difference between load bearing and framed structure

Difference Between Load Bearing Structure and Frame Structure

A load-bearing structure and frame structure are two methods of building structural framing. Load-bearing structures are popular earlier, but now due to comparative advantages of the frame structure is now become obsolete.

In this article, we see what is the difference between load-bearing structure and frame structure.

Read More: 18 Components of Building | Building Structure

Load Bearing Structure and Framed Structure

Load-bearing structures and framed structures are the two most popular structural systems used in building construction.

What Is Load Bearing Structure

Load Bearing Structure
Difference Between Load Bearing Structure and Frame Structure 6

A load-bearing structure is one in which a brick masonry wall is the major structural element in the foundation as well as in the building framework.

All the above load is carried by a wall and also transfer to the ground through the foundation which is also made up of brick masonry.

There is no framework of column, beam, and foundation which are made from concrete.

What Is Frame Structure

Frame Structure
Difference Between Load Bearing Structure and Frame Structure 7

In frame structure, all above a load of building or structure is taken by beam, column, and foundation. Beams are connected to the column and the column is connected to the footing foundation.

Beam transfer load to the column and column transfer it to footing and ultimately footing lay down it to ground safely.

Difference Between Load Bearing Structure and Frame Structure

The difference between load-bearing structure and framed structure is given below,

difference between load bearing and framed structure
Difference Between Load Bearing Structure and Frame Structure 8
Sr. No.Load Bearing StructuresFramed Structures
1Almost all the walls are load-bearing walls.None of the walls are load-bearing. They serve the same purpose as a partition or screen.
2Almost all should be provided with a foundation.None of the walls are provided with any type of foundation. Walls do not go below the plinth beam.
3Load-bearing walls are taken deep into the subsoil foundation.The only column is taken deep into the subsoil and provided with foundation footing.
4Any load-bearing wall should have a minimum thickness of 200 mm.Exterior walls subjected to weathering elements are generally 200 mm thick. All other walls can be 100 mm thick or even thinner.
5Walls are usually constructed of bricks or stone.The column supporting beam supporting slab is all of R.C. C.
6In a multi-storeyed building for every wall on the floor above, there must be a corresponding wall in continuation in the floor below to support it.There is no such necessity. As none of the walls is load-bearing. Every floor may have a wall independent of the one below it.
7In a multi-storeyed building the thickness of the wall increase as we descend from a floor above to one below it.These walls do not take the load and need not be thicker. They may not even continue on the floor below.
8A load-bearing wall once constructed shall remain in position and should never be dismantled in full or part.The wall of framed structures can be displaced at will as they are lighter and non-load bearing.
9This type of construction does not favor too many openings for windows, doors, ventilation, etc., on the ground floor as required for the showroom, etc., as the load-bearing length of the wall is considerably reduced.The space between columns can remain as open space as the case with multi-storeyed residential flats where the ground floor is left with no walls for easy parking of the vehicle.
10In the case of multi-story buildings, the room area is reduced as we go down due to thicker walls.The thickness of the wall remains uniform, therefore the carpet area on any floor remains the same.
11It May did not withstand seismic forces and other forces and other types of vibration because composed of different blocks like bricks and stones being bonded together.More rigid and withstand seismic forces because the entire frame of the column, beam, and slabs act as one unit of R.C.C.
the load-bearing structure and frame structure


This load bearing structure and frame structures are two different types of structure and it used in construction the any kind of structure, and each with its own characteristics and application.

So that understanding the differences between this system is crucial to make informed decision in building construction and design.

The load bearing structure relies on load bearing walls and it distribute the structural load

Load Bearing Structure relies on load-bearing walls to distribute the structural load from the roof and floors down to the foundation. This system is efficient for low-rise buildings, providing stability and strength. However, it limits flexibility in modifying interior layouts and may require more material for walls and foundation construction.

On the other hand, Frame Structure utilizes vertical columns and horizontal beams to transfer the structural load. This system offers greater flexibility in interior layout modifications, making it suitable for buildings with evolving spatial needs. Frame structures are efficient for taller buildings, as they can handle higher loads and utilize less material compared to load-bearing structures.

Choosing between load bearing and frame structures depends on various factors such as building height, design preferences, flexibility requirements, and construction costs. Load bearing structures are ideal for smaller, low-rise buildings with straightforward layouts. Frame structures are better suited for larger buildings, multi-story structures, and projects that require design flexibility.

Both structural systems have their advantages and limitations. Load bearing structures provide stability and simplicity but have limitations in terms of flexibility and load-bearing capacity. Frame structures offer flexibility, higher load-bearing capacity, and easier retrofitting but require careful planning and engineering.

Ultimately, the selection of the appropriate structural system should consider the specific requirements of the project, including architectural design, building height, anticipated loads, and long-term considerations. Consulting with structural engineers and architects is essential to ensure the chosen system aligns with the project goals and delivers a safe and efficient building.


In conclusion this both structural methods have distinct structural system and it used in construction, the load bearing structure rely on load bearing walls to distribute the load, and making them suitable for low-rise buildings.

They provide greater stability but limited flexibility in interior layout modification, and the other hand frame structures use beams and columns to transfer the load and offering greater flexibility and higher load bearing capacity, also the frame structure is ideal for taller structure or building.

The choice between this system depends on factors such as building height, project requirements, and design preferences. Consulting with professionals is crucial to ensure the selected system meets safety and efficiency standards.

Watch Video: Difference Between Load Bearing Structure and Frame Structure


What is a load-bearing structure?

A load-bearing structure is a type of construction where the walls themselves bear the weight of the building and transfer the loads to the foundation. The walls act as load-bearing elements, supporting the floors, roof, and other structural components.

What is a frame structure?

A frame structure is a type of construction where a framework of beams, columns, and other structural members support the building loads. The load-bearing function is primarily carried out by the framework, while the walls are non-structural and serve as enclosures.

What is the main difference between load-bearing structures and frame structures?

The main difference lies in how the loads are distributed and supported. In load-bearing structures, the walls themselves bear the load and transfer it to the foundation. In frame structures, the load is primarily supported by a framework of beams, columns, and other members, while the walls serve a non-structural role.

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