The primary function of wall is to enclosure or divide the space. Basically wall is an essential component of the building. These walls may be built of different materials such as solid brick or stone masonry, plain monolithic concrete, reinforced masonry, hollow concrete blocks etc.

Building walls can primarily be of two types, such as

  • Load bearing wall
  • Non load bearing wall

Whatever the case may be , the building wall should satisfy the following requirements.

Functional Requirements of Building Walls

A wall of a building should satisfy the following requirements, in design and construction, to perform its basic function and to have an enhanced life period.

1. Strength

A wall should be strong enough to take up the loads safely due to its own weight, super imposed loads and lateral pressure such as wind.

2. Stability

It should be stable against overturning by lateral forces (due to wind load) and buckling caused by excessive slenderness.

3. Weather Resistance

All the external walls, whether of load bearing or panel construction, should provide adequate resistance to rain, sun and wind penetration.

4. Fire Resistance

The walls should offer sufficient resistance to fire, as they behave as vertical barriers for spread of fire in the horizontal direction. So the walls should be made of such a material which neither ignite nor allow the spread of the fire through them.

5. Heat Insulation

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

6. Sound Insulation

The walls, both load bearing and non-load bearing, should be made of such materials and by such techniques, viz., cavity wall construction, so as to insulate building against indoor and outdoor noises.

7. Privacy & Security

The walls, particularly external walls, should also provide sufficient privacy and afford security against burglary.

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

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


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