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Design of Reinforced Concrete Beams per ACI 318-02

Jose-Miguel Albaine, M.S., P.E.

Course Outline

The most important single characteristic of a beam is its strength. The two most important quantities that must be considered in the design of beams are vertical shear and bending moment. In the design of reinforced concrete beams for the limit state of failure several factors need to be reconciled since these beams are neither homogeneous nor elastic at the ultimate load.

This course will cover the basic concepts of design of reinforced concrete beams, based on the new criteria specified in the latest edition of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete ACI 318-02, (herein referred as ACI 318).

The topics included are: design assumptions, general principles and requirements, minimum reinforcement for flexural members, new load factors and strength reduction factors, and distribution of flexural reinforcement. Doubly reinforced sections, nonrectangular sections, T-beams two-way slab, deep beams, shear and torsion, and prestressed beams are not in the scope of this course.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

This course is a practical guide for professional engineers, architects, and designers who want to learn the latest specification regarding the design of reinforced concrete beams and slabs. After completion of course you should be able to:

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file (204 KB) Design of Reinforced Concrete Beams per ACI 318-02. You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

This course has covered the basic principles related to the design of nonprestressed singly reinforced concrete rectangular beams using the latest edition of the Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete ACI 318-02.

The items discussed in this lecture included the analysis and design of singly reinforced rectangular sections, design assumptions, general requirements, variation of strength reduction factor, reinforcement strain limits, minimum reinforcement, and new load factors. Other issues covered were distribution of flexural reinforcement, and distance between lateral supports.

Related Links

For additional information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages: (American Concrete Institute) (American Society of Civil Engineers)


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.