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Effective Length Calculations (Columns: BS 8110) Page 1 of 2

Effective Length Calculations (Columns: BS 8110)


Clear Height
The clear height is the clear dimension between the restraining beams at the bottom of the
stack and the restraining beams at the top of the stack. The clear height may be different in
each direction.
If, at an end of the stack, no effective beams or flat slab to include are found, then the clear
height includes the stack beyond this restraint, and the same rules apply for finding the end of
the clear height at the end of the next stack (and so on).

Effective Length
The effective length, le is calculated automatically ­ you also have the ability to override the
calculated value.

le = β*lo AA

where

lo = clear height between end restraints

β = effective length factor

A
BS 8110­1:1997 3.8.1.6.1 equation 30

The value of β may is obtained from the following equations:

For braced columns:

β = MIN [(0.7 + 0.05*(αc,1 + αc,2)), (0.85 + 0.05*αc,min), 1.0]B

For unbraced columns:

β = MIN [(1.0 + 0.15*(αc,1 + αc,2)), (2.0 + 0.3*αc,min)]C

where

αc,1 = ratio of the sum of the column stiffnesses to the sum of the beam
stiffnesses at the lower end of a column

αc,2 = ratio of the sum of the column stiffnesses to the sum of the beam
stiffnesses at the upper end of a column

αc,min = MIN [αc,1, αc,2]

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Effective Length Calculations (Columns: BS 8110) Page 2 of 2

B
BS 8110­2:1985 2.5.5
C
BS 8110­2:1985 2.5.6

In specific cases of relative stiffness the following simplifying assumptions may be used:
a) Flat slab construction – The beam stiffness is based on an equivalent beam of the width and
thickness of the slab forming the column strip.
b) Simply supported beams framing into a column ­ αc is taken as 10

c) Connection between column and base designed to resist only nominal moments ­ αc is taken
as 5
(e.g when the base of the column is pinned)
d) Connection between column and base designed to resist column moments ­ αc is taken as
1.00

Parent topic
• Column Design to BS 8110

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