Walls are built to partition living area into different parts. They impart privacy and protection against temperature, rain and theft. Walls may be classified as
1. Load bearing walls
2. Partition walls
1. Load Bearing Walls: If beams and columns are not used, load from roof and floors are transferred to foundation by walls. Such walls are called load bearing walls. They are to be designed to transfer the load safely. The critical portion of the walls are near the openings of doors and windows and the positions where concrete beams rest.
Minimum wall thickness used is 200 mm. It is also recommended that the slenderness ratio of wall defined as ratio of effective length or effective height to thickness should not be more than 27. The effective height and effective length of a wall may be taken as shown in tables 8.2 and 8.3 respectively.
2. Partition Walls: In framed structures partition walls are built to divide floor area for different utilities. They rest on floors. They do not carry loads from floor and roof. They have to carry only self-weight. Hence normally partition walls are thin. Table 8.4 shows the differences between load bearing walls and partition walls. Depending upon the requirement these walls may be brick partition, clay block partition, glass partition, wood partition, and aluminium and glass partition.