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Civil Engineering/minimum bearing of the beam on the wall / column



our structural engineer is suggesting on a 6 inches ( 15.54 cm) column, placing a simply supported beam of 24 inches ( depth)  (60.96 cm), 9 inches wide and 24 feet span. Is the bearing on the column is fine ? What do you think is the appropriate bearing and how it is decided ? I am more concerned about whether there will be a sufficient bearing for the beam on a column of 6 inches depth.

some more details:
Column: 6 inches depth and 24 inches length. 8 no 16 mm steel. 10 feet height

Beam: 9 inches wide, 24 inches depth, 24 feet is the span.
steel details: two layers of 3x 20 mm on top
three layers of 3 X 20 mm at the bottom

warm regards

ANSWER: Hi Sudarshan,

If the beam is simply supported (with minimal rebar connectivity into the column), then the support/bearing length (along axis of beam) should be at least equal to the effective depth of the beam, so in this case around 22 inches.

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beam has to rest on the 6 inches depth column so we can't give 22 inches bearing. Please see the image i have attached. Please suggest

warm regards

ANSWER: In that case you must ensure that the top rebar of the beam bends down and laps with the vertical rebar within the outer faces of the column, in order to maintain structural stability and robustness.

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column beam joint
column beam joint  
QUESTION: Dear Arshad,

I have attached image of roof slab column beam rebar framework. This is how it is done in most of the cases. But in some of the column beam joint, the top beam bars and bottom beam bars are not bent down or up due to constraint in the length of the rods while preparing the framework.

Do you see any negative impact on the stability of the structure? if yes, how to improve this now ? since the concrete has been casted already. Need your valuable inputs.

warm regards

Hi Sudarshan,

If the anchorage lengths of the beam rebar into the column are less than d/2 (where d is depth of beam or 12xdia, where dia is diameter of rebar (whichever is the larger dimesnsion)then you are not complying with the code and structural connectivity may be compromised. The only solution now would be to incorporate some steel plates at the top, hilti bolted (or rawl bolted)into the beam and column, or else incorporate an L-shaped steel support between the beam soffit and the column face.

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Arshad Khan


I can answer any questions to do with civil and structural engineering consultancy and construction industry in East Africa and the Middle East, and specifically with the analysis and design of reinforced concrete structures. My particular expertise is in the aseismic design and optimisation of tall buildings.


Employment history: 40 years in Construction and consultancy in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Africa, Somalia, Zambia, Austria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Doha and the U.A.E.

.Fellow of Institution of Structural Engineers (UK) .Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers(UK) .Member of the Institution of Engineers, Kenya .Registered Engineer, ERB, Kenya .Member of the Architectural Association of Kenya (Engineers Chapter) .Chartered Engineer (UK)

•1984: International Conference on the Art and Practice of Structural Design, London •1994: 3rd Int. Kerensky Conference in Structural Engineering, Singapore •2008: International Conference on High-Rise Towers, Abu Dhabi •2013: IEK International Conference, Kisumu, Kenya

BSc, 1st Class Hons, in Building Engineering, University of Bath, UK MSc in Concrete Structures and Technology, University of London. Diploma of Imperial College, UK.

Awards and Honors
•Science Congress Special Award (for 2-seater Hovercraft - 1968) •Institution of Civil Engineers Award for outstanding performance at Bath University (1975) •Concrete Society Postgraduate study Bursary Award (1976) •Consular Representative for British High Commission, Nairobi. (1995 to 1998) •Examiner for Institution of Civil Engineers Professional Interviews, Nairobi. (1997 to 1998) •Branch Representative in Vienna for PI assessment for Inst. of Struct. Engrs. (1999 to 2010)

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