'Column' Support Type on Walls

Tips & Tricks

RFEM provides an easy way to consider an elastic support of a horizontal slab as a result of connected columns. By specifying column cross‑section, column material, column length, and support conditions at the column head and the column base, you can determine support springs and use them in the calculation.

Another advantage of the ‘Column’ support type is that the surface area of the column cross‑section is deactivated in the result output. Therefore, singularities are hidden and thus the concrete design applies design cross‑sections.

However, if there is an inclined or vertical surface, it is not possible to use this support type without further ado. When trying to perform a calculation, an error message appears pointing out that the surface is not horizontal.

After you define the support as an ‘elastic node support’, close the dialog box and open the ‘Edit Nodal Support’ dialog box again. Then, you can deactivate the ‘Column in Z’ option. In this case, the determined spring constants are transferred into the ‘normal’ support definition.

It is not possible to apply the ‘elastic surface foundation’ support for inclined/vertical surfaces since the spring constants are not determined until the FE mesh is generated.

If you want to hide the column cross-section also for surface results in the case of inclined surfaces, you can use the average regions for this.


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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

Main Program

Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

Price of First License
3,540.00 USD