REINFORCED CONCRETE SLABS 8.1 DESIGN METHODS FOR SLABS Slabs are plate elements forming floors and roofs in buildings, which normally carry uniformly distributed loads acting normal to the plane of the slab. In many ways the behaviour of a beam and a slab are similar but there are also some fundamental differences. A beam is essentially a one-dimensional element subjected on a face to bending moment and shear force as shown in Fig. 8.1(a).