I think this is a simple question, just want to get an opinion because I haven't run across this before. I have a concrete moment frame that supports a small elevated platform and it is in earthquake country where Chapter 21 of ACI applies (special reinforced concrete moment frame). Chapter 21.5 is for flexural members of SMFs (typically beams) and 21.6 is for members subjected to bending and axial loads (typically columns). However, my columns have a light enough load that they don't meet the minimum axial load required by that section to be considered a column. Do I just follow the design requirements for flexural members? There are provisions in 21.6 for columns that try to ensure strong column-weak beam type of action. Do I ignore those requirements and others with regard to tie spacing etc. because it is lightly loaded (vertically)? I think that is what the code is telling me to do. I would therefore just design it with the minimum steel and ties as if it were a beam, but it seems weird to do so. Thoughts?
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