- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Apr 2018
What are walls made of?
Framed walls transfer structural loads to the foundation through columns, studs or posts. In addition to the structural element, they also include insulation and finish elements or surfaces, such as cladding panels.
Solid walls are constructed from a single skin of a solid material, such as masonry, concrete, brick, timber, rammed earth, straw bales, etc. They do not include a cavity between the interior and exterior.
A cavity wall is not framed, but is constructed from two skins of masonry, the outer skin of which can be brickwork, blockwork, or stone, and the inner skin of which is generally of blockwork. These skins (or leaves), are separated by a cavity to prevent the penetration of moisture and to allow for the installation of thermal insulation.
For more information, see Cavity wall.
Internal, or partition, walls can be constructed in a number of ways. They are typically constructed from brick or blockwork, or framed, sometimes referred to as stud walls. Stud walls can be constructed from timber, steel or aluminium frames clad with boarding such as plasterboard, timber, metal or fibreboard. They may also be glazed.
For more information, see Partition walls.
Exterior walls can be finished with a wide array of materials and techniques. The term 'cladding' refers to components that are attached to the primary structure of a building to form non-structural, external surfaces. This is as opposed to buildings in which the external surfaces are formed by structural elements, such as masonry walls, or applied surfaces such as render, screed, paint, plaster, natural stone, structural insulated panels (SIPs), and so on.
- Stainless steel.
- Tensile fabric coverings.
- Brick slips.
- Tile hanging.
- Shakes and shingle.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
UK energy policy uncertainty as Welsh project put on hold
What collaborative working achieves and how it can be put in place.
BSRIA publishes the 2019 edition of its small but concise annual databook.
Using QSAND to measure the performance of disaster response.
What U-values are, why they matter and how they are calculated.
The need to ensure that we plan for all aspects of our bio-economy
BSRIA calls on government to reach deeper into the causes of pollution.
George Demetri brings a whole new level of technical knowledge to Designing Buildings Wiki.
Quality professionals need to take an active role in driving the completion process forwards.
The innovations needed to move from rhetoric to realisation.
Creating a sense of place, with radically-low running costs and the highest comfort levels.
A conversation between David Mitchell and Caitlin DeSilvey.