CURTAIN WALLS / STRUCTURAL GLAZING
A curtain wall system is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, utilized to keep the weather out and the occupants in. Since the curtain wall is non-structural, it can be made of lightweight materials, thereby reducing construction costs. When glass is used as the curtain wall, an advantage is that natural light can penetrate deeper within the building. The curtain wall façade does not carry any structural load from the building other than its own dead load weight. The wall transfers lateral wind loads that are incident upon it to the main building structure through connections at floors or columns of the building. A curtain wall is designed to resist air and water infiltration, absorb sway induced by wind and seismic forces acting on the building, withstand wind loads, and support its own dead load weight forces.
Curtain wall systems are typically designed with extruded aluminum 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.
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.
With its signature large expanses of glass letting sunlight stream in, Australian architecture exemplifies Australians’ love of light.
EDGE Architectural’s unitised curtain wall and structural curtain wall systems allow architects to design buildings with large panels of light, while maintaining the structure’s strength. Additionally, they offer fantastic project quality control due to the panel fabrication normally being completed in the factory, then moved to the project site.
Curtain wall systems serve as non-structural outer walls of a building, allowing natural light to flow in, while keeping wind and rain and other elements out. The curtain wall must be strong enough to carry its own weight load, but doesn’t carry any of the load of the building. Designed and manufactured correctly, a curtain wall will prevent water and air infiltration, and reduce movement from wind and seismic activity.
Giving attention to thermal performance is crucial with curtain walls. The large spans of glass can make control of heat gain and “too bright” light challenging.
Gorgeous and fantastically cost efficient, the EDGE unitised curtain wall system is an easy specification choice. The large panels are manufactured and glazed in the factory in Australia, then trucked to the construction site. Once on the construction site, the panels are lifted and fixed into place.
A few of the unitised curtain wall system benefits include:
high quality fabrication in an environmentally controlled factory fabrication
speedy installation thanks to off-site glazing
decreased labour costs by shifting labour from construction site to factory
higher performance from higher quality control
Curtain walls, by definition, span multiple floors, and take into consideration factors of thermal expansion and contraction, diversion of water, building movement, as well as thermal efficiency for cost-effective heating, cooling, and lighting.
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