You are on page 1of 77

Thumb Rule Design

August 2011
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Dr. A. Ramakrishna
Former President & Deputy Managing Director, Larsen & Toubro Limited
Director, International Infrastructure Consultants Pvt. Limited (IIC)
Preliminary Design

Criteria for selection of appropriate choice

Material Consumption
Thumb rules/norms
Techno-economic factors
Constructability/choice of materials
Local conditions
Concrete & Steel : Preliminary Ideas

Span below 24 to 30 m, concrete good option

Larger spans, steel structure is better
Standardization modular co-ordination
Spans (m)
3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30
Increments of 0.30 m up to 3 m
Column spacing in longitudinal direction
3, 4.5, 6, 9, 12
Economy and Speed of Construction
L + M + P + O1 + O2 + Margin
20 65 10 5 3 7-10 = 110
Direct cost Indirect cost
Concrete Rs. 3,000 - 4,000 / m3 1 m3
Shuttering Rs. 200 - 300 / m2 4 - 8 m2 / m3
Reinforcement Rs. 40 - 45 / kg 70 - 120 kg / m3
Speed of construction
1 day to 3 weeks per oor
1 week sucient for traditional
Side Shutters can be removed within one day
Supporting formwork can be stripped when strength of concrete
reaches twice the approx. stress in construction phase
Approximate Construction Cost
Residential, Oce and Commercial Construction
Concrete Frame Rs. 5,000 - 6,000 / m2
General Building work : Rs. 3,000 to 4,000 / sq. m
Electrical : 15% of total cost
Sanitation and water supply : 15% of total cost
Architect Fees : 3-5% complete service
including project monitoring
Precast Concrete
Concrete : Rs. 3,500 / m3
Mould and demould : Rs. 100 150 / m2
Yard Operations and transport : Rs. 300 / m3
Erection : Rs. 1,000 / m3
Steel Structure
Steel structure : Rs. 50 to 65 / kg
(assuming basic price of Rs. 35 / kg)
Floors in
Multistoried Construction
Solid Slab Floors

With span li <4.29 m
d (m) li (m) + 0.03 m
For oors with partition walls subject to cracks and
with span li <4.29 m
d (m) li2 (m) + 0.03 m
Economical for li < 6 m
For soundproong d 16 cm
Flat slabs (without Column Heads)

3.2.2 ly
For concrete C20/25 (B25)
li (m) 0.9lx respectively li 0.8ly
For concrete C30/37 li is ~0.8lx or 0.8ly lx
Maximum li is to be considered for calculations

For li < 4.29 m,

thickness of slab d (m) li (m) /35+ 0.03 m 0.2m
For slabs with partition walls with permissible
cracking with li 4.29 m,
thickness of slab d (m) li2 (m) /150+ 0.03 m 0.2m
Flat slabs (without Column Heads)
Economical for li < 6.5 m
Normally not to have any openings
next to columns due to punching shear failure
d should be > 1.1 times d slab
To transfer loads properly,
end and corner columns should be of
same diameter as columns inside
Slab thickness should be reduced
in prestressed slabs (Economical for li < 9.6m)
If structural steel members (RSJ) are used
as additional strengthening against
punching shear, thickness of slab can be
0.8 times calculated values as given
Mushroom floors (Flat Slabs with Column heads)

Thickness of slab
0.8 times thickness for at slabs
Column heads can be formed through
sloping, rectangular, round heads
Mushroom floors (Flat Slabs with Column heads)

Shear stress in column region is reduced
by providing column head
Floor thickness for head can be reduced in other regions
Cost will be higher due to shuttering for column head
Beam and slab (T-beams)

Span for the slab
Span direction for the beam
Span of the slab is greater than 70 cm
d = li,beam /14 to li,beam / 8
More exactly: d = 1.2 li q
b = d/3 d/2 20 cm
For thickness of slab, see Solid Slab Floors
Beam and slab (T-beams)

li,slab < 6 m economical
In partition walls, li,beam / 8
li,beam = 6 to 14 m economical

q [kN /m] = total distributed load per running metre

d (cm)
Slabs (Double T Slabs)
Reinforced concrete
d li/18 to li/12
Prestressed concrete
d li/24 to li/18
Precast slabs
Span up to 20 m
Self load + live load
r = 3.5 to 25 kN /m2
d0 4 cm due to transport considerations
After erecting the precast double-T,
normally a in- situ concrete screed 2-5 cm thick
is laid as per detailed structural design
Ribbed Slabs

