- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 22 Sep 2020
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.
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.
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
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.
Incorporating EDI into the provision of fair access.
Government announces global innovation strategy.
An architectural biography. Book review.
The house where the future king of France lived.
The teacher, architectural technologist and mum offers her insights.
Careful planning needed as supply chain issues continue.
The sensitive conversion of a neglected Cornwall structure.
Plan stresses local involvement in city, town and village development.