Parapet Wall – Purpose, Types & Uses

What is Parapet Wall?

A short-height wall is constructed along the edge of the house’s roof, balcony, and terrace is called a parapet wall. It is also provided in bridges and walkways.

The parapet wall is an essential component of our home from a safety and house elevation point of view. 

It serves as a protective barrier for occupants along with help to enhance the appearance of the house.

Various materials are used for the construction of parapet walls including, brick masonry, Steel, RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete), aluminium, glass, etc. That helps provide an attractive look to our house.

Purpose of Prarpet

The House terrace is used for Sitting, resting, strolling, and several other leisure activities by the occupants. Therefore it is required to assure the safety of the occupants for which parapet is provided. A parapet wall serves the following purposes.

  1. It ensures the safety of occupants prevents them from accidental falls down.
  2. It allows occupants to use roof space without or balconies without the fear of falling.
  3. It improve the house’s privacy by breaking the direct vision and help to hide unpleasant machines and pieces of equipment.
  4. It serves as an architectural component that improves the aesthetic of the house.
  5. It makes the house looks taller and more elegant.

Types of Parapet Wall

On the basis of appearance, the parapet may be classified as follows.

  • Plan Parapet
  • Paneled Parapet
  • Perforated Parepet
  • Embattled Parapet

Based on shape and design parapet may be classified as follow.

  • Flat Parapet
  • Sloped parapet
  • Stepped Parapet
  • Curved Parapet

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Plain Parapet

It is a vertical extension of the wall built at the roof’s edge. It is a common type of parapet which is mainly constructed for safety purposes.

parapet wall

The construction process of this type of parapet is easy. Concrete coping is also provided at the top of the parapet and corbel below it.

The plain parapet has an average look and needs low maintenance.

Paneled Parapet

This type of parapet is similar to plain parapets except for panels. It consists of series of panel designs on the outer face of the parapet wall. These panels may be square or oblong, without perforation.

Parapet Wall

The panelled parapets are more accepted since they give a pleasing appearance to the house, don’t cost too much, and are easy to construct.

Perforated Parapet

This type of parapet is similar to a plain parapet except for perforation. It is also an extension of the wall near the roof’s edge that has perforations.

Parapet Wall

The perforations in the wall may be in various shapes and designs, including squares, circles, flower designs, trefoils, etc. 

The main objective of constructing perforated parapet walls in the structure is to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the house along with safety.

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Embattled Parapet

This parapet was widely used in the olden days, mainly for forts, castles, etc.

parapet wall

It consists of low and high divisions alternatively and perforations. In ancient periods, arrow shooters generally used these perforations to shoot arrows through them while defending the castle.

Due to their elegant look and uniqueness, these parapets are being provided nowadays to improve the aesthetic appearances of the buildings.

Flat Parapet

This type of parapet is prevalent and broadly used in buildings. Flat parapet walls are commonly used in houses, flat roof structures, and commercial structures. Flat parapet walls are constructed without slope.

Parapet Wall

Slopped Parapet

Usually, this type of parapet wall is provided for sloping roof buildings like trussed structures and industrial buildings. 

Parapet Wall

Sloped parapet walls are constructed with a slope that allows rainwater to drain off. The main objective of building sloped parapet walls is to protect leakages from the roof.

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Stepped Parapet

This parapet wall is also used for slanted roof structures. The slopped parapet wall is constructed in stepped form like a staircase that gives an attractive look to the building.

Parapet Wall

Stepped parapet walls are provided for building aesthetic purposes. It improves the presence of the structure.

Curved Parapet

This parapet wall, also known as an arched parapet wall, is provided for sloping roofs and flat roofs.

Parapet Wall

Curved parapet wall gives a broad look to the building and improves the aesthetic appearance of the structure.

Modern Parapet

Various modern types of parapet walls replace the types as mentioned earlier because of their supremacy in safety, look, economy, etc.

Parapet Wall

Primarily used modern parapets are parapets with steel railings, Stell railing with glass, fibre-glass parapets, etc.

For a better look, steel or glass is also used in the penetrated parts of the perforated parapet wall. This type of parapet is called composite parapet wall.

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Green Parapet

Green parapet walls are the current trends in urban towns pointing towards minimizing carbon footprints and improving sustainability. 

Parapet Wall

Unique claddings are installed over the present parapet in the green parapet wall, which helps plants to grow.

The greenery enhances the aesthetic appearance of the building and improves the air quality in the nearness.

Coping For Parapet

Parapet needs to keep it safe from water seepage during rainfall and extreme weather conditions, for which coping is provided at the top of the parapet.

Coping is a covering provided at the top of the wall in the form of a layer of concrete, stone, brick, etc.

Coping serves as a protective barrier for the parapet wall and keeps it safe from water seepage during rainfall and extreme weather conditions. Also, it acts as a design element and enhances the house look.

Parapet Uses

  1. To give an aesthetic appearance to the building.
  2. Ensure safety to occupants when they are on the top of the roof and In bridges to stop vehicles from falling.
  3. To cover the machinery and other pieces of equipment located on the rooftop.
  4. To block the entry of dust by air on the rooftop.
  5. To stop the debris gathered on top of the roof.
  6. It prevents wind loads from coming onto the top of the roof.
  7. For defense in the military area, perforated parapets may be helpful.

The essential point to be followed while constructing a Parapet

The following points should be followed while constructing a parapet wall.

  1. It should have a minimum height of 3 feet.
  2. It should have a minimum thickness of 9 inches.
  3. It should be plastered from both faces to avoid dampness.
  4. It should have an inward slope at the top to drain rainwater inward. It will help to protect the building facade from rainwater and dust particles and keep it clean.
  5. Coping should be provided at the top to protect it from seepage of water.
  6. It should have a properly sealed joint with the roof.
  7. The Electrical and plumbing system should be away from the it.

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