Curtain wall of a building defines its exterior elegance
The elegance of a building, is defined by the external aesthetics of its curtain wall design that utilises a variety of materials including glass, stone, brick veneer, aluminium, composites, balustrades, metal roofing, skylights and glass fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC).
Development in facades has made it more functional, providing designers with the flexibility to create high performance solutions which are visually exiting internally and externally.
A building is like a sculpture, and an Architect uses the above materials as a medium by employing the services of specialist designers and contractors to fashion them into shape and forms that are not only functional as an office, mall, or residence but are also a work of art and a land mark where we live.
Cladding is a very expensive part of the building, making up as much as 10 to 20 percent of a building's initial cost. If the building façade is improperly designed or installed, requiring serious repairs, the repairs can cost many times more than the original cost because of the difficulties of re-cladding a building that is already in use.
Until the invention of structural steel building frame, about a hundred years ago, most exterior building walls were load-bearing elements pierced by windows to provide light and ventilation.
The walls served the dual purpose of providing support for the upper floors and forming an enclosure concurrently.
Today the only function of building cladding systems is to act as a filter system without having to bear any of the loads from the structure.
Facade works include such important building components as windows wall, curtain wall, cladding panel, cable net, cable truss, etc, that form an integral part of the external envelop of a building . It is therefore important to ensure facade structures are properly designed installed and maintained to provide an interesting living environment.
On this site you'll find a comprehensive source of information on specifying, design issues and constructing building envelops using different types of curtain wall systems, structural glass and materials as well as recommendations for carrying out performance tests prior to installation.