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Amanat et.al. described various floor systems in construction of multistory
buildings in Bangladesh and highlighted the vulnerability of the use of flat plate floor
system in seismic prone areas. He classified the floor system into two distinct
categories, namely beam-column-slab system and flat plate system.
From architectural consideration and aesthetic point of view flat plate system
has become more popular now a days. But greatest disadvantage lies with the fact
that this system is more susceptible to seismic actions than that of beam-columnslab system. Usually in flat plate system the thickness of slab is greater than beamcolumn-slab and thus poses larger weight. Lateral seismic loading is more influential
with greater weight which may lead to considerable seismic damage.
The structural design of junction points of slab and column is very much
critical to resist lateral seismic loading. Traditional practice is to make the beam
weaker (more ductile) than column and allowing it to yield first during seismic action,
thus providing enough warning to vacant the structure without loss of life. But in flat
plate system the slab is stiffer and stronger than column which causes the column to
fail first. This will result in catastrophe during strong earthquake without any sufficient
warning. More so, the flat plate system is subject to punching shear failure at the
slab column junction.
The reinforced concrete structural walls, commonly known as shear walls
along with flat plate floor system can be used to reduce the potential damage during
strong earthquake provided these walls are constructed above the pile or mat
foundations. For shallow foundation or footing this will make no effect to strengthen
the effective response against seismic action.
The writer put emphasis on imparting adequate lessons on flat plate floor
systems to make the engineering students aware of such vulnerabilities. He also put
emphasis on educating the architectural engineers on this matter as they were the
first to initiate any design before the structural engineers came into play. He felt the
necessity of inclusion of a civil engineer with the architectural engineer from the
beginning of any project. He expected REHAB would endeavor a leading step on this
matter and concerned government organization would amend the BNBC to include
specific code in conformity to his suggestions.