This is a question asked by a student in one of the learning groups and I thought it is worth posting in the general forum and also clarify a few additional points.
Also, we can use this forum to discuss on this topic and on shear walls in general.
The exact question asked by the student was ‘'In my office one of my seniors used columns and brick walls for lift instead of providing shear wall. Is that a safe practice?’’
This question on shear wall cannot be answered unless I explain what a shear wall is and what its behavior is and when it is effective and many other points on position of shear wall and its effectiveness to resist lateral loads.
I suggest you read my blog here to know more about the answer to this question.
Let me conclude one thing here. Do we need a wall around lift always? Let it be called a shear wall or RC wall, do we need a wall in concrete around the lift always or can that be masonry as the student has asked?
The answer is that, lift point of view, it is not mandatory to have a RCC wall around the lift shaft. It can be a masonry wall also.The weight of the lift is not going to be taken by the walls. There might be a small lateral thrust due to the lift movement. This is not of a huge magnitude and the walls can take that.
I have summarized all the points on shear wall in this blog
Comment your questions or any other points that you have to discuss here