Curtain wall systems are non-structural cladding systems for the external walls of buildings. They are generally associated with large, multi-storey buildings.
Curtain walls separate the interior from the exterior, but only support their own weight and the loads imposed on them (such as wind loads, seismic loads, and so on) which they transfer back to the primary structure of the building. This is in contrast to many forms of traditional construction in which the external walls are a fundamental part of the primary structure of the building.
Typically curtain wall systems comprise a lightweight aluminium frame onto which glazed or opaque infill panels can be fixed. These infill panels are often described as 'glazing' whether or not they are made of glass.
The curtain wall method of glazing allows glass to be used in large uninterrupted areas creating consistent attractive facades. The flexibility in choice of Pilkington products allows the designer to control every aspect of the performance from thermal to solar considerations and ultimately the design statement for the building. The Pilkington Suncool™ range combines in one coating efficient thermal properties with some of the lowest Ug values achievable in insulating glass units and a broad range of solar-control options. With so much glass being used in a curtain wall the solar-gain can be high unless it is controlled. With the Pilkington range we can offer high light-transmission with solar-control properties and retain the natural look with neutral appearance glass products.
At the other extreme we can restrict light and solar gain in varying proportions and add colour or reflection into the products. For those areas covering floor slabs or office services, there are complimentary Pilkington Spandrel Glass options to either contrast with the glazing or look similar. Pilkington Spandrel Glass can have the Ug value enhanced with additional insulation fitted directly to the rear of the panels. Most products are available in impact resistant forms to allow the glass to be used at low levels, as a barrier and for security.
BSF’s Curtain walling profiles offers one of the most versatile system approaches to insulated aluminium low to medium rise curtain wall cladding for new developments or building refurbishment. We have many years of experience with facade framing systems and proven methods of pressure plate curtain wall glazing.
One of the most distinctive features is the variety of external cover caps allowing for variations in facade appearance. Our curtain wall frames can be manufactured to a number of finishes including powder coated (to any RAL or BS colour) or silver, bronze or black anodising.
A curtain wall system is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, and therefore can be manufactured of a lightweight material, such as aluminium, reducing construction costs. When glass is used as the curtain wall the great advantage is that natural light can penetrate deeper within the building. The curtain wall facade only carries its own weight and no dead load weight from the building. The wall transfers horizontal 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, sway induced by wind and seismic forces acting on the building and its own dead load weight forces.
Curtain wall systems are typically designed with extruded aluminium members. The aluminium frame is typically infilled with glass, which allows in large amounts of natural light creating a feeling of space and providing the perfect interface with the outside world whilst maintaining the safety, security and comfort levels of the buildings internal environment for the benefit of its occupants. Other common infills include stone veneer, metal or insulated panels, louvers and operable windows or vents. Curtain walls differ from store front systems in that they are designed to span multiple floors, and take 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.