What are the Advantages of Curtain Walls?
June 22, 2021
What are the advantages of curtain walls?
- Reduce the spread of fire
- Improve building stability
- Energy efficient
A building’s exterior is just as important as the interior. This is what maintains the structural integrity of the building while providing ample protection to the occupants inside. One of the ways modern buildings add protection is through installing curtain walls. Many building owners — be it high-rise, mid-height, or low-rise — understand the advantages of curtain walls which is why they find them to be a worthy addition to any kind of building design.
What are curtain walls?
While curtain walls may contribute to better structural form, they are not structural by design, since they are only able to support their own weight. Curtain wall systems are typically thin and lightweight, designed to add aesthetic value to modern buildings. They’re usually made out of lightweight materials like aluminum and can be fashioned with further metal fabrication techniques for decorative purposes.
Reduce The Spread Of Fire
As mentioned, curtain walls have little-to-no structural value, as they can only carry their own weight. However, they are able to slow down the spread of fire in between floors. This is because curtain walls serve as barriers between building surfaces, allowing the fire to dampen in cases of building emergencies.
Some curtain wall materials are exceptional at preventing fire from further spreading, particularly with metals like steel and aluminum. With the added non-combustibility, aluminum curtain walls can make evacuations much safer. The fire will no longer affect surrounding floors of the building or other surrounding exterior locations, giving local emergency services time to put it out.
Improve Building Stability
Overall, curtain walls can reduce building sway, making the structure more stable. This is true for high-rise or multi-story buildings that need to have good wind resistance without damaging the structure itself and ensuring the protection of the occupants.
Curtain walls can spread out kinetic energy throughout the building’s overall frame and structure. This creates a building that is able to withstand high wind forces and even out any stressed present for the structure. Reduced building sway is crucial in the comfort of the potential inhabitants. Thereby, adding curtain walls is one of the best ways to achieve this.
All kinds of structures that will be populated with occupants have to be as comfortable as possible. Engineers and builders achieve this by measuring the building’s thermal or energy efficiency. Simply put this determines how well the building can sustain comfortable temperatures — it is neither too hot during cold climates, nor too cold during summer months.
Aside from building cladding, insulation, and other interior treatments, curtain walls can also vastly improve the building’s energy efficiency. As an added material, it can stabilize its temperature and reduce operating costs of heating or cooling systems.
Additionally, properly treated and glazed aluminum curtain walls can reduce the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which slows down the rate of wear and tear for the interiors.
Almost all buildings today have curtain walls installed in some way or another. This is done not only because of its functional benefits, but also for decorative purposes. With a curtain wall, it can wholly improve the aesthetics of the building, giving it a sleek and sophisticated look associated with modern or contemporary designs.
If you’re planning to build a commercial building, choosing aluminum curtain walls can improve its appearance and make it a standout among surrounding buildings. Simple to install, easy to design, and made out of recyclable materials, these building wall additions will definitely add more value to your construction development.
When fitted properly, curtain walls offer a watertight and insect-proof solution to keep external elements from entering a building. Combined with other additions such as aluminum windows and other sealing, curtain walls can reduce maintenance and lower costs needed for repairs.
In cases of inclement weather, watertight curtain walls will prevent water from seeping in and affecting nearby structures. For example, in an office space, the added layer of protection offered by these curtain walls will allow employees to continue going about their business without being disrupted by environmental factors.
For building managers that want to design curtain-walled buildings, they benefit from high customizability and versatility. They have a number of options when it comes to curtain wall designs. This added freedom makes design choices limitless and more appealing to the building owner.
With current and emerging trends in metal fabrication, there is no doubt that you can add curtain walls that feature unique designs and finishes. These materials can also be coated with a variety of metal coatings like powder coats, galvanizing, or simply mill-finished alloys.
The advantages of curtain walls are far too attractive for home and building owners to ignore. Initially, they may appear simply as exterior additions for such structures that don’t really have any structural implications. However, curtain walls offer beyond just that. They’re customizable, water tight, and energy efficient with the ability to reduce the spread of fire during emergencies and add additional improvements to wind resistance.
As the leading supplier of fabricated aluminum parts, profiles, and extrusions, AMC Aluminum can help you come up with a curtain wall design that’s perfect for your contemporary home or establishment.
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