- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 13 May 2021
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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
High levels of mica and pyrite found in aggregate used for Irish homes.
Organisation offers mobile app to its members.
BSRIA explores US share of 2020 VRF market.
New fire safety requirement comes into force.
Different types of bridges are meant to move.
A logical approach to handling the internal voice of self doubt.
First fashionable in the US, decorative metal has become globally desirable.
Helping communities preserve and enhance historic environments.
Creating comfortable climates despite extreme temperatures.
Study examines how adjustable arrangements can succeed.
Government announces plans to improve accessibility.
Resource addresses pandemic-related NEC4 contract issues.