The curtain wall architectural style describes structures from the middle of the 20th century that have prefabricated outer walls sheathed in glass and aluminium that is suspended from their frames.
A distinguishing element of contemporary architecture, the curtain wall system has seen widespread commercial use.
The popularity of curtain walls has also significantly boosted the industries of commercial glaziers and glass makers.
The Equitable Savings & Loan Building in Portland, Oregon designed by Pietro Belushi was the first significant example of the style.
What is a Curtain Wall?
The curtain wall is a non-load-bearing enclosure available in a variety of configurations that may be constructed using almost any mix of non-structural materials as long as they satisfy the requirements for insulation, wind load, and aesthetics.
These wall system typically consists of a metal or commercial glass planes with an aluminium frame.
One of the most popular glazing systems, it contributes to the structure’s attractive and durable architecture and has many benefits for businesses.
Purpose of Curtain Wall:
- Curtain walls can be built with a range of glass choices.
- They can also be erected as a stick-framed wall with smaller panes separated by mullions.
- You can choose the length of your lines and the depth of your million based on the requirements of the design.
- You can also pick from a range of face covers to have complete control over the building’s appearance.
- You can design distinctive and gorgeous exteriors by installing them in any size and shape.
Types of Curtain Walls:
1. Unitized or Modular Systems:
At the plant site, key components are arranged and glassed to form a single unit.
It excludes the installation of a single unit on its own.
Large, tall buildings typically choose this style of curtain wall.
Unitized systems also have the advantage of being quicker to build and more labour-efficient.
But shipping costs are frequently expensive because a large curtain walls unit must be transported and escorted safely to the main construction site.
2. Stick Systems:
Stick systems are preferred when developing tiny areas and structures.
It entails setting up and putting in place the smaller curtain wall units in the area where this wall system is installed.
But, stick systems’ time-consuming and labour expenses are also significantly higher than those of unitized systems.
However, shipping costs are relatively less expensive.
Advantages of Curtain Wall:
1. Visual impact:
It is undeniable that a curtain wall offers remarkable and breathtaking visuals to the building’s architecture.
2. Strong and long-lasting construction:
Curtain walls are often made of high-quality, lightweight aluminium that is sturdy and robust.
3. Flexibility in design:
Curtain walls offer flexibility in design, which is a wonderful additional benefit.
4. Less Expensive to Build:
Since the Curtain Wall System is made of lightweight materials, it significantly lowers the cost to build.
5. Supports its weight:
Technically, the curtain walls are made to support their weight without requiring assistance from the structure.
6. Reduces power consumption:
Curtain walls could end up being a cost-effective investment due to their huge reduction in energy usage.
7. Protection from Fire:
The curtain walls separating the building’s divisions act as a fire-resistant barrier.
8. Eliminates water and pollution penetration:
When it rains, the curtain walls keep water from penetrating.
9. Protection from winds:
Curtain walls give the structure of the building resistance and defence against the wind.
10. Protection from extreme weather:
The curtain walls protect against all types of extreme weather including heavy precipitation in the form of snowfall or rain.
11. Positive effect on the interior of the building:
More great lighting inside the building is made possible by the curtain walls, which improves the working environment.
Disadvantages of Curtain Wall:
- To maximize its use, curtain walls will require greater upkeep, this implies that frequent cleaning of the frames and glass may be required.
- Due to the difficulty of installing these panels and the fact that they must be fastened from the outside, inclement weather frequently causes delays for the building crew.
- These panels may let in too much light, which may distract individuals inside.
FAQ- Curtain Wall:
Q1. What does a castle’s exterior curtain wall look like?
Curtain walls, usually called coroutines are protective walls that encircle the castle’s grounds.
These walls frequently separated towers that resembled a curtain hanging between the towers.
The curtain wall has merlons, arrow loops, and embrasures, among other characteristics.
Q2. Why is it referred to as a curtain wall?
A curtain wall is the exterior covering of a structure whose exterior walls serve only as barriers between the inside and outside of the building.
Because it is not structural, it can be made of lightweight materials, potentially reducing construction costs.
Q3. Is it safe to use curtain walls?
Curtain walls are made particularly for each building and provide a secure barrier from bad weather. fire-rated curtain walls help prevent the spread of fire throughout the building in an emergency.
Curtain walls can improve the energy efficiency of a building.
The architect can make a dramatic statement in the architecture of a building by using metal curtain walls and glass.
Depending on the installation method, the curtain wall is in high demand due to its attractiveness.
Despite its elegance and adaptability, this wall required extensive engineering work.
The success of the glass curtain wall depends on everyone engaged in its design and construction being aware of the various aspects that influence it.