The most common residential structural system adopted in Malta relates to cellular load-bearing masonry. A soft, workable limestone building material is the only natural resource available. Terraced housing two or three storeys high was considered robust and stable, but the needs of the motorcar have introduced a soft open storey at ground or basement level. Originally, beams supporting the overlying floors spanned this opening, but for about 20 years, hollow prestressed slabs spanning from 6 to 7 m have overtaken this structural system. A vertical load analysis of the walls is conducted using BS5628:Part 1:1978, Structural use of Unreinforced Masonry. 5 refs.