In a building, walls have main functions: the most important function of walls is to limit a building on the outside and to provide a protective barrier against weathering effects. But walls are useful for each building because they support floors and roofs, and subdivide space within a building.
Obviously, all walls must be perfectly vertical and parallel and their base must be level.
Loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls
Walls can be classified in loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls; the most important difference between loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls is their functions, in fact, loadbearing walls are used to support the structural load of a building and have their own foundations, while non-loadbearing walls are used to subdivide the space within a building and they support only their own load.
For this reason, loadbearing walls are thicker than non-loadbearing walls and the material used for loadbearing walls the most resistant.
Some example of famous walls built in a more or less remote past, in order to analyse the political and social reasons for building walls in the world.
Walls have always been erected to separate people form one another.
- Hadrian’s Wall: it was built in the early part of the second century AD when Hadrian was the Roman emperor, and it ran east and west across northern England for about 80 miles; it separate the Romans from the barbarians.
It was built of stone and the wall was eighty miles long, six meters high and three meters wide.
The wall was occupied for almost three centuries.
Today it’s the most impressive monument to the Roman occupation of Britain.
- The Great Wall of China: this walls runs 6700 km from East to West of China and is even visible from the moon. It was built to defend the Chinese boundaries from the nomadic tribes of Huns and Mongolians who came from the north; it was built in bricks and granite.
The Great Wall is part of Chinese mythology and popular symbolism.
Today it’s one of the most important tourist attraction in China and it is one of wonder of the world.
- The Berlin Wall: it was built after the end of Second World War (1961); it separate East Berlin from West Berlin and became a powerful symbol separating the two opposing superpowers at the time of Cold War. This built was built because in the West Berlin life was better than in the East and people fled in West. If a person tried to jump the wall, it was killed by the watchtowers. In fact, 192 people were killed on the wall.