As a building material, glass is highly adaptable and can be organized in various ways, it can be toughened, bent, laminated or insulated. Glass facades, can help to connect interior space to the exterior with minimum compromise
A curtain wall system is an exterior covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, used to keep the weather out and the inhabitant in. By reason of the curtain wall is non-structural, it can be put together of lightweight materials, and low construction cost. An advantage of using curtain wall is that the natural light can sneak into the building deeper. The curtain wall façade does not carry any structural load from the building other than its own dead load weight. The wall fetches edgeways wind loads that are incident upon it to the main building structure through connections at floors or columns of the building. It is outlined to fight against air and water sleep inside, absorb sway induced by wind and seismic forces acting on the building, withstand wind loads, and support its own dead load weight forces.
It designed to release framing members, although the first curtain walls were made with steel frames. The aluminum frame is typically infilled with glass, which provides an architecturally pleasing building, as well as benefits such as daylighting. However, the effects of light on visual comfort as well as solar heat gain in a building are more difficult to control when using large amounts of glass infill. Other common infills include stone veneer, metal panels, louvers, and operable windows or vents.
Curtain walls differ from storefront systems in that they are designed to span multiple floors, taking into consideration design requirements such as thermal expansion and contraction; building sway and movement; water diversion; and thermal efficiency for cost-effective heating, cooling, and lighting in the building.
- The stick built system, the utilized(or panel) system, and the structural glazing system. In a unitized system, the manufacturer must rely on the qualified installer to ensure that the air seals are properly installed between the split mullions. The unitized system offers many advantages with respect to quality assembly and speed of on building closure, there is one design concern with respect to installing performance and durability.
- Brickwork and stonework (masonry)
- Curtain Walling
- Precast concrete panels with various types of finishes
- Insulated render
- Metallic cladding
- Tiles and stone veneer panels
- Large boards cons
The joint between the vertical mullions is also an expansion joint for the floor to floor live load deflections, any concrete structure creeps movements as well as a thermal expansion joint for curtain wall components. The rails(horizontal mullions) are then attached to the vertical mullions to create frame openings, one frame opening for the vision area to receive an insulating glass unit(IGU) and one frame opening for the spandrel area to receive the spandrel panel cover (to hide the floor edge, perimeter heating equipment etc.)
The Curtain Wall is designed to resist and handle all the imposed loads on it as well as keep air and water from penetrating in the building. The loads imposed on the curtain wall are transferred to the building structure through a structural interface (i.e. brackets) which attaches the millions to the building. The curtain wall is designed for Dead Load and Wind Load.