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Daniel Kelley
Junior Civil Engineer
Asked a question last year

What are the functions of earth retaining walls, boundary walls, load-bearing walls, and non-load-bearing walls?

What are the functions of earth retaining walls, boundary walls, load-bearing walls, and non-load-bearing walls?

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Functions of earth retaining walls

  • Flexibility to accommodate high differential settlement and several feet of total settlement
  • Bearing pressure is distributed over a wide foundation area
  • Extreme wall heights can be achieved
  • Extreme loads can be carried (bridge abutment footings, cranes)
  • High resistance to seismic and other dynamic forces
  • Free-draining, due to granular backfill and open panel joints
  • Form liners or elaborate murals can customize the aesthetics
  • Soil reinforcing strips can easily accommodate obstructions within the MSE backfill volume
  • Very versatile. Special design can allow for nearly any geometry
  • Rapid, predictable, and repetitive construction
  • Superior finished wall alignment
  • Flexibility to accommodate high differential settlement and several feet of total settlement
  • Bearing pressure is distributed over a wide foundation area
  • Extreme wall heights can be achieved
  • Extreme loads can be carried (bridge abutment footings, cranes)
  • High resistance to seismic and other dynamic forces
  • Free-draining, due to granular backfill and open panel joints
  • Form liners or elaborate murals can customize the aesthetics
  • Soil reinforcing strips can easily accommodate obstructions within the MSE backfill volume
  • Very versatile. Special design can allow for nearly any geometry
  • Rapid, predictable, and repetitive construction
  • Superior finished wall alignment

Functions of load bearing walls

  • It is a structural element.
  • It carries the weight of a house from the roof and upper floors.
  • Load bearing walls transfer loads all the way to the foundation or other suitable frame members.
  • It can support structural members like beams (sturdy pieces of wood or metal), slab and walls on above floors above.
  • A wall directly above the beam is called a load bearing wall if it is designed to carry the vertical load.
  • Load bearing walls also carry their own weight.
  • This wall is typically over one another on each floor.
  • Load bearing walls can be used as an interior or exterior wall.
  • This kind of wall will often be perpendicular to floor joists or ridge.
  • Concrete is an ideal material to support these loads.

Functions of non-load bearing walls

  • A non-load bearing wall does not accommodate over ground-roof loads.
  • It is not an integral part of the structural framing system.
  • Most of the time, they are interior walls intended to split the floor into rooms.
  • They are built lighter to bring down the structure’s dead load.
  • One may remove any non-load bearing walls without sacrificing the building’s protection.
  • The joists and rafters are able to identify non-load bearing walls.
  • They aren’t responsible for the property’s gravity support.
What are the functions of earth retaining walls, boundary walls, load-bearing walls, and non-load-bearing walls?

Definition:

A) Earth retaining wall :

  • A structure which is designed and constructed to withstand or resist  lateral soil pressure is called Earth Retaining wall

B) Boundary wall :

  • A wall built with any material along the perimeter of the plot on the boundaries of a property is called security wall or boundary wall

C) Load-bearing wall :

  • A wall holds the weight of its above element and transfers it to the foundation

D) Non- Load bearing wall :

  • A wall which only supports its own weight and capable of resisting the force of the wind but can’t support an imposed load

Here, I am mainly focusing on the boundary wall, because other types of wall are already discussed in the previous post.

Boundary wall :

Various types of boundary wall are as follows ;

  1. Precast concrete boundary wall
  2. RCC concrete boundary wall
  3. RCC precast prestressed concrete boundary wall
  4. Open land boundary wall
  5. Residential building wall
  6. Precast prestressed boundary wall

Functions of boundary wall are listed below;

  • To serve the purpose to surround an immovable property
  • The boundary wall is prefabricated or can be constructed on-site
  • Boundary wall or security wall has a wide range of designs

Functions:

  1. Earth Retaining Wall: Resist lateral pressure due to any material hold back by the wall. Used to retain soil, resist soil to flow in slopes, provides strong and stiff structure.
  2. Boundary wall: This type of wall used to protect home, gardens or any construction from surrounding hazards(like animals, theifs etc). This also provides to maintain privacy to the building.
  3. Load Bearing Wall: As the name suggests, it is used to bear loads from the upper structure and transfer to lower structure (i.e beam, slab, column and foundation).These walls used in load-bearing structures.
  4. Non Load bearing wall: It is simply a partition wall, used to maintain privacy between rooms and blocks. It does not take any load. Partition walls may be constructed after construction according to the demand of the owner