components of a building or structure that absorb the main loads (wind pressure, the weight of snow, the weight of people and equipment in the building, and the pressure of soil on the underground parts of the building).
Supporting members are classified as those under compression (columns, individual supports, foundations, walls, and loadbearing wall panels), those mainly under bending stress (roof beams and panels, rafter and bridge trusses, and frame crossbars), and those mainly under tension (membranes, guys, suspensions, braces, and so on). In terms of geometric shape, supporting members may be linear (beams, columns, and rod systems), plane (slabs, panels, and decking), or three-dimensional (sheets, vaults, and spatial components). The aggregate of the supporting members of a building forms its supporting framework, which must provide spatial constancy, strength, rigidity, and stability.
L. V. KASAB’IAN