- 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
Seven steps to defining a digital twin.
Achieving air tightness in buildings.
What are the benefits of smart homes for Millennial end-users?
How dynamic briefing can result in an efficient project.
Achieving sustainable roads funding in England.
Your chance to comment on the draft BS 851188 - flood resistance products and flood protection products.
Rebuilding could take 20 to 40 years.
RSHP’s high-rise residential towers win a tall buildings award for excellence.
BSRIA study reveals strong growth in 2018.
Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed as keynote speaker – one year on from the Hackitt Report.
Save £100 on tickets.
Modern slavery in the construction sector.
What to bear in mind when claiming damages in construction.
How do we achieve sustainable clean-water infrastructure for all?