Difference Between Flat Slab & Conventional Slab-Beam System

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The main difference between flat slab & conventional slab-beam system is that the one is directly supported on the column while another system has a beam for support.  The load is transferred directly from slab to column in the flat slab. In conventional slab-beam system, the load is transferred from slab to beam and ultimately beam to the column.

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Courtesy - 123rf

FLAT SLAB SYSTEM

SLAB-BEAM SYSTEM

  • In flat slab system, the floor/roof consists of walls/slabs and there are no beams.
  • In slab beam system, the floor/roof consists of beam and slab.
  • In flat slab system, the thickness of slab is large.
  • In slab beam system, the thickness of slab is small while depth of beam is large.
  • It provides greater clear ceiling heights.
  • It provides lesser clear ceiling heights.
  • Here load from slab is directly transferred to column.
  • Here load from slab is transferred to beam and from beam to column.
  • In flat slab system, less formwork is needed.
  • In slab beam system, more formwork is needed.
  • Form work is simple and hence not costly.
  • Form work is complicated and hence costly.
  • Drop panel is provided above column.
  • Drop panel is not needed above column.
  • Floor system requires lesser depth and hence there will be reduction in storey height.
  • Floor system requires more depth and hence there will be increase in storey height as compared to flat slab.
  • Dead load of the structure is less.
  • Dead load of structure is more.
  • In flat slab system, It is easy to install sprinkler and piping and other utilities as beams are absent.
  • In slab beam system, It is tricky to install sprinkler, piping and other utilities as beams are present.
  • Flat ceiling is available which gives attractive appearance.
  • Flat ceiling is not available for flat attractive appearance, you may have to do false ceiling.
  • Illumination is better as beams are absent.
  • Illumination is not as effective as in flat slab as beam are present.
  • It is easier to provide acoustical treatment underside of the slab.
  • It is difficult to provide acoustical treatment underside of slab.
  • At least three continuous spans in each direction are needed for construction.
  • Construction of Single slab is possible.
  • Ratio of Longer span to shorter span should not be more than 2.2.
  • Ratio of Longer span to shorter span has no limitation.
  • Live load shall not exceed three times the design dead load.
  • Live load has no relation with design dead load.
  • In flat slab system, the minimum thickness of the slab is 125 mm.
  • In slab beam system, the minimum thickness of the slab is 100 mm.
  • Reinforcements are commonly provided in two layers.
  • Reinforcements are commonly provided in one layer.
  • It is less resistant to the earthquake as it is less flexible than slab beam system.
  • It is more resistant to the earthquake as it is flexible than flat slab system.
Must Read:

What is a Structural System?
Difference between Beam and Column
Difference Between Framed Structure and Load Bearing Structure
Difference Between Precast & Cast-in-situ

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