Difference Between Load Bearing Wall or Partition Wall

What is Wall?

Walls are built for partition living area into different area at any building. They impart privacy and protection against temperature, rain and theft.

There are two type of walls, 1. Load Bearing Wall or Partition Wall.

load distribute diagram

1. Load bearing wall
2. Partition wall

1. Load Bearing Walls

If beams and columns are not used (Frame Structure), 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 (8″ Inch). 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 below.

Effective height of walls in terms of actual height H

  1. Lateral as well as rotational restraint 0.75 H
  2. Lateral as well as rotational restraint at one end and only lateral 0.85 H
    restraint at other.
  3. Lateral restraint but no rotational restraint at both ends 1.0 H
  4. Lateral and rotational restraint at one end and no restraint at other 1.5 H


brick wall bearing structure

Effective length of walls of length L

  1. Continuous and supported by cross walls 0.8 Length.
  2. Continuous at one end and supported by cross walls at 0.9 Length
    the other end.
  3. Wall supported by cross walls at each end 1.0 Length.
  4. Free at one end and continuous at other end 1.5 Length.
  5. Free at one end and supported by cross wall at other end 2.0 Length.

2. Partition Walls

If our structure is frame structure than partition walls are built to divide floor area for different Utilities and its rest on floors. T    They have to carry only self weight. Normally partition walls are thin. Shows in the differences between load bearing walls and partition walls. Depending upon the requirement, these walls may be clay brick partition, Fly ash bricks partition, glass panel partition, wood panel partition, and aluminium and glass panels partition.

ply wood partition wallGlass or aluminium wall panel

Differences between load bearing wall and partition walls


    • They carry loads from roof, floor, self-weight etc.
    • They are thick and occupy more floor area.
    • As the material required is more, the construction cost is more.
    • Stones or bricks are used for the construction.

    • They carry self-weight only.
    • These walls are thin and hence occupy less floor area
    • As the material required is less, the construction cost is less.
    • Stones are not used for. the construction of partition walls.

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1 Response

  1. ANUP KANU says:

    beam ka v excel sheet hai kya?iska v link digiyega.
    thank you.

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