Curtain Walling

What is Curtainwall?

Curtainwall is a term applied to a widely used facade technology for cladding large buildings. Curtainwall systems do not carry any dead loads imposed from the building structure, but instead are designed to support their self-weight and transfer horizontal loads (wind) incident upon them to the primary building structure.

Curtainwall systems are typically “hung” from the building structure — from whence derives the “curtain” reference — and typically attached to the floor slabs. The primary functions of the curtainwall are to resist air and water infiltration and to provide a thermal barrier between inside and out. Curtainwall systems are also designed to accommodate the complexities of deflections, thermal expansion and contraction, building sway and relative movements between floors as caused by wind or seismic loads acting globally or locally on the structure.

Special design considerations can include daylighting, thermal, acoustical, security and blast-resistant performance. Designs for large buildings are almost always customized to individual project requirements.

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