Understanding the Difference Between Plinth and Ground Beams

Beams are critical to homes and buildings as they do the critical task of dividing the load created by top structures into columns and walls as well as the foundation underneath. In other words, in any construction, beams help to hold the entire structure in place. Further, beams create the strong footing that buildings need. Thus, all good construction companies spend a decent amount of time and money to find the right beams for a building.

There are several different kinds of beams available in the market, but construction companies choose to go with either plinth beams or ground beams. We devote this article to understanding the difference between the two.

What Are Plinth Beams and Why Are They Important?

The plinth is the level between the top of the tie beam at the ground level and the ground floor of a building. The plinth beam is constructed at the plinth level and serves the important function of tying together all the columns to minimize the slenderness ration. The construction of a plinth beam requires at least four bars — two at the top and two at the bottom. While most other beams require reinforcement, it is not the case with plinth beam. More importantly, the height and width of a plinth beam depend on the structure where they are being put — the width of a plinth beam should be equivalent to the width of the wall or slightly thicker.

Plinth beams are preferred by construction companies as they help to uniformly divide the load from the top to the foundation, thereby creating a stable structure. More importantly, plinth beams also do an excellent job of tying all the columns together and therefore, stop foundational cracks from reaching various walls. It is for all these reasons that plinth beams are preferred in buildings and structures located in earthquake-prone areas.

What Are Ground Beams and Why Are They Important?

Ground beams, also known as grade beams, are made from high-quality unbreakable concrete. Unlike plinth beams, ground beams are constructed at the level of the foundation and serve the prime purpose of supporting the wall and joist. They transfer the load of the bearing wall down to the foundation. Ground beams are more commonly used in areas where the soil is loose and thus, not strong enough to support the structures built on it. In these areas, ground beams are used to create a robust foundation on which buildings can be erected. Ground beams are supported on both ends with piers.

Many construction companies prefer ground beams as they are easier to construct than plinth beams. They are also available in different shapes and sizes and are buildable — constructors can add conduits, dowels, pipes, and rebars for extra support. More importantly, installing ground beams is easy, the process also takes less time and is more affordable in general.

The Final Word

If you are in the construction world, you must understand the difference between the different types of beams available in the market and which type of beam is more ideal for which areas. Hope this article helped in this regard.

Give Flat Rock Concrete Construction, Inc. a call today!  Our office numbers are (248) 379-0250 or (586) 726-6091!


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