During the last century columns have been used in major construction projects all over the world.
Stone column, originating in Egypt but most renowned in Roman and Greece, are structural parts of a building, wall or fence that accept the compression weight by transferring the load to a foundation below.
The stress conditions of a stone column can require complex engineering despite a plain appearance. Equilibrium, materials and load are used to measure and determine the size, shape and integrity of the stone column for a particular function. To ensure a stable equilibrium, a stone column’s force will generate a small lateral deflection with load that disappears when the lateral force is removed. Material is determined by the amount of weight the column will hold as well as local weather conditions. Load, or critical load, is given by the formula:
where E is equal to the elasticity of the material, I is equal to the moment of inertia and L is equal to the length of the longest half sine wave.
Traditional stone columns were made with either one long piece turned on a lathe or piece by piece if made from smaller stones. Single-piece stone columns are considered some of the heaviest stones in architecture. Due to the burden of lifting such large pieces, columns were also made in sections that could be dry-fit together and pegged through the center.
Stone columns are available in variety of designs. The term “column” in architecture refers not only to the equilibrium, materials and load but also to the ornamental appearance. If authentic stone is used, columns are guaranteed to be individualized, and make the building grand and luxurious.