# What are the differences among shear wall & column

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**Definition of shear wall**: As per the definition of structural engineering, a shear wall stands for a vertical component of a seismic force-resistant system to withstand in-plane lateral forces like wind and seismic loads.

Under several legal systems, shear walls are developed as per the International Building Code and International Residential Code. A shear wall withstands loads parallel to the plane of the wall. Collectors, alias drag members, transmit the diaphragm shear to the shear walls and other vertical components of the seismic force resistant system. Usually, shear walls are built from materials like concrete or masonry.

**Definition of column**: The column stands for a vertical component in a building whose main objective is to sustain and move the structural load via beams. Upper columns pass the load through footings to the lower columns and lastly to the ground.

Variations among concrete column and shear wall:

1) Concrete column: Proportion of breadth/width < 0.4

Shear Wall: Proportion of breadth/width > 0.4

2) Concrete columns: The minimum width according to the Indian Standard should remain as 200 mm. For seismic-resistant, should be 300 mm as suggested by several codes.

Shear wall: According to the Indian standard, minimum width should remain as 150 mm.

3) Concrete columns: Similar to the shear wall, concrete columns do not have sufficient resistance capacity against Earthquake.

Shear Wall: Similar to Column, the shear wall has extreme resistance capacity against Earthquake.

### Also Read: Brief overview of shear wall and shear wall reinforcement

4) Concrete columns: According to the structural plan, concrete columns are usually arranged at the ends of the room.

Shear wall: It is arranged along the full length of the walls.

5) Concrete column: The cross-section of the concrete columns are found in different shapes like square, rectangular, circular, I-shaped, L-shaped.

Shear wall: The cross-section of the shear wall is like a wide beam with a vertical orientation.

6) Concrete column: Flexural deformation withstands the lateral load.

Shear wall: Shear deformation withstands the lateral load.

7) Concrete column: It is not necessary to have a clear surface as the column offset is seen at corners.

Shear wall: A clear surface is possible devoid of any offset.

8) Concrete column: Generally, concrete consumption is lower than the shear wall system.

Shear wall: Typically, concrete consumption is higher than the beam-column system.

9) Concrete column: For a low rise structure, the Beam-Column system is more effective and favored.

Shear wall: For the high-rise structure, the shear wall system is more effective.

10) Concrete column: Minimum steel according to various codes in the RCC column:

(a) American Standard – 1.0 %

(b) British Standard – 0.4 %

Shear wall: Minimum steel according to various codes in the RCC shear:

(a) American Standard – 0.25%

(b) British Standard – 0.4 %

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