Building Design and Construction

Types of Partitions

Bearing partitions may be built of masonry or concrete or of wood or light-gage metal studs. These materials may be faced with plaster, wallboard, plywood, wood boards, plastic, or other materials that meet functional and architectural requirements.
Masonry partitions should satisfy the requirements of Arts. 11.2 to 11.12.
See also Art. 11.14.
Nonbearing partitions may be permanently fixed in place, temporary (or movable) so that the walls may be easily shifted when desired, or folding. Since the principal function of these walls is to separate space, the type of construction and materials used may vary widely. They may be opaque or transparent; they may be louvered or hollow or solid; they may extend from floor to ceiling or only partway; and they may serve additionally as cabinets or closets or as a concealment for piping and electrical conduit.
Fire resistance sometimes dictates the type of construction. If a high fire rating is desired or required by local building codes, the local building official should be consulted for information on approved types of construction or the fire ratings given  in the following should be used: ‘‘Fire Resistance Design Manual,’’ Gypsum Association, 810 First Street, NE, #510, Washington, D.C. 20002; ‘‘Approval Guide,’’ Factory Mutual System, 1151 Boston-Providence Turnpike, Norwood, MA 02062;

‘‘Fire Resistance Directory,’’ Underwriters Laboratories, 333 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, IL 60062.
When movable partitions may be installed, the structural framing should be designed to support their weight wherever they may be placed.
Acoustics also sometimes affects the type of construction of partitions. Thin construction that can vibrate like a sounding board should be avoided. Depending on functional requirements, acoustic treatment may range from acoustic finishes on partition surfaces to use of double walls separated completely by an airspace or an insulating material.
Light-transmission requirements may also govern the selection of materials and type of construction. Where transparency or translucence is desired, the partition may be constructed of glass, or of glass block or plastic, or it may contain glass windows.
For installation of facings of ceramic wall tiles, see Arts. 11.28 and 11.29. For plaster or gypsumboard partitions, see Arts. 11.24 to 11.27.
Consideration should also be given to the necessity for concealing pipes, conduits, and ducts in partitions.

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