The Functionality of Curtain Walls in Commercial Buildings

  • Curtain walls have become a common feature in modern commercial buildings. Designed to offer protection to a building from external elements such as harsh weather conditions. Aluminium curtain walls have gained structural importance in modern architecture. The exterior panels are made to offer support and functionality. Curtain walls serve a wide range of functions in commercial buildings such as: (Information credit: https://www.alsysco.co.za/curtain-wall/)

     

    1. Preventing the penetration of water:

    One of the key functions of a façade is to prevent the penetration of water from entering the building. A curtain wall system acts as the perfect feature for this, serving as an impermeable system. The curtail wall acts as a barrier and prevents water from getting into the building. In many systems, two distinct levels of prevention are employed.

     

    2. Stopping the movement of air:

    An aluminium curtain wall acts as both an insulator and a buffer as it eliminates the permeability of air. Curtain wall systems serves the environment by reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions, by regulating the rate of heat gain and loss. As a result, buildings that have a curtain wall are more affordable and easier to maintain. The extra protective shield also ensures a longer life span of the building.

     

    3. Thermal and wind resistance:

    The cladding systems of a building acts as support to the building by transferring the pressure of the wind. Since the cladding systems are made of large panels, it offers a high level of resistance from the wind. The panels on each level of the flooring supports that level against the winds pressure. Curtain walls also offer thermal insulation by reducing the energy consumption of a building. By regulating the loss and gain of heat, carbon dioxide emissions are also controlled.

     

    4. Regulating solar exposure:

    Curtail walls can effectively reduce the solar glare by applying a solar control coating on the surface of the glass. This coating is generally selective as they allow the passage of solar radiation depending on the wavelengths. For instance, wavelengths that are visible can freely through the curtain wall however harmful infrared waves are not allowed through. This is very beneficial for exhibition or material display spaces that can experience degradation from being exposed to the ultraviolet rays.

     

    5. Enhancing the aesthetic appeal:

    Curtain walls are widely used not only due to their many advantages but also due to their aesthetic appeal. They add a sophisticated, unique and modern appearance to buildings and structures, perfectly complementing the contemporary designs. The glass wall is often the only visible option for high rises, against the skyline of the city.

     

    These are some of the basic functions that a curtain wall serves. The use of curtain walls also prevents swaying of the building and prevents the spread of fire in the event of an emergency.