Parapet Wall

The parapet wall is a low protective structural layer attached to the roof that provides consistency and stability in terms of water, air, steam, and thermal control. The regulation of these elements helps prevent roof corrosion and erosion or other pre-fabricated adjacent structure.

Here we’ll learn about the parapet wall, types and uses of parapet walls.

Introduction to parapet wall:

A parapet wall are normally enclosing a roof or protecting barrier on the fringe of a roof or bridge.

In European standard, the parapet is defined as a sub-category of “vehicle restraint system” or “pedestrian resting system”.

In Shilpa Shastras, the historic Indian science of sculpture, a parapet is called hara and it may be decorated with varied miniature pavilions according to Kamikagama.

Where parapet wall is required:

  • In low-lying buildings, architects prefer to have strong parapet walls to make the building extra outstanding.
  • Additionally, the extra surface area will be obtainable to increase design features.
  • In classic architecture, the walls of the parapet had large decorative moulding at the top which served as an essential boundary to the building.
  • Many firewalls require a parapet extending above the roof.
Parapet Wall

Types of parapet walls:

Classification Based on appearance:

Parapet walls are classified according to various types and their uses as follows:

1. Plain Parapet Wall:

This wall is a vertical extension of the wall at the edge of the ridge.

These are specific types of walls provided for safety issues, it is given concrete capping at the top and stitched at the bottom.

Plain parapets are simple to assemble, require little maintenance & they are generally dull in appearance.

2. Perforated Parapet Walls:

The perforated parapet walls is an extension of the plain parapet walls; however, the portion of the expanded wall is perforated with differently shaped openings that give an aesthetic look to the construction.

Differently designed holes are used such as circles, trefoils, flower shapes, etc.

3. Panel Parapet Walls:

These walls is similar like plain parapet walls, but it has inter-panel parapets that can be overstated.

The panels may be diagonally or square, however no perforation is given.

This parapet wall is additionally prevalent because it gives the construction a beautiful appearance, easy to construct & cost-effective.

4. Perpetrate tangled Walls:

In ancient times, these parapets were used especially in the palaces, forts and many others.

Alternate high- low elements and openings are introduced into the parapet, these holes were commonly used by arrow shooters to wield arrows through them to protect the fort.

Due to their spectacular look and uniqueness, these parapets are built to promote the aesthetic aspects of the constructions.

Also read : Cavity Wall & Gabion Wall

Classification based on size and configuration:

5. Flat parapet wall:

These parapet walls are used for flat roof construction.

6. Sloping parapet walls:

These parapet walls are used for sloping roof construction such as industrial construction, trussed construction, etc.

7. Stepped parapet walls:

These parapet walls are used for inclined roof construction, it is constructed in a stair-type design.

8. Curved parapet walls:

These parapet walls are also well-known as arched parapet walls used in both flat and inclined ceilings.

9. Miscellaneous Parapet:

Many modern types of parapet walls has changed due to their domination in all classes like security, look, economic system, etc.

Some fashionable types of parapets are fibre-glass parapets, metal railing parapets, etc.

Glass or metal railings can be offered with perforated walls piercing parts for a higher look, it is known as a joint parapet walls.

Also read :  CMU Walls & Partition Wall

Parapet Wall Design for Small House:
Also read : Retaining Wall & Shear Wall

Uses of parapet wall:

Parapet walls have many uses are described below:

  1. Parapet walls provide beauty to the structure.
  2. It prevents vehicles from falling off the bridge that provides safety for people in the case of bridges.
  3. It conceals and prevents tools, equipment on the roof.
  4. Also, to stop the entry of mud through the air on the roof.
  5. These walls prevent the falling of particles collected on the roof.
  6. It prevents excessive air load on the roof.
  7. Parapet walls may be helpful for protection measures in navy areas.
Also read : Masonry Wall & Load Bearing Wall
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is parapet wall?

A parapet wall is a low structural layer constructed beside a roof to provide protection.

What is the difference between a balcony and a parapet?

A balcony is an accessible structure that extends from a building particularly outside a window, while a parapet is a low retaining wall.

What is minimum height for parapet wall?

The parapet wall should be at least three feet and three inches (one meter) high.


The parapet wall should not be taken lightly as the slightest mistake can cause cracks at the wall space.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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