Types of curtain wall system
As a rule, the exterior of a building is important for the structural integrity of the building, while protecting the building’s interior. Curtain wall is generally one of the ways to protect your building from harsh outdoor elements in the modern times. The use of curtain walls has many advantages. Because of the use of lightweight materials, curtain wall systems are an affordable option for a building’s exterior casing. Depending on the size of the building, the savings may be compounded.
What is a curtain wall?
In general, unlike other building materials, a curtain wall system is thin and lightweight. Aluminum curtain wall and glass curtain wall are the two popular types of curtain wall widely used in buildings today. However, both of these two kinds of curtain walls are not structural. By design, they are only able to carry their own weight, while transferring the load of wind and gravity to the structure of the building. The design makes it air and water resistant, to ensure that the interior of the building remains airtight. In most cases, curtain walls are available in three main systems: face-sealed, water-managed, and pressure-equalized. Face-sealed walls depend on perfect sealing between units of the wall and frame. Water-managed systems include moisture drains to prevent the intrusion of water in the building. However, neither face-sealed nor water-managed systems can create an air barrier in use.
Types of Curtain Wall System:
1. Stick Curtain Wall System:
In this type of curtain wall system, the components are assembled piece by piece on the structure of the building. This system is mainly used for low-rise buildings or in small regions. This is due to the fact that for reaching higher elevations it is important to have exterior access. This system promises flexibility as it gives space for onsite adjustments. Though it has the advantage of low shipping costs, the labor and time consumption should not be underestimated as tend to run quite high.
2. Unitized Curtain Wall System:
In this type of curtain wall system, the parts are already assembled in the factory. The components are installed and brought as a single unit from the factory to the site. This negates the need for individual installation. The size of the unitized curtain walls is directly proportional to the floor to floor height of the structure. Popular in high-rise buildings, they don’t need external supports such as cranes or scaffolding. Only mini cranes or temporary hoist are needed. This system offers the benefits of quick construction and good quality as the components are manufactured in a factory setting. However, this type of curtain wall cost is a little higher because it tends to increase the shipping charges due to need for larger and better protection during transportation to the site.
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