Exposed - Frame Aluminium Curtain Wall Thermal Break Insulation
- Aluminium 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 Aluminium Curtain Wall façade does not carry any dead load weight 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.
- Aluminium 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. However, the effects of light on visual comfort as well as solar
heat gain in a building are more difficult to control when using
large amounts of glass infill. Other common infills include: stone
veneer, metal panels, louvres, and operable windows or vents.
- Aluminium 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.
- Stick SystemsThe vast majority of ground-floor curtain walls are installed as
long pieces (referred to as sticks) between floors vertically and between vertical members
horizontally. Framing members may be fabricated in a shop, but
installation and glazing is typically performed at the jobsite.
- Ladder SystemsVery similar to a stick system, a ladder system has mullions which
can be split and then either snapped or screwed together consisting
of a half box and plate. This allows sections of curtain wall to be
fabricated in a shop, effectively reducing the time spent
installing the system on site. The drawbacks of using such a system
is reduced structural performance and visible joint lines down the
length of each mullion.
- Unitized SystemsUnitized curtain walls entail factory fabrication and assembly of
panels and may include factory glazing. These completed units are
installed on the building structure to form the building enclosure.
Unitized curtain wall has the advantages of: speed; lower field
installation costs; and quality control within an interior climate-controlled environment. The economic
benefits are typically realized on large projects or in areas of
high field labor rates.