Difference Between Ground Beams and Plinth Beams

Beams are important components of architecture. In fact, these horizontal structures help to transfer and distribute the live or dead load from the upper structures to the columns, walls or the foundation underneath.

In other words, beams help to hold the upper structures. These vertical structures help to also shape the structure and provide a strong footing for the architect to build on. The top concrete companies use two of the most popular beams when beginning their projects: The plinth beam and the ground beam.

The Plinth Beam

What is it?

Constructed slightly higher than ground level, the plinth level is where the plinth beam is constructed.

It helps to tie in all the columns of a structure to reduce the slenderness ratio. Usually, a minimum of 2 bars on the top and bottom, 10 millimeters wide, are used to construct it.

Unlike other beams, the plinth beam doesn’t have to be reinforced, and its height is chosen according to the structure. However, the breadth is another story; it should be equal to the width of the wall and slightly thicker than it, too.

Why is it important?

The plinth beam is essential to avoid differential settlement in the structure. The load coming onto the plinth beam is uniformly distributed to the foundation which helps to avoid this issue. It also ties all the columns together, preventing foundational cracks/breaks from spreading towards the walls.

The plinth beam is also extremely important in earthquake proofing buildings and structures. It helps to prevent buildings and structures from collapsing during such disasters.

The Ground Beam

What is it?

A ground beam is constructed at the foundational level of a structure. It helps to support the wall, joist and other structures, especially in places where the soil is not sturdy enough to support the structure. In other words, the ground beam helps to establish a strong foundation to begin construction on.

The beam is usually rested atop the ground or near it, and is also supported at both the ends with the help of piers.

Also referred to as the grade beam, the ground beam is made of unbreakable concrete that transfers the load of a bearing wall into spaced foundations.

Why is it important?

The best part about a ground beam is that it’s easy to construct and can be done so in a variety of sizes and shapes. The flexible beam supports the soil and foundation, providing a very sturdy surface to build on.

The ground beam is also buildable, meaning more beams can be added to it. Some additions include rebars, pipes, dowels and conduit.

According to the top concrete companies, the ground beam requires less installation time and less labor and is quite trustworthy and cheap.

Get in touch with your local Troy, MI concrete contractors to know more about beams! Give Flat Rock Concrete Construction, Inc. a call today!  Our office numbers are (248) 379-0250 or (586) 726-6091!

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