One-way span
d = li/20 to li/15

For one-way spans (span range in single direction)
6 li 12 m
Live load 5 kN/m2
Only one layer of transverse reinforcement
Special consideration to be given for soundproong
Grid Floors

Spanning in two directions
d = li/20

Two-way spans are economical,

when li is less than 9 m
Special soundproong to be considered
Floor with hollow blocks (with concrete beams)

d 0.5 (li+20p)
d in cm
li in m
P in kN/m2

One-way blocks
Commonly used thicknesses: 17/19/21/25 cm
Spacing of concrete beams: 62.5/75 cm
Prestressed Concrete Hollow Core Slabs

Thickness (cm) Span width (m)
12 7.20
15 8.10
18 9.00
20 12.40
32 14.90
40 16.00
Brespa, variax,
Prestressed Concrete Hollow Core Slabs

Self weight reduction through hollow cores
Single way span concrete M55
Prestressing steel 1570/1770
Composite Construction (with Lost Formwork)

Dimensions are similar to solid concrete oors
1-way span; The reinforcement steel area is replaced
by the lost shuttering steel area
Partly Precast Slabs (composite construction)

With oors carrying partition walls and with spans
greater than 4.29 m
d (m) li (m)/35 + 0.03 m
In oors with crack proof dividing walls and with
spans li >= 4.29 m
d (m) li2(m)/150 + 0.03 m
Partly Precast Slabs (composite construction)

In 4-6 cm thick precast element,
main reinforcement is incorporated
Maximum width of the element: 2.5 m
Grid beams serve the purpose of connecting slab in
composite construction by placing in-situ concrete to
take care of shear stress and stiening the plate in
the erection phase
Two-way span hollow slabs

Floor thickness 23 50 cm
Span 7 15 m
Plastic hollow spheres
e.g., Bubble Floor
Two-way span hollow slabs

Hollow slab spans in two ways
Lower self weight; bigger spans; no beams (simplied
location of installations); reduced foundations.
In slabs with openings,
the spheres (Plastic balls) are removed (solid slab)
Beams Girders
in Multistoreyed Construction
Reinforced Concrete Beams

d li /12 to li /12
b d /3 to d /2 20cm

In-situ concrete/precast concrete

By prestressing,
depth of beams can be reduced
d li / 17 to li / 15
Inverted Beams

d li/12 to li /8
b d /3 to d /2 20 cm

Inverted beams are used at edges of slab

or in the attics above openings in the walls
They are eective together with the slab
This is not possible in the regions where doors are there.
Concealed Beams

d > li /15
l = Span of beam

Reinforced concrete concealed beam/steel girders

inside the thickness of reinforced concrete oor
Timber Beam Floor

d = li /17
b = 0.6 d 10 cm

Maximum deection f l / 300

Beam spacing 70-90 cm
Wide Flange Beams (HEB)

Beam depth
Uniformly distributed load
q in kN/m
Span l in m
h = 3 17.5ql2 - 2 in cm
Bending on the y-axis
Normal Flange Beams

Beam depth = h
Uniformly distributed load = q in kN /m
Span = l in m
h = 50ql2 - 2 in cm

Bending on the y-axis

Normal Flange Beams

For steel: strength S235 (St 37)
hst37 0.064 ql2 + 100
Beam depth: (see previous)
For steel (medium high strength steel) S355 (St 52)
hst52 0.8Hst37

Beam depth h in mm
Uniformly distributed load q in kN / m
Span l in m
Normal Flange Beams

For light loads in multistoried construction,
the IPE beams are more commonly used
Distance between beams: 2-4.5 m
Span of composite beams: up to 15 m
(can be stretched to 20m in marginal cases)
Using the higher limit up to 15 m possible/usual
For re resistance,
steel has to be coated suitably
Stressed Composite Beams (Double Composite beam)

h = l/35
More exactly :: h = ql2 / 50 + 100
Beam depth h (mm)
Uniformly distributed load q in kN / m
Span l (m)
Stressed Composite Beams (Double Composite beam)

