Consequences of Wrong Structural Design | RCC Structures

A lesson for all the Civil Engineers and Designers to learn

I got a project of designing (Architectural Design) a Hostel in Lucknow, India. The Structural design that is, column positions and wall construction was already done. The client wanted me to design a Hostel keeping the column positions and exterior wall construction intact. I have written this article to address all the Civil engineering students as well as Civil Engineers to avoid making such blunders while they design. Please do read this article because understanding the intensity of the job of a Civil Engineer is must for every student and professional. I guess this realization has been washed away and forgotten in the wave of commercialism.

Hostel Design, Lucknow, India

The client mailed me the layout of the existing construction. After I studied the layout, I figured out that the Column layout was pathetic. I wonder what kind of Civil Engineer must have made the layout or if at all any Civil Engineer has done it.

Errors in Construction

Wrong size of the Columns

The size of the columns was 9”x9” and the building is supposed to be constructed upto G+2 floors which is really disastrous for the structure.

It could lead to structural failure and ultimately structural collapse.

(The duty of the Civil Engineer is to understand and not make such dramatic blunders. The consequences of this kind of structural design could be disastrous.)

Column layout and Exterior wall Construction
Column layout and Exterior wall Construction

9”x9” size columns are only preferred if you were to construct only a ground floor structure using M15 grade concrete. If you are to construct another floor that is (G+1), the minimum size of the column should not be less than 9”x12” using M15 grade concrete.

If the client insists on using smaller columns (9”x9”); in that case, use of M20 grade concrete should be done mandatorily and the construction should not be initiated before the client agrees to do so.

Wrong alignment of the columns

None of the columns are aligned in a straight line. If we are to construct a wall connecting the columns, it is not possible to get a straight wall. It is so incorrect. I wonder how the beams are going to rest on the columns.

(It is my request to all the Engineering students and Civil Engineers to avoid making such terrible mistakes or rather I should firmly say that do not make such blunders. It is an insult to the field of Civil Engineering. Your mistakes will cost you as well as others. The collapse of one structure designed by you can ruin your entire career. Your own life and others lives are also in your hands. So please be careful.)

Wrong wall construction

The exterior wall construction has also been done incorrectly. The walls just don’t merge at a particular corner. Do remember that when you don’t have a column construction in a corner, two beams come together and rest on each other which supports your structure.

26 thoughts on “Consequences of Wrong Structural Design | RCC Structures”

  1. Hello Benzu:

    Your website is enormously useful. Thank you for putting in so much time and effort to spread awareness on construction and civil engineering…even laymen can understand. I’m building a 2-storeyed house at Bangalore, and after reading this article, I’m quite worried about the column & structural design which consists of 8″ X 15″ columns which do not seem to be on a grid throughout. Is it possible for you to (a) to take a look at the design (b) and provide professional consultancy on the structural design?

    I’m unable to attach the design here btw can i send via email?

    Thanks a ton

  2. Hi, Madam
    Mine question is regarding the beam. While i was designing the beam. Some one said that i should not have to follow singly and doubly r.c.beam instead for the design of a beam i should have to design generally. plz guide how to design beam except singly and doubly r.c. beam theory.

  3. Hello sir, can I get your email id pls as I want to send the layout of construction. because i am not satisfied with the columns position of construction.

    • Hello Arvind,
      I am happy to refer you to our professional civil engineering service (paid) where you will be given advice by senior engineers. Please email with your queries and we will take you from there.

      Kind regards,

      • Sir ,

        I witness a society in delhi which has got stilts at GF level . Almost all the columns on GF show longitudinal cracks near the bottom of columns . Could u pls advise probable reason !

        Help appreciated .
        Aman Khullar

        • Hello Aman,

          The reasons that I can think of are:
          1. weak concrete (concrete mix ratio)
          2. excessive temperature variations causing the materials to expand and crack (this would apply if the building frame does not have expansion joints)
          3. If the concrete is weak and impervious, then due to the moisture penetration, the steel gets corroded causing cracks.

  4. Sir ,

    I witness a society in delhi which has got stilts at GF level . Almost all the columns on GF show longitudinal cracks near the bottom of columns . Could u pls advise probable reason !

    Help appreciated .
    Aman Khullar

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