Effective Length Factors of
Compression Members

The concept of the effective length factors of columns has been well established and widely used by
practicingengineers andplays animportant role incompressionmember design. The most structural
designcodes andspecifications have provisions concerning the effective lengthfactor. The aimof this
chapter is to present a state-of-the-art engineering practice of the effective lengthfactor for the design
of columns in structures. In the first part of this chapter, the basic concept of the effective length

factor is discussed. And then, the design implementation for isolated columns, framed columns,
crossing bracing systems, latticed members, tapered columns, crane columns, as well as columns
in gable frames is presented. The determination of whether a frame is braced or unbraced is also
addressed. Several detailed examples are given to illustrate the determination of effective length
factors for different cases of engineering applications.

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