Frame structure building construction & Brick structure

Frame structure building construction & Brick structure

Difference between Frame structure building construction & Brick structure

Laymen, might not have an idea about house construction methods that are adopted in Pakistan according to geographical terrain of respective area, however different methods of construction are adopted in different parts of country. Each terrain has its own features and technical specifications and Pakistan has all the kinds of terrain i-e flat, plain, hilly, un-even etc. Out of all construction methods that are used in Pakistan, most commonly and widely used methods are Frame structure and Brick structures.

Frame structure building construction

As its name suggests, frame structure building consists of a complete structure of columns and beams that carry the load of building. Whereas bricks or blocks used in this kind of structures are only for making the non-load bearing walls and filling the gaps. Frame structure is the most widely used and recommended method for building or house construction in all kinds of terrains. In frame structures all columns and beams are connected to each other along with the raft foundation that makes it a strong one unit. All load of building is transferred from slabs to columns/beams and then to concrete raft foundations. This method also allows to go for multi-storey buildings meant to be used for residential buildings in form of flats or commercial buildings in form of offices, malls etc.

In Pakistan, frame structure method is widely used for house construction in Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhawah, Upper Punjab, Islamabad and Northern areas. Following picture below shows typical frame structure method being applied for house construction in a hilly terrain of Islamabad. A very important and first critical step before starting frame construction of house in such terrains is the soil test. Soil test is carried out to check the quality of earth-fill and soil that has to actually bear the load of whole building. Types of foundation required is decided on the basis of results of soil tests. Soil with good bearing capacity can have a simple strip foundation, whereas soil with loose contents might require raft foundation or even piles along the raft foundation. Second step of frame structure after foundations is the plinth beam and as its name suggests, it finishes at the plinth level of house also known as finish floor level. After plinth beam, columns are raised up to the level of slab or in some cases a tie beam at lintel level (window shades level) is also required to tie all the columns together. Finally the slab is casted and columns are connected to slab. In case of multi-storey buildings, dowel bars (overlap steel bars) are raised for continuity of columns of upper floors before casting the slab.

Frame structure buildings require more reinforcement and concrete as compared to other non frame structure buildings, it also requires more scaffolding and shuttering works, hence this method of construction is costly as compared to others.

frame structure construction companies in pakistan

10 marla house in Islamabad D17 Margalla view housing society

Brick structure building construction

This method is only used in a terrain that is plain, even or non-hilly and has a soil with best load bearing capacity. In Pakistan this method is only used for construction of residential double storey houses in lower and central Punjab and some parts of Sindh. Picture below shows a typical brick structure under construction house in Lahore. In brick structure houses, all the foundations are also made in bricks however it is made sure during excavation that soil has the best load bearing capacity. DPC or Damp proof courses are used for protection from dampness instead of a plinth beam. Walls are raised up to the slab level and slab is casted load of which is carried all by the walls alone. Recommended height with brick structures is only a double storey house however people also used this method for constructing more than two storeys or floors.

Cost for brick structure is slightly lesser as compared to frame structure method as it requires comparatively lesser reinforcement and concrete.

cement bricks for house construction

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About The Author

Mohsin Munir
Holding a degree in BS EE (Electrical engineering) and astounding knowledge of house construction business since 2010, wide experience and relevant expertise in the construction business. Believe in research based strategy while holding a distinguished position in the construction market. Started at a small scale in 2010 and recognised among the top builders and contractors in Pakistan now, especially among the expatriates and overseas Pakistanis who always trusted in our commitment and services.


  • Khurram on June 19, 2019

    What sort of structure will you recommend for Rawalpindi region, economical and safe. I want to construct double story house on a 4 marla plot. it’s a non-corner plot, attached to houses from 3 sides.

    • Mohsin Munir on June 19, 2019

      Houses in Islamabad/Rawalpindi region must be built as frame structures.

  • Ahmad Hussain on January 15, 2019

    in percentage how much will you say the frame structure cost more than brick construction for a 4700 sq ft construction in Faisalabad.

    Also if we include a basement.

    • Mohsin Munir on January 15, 2019

      Tentatively speaking frame structure’s cost is around 10-15% more than brick structure.

  • atif on December 28, 2018

    just want to correct that the structure u just showed as “Frame structure” are not at all exact frame structure….Basically full frame structure is where all loads (both compressive and lateral) are borne by columns are beams which are interconnected with each other and finally transmitting load to foundation….that’s the case with plazas, high rise buildings…..The structure u just shown are called structure stitching…means. The load is bare partially by walls and partially by bricks. Its not frame structure at all….

    • Mohsin Munir on December 29, 2018

      Atif, thanks for your input. Every comment is learning point too just as the article.

  • Umair on May 28, 2018

    The image you have shown for frame structure is called confined masonry. In this type of structure load bearing is still done by the bricks.

  • harini on April 13, 2018

    Thanks For Your valuable posting, it was very informative.I am working in Turnkey Interiors in chennai

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