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Types of Walls

Following are various types of walls used in building construction:

1. Load Bearing Wall

It carries loads imposed on it from beams and slabs above including its own weight and transfer it to the foundation. These walls supports structural members such as beams, slabs and walls on above floors above. It can be exterior wall or interior wall. It braces from the roof to the floor.

Types of Load Bearing Wall

  • Precast Concrete Wall
  • Retaining Wall
  • Masonry Wall
  • Pre Panelized Load Bearing Metal Stud Walls
  • Engineering Brick Wall (115mm, 225mm)
  • Stone Wall
  • As the height of the building increased, required thickness of wall and resulting stress on foundation will also increase and cause it to be uneconomical.
Load bearing wall types

Able To Carry Other Structure Weight Beside Its Own Weight

Loads on Walls

Removing a section of a load bearing wall to create a pass-through requires adding a new beam and columns to support the floor above.

Precast Concrete Wall (Load Bearing Wall)
Fig:    Precast Concrete Wall (Load Bearing Wall)

Pre Panelized Load Bearing Metal Stud WallsFig: Pre Panelized Load Bearing Metal Stud Walls

Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wallMasonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wallMasonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall
Fig: Stone Wall (Load Bearing Wall)
Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall
Fig: Precast Concrete Wall (Load Bearing Wall
Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall 
Fig; Masonry Wall
Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall 
Fig: Load Bearing Retaining Wall

2. Non Load Bearing Wall

Non-load bearing walls only carry their own weight and does not support any structural members such as beams and slabs. These walls are just used as partition walls or to separate rooms from outside. It is known as interior wall (doesn’t carry  other load than its own load.

Types of non load bearing wall

    a) Hollow Concrete Block
    b) Façade Bricks
    c) Hollow Bricks
    d) Brick Wall (115mm, 225mm)
Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wallMasonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall 
Fig: Brick Wall (Non Load Bearing Wall)
Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall 
Fig: Semi Hollow Brick (Non Load Bearing Wall)
Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall 
Fig: Façade Brick Wall (Non Load Bearing Wall)
Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall 
Fig: Hollow Concrete Block Wall (Non Load Bearing Wall)

3. Cavity Walls

It is a wall constructed in 2 leaves / skins with a space / cavity between them. A type of building wall construction consisting of an outer wall fastened to inner wall separated by an air space. Cavity walls helps to prevent the penetration of rain to the   internal surface of the wall.

Cavity Wall

4. Shear Wall

Shear walls are a framed wall designed to resist lateral forces. It is a vertical elements of the horizontal force resisting system. It is used to resist wind and earthquake loading on a building. It is typically a wood frame stud walls covered with a structural sheathing material like plywood.

Shear Wall, Masonry Wall Design, Shear wall, concrete wall

5. Partition Wall

Partition wall is an interior non-load bearing wall to divide the larger space into smaller spaces. The heights of a partition wall depends on the use which may be one storey or part of one storey. These walls are made up of glass, fiber boards or brick masonry.

Partition Wall

6. Panel Wall

Panel wall is generally made of wood and is an exterior non-load bearing wall in framed construction. It is used for aesthetics of the buildings both inside and outside. It remains totally supported at each storey but subjected to lateral loads.

7. Veneered Walls

Masonry veneer walls is a single non-structural external masonry wall made of brick, stone or manufactured stone. It has an air space behind and is called as anchored veneer.

8. Faced Wall

Faced walls has the facing and backing of two different materials are bonded together to ensure common action under load.

About Gopal MishraVerified

Gopal Mishra is a Civil Engineer from NIT Calicut and has more than 10 years of experience in Civil Engineering and Construction. He is the founder of The Constructor.