Single Wythe wall layers provides the structure, exterior surface finish, and (in some designs) interior surface finish. The Single Wythe masonry wall system is simply an engineered beam supported between two reinforced concrete and brick piers and are the most economical wall type. They are durable, inherently fire-proof with fire ratings up to 4 hours and are an excellent choice for interior partitions where noise abatement, fire separation, and durability are important: offices, schools, hotels.
In an ever-escalating effort to save money without sacrificing quality, some owners and architects are asking for buildings constructed with single wythe masonry. These structures can indeed be a very cost effective solution when the owner wants the permanence and low maintenance of a masonry building but has a very limited budget. Since a single line of oversized brick or block serves as the structural system, the outside finish and the inside finish, you gather economy by eliminating some systems and by simplifying others.
Single wythe walls get some of their efficiency and cost savings from fully utilizing the exterior wall as a structural system. Structural engineers who are not comfortable with masonry detailing sometimes insert steel columns in the exterior wall.