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What are plinth beam and floor beam in construction?

A plinth beam is a type of beam that is provided at the ground level in a framed structure and is also known as a Tie Beam as it holds the columns in place. The length and slenderness ratio of a column is reduced by using plinth beams.

Plinth beams are usually designed to withstand their own weight and the load of the masonry structure above them. They play an essential role in providing addon stability against building settlements and earthquakes. The plinth beam may not resist any of the load coming from the slabs. They need to be made strong enough to hold the columns in place but it is not necessary to always use reinforced concrete to construct them.

Plinth beams are primarily used to connect all the columns when the depths of the foundation are quite high. They also act as supplementary supports in avoiding differential settlement, maintaining the plinth plan properly and preventing difficulties in constructing walls.

Unlike plinth beams, ground beams are constructed at the foundation level to provide support to walls or joists when the soil subgrade has a low bearing capacity.

Ground beams are usually built using reinforced cement concrete and prevent the settlement of walls by improving the bearing capacity of the soil.