Flat Plate Floor System – Pros & Cons

flat plate

Flat Plate Floor System

Flat Plate Floor System: The flat plate is simply a slab of constant thickness supported directly on columns or load bearing walls. This system is one of the most common structural system used in building construction due to the ease and speed of making the formwork (as there is a uniform thickness, one need a formwork with a flat soffit).

The span of a flat plate floor is governed by the both the strength requirements and serviceability requirements represented by the deflection. In order to be economic, try to limit the span in the range of 6 to 8 m for reinforced concrete flat plates.

Flat plate floor system
Flat plate floor system

Advantages of Flat Plate System:

  • The floor gives a wide flexibility to locate the horizontal services such as mechanical ducts above a suspended ceiling.
  • Simple formwork.
  • No beams so you have the entire ceiling height available for services.
  • Reduced floor-to floor height.

Disadvantages of Flat Plate System:

  • Covers medium spans (6-8 m)
  • Lower lateral load capacity compared to solid slab system
  • May need shear reinforcement at the columns to resist punching
  • May not be suitable for heavy loads.

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