You are on page 1of 6

Building Approval - Walls

Good Practice in Wall Construction
The information obtained in this leaflet has been simplified to provide easy reference and
guidance, primarily for domestic works. It does not give definitive interpretation of Building
regulations, and you are advised to consult with professionals before submitting plans.
All building materials and products used should conforms to the appropriate British Standard or
hold a current Certificate issued by the British Board of Agreement (BBA) or European equivalent.
Wall Foundations
External and internal load bearing walls should always be built on a suitable base. Normally these
will be foundations or a designed floor slab. Foundations are usually taken down to a minimum
depth of one metre into undisturbed ground. (See Leaflet 6 in this series for further details). Non
load bearing blockwork and stud partition walls can be built upon concrete floor slabs as shown in
figure 1.

figure 1: foundation requirements for different types of walls
First Floor Walls
First floor internal walls are normally constructed of blockwork or non load bearing stud partitions.
Blockwork partitions should only be built on structurally members designed for the purpose such
as lintels or load bearing walls.
Timber floors require strengthening beneath stud partitions to distribute loads safely. If the wall
runs parallel to the floor joists, the joists beneath the wall should be at least "doubled up" by
placing additional joists alongside and fixing together with bolts. If the wall runs across the joists,
then "noggins" should be placed between joists.

as used typically for garages. should be supported at least every three metres in length by piers and have a maximum height of 2.Single Brick Wall Support Single leaf walls. figure 2: supporting single brick walls The length of the buttressing wall should be at least 1/6 of the overall height of the supported wall (see figure 2 for details). .5m.

ceiling and roof levels. fixed to the first three joists or rafters (see figure 3). They are used to tie the walls in with the structure and are spaced at 2 metre centres. figure 3 .Restraint Straps Galvanised steel restraint straps should be provided at floor.

450mm vertically staggered. such as doors and windows. wall ties should be provided every 300mm vertically. for example. The materials used for this should be non combustible at least 25mm thick. Some lintels may need to be made fire resistance (by. For traditional construction with a 50mm-75mm cavity they should be placed 900mm horizontally. Care should be taken to ensure ties are free from loose mortar and placed drip down. if steel lintels are to be used over openings. a vertical/horizontal damp proof course should be provided.45 W/m2K for external walls. Common lintels used today are mode of concrete or steel.figure 4: vertical strapping at eaves for pitched and flat roofs Wall Ties Wall ties should be provided in cavity walls to tie the inner and outer leaves together. There is a wide range of insulation products on the market today that either fill the cavity completely or partially. and normally require an end bearing of 150mm. encasing them in plaster). Cavity wall section figure 5: alternative position for wall insulation Stud Wall Section . Insulation The 1991 Building regulations require a new dwelling to meet a U value of 0. a residual cavity of 50mm should be provided. Lintels These are used to support loads over opening. Where cavities have been closed to allow door/window openings. Where there are openings in the wall. Ensure that you use the correct lintel for the project and that it is installed in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Insulation should be provided in the cavity where lintel's are used to avoid cold bridging and pattern staining on walls. brick blocks and slate are normally used for this purpose. Closing Cavities Cavities should be closed at reveals and their head. If using partial fill. an insulation strip may run in the hollow of the lintel.

figure 6: fitting a cavity tray Sound Transmission Sound can be transmitted in three ways: • Airborne • Impact or • Through flanking transmission.Timber framed structures and stud partitions should have insulation between timber supports to meet the same thermal standards. . They need to be inserted in the cavity of the existing wall to divert any rain penetration through the outer leaf. sound transmittance has been overcome using either dense concrete blocks. Sound pollution is therefore one of the primary factors to be considered when constructing a party wall. absorbent quilts of cavity constructions. In the past. or an increased thickness or thermal insulation blockwork could be used (see figure 5 for examples). via weep holes. Alternatively. caused by poor design. if a cavity tray is not used water will collect over openings causing damp problems (see figure 6 for details). and over certain lintels or airbricks. proprietary insulation may be fixed to the outside or inside of the wall. Cavity Tray These are required when new extensions about an existing building.

0m Maximum length facing Boundary 24m 24m 24m 24m 24m 24m Maximum unprotected area facing Boundary 5. Consideration or fire protection should also be given to exit routes from dwellings of three storeys or more.1978/1985 .Approved Document A . Reference Building Regulations 1991 . Masonry walls usually provide more than adequate fire protection.Structure British Standard 5628 . Half hour fire protection can be achieved using 12. Permitted unprotected areas in small residential buildings: Distance from boundary 1.0m 3. windows and other non first resisting construction (i.0m 2.5mm plaster board with a plaster skim finish in each side of the stud work.0m 6. doors. To minimize the risk of this. other openings and cladding = unprotected areas.6m2 12m2 18m2 24m2 30m2 No Limit windows. unprotected area) allowed close to the boundary line. Fire can also travel from adjacent buildings. .Fire Protection Party wall and lintels require fire protection for periods of up to an hour to give adequate stability.0m 5.0m 4.5mm plaster board with staggered joints on each side.Structural Use of Masonry British Board of Agreement Certificates. Stud partitions that need to provide one hour's fire resistance should be constructed with 2 layers of 12.e. the table below shows the area of doors.