Shear walls perform as vertical cantilever beams, transferring lateral forces acting parallel to the face of the wall from the superstructure to the foundation. Typically, there are two shear walls oriented to resist lateral loads along each principal axis of the building. They should be designed as load-bearing panels.

Shear walls are cast flat in individual forms and reinforced with conventional rebar. They are cast in a horizontal position and rotated to their final position at the jobsite by the erection crew.

Since shear walls are cast in a flat orientation, one side is finished in the form and the other side is manually finished. Typically, they receive the same finish and a complementary style to the surrounding structure, especially in a parking structure, where they will be visible.