All About long column and short column

All About long column and short column

Columns are essential structural elements used in construction to support the weight of a building or structure. They come in different shapes and sizes, each designed to serve a specific purpose. However, two common types of columns are the long column and the short column. Both have unique characteristics and play a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of a building. In this article, we will delve into the details of these two types of columns, discussing their features, applications, and differences. By the end, you will have a comprehensive understanding of long columns and short columns and their importance in construction.

What is difference between long column and short column

What is difference between long column and short column

Columns are important structural elements in buildings and other structures, which are designed to resist compressive forces. Depending on the height of the column, it can be categorized as a long column or a short column. Understanding the differences between these two types of columns is essential in designing a safe and efficient structure.

1. Length:
The main difference between a long column and a short column is their length. A column is considered a long column if its height is three or more times its least lateral dimension. Short columns, on the other hand, are defined as columns whose height is less than three times its least lateral dimension.

2. Load-bearing capacity:
Due to their length, long columns are more susceptible to buckling under compressive loads. Therefore, they have a lower load-bearing capacity compared to short columns. Short columns have a higher load-bearing capacity because their smaller length allows them to resist buckling and maintain stability under compressive forces.

3. End conditions:
End conditions play a crucial role in determining the stability of columns. Long columns are usually fixed at both ends, which means they have a high risk of buckling under compressive loads. Short columns, on the other hand, are either fixed or pinned at their ends, making them more stable and able to withstand higher loads.

4. Reinforcement:
In reinforced concrete columns, long columns require more reinforcement to resist buckling and maintain stability. This is because they are more prone to failure under high compressive loads. Short columns, being more stable, require less reinforcement compared to long columns.

5. Design considerations:
Designing long columns requires special considerations to prevent buckling, such as increasing the column size or providing additional bracing or support. In contrast, short columns do not require such reinforcements and can be easily designed with standard sections.

6. Application:
Long columns are commonly used in high-rise structures, such as skyscrapers, while short columns are used in low-rise buildings. This is because tall structures require longer columns to support the vertical loads, while shorter buildings do not need long columns and can be adequately supported by shorter ones.

7. Cost:
The design and construction of long columns can be more expensive, as they require additional structural elements such as bracing and reinforcement. On the other hand, short columns are more cost-effective to design and construct due to their simple structural requirements.

In conclusion, the main difference between long columns and short columns lies in their length, load-bearing capacity, design considerations, and application. Long columns are more prone to failure due to buckling and require more reinforcement for stability, while short columns are more stable and have a higher load-bearing capacity. The choice of using a long or short column depends on the specific structural requirements and design considerations of a project. Factors such as the height of the building, the type of structure, and the loads it will be subjected to, play a significant role in determining the type of column to be used.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between long and short columns is crucial in the world of construction and structural engineering. Both have their specific purposes and design considerations that must be taken into account. Long columns are used to support larger loads and require careful design and reinforcement to prevent buckling. On the other hand, short columns can withstand higher compressive loads but are prone to failure due to lateral forces. Regardless of the type of column used, it is essential to follow proper design guidelines and consider factors such as material strength, column height, and loading conditions to ensure structural stability and safety. By implementing these principles, long and short columns can effectively support structures and contribute to their overall strength and durability.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *