#### How to calculate the total loads on a column and corresponding footing?

This article has been written on the request from my readers. Engineering students generally get confused when it comes to calculating loads for column and footings design. The manual process is simple.

#### Types of loads on column

- Self weight of the column x Number of floors
- Self weight of beams per running meter
- Load of walls per running meter
- Total Load of slab (Dead load + Live load + Self weight)

The columns are also subjected to bending moments which have to be considered in the final design. The best way to design a good structure is to use advanced structural design software like ETABS or STAAD Pro. These tools are leagues ahead of manual methodology for structural design, and highly recommended.

In professional practice, there are some basic assumptions we use for structural loading calculations.

**For Columns**

Self weight of Concrete is around 2400 kg per cubic meter, which is equivalent to 240 kN. Self weight of Steel is around 8000 kg per cubic meter. Even if we assume a large column size of 230 mm x 600 mm with 1% steel and 3 meters standard height, the self weight of column is around 1000 kg per floor, which is equivalent to 10 kN. So, in my calculations, I assume self weight of column to be between **10 to 15 kN per floor.**

**For Beams**

Similar calculations as above. I assume each meter of beam has dimensions of 230 mm x 450 mm excluding slab thickness. So, the self weight can be around **2.5 kN** per running meter.

**For Walls**

Density of bricks varies between 1500 to 2000 kg per cubic meter. For a 6″ thick wall of 3 meter height and a length of 1 meter, we can calculate the load per running meter to be equal to 0.150 x 1 x 3 x 2000 = 900 kg which is equivalent to **9 kN/meter.** You can calculate load per running meter for any brick type using this technique.

For autoclaved, aerated concrete blocks like Aerocon or Siporex, the weight per cubic meter is between 550 to 700 kg per cubic meter. By using these blocks for construction, the wall loads per running meter can be as low as **4 kN/meter**, which can result in a significant reduction in the cost of construction.

**For Slab**

Assume the slab has a thickness of 125 mm. Now each square meter of slab would have a self weight of 0.125 x 1 x 2400 = 300 kg which is equivalent to 3 kN. Now, assume Finishing load to be 1 kN per meter and superimposed live load to be 2 kN per meter. So, we can calculate slab load to be around **6 to 7 kN per square meter.**

**Factor of Safety**

In the end, after calculating the entire load on a column, please do not forget to add in the factor of safety. For IS 456:2000, the **factor of safety is 1.5.**

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#1 by

Tariqon August 7, 2011 - 11:08 amwant to learn about steel desighn for RCC slab,beam,foundation column etc

#2 by

anandon August 24, 2011 - 10:41 ami want know the every items work facing in (in site) construction of building and irrigation projects

#3 by

Abdul Raheemon August 27, 2011 - 11:34 pmSir,where can i get a total design material by using it I can design the building. Is there any such site on web please inform me,thanks

#4 by BenzuJK on August 28, 2011 - 8:22 am

Well, you should check out the link below:

Building Design | RCC Structures#5 by

Sureshon September 28, 2011 - 7:46 amHi,

Thanks for the useful information. I am totally new to this field and I have a couple of queries,

1. How can I calculate the number of columns required for a building, say a building of two storeys of 2400 sq.ft?

2. The size of the columns, the column footings size, the steel used in the column etc are dependent on the load on the columns. So should I calculate the total load of the building and distribute the load equally on the number of columns?

#6 by BenzuJK on September 30, 2011 - 11:59 pm

Hello Suresh,

If you are planning to construct a building, I feel you should consult a qualified Structural engineer.

For your information, check out these articles. They might help you clear your basics:

Building Design Guide | Guide to RCC Construction#7 by

pratheepon August 5, 2012 - 12:18 pmHi

i am constructing my own house with 3 floors.

i would like to know, is there any spread sheet templates for load calculations (Eg Dead loads , earthquake and wind loads) in online or anywere.

i can purchase through online also, if available. if you know any reputed sources pls let me know.

regards

Pratheep

#8 by

Nazifon November 17, 2011 - 1:21 pmAm happy to see you guys, need to learn more from you…

#9 by

rizwanon February 10, 2012 - 12:28 amthank you mam your information

#10 by

BenzuJKon February 16, 2012 - 4:28 amWelcome Rizwan!

Do keep visiting.

Cheers 🙂

#11 by

Adnan alion June 20, 2012 - 5:19 amMam i have done my diploma but i got some backlogs in dce(diploma in civil engg)

#12 by

BenzuJKon June 30, 2012 - 4:49 amHello Adnan,

Now we just hope that whatever doubts and difficulties you have had must be clear now. Do keep visiting the site because this site has been specially designing for Civil engineering and Architecture students.

Cheers 🙂

#13 by

alion November 23, 2011 - 12:19 ammy question is simple how to decide number of columns for a given area of a bldg. what are the simple thumb rules……

#14 by

balajion December 23, 2011 - 7:35 pmHi,

I am going for construction of my own house – residential building with stilt + Ground+ 2 to 3 floors. The contractor is suggesting some measurements of foundation columns.

Could you please let me know what are the measurements of columns in general for a building of above and the depth of the column should be.

Thanks & Regards

Balaji

#15 by

BenzuJKon December 26, 2011 - 2:13 amHello Balaji,

I suggest you should hire a qualified Civil engineer for the job and not take structural based decisions yourself. This site is meant for people who are Civil engineers, civil engineering students, architects and architecure students and of course for people who are interested in gaining knowledge about structures.

In no case is a layman allowed to take decisions regarding structural design. So please do consult a civil engineer and get the structural design. Every project is unique and needs designing accordingly.

Thank you.

