What is Shaft Wall?
Definition of Shaft Wall in Construction
Shaft wall is a product designed to provide a method of constructing mechanical, electrical or other types of shafts out of thick gypsum based panels and specially designed steel studs. The use of shaft wall for fire rated shafts, in some instances is beneficial due to its light weight, its speed of installation, as well as its use of less floor space than the typical masonry shaft construction. In many renovations the use of shaft wall is preferred, due to the challenges of masonry construction. Shaft wall can be carried up stairs, moved vertically within existing elevator cabs, and is easily constructed in tight quarters and difficult areas to access.
The use of shaft wall is a value engineering suggestion on many projects. There are limitations due to its inability to structurally support any type of clip or assembly that could be supported by a concrete or masonry shaft wall. The savings in time and dollars can be substantial, however the ability of concrete shaft walls or even masonry walls to add to the structural capabilities of the structure will not be realized if the walls are substituted with shaft wall. The installation of the shaft wall relies heavily on the proper layout of the C studs and the specialized studs or light metal framing that support the gypsum panels. Careful attention must be made when installing the system to ensure that the system is constructed per requirements to meet code.