First of all we need to understand the difference. Load bearing or brick structures are the most common and prevalent form of building structures. It means that load of roofs and any form of lateral load like winds, hurricanes, or earthquakes is borne by the walls and then transferred to foundations via floors. Whereas in framed structures, load is taken by beams, slabs, or columns.
What components are involved in both types of structure?
Wall bearing or brick structure is a combination of masonry walls built from brick and stones, whereas beam columns or framed structures are built from beams, columns and slabs.
What are their load transfer paths and structures’ height
Load transfer path for brick or load bearing structure is from slabs or floor to walls and then load bearing footing i.e. soil. On the other hand framed structures involve load transfer from floor to slab to beam and then load bearing footing and soil. As for the difference in their heights then brick structures are not known to be specifically tall. Six storeys was usual practice so far even though in some countries it has reached 14 storeys with masonry alone. For framed structure no such limit is defined and ideal to build towering structures like hotels, malls or apartments.
What about resistance?
Brick structures are thicker but less resistant to earthquakes because framed structures act as one unit with slabs, beam and columns. However for low rise buildings even masonry structures can act well.
Which one is flexible as per architectural perspective?
Framed structures are more flexible than the load bearing ones. As in brick structures walls are built over the walls and you can’t move the wall as per your ease or preference. However in framed structure you can build a wall anywhere you like. Therefore room dimensions are more flexible in framed structures than load bearing ones.
Construction of load bearing structure is more cumbersome than framed one and can only cover limited span of area in comparison to beam/column bearing structures.
What other features define each of these structures?
- Labour intensive
- Time consuming
- Less construction speed
- More material is required
- Repair cost is low
Less but skilled labor required
- Less time consuming
- Faster construction
- Less material is required but more cement and steel
- Repair is more costly
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