#16 by

Eng Yousuf Sajeebon March 5, 2012 - 1:00 amVery Helpfull,

Thanks Million

#17 by

Hemanth svon May 20, 2012 - 8:50 amHi! Hemanth

Is their any norms on considering constants of various loads for independent residential building?

each span varies from 12′-0″ to 15′-0″

Thanks.

#18 by

ismileon February 2, 2012 - 4:31 pmhello sir,

can you please tell me how can I calculate self load of colum or beam.

#19 by

Tejaswion February 7, 2012 - 10:56 pmhey i want design the building in my life time

tell me what should i learn to become design Engineer atleast iwant to design one building in my lifetime provided should be safe

#20 by

vivek kumaron February 24, 2012 - 6:50 amHi,

I am a civil engineering student studying final year. Can I know in which field does a civil engineer work.

#21 by

imran-ul-haqon May 2, 2012 - 10:50 pmcan you please add 1 detail example using formula’s of calculating all columns, beams, slabs Live & dead load, please

#22 by

sandhyaon June 8, 2012 - 2:13 amhi madam, im civil engg im doing analysis in stad pro,pls can u tell me 1 ex after analysis whats the procedure to do the design

pls tell formulas and tumb rules

tank u

#23 by

fahad suleimanon July 4, 2012 - 4:21 ammajor causes of cracks in building?.

how to start a foundation?

the caiculatoin of the total cash required?

#24 by

BenzuJKon July 6, 2012 - 11:54 amHello Fahad,

Causes of cracks in buildings#25 by

CHRISTOPHERon August 20, 2012 - 11:06 pmDear Madam

Can you explain generally the load calculation for ground floor in kg /m2 for column , beam,only. i donot want in kN/M2.

Thank you

christopher

#26 by

CHRISTOPHERon August 20, 2012 - 11:11 pmDear madam

can you explain me . the self weight of one coumn 9″x9″ for 13feet length that is from gl to roof level.

thank you

christopher

#27 by

genevieveon September 19, 2012 - 12:21 ambenzu,

i computed all the total load?how will it be distributed in order to determine the dimension of the footing?

#28 by eruh on October 23, 2012 - 12:40 am

m planning to build double storey house 17mx8m. Can u plis specify the number of coloumns to be erected and its sizes and also the beam sizes. Also the proper spacing of the coloumns. Bottom is open carport and level 1 is 2bedrooms,1m/bedrooms,kitchen,study rooms and small porch plus back porch as laundary areas.

thnx

#29 by

JUBAYER ISLAMon December 13, 2012 - 8:50 amI WANT A BOOK FOR RCC DESIGN.

#30 by

anwaron December 11, 2015 - 11:30 amdesign of concrete structure by arthur. H. nilson

#31 by

AMITESHon February 4, 2013 - 9:44 pmWHAT CAN BE THE MAXIMUM SPAN OF CONTINOUS SLAB/BEAM STRUCTURE BETWEEN TWO SUPPORTS IN A FOUR STORYED STRUCTURE ,I ASSUME 7M BUT ARCHITECT SAYS 3 M

#32 by

BenzuJKon February 9, 2013 - 7:47 amWell, that depends on the structural design. The steel design has to be appropriate. The span could go beyond 7m. It could be huge. 3m is the minimum distance between two supports.

#33 by

j.venkatesh Kumaron May 26, 2013 - 6:33 amDear sir,i want to know how to design the structural members….that means by keeping one buliding plan how to design the structural members i knw how to design by using problems types..but using one building plan how to design entire structural members ….i want to know the procedure with example plz hel me sir…kindly i request u

#34 by

BenzuJKon July 26, 2013 - 5:01 pmHello Ventakesh,

Here the

RCC Building Design GuideThis should answer all your questions. I recommend that you go through the guide thoroughly.

Cheers 🙂

#35 by

mustafaon July 26, 2014 - 1:38 amwhat is the workflow of structural designing from begining to end. write somebody step by step

#36 by

Gadhtoda Nishanton November 14, 2014 - 5:42 pmwht dimension of raft foundation may be suitable for a three storey security building having floor area.14ft*12ft, having soil bearing capacity 150n/mm2..using m20 comcrete?

#37 by

weraga christopheron November 20, 2014 - 12:44 pmdear madam can you help me with the formula of finding the depth of a foundation when given pressure as 23 ,weight of the soil as 423kg and the angle of repose 35degrees

#38 by

nituon November 24, 2014 - 10:52 amMy friends new house was constructed on soft soil.the houes is g+1.it is rcc framed structure with isolated footing .the columns are 300x300mm .there are 20 column and spacing is 3mtr.in the first floor rcc slab roof is provided.footing of size 1.7*1.7mtr and 1.8 mtr deep was provided. 8nos 16mm dia rod is provided in columns .now after seeing some site on foundation design she is worried whether it is safe or not. kindly reply

#39 by

Hussaini Abdullahion December 12, 2014 - 1:01 pmclear and concise information

#40 by Masood Shinware on April 15, 2015 - 8:02 am

Hello sir its my final exam and I have research project in vertical structure therefor kindly request from you give me information about kani method thanks.

#41 by

Jauwad Alamon May 16, 2015 - 1:55 pmNice for everyone

#42 by

sami cton September 3, 2015 - 1:43 pmsir

how we can to design a mini football stadium?

please help me

#43 by

sangharkshiton October 10, 2015 - 12:04 amhii m an architecture 3rd year student frim Maharashtra Nagpur tell me how to do column calculation and the footting design for architectural design

#44 by

Shubhangon October 27, 2015 - 9:34 pmHi

I want to know how to calculate structural members load,

Which is below ground?

#45 by

SNVR NIRANJAN CHOPPAVARAPUon March 17, 2016 - 7:45 amI want to know how to calculate design of pile foundation for barrage