Basic Construction Process of RCC Column

RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) column is a structural member of RCC frame structured building. It's a vertical member which transfers loads from slab and beam directly to subsequent soil.

A whole building stands on columns. Most of the building failure happens due to column failure. And most of the column failure happens not for design fault but for the poor construction practice. So, it is very important to know the construction process of the RCC column properly.

Constructing RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) Column involves following four stages of works -

  1. Column layout work
  2. Column reinforcement work
  3. Column formwork, and
  4. Pouring concrete into column.

RCC column, construction process of RCC column

Construction Process of RCC Column

1. Column layout work: In this stage of works the location of columns are determined practically in field. It is done by laying rope according to grids shown in the drawing and then mark the location of columns related to rope.

In drawing, column locations are shown related to grid-line with dimension. Practicaly, in field, ropes are our grid-line. So we place columns related to rope-line by measuring dimension shown in the drawing.

2. Column Reinforcement work: After marking the column locations, we then start to place reinforcement as instructed in the structural drawing.

This is normally described in the drawing like -

C1-12#16 mm⌀ and stirrup-10 mm⌀ @ 4" c/c.
That means column C1 will have 12 numbers of 16 mm diameter bar as vertical bar and 10 mm diameter steel should be placed 4 inch center to center as stirrup.


C2-8#20 mm⌀ + 10#16 mm⌀ and stirrup-10 mm⌀ @ (4"+6") c/c.

This C2 column's reinforcement specification means that it'll have 8 numbers of 20 mm diameter bar as well as 10 numbers of 16 mm diameter bar as vertical reinforcement and (4"+6") center to center of stirrups placement means middle-half portion of clear height of column will have 6" center to center spacing of stirrups and upper one-fourth as well as bottom one-fourth height of column's clear height will hold stirrups at 4" center to center spacing.

There is a sheet in structural drawing which contains structural notes from structural designer. In that drawing sheet, you'll find suggested lap length for column's steel of different diameter bar and other important notes. You should read those before column reinforcement work.

3. Column formwork: In building, floor height is normally kept 10 feet. If the slab has beam then we have to pour concrete up to beam bottom level. Suppose, beam height specified in drawing is 1'-6". So, the casting height of our column will be 8'-6". And our formwork height will be 8'-6". But one thing should be considered here is that dropping concrete from above 5' height isn't suggested during pouring. Because it leads concrete segregation. So we should make one-side of column formwork within 5 feet height range. After casting 5 feet of column, we just lift the short side up to full-casting height of column next day.

Another way to cast column without segregation is to keep a small window at 5 feet level of full-height formwork. After casting up to that level, close the window and cast the rest of the column.

4. Pouring concrete into column: Casting column is easy. For small quantity of concrete volume we normally depend on machine-mix concrete and for large concrete quantity we order ready-mix concrete. I would suggest machine-mix concrete. Because, if you use moving pump with ready-mix concrete and if you want not to exceed 5 feet height range for dropping concrete that would be difficult.

If you don't use moving pump, yet there are some problems. Suppose, you have decided to use ready-mix concrete without pump. In that case, you have to manually unload concrete on job site from ready-mix concrete truck and have to manually pour into column. That'll take long time and you'll exceed initial setting time of concrete. As a result, concrete will lose its quality. So it is better to cast column with machine-mix concrete.


How do you cast column?

Do you maintain 5 feet height for dropping concrete?

Do you use any admixture for dropping concrete above 5 feet height for avoiding segregation?

Please share in comments...


  1. What should keep in mind before casting of a column. Being an Engineer how to check that columns are in plumb, line and level.


  3. Column height it is the height difference between the clear floor to floor height minus the the beam having greater depth meeting at the column junction.. column lining to be checked while you are casting of starters and plumb can be checked by dropping a plumb bub suspending it from top end of the column box to the lower part , you should measure using tape the diffrence between shuttering material and a thread u suspended should be same at top and bottom of column..

    1. so, in case of columns, are these plumb check sufficient from two adjacent side of column face or should it be checked from all four sides? please let me know. and thank you in advance.

    2. Two adjacent sides is enough for checking plumbline of column but you should check the plumb of the column box and adjust before and after pouring concrete so as to be sure of the level of the column

  4. While filling the RCC column (with Box) with concrete, should it be filled to the full height of the column in one stretch? The common domestic construction practice is the column box is mounted ti half the height of the column filled with concrete on one day, and box is dismantled after setting and again mounted up to remaining top half and filled with concrete on another day.
    Is it a correct practice?
    My doubt is that will there be proper bonding between the already set concrete layer with the concrete poured over that then.
    Request clarification from Civil Engineers please

  5. why main reinforcement along longer direction in foundation

  6. why not main R/F on distribution R/F in bottom mesh and why not distribution R/f on main R/f for top mesh .

  7. @sundaram sekar
    bonding is done by placing stone over the finishing surface.

  8. Hello this Milton,Is there any other way of laying out your column apart from the use of a rope and grid to obtain your grid line

    1. Yes there is you can layout the column position using total station.

  9. I have seen that after putting the shutters in place the laborer hangs a brick and measures a distance from the shutter. Can anyone tell what are they measuring by this?

  10. I want to know how to check the regular zone and critical zone of the column.

  11. I want to know how to check the regular zone and critical zone of the column.

  12. Thanks for sharing this post with the help of this post I learn how this RCC Column has been constructed.

    Ready Mix Concrete

  13. Can anyone tell me what does this mean . Steel ( 8Y16 ) Binders ( [email protected]/C )

    1. It mean that 8 bars of 16mm high tensile steel,
      and 8mm high tensile steel for stirrup, placed after 15cm center to center.

  14. can anyone tell me what if columns have to shift one place to other and its G+2 floor.