What Does Shaft Wall Mean In Construction?

What Does Shaft Wall Mean In Construction?

What Does Shaft Wall Mean In Construction?

Shaft wall is a structural element in construction that is used to form vertical enclosures such as elevator shafts.

Generally, they consist of metal studs that are bolted or welded together and covered with drywall, masonry, or other types of finishes.

Shaft walls provide an effective way to separate different spaces within a building while still allowing for air transfer between them.

They are also great for soundproofing and fire resistance because of their sturdiness and durability.

Shaft walls can also be used to divide up a larger space into more manageable sizes for easier construction and maintenance.

Furthermore, they provide an opportunity for the integration of windows and doors into the design without having to sacrifice too much wall space.

What Is The Purpose Of Shaft Wall?

The purpose of a Shaft wall in construction is to provide an element of strength and stability to the structure.

It is used as a support system that can span large openings in confined spaces, such as between load-bearing walls or even over stairs or other areas where long spans may be needed.

When constructed properly, these walls are capable of withstanding lateral loads due to wind and seismic activity, while still providing adequate structural support for the overall building.

In addition, they often serve as effective fire barriers and can help reduce sound propagation, particularly when they are built out of concrete or masonry materials.

What Are The Different Types Of Shaft Wall?

Shaft walls are designed to provide fire-resistant separation between floors in commercial buildings and come in several types.

  • “Non-load bearing” shaft walls are used for smoke containment and fire resistance between floors, typically with an insulation layer to reduce sound transmission.
  • “Load Bearing” shaft walls have the same features as non-load bearing assemblies but also must be able to support a certain amount of load, depending on where it’s situated and constructed.
  • Mulitple layers of gypsum board can be incorporated for additional thermal and sound insulation.
  • Steel studs or steel channels can enhance firearm resistance even further, while thin panels made from mineral fibres such as vermiculite, calcium silicate or cellulose fibre offer alternative solutions when space is limited.
  • Wooden panelling is also an option but is not suitable for all applications due to its potential flammability.
  • Finally, “Curtain” wall installations use vertical steel columns and aluminum rails mounted to existing structural members of the building to create an effective fire resistant partition system.

How Is Shaft Wall Installed?

Shaft wall installation involves the use of several components: a fastening track, a backer board and one or more layers of gypsum wallboard.

  • The fastening track is screwed or nailed onto the floor, while the backer board is attached directly to the studs around the inner circumference of the shaft.
  • At least one layer of fire-resistant gypsum wallboard is then placed over the backer board with drywall screws.
  • Joints between each sheet are taped and joint compound applied to create a smooth, secure surface for painting.
  • An optional second layer of gypsum wallboard can also be added for further fire protection.
  • Finally, trim pieces may be applied around openings in the shaft walls as needed for additional aesthetic appeal.

What Is Shaft Wall Made Of?

The design of shaft wall systems has two common approaches that affect the material used – masonry and gypsum.

Concrete masonry units (CMUs) or poured concrete are often used in traditional shaft wall designs where the shaft is enclosed before the rest of the building is constructed.

Masonry shaft walls, being dense and fire-resistant, provide good sound attenuation and support but require engineering attention for footing and are time-consuming and costly to install.

Another approach is creating the shaft wall from floor to floor after the building is built, which was made popular by the engineering of gypsum board as a 25mm shaft wall material.

Gypsum systems are made of non-combustible components and offer a better balance of performance and ease of installation as they are lightweight and can be installed more quickly and economically than masonry.

Additionally, gypsum is naturally fire-resistant due to its chemical composition and includes acoustic insulation and sealants to minimize sound transmission.

Can Shaft Wall Be Used On The Exterior?

Yes, shaft walls can be used on the exterior of a building. They are an ideal choice for providing structural support and privacy when building a tall structure such as a multi-story apartment building.

Shaft walls are typically composed of metal studs that are covered with drywall or plywood to make them more aesthetically pleasing.

These walls offer excellent soundproofing, fire rating, and strength in relation to their weight capacity. Plus they come pre-fabricated and can be quickly installed using simple tools.

As such, they provide an efficient solution for constructing any type of tall structure without compromising aesthetics or performance.

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