A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. In other words, a column is a compression member.
Columns which are short are subjected to crushing and behave like members under pure compression. Columns which are long tend to buckle out of the plane of the load axis.
The method of calculating suitable column sizes to satisfy the requirements of BS 5950 is basedon a trial and error routine. This is because both strength and actual stress depend on the cross-section size. Initially the design load and effective length must be determined. The design load isgenerally derived from the beam reactions, under factored load conditions. The effective lengthis based on height between restraints and the end conditions. The process can however be summarized in following steps – Choose a trial section, determine slenderness ratios, determine the compressive strength from the appropriate strut table, and compare axial load capacity with the applied design axial load and adjust the trialsection size if necessary.
However doing this trial and error method or say simulation takes too much time and is cumbersome. With this takeoff sheet, the users can get rid of time consuming calculations of steel columns. The users can utilize it toward slender sections. The design system is designated for ‘simple structures’ where estimations are made for minimal column moments on the basis of reactions out of supported beams.
The features of using this spreadsheet are – it is easily understandable, you can choose the steel grade according to the requirement, it has automated functions, you can modify beam reaction eccentricity value and many more. You also get a ‘Live’ loading diagram.