Abstract The Sisodiya and Cheung so-called beam-type element, which was originally developed for bridge analysis, had been successfully adapted by Cheung to apply to coupled shear/core wall structures. This element is not afflicted by shear locking and has rotational degrees-of-freedom for direct connection with the coupling beams. Moreover, the definition adopted for each of its rotations is the vertical fibre rotation which, as Kwan recently found, is the only definition that can ensure compatibility between the beam and wall elements. In this paper, further studies on the application of this element are carried out and improvements, which can lead; firstly, to higher computational efficiency of the method; secondly, enable more reasonable shear stress results to be obtained, and finally, allow the maximum bending stress to be determined for practical design purpose without using a fine mesh, are proposed. Numerical examples are given to demonstrate the improvements achieved.