Difference Between Load Bearing Structure And Framed Structure

The two most common structural systems utilized in building construction are load-bearing and framed buildings. The load is carried by a wall and then transferred directly to the earth in a load-bearing construction.

In a framed structure, the load is distributed first to the beam, then to the column, and finally to the earth via the structure’s footing or foundation.

What Is Load-Bearing Structure?

The building’s strength and stability are ensured due to its construction. The weight of a building component is carried by a load-bearing structure, which transfers the load to the foundation. The load-bearing structure is often utilized for residential structures with two or more levels.

Load-bearing Structure

What Is Framed Structure?

All of the weight of a building or structure is carried by the beam, column, and foundation in frame construction. The column is attached to the footing foundation, and the beams are connected to the column.


The weight is transferred from the beam to the column, which then transfers it to the footing, which then securely places it on the ground.

Framed Structure

Difference Between Load-Bearing Structure & Framed Structure

1. Components

Heavy masonry walls of brick or stone sustain the whole building in a load-bearing structure. Whereas the beam, column, and slab make up a framed structure.

2. Load Transfer

The vertical load transfer path in a load-bearing structure is from the slab/floor to the walls and the walls to the load-bearing footing, which is the soil.

The vertical weight transfer path in a framed structure is from slab/floor to beams, beams to columns, columns to load-bearing footings, and finally soil.

3. Wall Thickness

The thickness of the wall of a load-bearing structure increases as the height rises. Whereas the thickness of the wall of a framed structure remains constant as the height rises

4. Wall Construction

Beams and columns are not present in a load-bearing system. As a result, the walls must be constructed first. Whereas walls are built after the frame is ready in framed constructions.

5. Earthquake Resistance

Because they are made of masonry units like stone and brick linked together, load-bearing buildings are not earthquake-resistant. (If done improperly.) It is, however, as effective for low-rise buildings. It necessitates attention to detail and detailed designs.

Because the complete frame of columns, beams, and slabs acts as one unit, framed structures are stiffer and earthquake resistant. The horizontal load route, on the other hand, must be well-defined, planned, and precise.

Framed structures are earthquake resistant than load-bearing structure

6. Floor Area

In a load-bearing structure, because the walls are thicker, there is less floor space available. Whereas in a framed form, more floor space is available for usage because the walls are smaller.

7. Soil Condition

Any type of soil may be used to construct for framed structure. Whereas on the hard stratum, the load-bearing structure can be constructed.

8. Excavation

In load-bearing structure necessitates a greater amount of excavation. In comparison, excavation is less for a frame structure than for a similar structure.

9. Speed Of Construction

Construction speed is slower in a load-bearing structure. Whereas construction speed is more in case of a framed structure.

10. Lifespan Of Structure

In load-bearing structure, even if some criteria are not strictly maintained, life is not adversely affected. Whereas in framed structure, If suitable procedure is not used and standards, such as codes, are not carefully followed, life will be shortened.

11. Material Requirements

In load-bearing structure, more materials are required. Whereas in a framed structure less materials are needed.

12. Function Or Purpose Of Wall

Apart from privacy and security, the function of a wall in a load-bearing building is to sustain load, and so practically all walls are load-bearing. A disadvantage is the limitation of wall-to-wall/room-to-room communication.

External and interior walls serve as structural elements and enclosures for protection from the elements, such as rain, sound, heat, and fire, in a load-bearing structural system.

The walls serve as a barrier to privacy and security in this area. Taking walls and rooms over walls and rooms over rooms has no restrictions. External and interior walls in a framed structural system function only as enclosures for room formation and weather protection.

13. Labor Requirement

In load-bearing structure, more laborers, both skilled and unskilled, are needed. Whereas in framed structure, a smaller number of workers and skilled workers are necessary.

14. Flexibility Of Planning & Design

In a framed structure, walls may be moved around as needed. More planning and design flexibility. After the building, it is not feasible to change the location of the walls. There is no flexibility in terms of planning and design.

15. Span In Structure

Large span areas are not possible in a load-bearing structure. The breadth is limited, i.e., the size of the room. Large span areas are possible with a framed construction. There are no restrictions on the length of the span, i.e., the size of the room.

16. Room Dimension

A load-bearing system does not allow for changes in room proportions. The RCC Frame structure, on the other hand, allows for room size changes.

17. Foundation Cost

When the depth of the foundation grows over the limit, say 1.2 to 1.5 meters, the load-bearing structure is higher than the RCC frame structure. An increase in foundation depth does not affect the cost of the Frame construction.

18. Quantity Of Cement & Steel

Cement and steel consumption is reduced in load-bearing constructions. Whereas frame buildings, on the other hand, use a greater amount of cement and steel.

19. Cantilever Member

Cantilever components are challenging to incorporate into a load-bearing structure and are only allowed for a limited span. Cantilever components may be provided in the RCC Frame structure.

20. Additional Enclosure

Other enclosures for water, fire, sound, and heat are available in load-bearing structures. Whereas a frame structure does not give extra protection from water, fire, sound, or heat, infill walls are required.


The load-bearing structural practice was a common technique in the early days of building. Compared to a load-bearing structural system, the framed structural design consists of framed constructions of columns and beams that provide excellent resistance to lateral forces and are more adaptable.

Also Read
Types Of Structures In Construction
What Is Space Frame Structure?
How To Calculate Load Capacity Of Slab

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