Curtain Walls

Curtain Walls

Description
Description

Curtain wall systems are non-structural cladding systems for the external walls of buildings. Unlike traditional wall constructions where the wall supports loads from the roof and floors, curtain walls are designed primarily to protect against the elements and manage interior environments. Typically lightweight and made from materials like glass, metal, or thin stone, they are attached to the building's structure, allowing for design flexibility and large expanses of glazing. Curtain walls are crucial for modern high-rise constructions, enhancing aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency. Innovations like double-glazing and integrated photovoltaic panels can further optimize environmental control and energy conservation.

History
History

Curtain walls, non-load-bearing exteriors typically made of glass, metal, or thin stone, emerged prominently in the 20th century. Before skyscrapers, buildings had thick walls to support upper floors. With the advent of steel framing, buildings could rise higher, and exteriors became more about shielding from weather than bearing weight. This evolution allowed for expansive glass facades, giving birth to iconic structures with vast transparent surfaces. Trim, as a decorative feature, complemented these curtain walls, enhancing visual appeal and architectural details.

Future
Future

The future of curtain walls is about blending aesthetics with efficiency. Advances in glazing technology mean walls that adjust transparency for privacy and solar control. Smart glass can change opacity based on sunlight, conserving energy. Double-skin facades, like those on the One Angel Square in Manchester, enhance insulation, optimizing indoor temperatures. Modular curtain wall systems allow for quicker installations. As buildings become more eco-conscious and technologically integrated, curtain walls will play a crucial role, ensuring beauty meets functionality.

Common Questions
Common Questions
How are curtain wall systems structurally supported?

Curtain wall systems are typically supported using a combination of anchoring mechanisms and framing. They are non-structural cladding systems, and their weight is carried by the building's structural framework. Curtain walls are attached to the building's structure through anchoring brackets and are often designed with aluminum mullions to form a grid for glazing panels. These mullions transfer the load of the curtain wall to the building structure, ensuring it remains secure against wind loads and other forces.

What common problems might impact curtain walls systems over time?

Curtain walls may face several common problems, including water leakage due to inadequate sealing or failed gaskets. Air infiltration can occur if the air barrier is compromised. Thermal inefficiencies might arise from poor insulation or thermal bridging. Structural issues like deflection, bowing or loosening of components may occur due to wind loads or improper installation. Additionally, curtain walls can experience aesthetic issues like discoloration, fogging between glazing panes, or visible wear and tear on finishes.

Are curtain walls considered sustainable?

Curtain walls can be considered sustainable when designed and implemented with sustainable principles in mind. By incorporating energy-efficient glazing, thermal breaks, and effective insulation, curtain walls can contribute to reduced energy consumption and increased building efficiency. Additionally, the use of recyclable materials, such as aluminum, and the potential for incorporating renewable energy technologies further enhance their sustainability. However, careful design, maintenance, and consideration of life cycle impacts are essential to maximize the sustainability of curtain wall systems.

Buildings

* Under Development *

2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Curtain Wall Panel Sizes
610.000
244.000
2.500
20
GUIDE
3D
Curtain Wall Panel Sizes
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Invisible
610.000
244.000
2.500
15
https://p3d.in/e/mfDYH
GUIDE
3D
Curtain Wall - Glazed, InvisibleView of Invisible Glazed Curtain Wall in 3D available for downloadView of Invisible Glazed Curtain Wall in 3D available for download
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, Fin
610.000
244.000
2.500
200
https://p3d.in/e/OM2Ih
GUIDE
3D
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, FinPerspective view of a 3D model of Spider Fin Glazed Curtain WallPerspective view of a 3D model of Spider Fin Glazed Curtain Wall
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, Structure
610.000
244.000
2.500
200
https://p3d.in/e/KriMT
GUIDE
3D
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, Structure3D model of Spider Structure Glazed Curtain Wall viewed in perspective3D model of Spider Structure Glazed Curtain Wall viewed in perspective
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Visible
610.000
244.000
2.500
10
https://p3d.in/e/9IV9y
GUIDE
3D
Curtain Wall - Glazed, VisibleView of Visible Glazed Curtain Wall in 3D available for downloadView of Visible Glazed Curtain Wall in 3D available for download
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, Fin
Style and size comparison drawing of Spider Fin Glazed Curtain Wall compared to other curtain wall systems

A spider fin glazed curtain wall is a sophisticated façade system that marries aesthetics with engineering prowess. At its core, the system utilizes spider fittings, sleek point-fixed connectors, to anchor large glass panes. Instead of traditional mullions, vertical glass fins provide the necessary structural support. These fins are connected to the main façade using the same spider fittings, resulting in a coherent and minimalist design.

