- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 May 2019
Coping and capping
Cappings and copings are used to cap the tops of masonry parapets and freestanding walls to prevent rainwater from penetrating into the construction below. They can be made from profiled metal such as lead, aluminium, zinc, copper and plastic-coated steel, or by using special bricks or masonry.
Copings have projections to throw water as far as possible from the wall surface below. This is facilitated by the inclusion of drips – typically 10mm-wide semi-circular grooves cut into the underside of the projections – designed to prevent wind-driven rain from being blown back against the wall.
Because of their position, cappings and copings are exposed to temperature extremes and frequent wetting/drying cycles. As they are more exposed than ordinary walling, they should be made of materials that have greater resistance to frost and sulphate action. To assist with water run-off, the tops of copings and cappings typically feature either a single or double slope.
In most cases, the coping/capping arrangement will not be completely water tight. Therefore, to avoid water penetration into the wall below, a damp-proof course is usually installed beneath the coping/capping.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
How not to upset the planners.
CEEQUAL International and how it works.
Communities across England are being encouraged to nominate heritage assets.
Access control in buildings.
MASTRO project – lifecycle costing and assessment.
Five things to consider before installing solar panels.
New conservation building for the Louvre completed.
A balance between character and climate.
Bamboo pavilion built at London South Bank Uni.
Bringing in an expert.
Why the lowest price isn't sustainable.