What Is Superstructures | Difference Between Load-Bearing and Framed Structures

What Is Super Structures

What Is Superstructures?

The portion above the ground level and below the ground floor level is known as a plinth. The portion above the ground floor level is known as super-structure.

It includes columns, walls, beams, floors, roofs, doors, windows, lintels, staircases, etc. In this article types of super-structures based on the method of load, a transfer is first presented and then the various components are discussed giving their functions and types.

Types of Super Structures

On this basis, there are two types

  1. Load Bearing Structures.
  2. Framed Structures.

What Is Load Bearing Structures?


In this type of structure, the load in the structure is moved vertically downward through walls. Loads from roof and floors get moved to wall and then the wall must transfer these loads as well as self-weight.

Such constructions are used in residential buildings in which the dimension of rooms is less. Residential buildings up to ground + 2 floors can be built economically with such structures.

Also. read: What Is a Concrete Surface Retarder | Types of Retarders | Advantages & Disadvantages of Retarder in Concrete

What Are Framed Structures?

Framed Structures

In this type of structures, a framework of columns, beams, and floors is built first. Then the walls are built to partition the living area.

The walls are subjected to self-weight only. This type of super-structures is needed when a number of stories in a building are more and also when larger areas must be covered free from walls.

Also. read: What Is Mortar | Test of Mortar | Process for Compressive Strength

Load-Bearing Vs Framed Structures

Sr. No.
Load Bearing Structure Framed Structure
1 Cost is less. Cost is more.
2 Suitable up to three stories. Suitable for any number of stories.
3 Walls are thicker and hence floor area is reduced. Walls are thinner and hence more floor area available for use.
4 Slow construction. Speedy construction.
5 Not possible to alter the position of walls, after the construction Position of walls may be changed, whenever necessary.
6 Resistance to earthquakes is poor. Resistance to earthquake forces is good.
7 Taken deep into the subsoil foundation. Only columns are taken deep into subsoil and provided with foundation footing.
8 Load Bearing Structure type of construction does not favor too many openings for windows, doors, ventilation, etc., in the ground floor as required for show room etc., as the load bearing length of wall is considerably reduced The space between columns can remains as open space as the case with multi-storeyed residential flats where the ground floor is left with no walls for easy parking of vehicle.
9 In case of multi-storeyed buildings, the room area is reduced as we go down due to thicker walls. Thickness of wall remains uniform, therefore the carpet area on any floor remains the same.
10 Plans for the different floors must be the same. Very little changes are only possible between one floor and the one above. Plans of different floor are independent of each floor. The ground floor may have a commercial complex, first floor an office or a bank, and second floor onward of residential complexes of different types of plans and function within the same building.
11 May not withstand seismic forces and other forces and other types of vibration because composed of different blocks as bricks and stones being bonded together. More rigid and withstand seismic forces because the entire frame of column, beam, and slabs act as one unit of R.C.C.
12 This construction was more labor-intensive. This construction less labor-intensive, but it needs different skills.
13 In this Construction Life is not much affected even though some standards are not strictly followed. In this Construction Life is reduced if not done with proper technique, and specifications i.e. codes are not strictly followed.
14 Construction of a load-bearing structure is cumbersome, particularly for earthquake-resistant structures. Construction of a framed structure is otherwise simple.
15 Limitations for providing openings in walls, which will affect the light and ventilation in room. Large openings in walls are possible.
16 Load-bearing structures can be constructed without expensive plants and machines as compared to a framed structure. Framed structures require expensive plants and machines to construct.
17 Walls have to be built first as they support the slab/roof and hence all walls have to be built simultaneously which is time-consuming Generally, RCC framed structure is constructed first and the external as well as partition walls are constructed later, hence speed is more.
18 In case of a load-bearing structure, large span areas are not possible. Limitation of span i.e. room sizes. In case of a framed structure, large span areas are possible. No Limitation of span i.e. room sizes.


Load Bearing Structure

loadbearing wall or bearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it. In housing, loadbearing walls are most common in the light construction method known as “platform framing”.

Load Bearing Structure Details

  1. Load Bearing Walls: A load-bearing wall transfers the loads from slabs above it to the foundation. These walls can be made of concrete, masonry or block materials. Most of the exterior walls of a building structure are considered as load-bearing.
  2. Beams: Beam forms one of the primary load-bearing component of structure which can be made from wood, concrete or metal. It is a primary member utilized to take the load on the building.
  3. Columns: The structural columns are one of the important elements in a structure which have effective role in the transmission of dead and live loads to the foundation that the building structure is subjected to.
  4. Braces: Braces are structural elements used in the framework structural system. This load-bearing elements help in stiffening the framework effectively.
  5. Trusses: Trusses are load-bearing elements that support the roof elements in building structure.

Bearing Structure

A load bearing structure has the components of a building which carries and transfers the load to the ground safely. Commonly walls, columns, beams, foundation Understanding the structural principles of load bearing structure is the fundamentals required for the design process and bring up the design solution.

Load Bearing Structure Details

loadbearing wall or bearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, that is, it bears the weight of the elements above said wall, resting upon it by conducting its weight to a foundation structure.

Rcc Framed Structure

In an RCC framed structure, the load is transferred from a slab to the beams then to the columns and further to lower columns and finally to the foundation which in turn transfers it to the soil. The walls in such structures are constructed after the frame is ready.

Load Bearing Construction

A bearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it. Loadbearing walls are one of the earliest forms of construction.

Load Bearing Wall Construction

loadbearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it. Loadbearing walls are one of the earliest forms of construction.

Leave a Comment