Curtain wall systems are non-structural cladding for the external walls of buildings.They are generally associated with large, high rise multi storey buildings.Curtain wall system comprises one of the elements of facade technology which involve window wall, cladding elements and curtain walls which generates the exterior envelope of the building.
The curtain wall systems now possess structural importance equivalent to that gained by other structural elements of the building. It has to be properly designed, installed and maintained since it has a higher exposure to the atmosphere.
Stick Curtain Wall System and Unitized Curtain Wall System are the two types of Curtain Wall Systems. Stick Curtain Wall System involves its components to be assembled piece by piece on the building at the site.Unitized curtain wall systems involves assembling by means of interlocking units that are bought from the factory.
Stick Curtain Wall Systems mainly installed in low rise buildings or small regions. This is because, to reach higher elevations, exterior access is essential. For this additional requirements like scaffolding, cranes etc. will be required. The above system gains the advantage of low shipping cost as onsite adjustments are possible. But the time and labor consumption is recorded to be high.
In Unitized Curtain Wall Systems, the whole components are bought together as a single unit from the factory. Individual installations of each component are not necessary as in a sticky curtain wall system. The size of the unitized curtain walls are dependent on the floor to floor height of the building. Hence it is essential to keep in mind the mode of transportation and installation while planning the depth of facade. This system is mainly used in high rise buildings. This does not require exterior supports like cranes or scaffolding. Only mini cranes or a temporary hoist can be held over the floor to keep it help during installation. This system gains advantage of faster construction and higher quality because of factory manufacturing. But it gains a high shipping charge as mentioned due to the requirement of larger protection during transportation.