This approach offers near-complete transparency, creating a seemingly floating glass surface with discreet connectors. The glass fins, while functional, also become a visual feature, giving buildings a unique, crystalline appearance, symbolizing both strength and elegance.

Spider Fin Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed using spider fittings with widths of 6”, 8”, 12” (15, 20, 30 cm) and fittings depths between 2”-4” (5-10 cm). The glass structural fins have typical depths of 8”-12” (20-30 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Dimensioned drawings of the spider fitting for a fin curtain wall system
A spider fin glazed curtain wall is a sophisticated façade system that marries aesthetics with engineering prowess. At its core, the system utilizes spider fittings, sleek point-fixed connectors, to anchor large glass panes. Instead of traditional mullions, vertical glass fins provide the support.

Spider Fin Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed using spider fittings with widths of 6”, 8”, 12” (15, 20, 30 cm) and fittings depths between 2”-4” (5-10 cm). The glass structural fins have typical depths of 8”-12” (20-30 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Dimensioned drawings of the spider fitting for a fin curtain wall system
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, Fin
Height:
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
Width:
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
Length:
Depth:
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Weight:
Area:

Fitting Width: 6”, 8”, 12” | 15, 20, 30 cm
Fitting Depth: 2”-4” | 5-10 cm
Fin Depth: 8”-12” | 20-30 cm

Materials
Insulated glass; stainless steel fittings

Drawings include:
Spider Fin Glazed Curtain Wall elevation (various sizes), side, plan

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Curtain Wall - Glazed, Visible
Scale illustration of Visible Glazed Curtain Wall compared to other curtain wall systems

A visible glazed curtain wall is a prevalent architectural façade system, where the mullions – the vertical and horizontal framing members – are explicitly exposed, creating a distinct grid pattern on the building's exterior. This design not only provides structural support but also adds a rhythm and order to the façade. Each cell or module of the grid typically houses a pane of glass, emphasizing the systematic division and repetition across the building's elevation. The exposed mullions underscore the construction's honesty, articulating the boundary between inside and outside. The visible glazed curtain wall is both functional and aesthetic, offering clarity in design and form.

Visible Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed with common mullion widths between 2”-6” (5-15 cm), mullion depths of 4”-10” (10-25 cm), and cap depth of .5”-3” (1.3-7.6 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Group of dimensioned illustrations of Visible Glazed Curtain Wall seen in elevation and plan
A visible glazed curtain wall is a prevalent architectural façade system, where the mullions – the vertical and horizontal framing members – are explicitly exposed, creating a distinct grid pattern on the building's exterior. This design not only provides structural support but also adds a rhythm.

Visible Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed with common mullion widths between 2”-6” (5-15 cm), mullion depths of 4”-10” (10-25 cm), and cap depth of .5”-3” (1.3-7.6 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Group of dimensioned illustrations of Visible Glazed Curtain Wall seen in elevation and plan
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Visible
Height:
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
Width:
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
Length:
Depth:
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Weight:
Area:

Mullion Width: 2”-6” | 5-15 cm
Mullion Depth: 4”-10” | 10-25 cm
Cap Depth: .5”-3” | 1.3-7.6 cm

Materials
Insulated glass; aluminum mullions

Drawings include:
Visible Glazed Curtain Wall elevation (various sizes), side, plan

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, Structure
Comparison drawing of Spider Structure Glazed Curtain Wall compared to similar curtain wall systems

A spider structure glazed curtain wall represents a fusion of structural innovation with transparent aesthetics. In this system, the façade is primarily supported by a spider fitting mechanism: sleek, point-fixed connectors that bind vast glass panes directly to a concealed structural substructure, often made of steel or another robust material.

This design eliminates the need for traditional mullions, offering an almost uninterrupted glass surface. The spider fittings serve dual roles, merging function with form. By transferring loads to the underlying substructure, the façade remains stable and secure, while also achieving unparalleled clarity and minimalism, presenting an interplay of engineering and design elegance.

Spider Structure Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed using spider fittings with widths of 6”, 8”, 12” (15, 20, 30 cm) and depths between 2”-4” (5-10 cm). The structural frame has typical widths of 2”-6” (5-15 cm) and depths of 4”-10” (10-25 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Dimensioned drawings of spider fittings for glazed curtain wall systems with structure
A spider structure glazed curtain wall represents a fusion of structural innovation with transparent aesthetics. In this system, the façade is primarily supported by a spider fitting mechanism: sleek, point-fixed connectors that bind vast glass panes directly to a concealed structural substructure.