Large spans
Lower design depths
Lower shuttering costs
Higher re resistance
Convenient reduction of vibration
Double composite beams are well suited for bridge
Castellated Beams from Normal Steel Profiles

h = ql / 2 + 350
H (mm) = 1.5h
Beam depth h (mm)
Uniformly distributed load q in kN / m
Span l (m)

l 12 m; h 60 cm

Castellated Beams from Normal Steel Profiles

Openings are convenient for installations
Load carrying capacity is higher for the same steel
More economical than solid web beams in India due to
saving in material
Cost for cutting and welding
higher than solid web beams
Exact statical calculation
is more dicult
Vierendeel Girder

h = l/8 to l/6
s h
d h/6 to h/5
Beam span s (m)
Girder span l (m)
Vierendeel Girder

Joints are to be designed for bending stiness
Material: steel or concrete
Spacing of beams: 4-8 m

Better architectural impression
Openings are useful for installing services
Higher construction cost
Timber columns

Rectangular cross-sections
Permissible load d2 (cm)
Sk (m)
Round cross-sections
Permissible load d2 (cm)
1.33 Sk (m)
d = side length (cm)
Sk = buckling length (m)
Timber Columns

Central loading
Limits: d 10 to 20 cm
Sk 40 d

Total stability of structure is ensured
through oor plate and walls
Columns are held at top and bottom
Steel Columns

HEA-Prole (IPBI)
h (mm) 22 F (kN) Sk (m)
HEB-Prole (IPB)
h (mm) 16 F (kN) Sk (m)
HEM-Prole (IPBv)
h (mm) 10 F (kN) Sk (m)
F = Column height
h = Prole height
Sk = Buckling length
Steel Columns

Central loading
Total stability of structure is ensured
through oor plate and walls
Columns are held at the top and bottom
Fire protection to be noted
RC Columns

Area of column = dmin dmax
Concrete C30/37 (B 25)
Column Area (cm2) 0.7 F (kN)
Concrete C30/37 (B 35)
Column Area (cm2) 0.59 F (kN)
Concrete C80/95 (B 85)
Column Area (cm2) 0.32 F (kN)
For thick, round columns (spiral reinforcement),
Sk 5 times depth of column
Valid column
Column Area (cm2) 0.5 F (kN)
RC Columns

Storey height h < 13 dmin
Reinforcement percentage
= Area of steel x 100% 1.5- 2.5%
Area of concrete
Dmin = 20 cm (in-situ concrete)
= 12 cm (precast element)
Total stability of structure is ensured
through oor plate and walls
Columns are held at top and bottom
Brickwork with Bricks or Limestone

Minimum thickness is 11.5 cm of inner and outer wall
For statical and thermal insulation reasons,
higher thicknesses are required

Minimum dimensions of load carrying columns

11.5 cm x 36.5 cm, or
17.5 cm x 24 cm
Masonry of Celcrete (Lightweight Concrete Blocks)
Load carrying outer walls
d 11.5 cm
For thickness = 36.5 cm no separate insulation is required
Use of load carrying inner walls is to be checked
for static and soundproof requirements

Lower density (500 -700 kg /m3) means

good thermal insulation, lower compressive
strength and good workability
Outside should normally be protected against
dampness with proper waterproof plaster
Reinforced Concrete Walls

External and inside walls
dmin = 10 cm (DIN 1045)
From considerations of soundproong
dmin = 13 cm
To take care of higher soundproong
as per DIN 4109,
Dividing walls between two ats thickness
should be 22 cm
Reinforced Concrete Walls

Minimum thicknesses given are as per DIN 1045,
25.5.3, as long as due to reasons of
thermal, sound, dampness, re resistance
requirements or manufacturing requirements,
thicker walls may be necessary
For non-load bearing walls,
7-13 cm thickness is adequate
Deep Beams (Wall-like plate girders in RC)

Wall thickness: d 24 cm
Wall height: h l / 2
Deep Beams (Wall-like plate girders in RC)

For taking care of higher loads,
wall-like plate girders do not behave
like beams for resisting bending moments
Load will be transferred to a concrete arch
and tension band (reinforcement steel)
Openings in deep beams should
not cut through arch or tension band (tie)
Square Isolated Footing

Length of side a (m) 1.2Nst / zul B
Nst (kN)
B (kN /m2)
Concrete: C20/25 (B25) (unreinforced)
d (m) (a-c)/2
Concrete: C20/25 (B25) (reinforced)
d (m) (a-c)/6 >= 0.3 m
Square Isolated Footing

