What is Floating Column? Load Transfer Mechanism, Advantages & Disadvantages

Floating column is a column member that is constructed over the beam or slabs of any intermediate floors of a structure. Unlike normal columns, these columns are not attached to any footings or pedestal.  The floating column construction is a new development made to serve a certain architectural purpose in the building construction.

Floating columns are also called as stub column, or hanging columns.

Fig..1.Floating Column

Load Transfer in Floating Columns and Non-floating Columns

The load transfer is directly done by the non-floating column where it is safely transferred to the foundation. In case of floating column, the load is taken by the below beam. The column is arranged as a point load over the beam. The load is equally distributed to the beam.

The next important need is that the load from beam have to reach the below floor or foundation by following the shortest path. In case of floating column construction, the shortest path is through the columns supporting the beams.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Floating Column

The floating column is undesirable in building construction. Some of the reasons are:
  1. Increased storey displacement in buildings
  2. Attract seismic forces extensively
  3. There is no continuity with the above and below floors making it vulnerable
Still floating column is used due to following advantages
  1. The plan can be varied on each floor
  2. Construction of Soft-storeys
  3. Architectural Importance
In areas where the floating column cannot be ignored, they are designed carefully by the structural engineers. The supporting girders must also be designed with higher shear capacity or as deep beams.

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Neenu, a seasoned professional, combines two years of practical Project Engineering experience with her passion for research and storytelling. Holding a Master's in Structural Engineering & Construction Management and a Bachelor's in Civil Engineering, Neenu's expertise enriches her work. With over six years of content writing experience, Neenu seamlessly blends her passion for research and storytelling, delivering accessible, engaging, and informative content in each blog post.

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