How to design a building structure


Both steel and reinforced concrete are used today for the execution of skeleton structures; another suitable material is wood. The load-bearing structure usually consists of columns, beams and ceiling panels. In contrast to the bulkhead or solid construction, the vertical load transfer takes place by means of supports. These absorb the loads from the ceiling slabs and beams and transfer them to the foundations. A distinction is made between visible and invisible skeletons. In the case of reinforced concrete skeleton structures, the components can be made of in-situ concrete or prefabricated.

The position of the supports, which are usually subordinate to a grid, the supporting structure of the floor slabs and the components that provide the necessary bracing of the building are relevant for planning the building structure. The supports can be flush with the edge of the slab, slightly indented or only placed in the middle. The ceilings mostly rest on beams in the transverse direction, but beams in the longitudinal direction, plate beam ceilings, girder grate ceilings, point-supported systems such as mushroom or flat ceilings, etc.

Advantages of the skeleton construction
The economic efficiency of the skeleton construction lies in the systematization of the building structure and the components as well as in the flexibility of the floor plan and facade design. The load-bearing elements create a skeleton that is filled or clad with non-load-bearing elements (primary and secondary structure). This results in economic spans that are mainly used in hall, office and commercial buildings.

The facade design is largely independent of the shell construction and offers numerous options, from conventional forms such as ribbon and grid facades or full-surface glazing with floor-to-ceiling mullion and transom constructions to curved components or individual perforated facades.

Skeleton structures are particularly flexible in use due to their construction. Modernizations and conversions are relatively problem-free, the exposed skeleton can be clad, fitted out according to the state of the art and / or spatially redesigned. If the appropriate options for the conversion are used, the construction method can ensure a good energy balance by saving gray energy. Skeleton structures in reinforced concrete are also considered to be permanent, easy to care for and relatively earthquake-proof.

Expertise on the subject

Skeleton construction

Ceiling tiles and systems

Element ceilings consist of prefabricated element slabs with and without in-situ concrete. Element panels without ...

Skeleton construction

Facade constructions for concrete skeleton structures

For office buildings, the support system depends on the required flexibility of use, the desired ...

Skeleton construction


Columns can be produced in different cross-sections. For design reasons, round supports are often ...

Skeleton construction


In the skeleton construction, a distinction is made between the load-bearing components and the extension parts. Load-bearing components are ceilings, beams, columns, ...

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