Universal columns, also known as an L-column due to its shape, is a vertically-oriented piece of steel used in construction to resist axial loads.
The term ‘universal column’ is used due to the versatility of this steel in building.
Steel L-columns are designed to be excellent at resisting compression. Unlike a universal steel beam, the width and depth of a universal steel column are roughly equivalent and they have a lower web to flange ratio.
The reduced depth of structural steel universal columns in comparison with steel L-beams is the reason for their widespread use in residential builds such as loft conversions and other situations in which height is too restricted to allow an L-beam.