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Civil Engineering/Tie Beam load in Foundation


The load of walls resting on tie beams is directly transferred to the soil below right? but some engineers take the load of tie beams and walls on foundation. So what is the correct method?

Hi Ghulam,

This is a complex subject as it depends on soil/structure interaction and the relative stiffness of the ground beam, the wall above, as well as the soil. It also depends on the wall geometry and whether it has any door/window openings.

For example, if the wall is solid (without openings) and is framed by the ground beam, the ring beam at the top and columns at both sides, then by virtue of arching action the majority of the load will be transferred to the foundation pads on the 2 sides, but again that is assuming that the length: height ratio is not much more than 2.5 to 3. Any longer than this will cause the ground beam to carry more load, which will either transfer some of the load to the ground or else span to the pads either sides depending on relative stiffnesses mentioned earlier.

If you want to play it safe, take say 80% load onto the basis and 60% onto the beam/ground. There is some duplication here, but that is the only quick solution unless you do a detailed soil/structure/settlement analysis!  

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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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