Curtain Wall

A curtain wall system is any exterior wall that is not load-bearing and attached to the building structure.

Curtain wall systems can be used as front windows in high-rises, low-rises and two-story homes. Various vertical and horizontal bracing can be used depending on the structure’s intensity.

They are aesthetically pleasing and meet the demand for energy efficiency, serving as a barrier to the elements. These façades minimize air and water infiltration by equalizing wind pressures on high-rise buildings, which keeps the elements out and the temperate environment in.

With a variety of exterior color choices, and panels comprised of lightweight glass, stone, aluminum, marble, metal or composite materials, a unique imprint is available for selection to create an elegant exterior curtain wall designer look.

Several variations exist for curtain wall systems. Five most frequently used are

  • Stick system
  • Unitized (Unit) panel system
  • Unit mullion system
  • Column cover and spandrel systems
  • Point-loaded structural glazing systems.

Stick System

This features a cladding and exterior wall system that is hung on the building structure from floor to floor, and its components are assembled piece by piece on the job site. It is airtight and resistant to water penetration. Its ease of installation makes it one of the most commonly used types of curtain walls.

Unitized (Unit) Panel System

The unitized panel system is a higher quality curtain wall, installed as a panel system of interlocking units that maximize natural light penetration. It contains the same components as a stick-built curtain wall system, but most of the system components are factory-assembled. The unitized system is mainly used in high-rises and allows for quick closure of the building.

Unit Mullion System

The unit mullion system is a compromise between the stick and unitized systems. Pre-assembled units are installed behind one or two-story individual mullions. Glass mullions are used as support for maximum transparency and to transfer wind, snow and self-weight loading to the structure. This system offers a shorter manufacturing lead time because there is less customization than with a fully unitized system. Field labor time and building costs are more comparable with the stick system.

Column Cover and Spandrel System (Spandrel Panel Ribbon)

Column cover and spandrel systems are becoming increasingly popular because they offer aesthetic choices. Units can be preassembled or completed onsite, and feature infill vision glass and spandrel panels between columns. Since these systems are customized, manufacturing lead times are longer and framing construction tolerances more important, as the units must fit precisely within column bays.

Point-Loaded Structural Glazing Systems

Point-loaded structural glazing systems consist of laminated and tempered glass supported by hardware embedded in the glass. This is the premier system of choice for highly transparent entrances, atriums, lobbies and facades. This system eliminates any visible metal framework and offers a variety of available support systems. Several aesthetic options include varying degrees of transparency, stiffness and cost. Product and installation costs are higher than conventional frame-supported curtain wall systems.

Embrace two-story residential and commercial buildings with a custom fit curtain wall system.