Difference between Column & Shear Wall

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Both concrete column and shear wall are part of structural system but every vertical element cannot be a concrete column or a shear wall. The nomenclatures depend upon the structural behavior of the member in that particular case.




  • Ratio of breadth/width < 0.4
  • Ratio of breadth/width > 0.4
  • Concrete columns minimum width should be 200 mm as per Indian Standard. However many codes prefer it be of 300 mm for seismic resistant.
  • Shear wall minimum width should be 150 mm as per Indian Standard.
  • Concrete columns are less resistant to Earthquake as compared to shear wall.
  • Shear wall is hugely resistant to Earthquake as compared to Column.
  • Normally concrete columns are provided at ends of the room as per structural plan.
  • Shear walls run along the full length of walls.
  • Concrete columns cross-section can be square, rectangle, circular, I shape, L shape.
  • Shear wall cross section is like a vertically oriented wide beam.
Also Read: Difference between Beam and Column
  • Minimum steel in RCC Column as per different codes:

(a) Indian Standard – 0.80%.

(b) American Standard – 1.0 %

(c) British Standard – 0.4 %

  • Minimum steel in RCC Shear as per different codes:

(a) Indian Standard – 0.25%.

(b) American Standard – 0.25%

(c) British Standard – 0.4 %

  • Clear surface is not possible as column offset are seen at corners.
  • Clear surface without any offset is possible.
  • Normally consumption of concrete is less when compared to shear wall system.
  • Normally consumption of concrete is more when compared to beam column system.
  • Normally more consumption of bricks/blocks.
  • Normally less consumption of bricks/blocks.
  • From an aesthetic point of view column is not as good as shear wall.
  • From an aesthetic point of view shear wall is better than column.
  • Beam-Column System is more efficient and preferred for low rise structure.
  • Shear wall system is more efficient for high rise structure.
  • Finished corners are not possible.
  • Finished corners are possible.
  • Provision of openings for door/window in column system is easy.
  • Provision of openings in shear wall system is tedious and needs special design skills.
  • Less carpet area is available as compared to shear wall.
  • More carpet area is available as compared to column beam system.
  • Needs skills for the placement of concrete column.
  • Needs advanced skills for its placement because if not kept at proper location it may lead to adverse effect.
Also Read:
Difference between Braced and Unbraced Column
Difference between RCC Framed Structure and Load Bearing Structure
Difference between Framed Structure and Load Bearing Structure
Difference between RCC Framed Structure and Steel Frame Structure
Difference between Flat Slab & Conventional Slab-Beam System

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