Central loading under column
or other concentrated loads
It is estimated that
allowable soil pressure is 2.5 - 3.5 MT/m2
Thickness of foundation
in frost free depth, minimum 0.8 m
Foundation width a(m) 1.2N / zul B 0.5m
N (kN/m)
B (kN /m2) (Zul = Permissible)
Concrete (unreinforced) d(m) 0.5 (a-c) 0.3m
Concrete (reinforced, RCC) d(m) (a-c)/6 0.3m
Strip Foundation

Foundation width B(m) 1.2N / zul B 0.5m
N (kN/m)
B (kN /m2) (Zul = Permissible)
Concrete (unreinforced) d(m) 0.6 (b-c) 0.3m
Concrete (reinforced, RCC) d(m) (b-c)/6 0.3m
Strip Foundation

Concentrated line load under wall
It is assumed that allowable soil pressure
on soil is 250-300 KN/m2
Raft Foundation (like a tub)

Raft thickness d (cm)
H (cm) / 30 30 cm, or
10 times No. of storeys
Wall thickness dw = 30 cm
Raft Foundation (like a tub)

Continuous reinforced foundation raft
under whole building to avoid distress
due to dierential settlement on soil
This method is very useful for high loads
in high-rise buildings
Also advantageous in the case of
ground water being high on foundation
Raft Foundation (like a tub)

Reinforced strip foundation
b (m) 0.8 N (kN/m) / zul B (kN/m2) 0.5m
d (cm) {b (cm) c (cm) }/ 6 + 30 cm 70 cm
Raft Foundation (like a tub)

Concentrated stresses in corners can be reduced
by 45-60 degrees
It is also possible to reduce concentrated stresses
further by providing a soft layer under raft
Full Wall Transformer

h l/30 to l/20
3 l 20m

Beams in steel
Normally structural steel proles
with a depth of 80-600 mm is assumed
Beam with Central Support & Tie (wire/cable)

H l/12
h l/50 to l/35
6 <= l <= 60m

Bottom tie in tension

Wire or cable can be used with top ange opening +
Strut in compression
Top anges on strut to be stiened to take care of
sideways buckling
Steel Truss

h l/15 to l/10
8 <= l <= 75m

Loads have to be transferred at joints

Low material consumption
Lot of exibility in design
Steel Grating

h l/35 to l/25
10 <= l <= 70m
lmax / lmin <= 1.5

Stresses considered are bending and torsion

Beams shall be nearly same in both directions
Space Truss Grid of Steel

h l/20 to l/15
10 l 90m

Stress tension / compression

Span should be nearly some in both directions
Space Truss

h l/30 to l/15
20 l 120m

Trusses have to be fabricated,

taking into consideration lateral buckling
Portal Frame in Steel
h l/40 to l/30
5 l 45m

Corners are designed for

xed (sti) connection assumed at corners
2-3 joints are considered
In halls with great heights and horizontal loads (e.g.,
crane loads)
A xed connection for portal frame at foundation is advantageous
as bending moments at far corners get distributed
It is common to design foundation to have bigger
Portal Frames in Steel Trusses

h l/20 l/10
8 l 60m

Loads are transferred at the joints

Material consumption in this design is much lower
Large openings will allow installation of services
Transportation in parts and simple erection methods at
site are the other advantages
Arches in Steel

h l/70 to l/50
25 <= l <= 70m
H/l > 1/8
2-hinge and 3-hinge arches are considered
Stressed arches with 2-hinge arrangement stier than 3-
hinge arrangement but are sensitive to movements of
Flatter the arch, the more horizontal the forces on
Sometimes these horizontal forces are taken care of by
the provision of a tie between the two foundations
Truss Arch in Steel

h l/50 to l/30
40 l 120m
H/l > 1/8

Large openings will allow installation of services
Transportation in parts and assembly at site are simpler
2-hinge and 3-hinge arches are more rare when compared
to xed arches
Cable Stay

Ho Hu = l/18 to l/10
40 l 150m

Load carrying cable is stabilized by the stiening cable

System must be so stressed that even under the highest
load only tensile forces are there in the cables
In wind loads, suction is load carrying and stiening
cables reverse their roles
Cable-Stiffened Beam

H l/10 to l/5
20 l 150m
Cable Diameter
t l/10,000 to l/1,000

Load-carrying cable and stiening cable are organized in

such a way other members between them will be under
Compression members should be stabilized against
horizontal deections

Cable Diameter
t l/10,000 to l/1,000
20 l 150m

Network consists of two crossing cables which are

stressed against each other
Cables are curved in two dierence directions to give
stress at the joints to bring equilibrium
Thank you!!