Spider Structure Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed using spider fittings with widths of 6”, 8”, 12” (15, 20, 30 cm) and depths between 2”-4” (5-10 cm). The structural frame has typical widths of 2”-6” (5-15 cm) and depths of 4”-10” (10-25 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Dimensioned drawings of spider fittings for glazed curtain wall systems with structure
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Spider, Structure
Height:
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
Width:
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
Length:
Depth:
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Weight:
Area:

Fitting Width: 6”, 8”, 12” | 15, 20, 30 cm
Fitting Depth: 2”-4” | 5-10 cm
Structural Width: 2”-6” | 5-15 cm
Structural Depth: 4”-10” | 10-25 cm

Materials
Insulated glass; stainless steel fittings

Drawings include:
Spider Structure Glazed Curtain Wall elevation (various sizes), side, plan

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Curtain Wall - Glazed, Invisible
Scale illustration of Invisible Glazed Curtain Wall compared to other curtain wall systems

An invisible glazed curtain wall is a cutting-edge architectural solution, elevating aesthetics by presenting an unbroken expanse of glass on a building's façade. Unlike traditional curtain walls, this design conceals mullions – the structural elements that typically segment glass panels.

By hiding these mullions, either within the structural framework or by utilizing structural glazing techniques, the façade offers a seamless and sleek appearance from the outside. This not only enhances visual continuity and transparency but also allows for unobstructed views and maximum natural light penetration. The result is a modern, minimalist facade that merges structural integrity with architectural fluidity.

Invisible Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed with common mullion widths between 2”-6” (5-15 cm) and mullion depths of 4”-10” (10-25 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Group of dimensioned illustrations of Invisible Glazed Curtain Wall seen in elevation and plan
An invisible glazed curtain wall is a cutting-edge architectural solution, elevating aesthetics by presenting an unbroken expanse of glass on a building's façade. Unlike traditional curtain walls, this design conceals mullions – the structural elements that typically segment glass panels.

Invisible Glazed Curtain Walls are constructed with common mullion widths between 2”-6” (5-15 cm) and mullion depths of 4”-10” (10-25 cm). Glazed curtain wall panel sizes vary as desired.

Group of dimensioned illustrations of Invisible Glazed Curtain Wall seen in elevation and plan
Curtain Wall - Glazed, Invisible
Height:
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
Width:
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
Length:
Depth:
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Weight:
Area:

Mullion Width: 2”-6” | 5-15 cm
Mullion Depth: 4”-10” | 10-25 cm

Materials
Insulated glass; aluminum mullions

Drawings include:
Invisible Glazed Curtain Wall elevation (various sizes), side, plan

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Curtain Wall Panel Sizes
Style and size comparison drawing of Curtain Wall Panel Sizes compared to other curtain wall systems

Curtain wall panel sizes play a crucial role in the design and performance of a building's facade. The size of each panel can significantly influence aesthetics, functionality, and structural behavior. Larger panels often create a more minimalist, seamless appearance, offering broader unobstructed views and reducing the number of visible joints. Conversely, smaller panels might be chosen for intricate design patterns or to meet specific performance criteria.

Panel size can also affect installation processes, weight considerations, and cost implications. Additionally, factors such as material availability, manufacturing capabilities, and transportation constraints can influence decisions on optimal panel dimensions. Ultimately, choosing the right panel size balances design intent with practical considerations.

Curtain Wall Panel Sizes are manufactured with a variety of sizes with panel widths between 2’-8’ (.61-2.44 m) and overall panel heights from 2’-20’ (.61-6.1 m). Glazed curtain wall panels have thicknesses between .25”-1” (6-25 mm).

Set of scaled dimensioned drawings of Curtain Wall Panel Sizes viewed from the fronT
Curtain wall panel sizes play a crucial role in the design and performance of a building's facade. The size of each panel can significantly influence aesthetics, functionality, and structural behavior. Larger panels often create a more minimalist, seamless appearance, offering unobstructed views.

Curtain Wall Panel Sizes are manufactured with a variety of sizes with panel widths between 2’-8’ (.61-2.44 m) and overall panel heights from 2’-20’ (.61-6.1 m). Glazed curtain wall panels have thicknesses between .25”-1” (6-25 mm).

Set of scaled dimensioned drawings of Curtain Wall Panel Sizes viewed from the fronT
Curtain Wall Panel Sizes
Height:
2’-20’ | .61-6.1 m (Panel)
Width:
2’-8’ | .61-2.44 m (Panel)
Length:
Depth:
.25”-1” | 6-25 mm (Glass)
Weight:
Area:

Mullion Width: 2”-6” | 5-15 cm
Mullion Depth: 4”-10” | 10-25 cm

Materials
Insulated glass; aluminum/steel mullions

Drawings include:
Curtain Wall Panel Sizes elevation (various sizes), side, plan

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads