- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 12 Jan 2022
A load-bearing wall (sometimes referred to as a 'bearing wall'), is a wall that supports vertical load in addition to its own weight and is an active structural element of a building. Load-bearing walls typically provide separation between the internal spaces of a building and transfer loads from other parts of the structure to the foundations.
The use of load-bearing walls date back to the earliest forms of construction. Gothic architecture introduced the flying buttress which allowed much larger interior spaces to be created by transferring the majority of the weight to the buttresses rather than the load-bearing walls. The development of high-rise buildings and particularly skyscrapers, which utilised a skeleton frame construction, removed the limitations placed on building design by load-bearing walls.
The loads that are usually supported by a load-bearing wall include those from the roof, any wall that sits directly above it, and floors, which can sometimes be built into or sit on top of an internal wall.
Load-bearing walls are commonly constructed using concrete, blockwork and/or brick. The thickness of the load-bearing wall is gauged according to the building type, the number of floors requiring support, the materials used to construct the wall, and any other imposed loads.
- Bearing capacity.
- Building fabric.
- Curtain wall systems.
- Dead loads.
- Exterior wall.
- Floor loading.
- Flying buttress.
- Live loads.
- Load bearing.
- Loadbearing capacity.
- Partition wall.
- Party wall.
- Shear wall.
- Sleeper wall.
- Supported wall.
- Suspended timber floor.
- Types of structural load.
- Wall types.
- What are walls made of?
Featured articles and news
Declaration prioritising sustainable urbanisation adopted.
Some brief words about the actuator.
After 34 years at the Institute.
To support the next generation of engineers.
CIAT reporting from the Competition and Markets Authority.
Making sustainable construction number one priority.
Interview with ECA CEO.
Many provisions came into force on June 28, 2022.
With room to expand.
Refurbishment, Energy Efficiency, Indoor air and process.
Why building acoustic considerations must be non-negotiable.
Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) is one example.
Inventors and innovators at ICE.
Life, death and art at the Stuart court. Book review.
Real estate, place adaptation and innovation.
Review and comment on the revised draft before July 11.
Write about something you know, help us build and grow !
A blended event and triumphant return.
Mark Reynolds succeeds Andy Mitchell as Co-Chair of CLC
Designing Buildings is 10 years old.
From alteration to deconstruction on DB.
Changes come into force for F,L,O and S.