The primary function of a wall is to enclose or divide the space. Basically the wall is an essential component of the building. These walls can be made from different materials like solid brick or stone masonry, plain monolithic concrete, reinforced masonry, hollow concrete block etc.

The walls of the building can be mainly of two types, viz.

  • load bearing wall
  • non load bearing wall

Whatever the case may be, the wall of the building must meet the following requirements.

Functional requirements for the construction of walls

A wall of a building must meet the following requirements in design and construction, in order to fulfill its original function and to extend the life span.

1. Strength

A wall must be strong enough to safely lift the load due to its own weight, super imposed loads and lateral pressures such as wind.

2. Stability

It must be stable against lateral forces (due to wind load) and buckling due to excessive thinness.

3. weather resistance

All exterior walls, whether load bearing or panel construction, must provide adequate resistance to the penetration of rain, sunlight and wind.

4. Retardant

Walls must provide sufficient resistance to fire, as they behave as vertical barriers to the spread of fire in the horizontal direction. Therefore the walls should be made of such material which neither burns nor allows fire to spread by itself.

5. heat insulation

It should be possible for the walls to get insulation against heat. For this, the walls are either made thick or cavity wall construction is used. Heat insulating materials are also used in the construction of walls.

6. sound isolation

Walls, both load bearing and non-load bearing, must be constructed from such materials and with such techniques as cavity wall construction, in order to insulate the building against indoor and outdoor noise.

7. Privacy & Security

Walls, especially exterior walls, should also provide adequate privacy and provide protection against theft.

In the design and construction of walls, a balance should be exercised between two primary considerations, namely strength and insulation against the elements (such as heat, fire and weather).

Generally hollow concrete blocks or perforated bricks are used for building walls, as it meets most of the requirements.

Er. Mukesh Kumar

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Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Funder at ProCivilEngineer.com Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.