A common feature on modern buildings, curtain walls are thin, non-structural coverings that get attached to a building’s exterior. They’re made of panels of glass, aluminum or other lightweight materials, and have a variety of functions and benefits. Here are some of the main advantages of installing a curtain wall.
They protect against the elements. Curtain walls offer an extra layer of insulation. They act as a protective, weatherproof shield that keeps air and water out of the building. This barrier also offers some protection against fires by slowing the spread of flames between floors of a building.
They reduce sway. Curtain walls are great for taller buildings since they can withstand high winds. They disperse kinetic force throughout their frame, thereby reducing overall sway. Their wind resistance also adds a level of acoustic insulation and soundproofing.
They’re attractive. Curtain walls have a sleek, contemporary design that mirrors the skyline and improves the appearance of a building.
They increase natural light. Curtain walls allow ample natural light into a building. They can make the interior appear larger and brighter.
They improve thermal efficiency. Curtain wall glass panels can be glazed to reduce UV light and stabilize the interior temperature. Over time, this increased thermal efficiency will help reduce energy costs.
They’re customizable. Curtain walls can be customized to meet different needs and budgets. They can be installed from floor to ceiling or in smaller sections spanning select floors. Different materials and finishes can be used, including transparent glass, coloured glass, metal and stone. Curtain walls can also be designed using different shapes and angles.
CURTAIN WALL FABRICATION
Curtain walls can be assembled using different methods. Here are three common types of curtain wall systems:
Stick design. Large sections of seamless framing are assembled on site. This system is often used for low-rise buildings. It reduces shipping costs but can increase labour costs.
Unitized design. The entire wall is assembled into one piece in a climate-controlled factory. The curtain wall is brought on site as a single unit and cranes or hoists are used to put the curtain wall in place. This design is often used for high-rise buildings. Installation is less time-consuming, but shipping costs will be higher for this type of system.
Ladder design. This design is a combination of stick and unitized systems. It uses smaller sections that are fabricated off-site and assembled on site with more seams and joint lines.
CURTAIN WALL INSTALLATION IN NORTHWEST CANADA
All-West Glass offers reliable window and glass repair, maintenance and installation. Our qualified staff can help you design a curtain wall for your commercial property. We also offer 24-hour emergency service. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more.