Last edited 15 Jan 2020

Exterior wall

Brick wall.jpg

Contents

[edit] Introduction

An exterior wall typically forms part of a building envelope, separating the accommodation inside from that outside. Its functions include:

It may include openings allowing access and ventilation and glazing to allow light in and views out. In loadbearing construction such as masonry, the exterior wall may also provide support to the combined dead, imposed and wind loads of the roof and floor construction and convey them to the foundations.

In a framed structure, the external walls may be non-loadbearing and are therefore relieved of any upper floor and roof loadings. However, they are normally self-supporting and are designed to resist wind loads, prevent the spread of fire and accommodate thermal movements.

Joints accommodating thermal movements may be required if long, uninterrupted wall lengths are involved.

[edit] Materials

Exterior walls can be made from a wide variety of materials either singly or in combination with other materials. These can include:

For more information see: Types of wall and Cladding.

[edit] Construction systems used to build exterior walls

Various construction systems can be used to build external walls, including:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki