What is Load Bearing Wall | Types | Advantages

What Is Load Bearing Wall?

The Wall is one of the most essential components of a building. The primary function of a wall is to enclose or divide a space of the building to make it more functional and useful. Walls provide privacy, offer security, and give protection against weathering effects like hot, cold, sun and rain, etc. The load-bearing walls are designed to provide support to the floors and roofs. Bearing walls are designed to have provided adequately;

load bearing wall

  • Strength and stability 
  • Durability 
  • Thermal insulation
  • Weather resistance 
  • Fire resistance 
  • Sound insulation

The load-bearing walls are designed as a vertical load-bearing member, the width of which exceeds four times the thickness of it. In addition to this, a structural column is isolated in this type of load-bearing structure. 

Let’s Understand Load Bearing & Non-load Bearing Walls 

Walls may be generally divided into two types :

  •  Load Bearing Walls 
  • Non-Load Bering Walls

Load-bearing walls are those which are designed to carry superimposed load transfer to the roofs in addition to their own weight. Non-load bearing walls carry their own load only this generally as divider walls or partition walls. 

The Load-bearing & non-load-bearing walls may be subdivided 

  •  Partition wall– A partition wall is a thin internal wall that is constructed to divide the space within the building into two rooms or areas. It may be a non-load-bearing or load-bearing partition wall is called an internal wall.
  • Party wall– A party wall is a wall separating adjoining buildings belonging to the different owners or occupied by different persons. It may, or may not be a load-bearing wall.
  • Separating wall– A separating wall is a wall separating different occupancies within the same building.
  •  Curtain wall– A curtain wall is a self-supporting wall carrying no other vertical loads but subjects to lateral loads. It may be laterally supported by vertical or horizontal structural members where necessary.
  • Cross-wall– Cross-wall construction is a particular form of load-bearing wall construction in which all loads are carried by internal walls, running at right angles to the length of the building.

Types Of Load Bearing Wall 

Load-bearing walls may further be divided into the following types

  • Solid masonry walls– Solid masonry walls are the ones most commonly used. these walls are built of individual blocks of material, such as bricks, clay or concrete blocks, or stone, usually in a horizontal course, cemented together with suitable mortar. a solid wall is constructed of the same type of building units throughout its thickness. however, it may have openings for doors, windows, etc.
  • Cavity wall– A cavity wall is a wall comprising two leaves each leaf being built of structural units and separated by a cavity and tied together with metal ties for bonding units to ensure that two leaves act as one structural unit the wall space between the leaves is either left as a continuous cavity or is filled with known load-bearing insulating and waterproofing material.
  • Faced wall– The faced wall is a wall in which the facing and backing are two different materials that are bonded together to ensure common action under the load load
  • Veneered wall– A veneered wall is a wall in which facing is attached to the backing but not so wanted as to result in a common action under load.

How To Know If A Wall Is Load Bearing & Features Of It 

Structural element 

A load-bearing wall is a wall that carries the load or weight of the floor or roof resting above it. These walls are capable of carrying their own weight. Load-bearing walls are constructed one over another on each floor in the same pattern or plan in order to transmit the load to the below wall and finally up to the foundation.

Presence of Joists or trusses 

In a load-bearing wall, as the name refers ‘The wall’ is the main structural member that transfers the load of the floor or the roof above it, to the ground. A Roof or a floor rests on the peripheral load-bearing wall and to support the intermediate span between the walls joists are provided below the roof or floor they are also supported on the wall and acts as a beam in case of a flat roof and in case of a pitched or sloped roof trusses are provided instead of joists to carry and transmit the load of the roof to the wall.

Hence, in a load-bearing structure, there must be a presence of joists or trusses. 

Wall Perpendicular to the floor 

According to a healthy structural load-bearing wall is often perpendicular to the floor or roof above it or the joists that support the roof are perpendicular (makes 90O angle) to the wall. If a wall found parallel to the orientation of the joists probably might not be a load-bearing wall.

Support Structure 

If a building has a basement or any underground floor it shall be checked that there is not any supporting frame structure like columns, steel stanchions, or any jack post. If the presence of such structural member is found then the wall above the floor shall not be considered as a load-bearing wall.


Advantages of Load bearing wall 

  • Exterior walls of a load-bearing structure are ticker than the non-load-bearing wall, thus, it gives better thermal insulation and provides good sound resistivity.
  • Load-bearing structures take less time to build as compared to RCC framed structures.
  • Load-bearing wall structures are cost-effective than non-load-bearing structures.
  • Load-bearing structures consume less concrete ( almost nothing) thus, required a very little amount of natural resources like sand and aggregates and hence it is environment friendly.

Disadvantages of Load bearing wall 

  • Exterior walls of a load-bearing structure are tick hence, it consumes more space of a floor.
  • A high-rise structure cannot be built using the load-bearing system.
  • Load-bearing structures are rigid, not flexible as a concrete structure.

Load Bearing wall Removal 

It is difficult but, possible to remove a load-bearing wall and can be replaced with an RCC structure.

  • A strong and flexible supporting strut has to be made first using timber or hydraulic props can also be used.
  • Then the dismantling work shall start from one side and after dismantling a little portion of a wall it should be immediately supported by struts that will bear the load of the slab of that very dismantled portion.
  • The same procedure shall be followed only for the portions where the RCC columns are to be constructed in order to convert the building from a load-bearing structure to RCC framed structure. 
  • The column portion shall be excavated and the existing brick foundation shall be removed.
  • Instead of a brick foundation, RCC footings shall be built.
  • Then finally the columns shall be constructed to bear the load of the roof or the slab.




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