Is it possible to construct a slab without columns only on walls?
Yes it’s possible. Those type of structures (building) called as Load bearing structures (building).
Load Bearing Structural System:
It essentially consists of thick, heavy masonry walls of brick or stone that support the entire structure, including the horizontal floor slabs, which could be made of reinforced concrete, wood, or steel members.
The key idea with this construction is that every wall acts as a load carrying element. Therefore, the walls must be strong enough for the purpose and are usually 9 inches or more in thickness.
Load bearing masonry construction was the most widely used form of construction for large buildings from the 1700s to the mid-1900s. It is very rarely used today for large buildings, but smaller residential-scale structures are being built.
Load path of load bearing wall
Pic:- Path of load transfer in Load Bearing structural system
You see here!!! There is no column to take the load of slab. Slab load is directly transfered to walls then foundation then to the soil.
The structural system is of two types –
- Load bearing structure – In this type of construction of structural system, the load of the upper floors or slab is taken by the walls and the transnfered to ground below. This is a conventional type of system that was used using earlier times. The walls act as the main load bearing elements. The disadvantage of the system being that only limited number of floors can be built. The wall thickness is maximum on the ground floor and reduces with the walls on the upper floors. The load bearing system works well for the one storey structures.
- Frame structure – This is the most widely used column-beam form of structure in which the load transfer takes places from slab to beams and then to columns and further to the ground. The walls play no role in bearing load. This structure system works best for all kind of construction.
You can use load bearing system and create a slab on support of walls. But it depends how many floors you want to take up too.