Last edited 23 Jul 2021

Wall types

Rubblewall.jpg Secant pile wall.jpg
Green wall.JPG Brick wall.jpg
Curtain-wall-system.jpg Timberwall.jpg


[edit] Wall definition

Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 1 Dwelling houses, suggests that for the purpose of the performance of wall linings, a wall includes:

But a wall does not include:

However, Approved document C, Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture, suggests that a wall is:

'Any opaque part of the external envelope of a building that is at an angle of 70° or more to the horizontal.'

See What are walls made of for more information.

[edit] Buttressing wall

A wall designed and constructed to afford lateral support to another wall perpendicular to it, support being provided from the base to the top of the wall.

See Buttress for more information.

[edit] Cavity wall

A wall constructed from two skins of masonry, the outer skin of which can be brickwork or blockwork and the inner skin of which is generally of blockwork, separated by a cavity to prevent the penetration of moisture and to allow for the installation of thermal insulation.

See Cavity wall fro more information.

[edit] Compartment wall

A wall constructed to create a compartment, forming a barrier to the spread of smoke, heat and toxic gases.

See Compartment wall for more information.

[edit] Curtain wall

A non-structural cladding system for the external walls of buildings.

See Curtain wall for more information.

[edit] Dwarf wall

A dwarf wall is the term used to refer to a low wall that is often used as a garden wall, fence or as the base of a conservatory or porch structure. Generally, it can be applied to any wall that is less than one-storey in height, but typically they are less than a metre tall.

See Dwarf wall for more information.

[edit] External wall

A wall forming the external enclosure of a building, including part of a roof pitched at an angle of more than 70° to the horizontal, if that part of the roof adjoins a space within the building to which persons have access (but not access only for repair or maintenance).

See External wall for more information.

[edit] Green wall

A wall that is planted to help create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.

See Green walls for more information.

[edit] Internal load-bearing wall

A wall providing separation between the internal spaces of a building where the wall is also required to transfer loads from other parts of the structure to the foundations.

See Load-bearing wall for more information.

[edit] Parapet wall

The uppermost reaches of a wall that extends above the roof level and provides a degree of protection to roof, gutters, balconies and walkways.

See: Parapet for more information.

[edit] Partition wall

A non-load bearing wall that separates the internal spaces of a building.

See Partition wall for more information.

[edit] Party wall

A wall that stands on the lands of 2 or more owners or a wall that is on one owner's land but is used by 2 or more owners to separate their buildings.

See Party wall for more information.

[edit] Pile wall

A wall formed by adjacent or interlocking piles, typically found below ground where it is necessary to withhold water or soil.

See for example: Secant pile wall.

[edit] Rainscreen

A wall comprising an outer skin of panels and an airtight insulated backing wall separated by a ventilated cavity. Some water may penetrate into the cavity but the rainscreen is intended to provide protection from direct rain.

See Rainscreen for more information.

[edit] Separating wall

A wall or part of a wall which is common to adjoining buildings.

[edit] Solid wall

A wall constructed of one skin of masonry which can consist of brick or blockwork and does not include a cavity between the interior and exterior.

[edit] Supported wall

A wall to which lateral support is afforded by a combination of buttressing walls, piers or chimneys acting in conjunction with floor(s) or roof.

[edit] Trombe wall

A construction that uses a combination of thermal mass and glazing to collect and store solar radiation so that it can be used to heat buildings.

See Trombe wall for more information.

[edit] Others

See also:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki


Precast Compound Wall is also a wall type.

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again