I will write a very quick article on this subject. I will also discuss some generic points about columns in this article.

What is a column?

Of course it is a vertical compressive member that transfers the load from the beams to the footings.

Where do you need them

It needs a lot of carefull consideration. Depends on the loads,spans,architectural requirement and on the seismic demand and so on. I have other articles specifically written for this. The only point to make here is that, it is decided based on careful analysis which some times requires iterations depending on the size and complication of the project.

What should be the size of the column

Again, this needs careful consideration as above. However there are certain minimum size requirement as per IS 456 aswell as IS 13920

See another blog on the topic - MINIMUM MEMBER SIZES

What is a floating column

A column that is floating on a beam is a floating column.That means a floating column is not starting from the ground from a footing. This may be due to functional/architectural reasons.

An example may be a drive way in the basement that cannot have a column.But the upper levels needs. The scheme of the building will decide all these. However these floating columns are making the structure very irregular and this needs special attention as per IS 1893 and IS 13920

Follow this blog for future articles that will cover the special attention that is needed.

Some basic attention for irregular structures can be seen in the link IRREGULAR BUILDING


Many students think that learning ETABS modelling or taking a structural design training using ETABS is all what is needed for being an independent engineer. In reality, an etabs training is only a part of the learning curve. It is the basics and sound understanding of a scheme development that is far more important than a mere staad pro training or revit training or any design training for that matter.

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