Canada Builds


Walls are an integral element of a building in terms of function and design. In a design sense, the wall is considered as a planar element or a rectangular cube. In a technical sense, it is comprised of any number of layers or assemblies. Choosing OSB instead of Plywood as a wall sheathing reduces costs but may not be as durable. Masonry will last much longer than wood but it costs more to build. Wood is easier and less expensive to build but it will not last as long as masonry. Why the plastic Vapour Barrier under the drywall? These are examples of some of the issues and questions you will contend with when thinking about how a wall is designed.


House Frame by John Boone Architect on Sketchfab


As a point of departure, consider the Building Code as a minimum standard for the functional criteria that a wall must achieve. For some walls, there is a need for fire ratings. Typically, these ratings will be specified as 30 min, 45 min, 1 hr up to 2 hours depending on the application. For other walls, the requirement is more for the purpose of providing insulation between the inside and out. Blocking sound, blocking water, mitigating vapour, holding up a floor. Theres a lot going on when considering a wall.



Wall Types


Wall Types are typically indicated in a schedule of some description. The wall tag is then used throughout the set of drawings to indicate the wall type. This method reduces the possibility of error with regards to the make up of a wall type because the material assemblies only have to be indicated once (in the wall schedule). If something changes, such as the removal of a plastic vapour barrier in favour of a vapour retardent paint, the note only has to change on the wall schedule. The wall type is still the same: W1, W2, and so forth.