Reading: Feasibility of Single-Storey Brickwork Columns for House Construction


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Feasibility of Single-Storey Brickwork Columns for House Construction


S. R. De S. Chandrakeerthy

University of Moratuwa, LK
About S. R.

Senior Professor of Civil Engineering

BSc Eng. (Hons) Cey., PhD (Sheffield), C.Eng., FIE (SL)

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In Sri Lanka, reinforced concrete columns are widely used as isolated columns in single-storey houses and single-storey segments of two-storey houses, primarily to accommodate architectural features, which require large openings. As loads sustained by such columns are moderate and the reinforced concrete columns traditionally used for them are over-designed due to restrictions imposed by the concrete design code on slenderness, durability, column reinforcement area and locations, as well as shear link area and spacing. Thus a study on structural and economic feasibility of alternative solutions made of urtreinforced and reinforced brickwork were considered opportune.


The investigation comprised of a literature survey and a design study. The design study considered thirty typical house plans used in Sri Lanka. It also considered three foundation conditions: poor soil (clay), average soil (sand) and good soil (laterite). Thirty-nine column locations were identified in those plans, and designs were done in reinforced concrete, reinforced brickwork and unreinforced brickwork to cover the above three soil conditions. The design and costing was computerized using EXCEL so .that by replicating designs with changed section properties, each solution can be optimized at minimum cost. The study generated 351 different column solutions.


The study concluded that unreinforced and reinforced brickwork columns are an economical solution to replace single-storey reinforced concrete columns in the above type of house construction. However, bulkier unreinforced brickwork columns are unlikely to be popular.

How to Cite: De S. Chandrakeerthy, S.R., 2006. Feasibility of Single-Storey Brickwork Columns for House Construction. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 39(4), pp.13–18. DOI:
Published on 22 Oct 2006.
Peer Reviewed


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