Modern curtain wall designs play a significant role in the modern buildings today
For a long time, curtain walls that envelop an entire building or only one side are non-load bearing and created to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. In recent years, modern curtain wall designs play an important role in commercial buildings not only to protect mid-rise and some high-rise buildings against the harshest elements, but also to improve vertical stability, especially in some natural disaster zones. Because fewer stability concerns exist for buildings low to the ground, curtain walls are not typically designed for single or two-story buildings.
Modern Curtain Wall Design
Most types of curtain walls are thin and made from lightweight glass, metal or stone veneer in-fills that are encased in aluminum frames. Appearance varies depending on the type of curtain wall design used and the materials chosen by the architect. Common types of curtain wall design include:
-Stick Design: Large sections of framing that hold glass, wood or stone veneer panels will be assembled on-site, which eliminates additional manufacturing and shipping costs. Because the sections are designed to cover large surface areas, few seams are created. Fewer seams help prevent heat and cool air from escaping the building.
-Ladder Design: Ladder design curtain wall frames are generally built off-site and later assembled on-site. This reduces installation time but, since the pieces are smaller, results in a greater number of seams and joint lines.
-Unitized Design: The entire curtain wall will be assembled into one piece off-site and then craned into position on-site. Shipping can be complicated and costly but installation is easier.
Generally speaking, which type of curtain wall systems would be better for you depends on your personal preference and curtain wall costs in the construction budget. If you would like to improve energy use of your building, then a thermally-broken unitized system or stick design may be most effective. However, if you just need an aesthetically-pleasing curtain wall that lets in plenty of natural light, then the number of seams may not be an issue. In that case, ladder design may be sufficient. Of course, it is possible for you to create a custom curtain wall, with a wide range of colors and array of texture options available. Furthermore, considering the flexibility and curtain wall being so robust, you can design a distinctive structural glass curtain wall system based on your specific requirements in applications.
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