What Is Parapet Wall?
A parapet wall is a low wall or railing that extends above the roofline of a building or other structure, usually found at the edge of a flat roof or balcony.
Its primary function is to provide a barrier and prevent people from falling off the roof or balcony. Parapet walls can be made of various materials such as brick, stone, concrete, or metal, and they can have different designs and heights depending on the building’s style, purpose, and location.
In addition to providing safety, parapet walls can also serve aesthetic and functional purposes. They can be designed to blend in with the building’s architecture or to create a distinct visual element.
They can also be designed to enhance the building’s appearance and functionality. However, regular maintenance and inspection are necessary to ensure their effectiveness and durability.
What Does Parapet Mean (Parapet Definition)?
The parapet is a wall that is constructed at end of the roof or balconies to protect falling humans from height.
It is the process of extension of the brick wall at the end of the Parapet walls are the outermost walls that are constructed at the edges of the roof of the buildings.
Parapet walls are constructed from Reinforced cement concrete (R.C.C), Brick masonry, and Steel.
Different types of parapet Masonry walls and their uses are discussed below.
The Need for Parapet Wall Design In BrickWork
We know that every house must have its own terrace which is used for various purposes such as sitting, walking, and other leisure activities. There is the possibility of falling humans from height in absence of a parapet wall.
Therefore, The parapet wall on roofs is essential to the structure to protect and ensure the safety of occupants living there.
It is also required to protect the interior space of the terrace of the buildings. The parapet walls ensure the safety of the occupants using the roof.
The parapet walls also help to enhance the aesthetical appearance of the structure from the outside.
Uses of Parapet Wall
Construct parapet masonry walls, have many uses, some of which are described below:
- To provide safety for humans to prevent them from falling when they are on the rooftop of the building.
- To provide an aesthetic look to the structure.
- To hide and conceal the equipment and machinery on the rooftop.
- To give beauty to construction.
- To prevent vehicles from falling off the bridge when they are on the roof and for the safety of people in case of bridges.
- To prevent the entrance of dust through the air on the rooftop.
- To prevent the falling of particles collected on the roof.
- To prevent excessive air load from coming on the rooftop.
- Perforated parapets can be useful for defense measures in the military.
Height of Parapet Wall
- The height parapet wall is an important factor to consider while constructing the wall.
- The minimum standard height of the parapet wall should be 3 feet.
- The parapet wall never is constructed less than 3 feet in height. At this height, the wall protects and ensures safety.
- The minimum thickness of the parapet wall is 9 inches.
Types of Parapet Wall
Parapet walls are divided into various types on the basis of appearance or design and functions.
Classification of Parapet walls on the basis of design or Appearance is as follows:
- Plain Parapet Walls
- Embattled Parapet Walls
- Perforated Parapet Walls
- Paneled Parapet Walls
Classification of Parapet walls on the basis of shape and functionality are as follows:
- Sloped Parapet Walls
- Stepped Parapet Walls
- Flat Parapet Walls
- Curved Parapet Walls
- Plain Parapet walls
1. Plain Parapet Walls
- The plain parapet wall is a vertical extension of the wall at the edge of the roof. It is a general type of parapet that is mostly provided for safety purposes.
- Some of the plain parapets come with an added coping or corbel to be able to bear structural load but most of them are flat extensions of the wall below the roof.
- Plain parapets are very easy to construct and require low maintenance work.
- The plain parapet usually looks dull in appearance.
2. Perforated Parapet Walls
- This wall is constructed by extending the wall like a parapet but in this type of parapet, the extended wall portion is perforated with different-sized openings considering the aesthetic appearance of the structure.
- Perforated parapets are a little bit more decorative and enhancive than plain parapets and employ a pattern of holes and perforations that give an aesthetic look and feel.
- Differently designed perforations can be floral patterns, geometric designs like circles, trefoils, flower shapes, etc. are used which enhance the front view of the building.
Read More: 10 Types Of Retaining Wall With Full Details
2. Paneled Parapet Walls
- The paneled parapet Masonry wall is the oldest type of wall and is similar to the plain parapet. The only variation is that it has added detail of ornamental panels facing outwards on display.
- The panels may be oblong or square but no perforations are provided in this type of parapet.
- Nowadays this type of parapet is prevalent because it gives a beautiful appearance to the structure and the time doesn’t cost much.
- This type of parapet is very easy to construct.
- They are quite common when it comes to choosing between perforated and paneled walls.
3. Embattled Parapet Walls
- The Embattled parapet Masonry walls were widely used in the olden days, especially for castles, forts, etc.
- Alternative low and high portions are provided in the parapet. It’s an older kind of parapet, which isn’t used in modern buildings but can be used in many older buildings.
- In ancient periods, these types of parapets were usually constructed for arrow shooters to shoot an arrow through it while defending the castle.
- It has alternating high and low parts at the top of the wall. This type of wall in the modern period is used while commissioning a building with a historical look.
- Because of their beautiful appearance and uniqueness, embattled parapets are being constructed to enhance the aesthetic aspects of the structure.
4. Slopped Parapet Walls
- Slopped parapet walls are constructed with a slope and are perfect for dispelling rainwater. A waterproof membrane is laid beneath the wall to give maximum protection.
- These walls are provided for sloped roof structures such as industrial structures, trussed structures, etc. Some slopped parapet masonry walls give a flat roof appearance as the slope is only the slightest and is not easily spotted.
- The functionality of This wall is to protect the roof from leaking and seepage.
5. Stepped Parapet Walls
- These walls are generally used for inclined roof structures. In this case, the wall is constructed in a staircase-type design as shown in the figure below.
- This wall makes a building appear larger and is usually decorative.
- It appears like a flight of stairs and looks stylish.
- Contribute to the front elevation of the building and enhance the curb appeal of your home.
6. Flat Parapet Walls
- Simple flat parapet walls are quite common in normal ordinary buildings and are recommended for flat roof structures.
- It has little to no slope.
- It is commonly used in dwelling units and commercial buildings.
- There are different types of flat walls such as fiberglass parapets, and parapets with steel or glass railings, choose the appropriate design for the parapet masonry wall base on affordability and architectural demand.
7. Curved Parapet Walls
- Curved parapet walls are also called arched walls and are recommended for both flat and inclined rooftops.
- The curved parapet gives heights to the buildings. This type of wall is perfect for smaller houses and it also makes the building appear larger.
- In addition, curved walls are best suited for inclined and sloped roofs.
Read More: Types Of Columns Used In Construction
8. Miscellaneous Parapet Wall
- Various modern walls are replacing the above-mentioned types because of their dominance in all categories such as safety, appearance, economy, enhancing the aesthetic look of the structure, etc.
- Some of the modern type parapets are fiber-glass parapets, parapets with steel railings, etc.
- Glass or steel railings can also be provided in the pierced potions of perforated walls for a better appearance. Such walls are called composite or joint parapet masonry walls.
Parapet Wall Construction Cost
Depending upon the quality of brick and mortar used a brick wall without plastering and painting, the parapet wall costs cab is Rs 5,000 to 5,500 / cubic meter.
Some Points to be Considered When Building Parapet
- It is important to consider these factors before constructing a parapet masonry wall.
- The height of the parapet should be at least 3 feet.
- The thickness of the wall should be at least 9 inches.
- There should be wall penetration flashing under the mortar bed to keep moisture seepage away from the parapet masonry wall.
- Provide venting to each wall cavity.
- Use round ‘soffit vents’ that dispel rainwater, especially if the venting holes are located at exposed locations.
- If there are venting holes that are not needed, then cover them up so that bugs and insects don’t enter.
- It is important to keep the wall separated from interior spaces like plumbing systems, electrical wiring, terrace farming, etc.
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