Curtain Wall

A curtain wall system is an exterior covering of a building in which the exterior walls are non-structural, utilized only to keep the weather and keep occupants in. Since the curtain wall is non-structural, it can be made of lightweight materials, which will reduce the cost of construction.

Mullions are the vertical separations and transoms are the horizontal separations, however there are many combinations of curtain walls, sometimes a single panel is considered a curtain wall.

Here we will learn about curtain wall, types of curtain wall systems & how to install curtain wall.

Introduction to curtain wall:

The curtain wall includes a full cladding and exterior wall system excluding indoor finishing.

These walls usually supported by a spider system or cables, the panels are separated by grids without mullions and transoms.

Some or all panels may be replaced with solid panels (wood, aluminium, and stone), it is a wall but composed of thin elements as opposed to thick block walls, gypsum walls, etc.

Functions of Curtain Wall:

Elimination of Water Penetration:

Water penetration is the essential function of a mask, it may not be possible to convey an impermeable seal curtain panel system, so two levels of containment are placed.

The upper level where water is conserved, if it fails in the secondary stage, where a course of drinking contaminated water is to be offered.

Air permeability:

This function is an environmentally friendly for reducing carbon dioxide emissions due to the rate of heat loss or gain in the external and internal environments.

Resistance to the wind, thermal, and acoustic motion:

The wall cladding system transfers wind works to the ground of construction acting as direct support.

Building cladding programs made of large panels are often unilateral therefore the level of each floor helps in the air load on a construction.

A mask requires a strict thermal insulation function to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions- insulating supplies in each opaque and transparent area.

Acoustic insulation between the inside and outside environments is essential in city-centric buildings.

Large-scale structural elements have excessive acoustic insulation such as masonry or concrete structures.

Solar Level:

This contribution can reduce the selective solar management coating on one of several glass surfaces.

Solar radiation of different wavelengths is allowed to traverse through the layer selectively, the visible wavelength of light is allowed to move freely than the ultraviolet wavelength.

For example, ultraviolet radiation can cause erosion of materials or areas of exposure & a UV-inhibitor film can be applied to the surface of the glazing.

Types of curtain wall systems:

1.Stick Curtain Wall System:

The stick curtain wall system includes components to be assembled by piece upon construction on-site, installed in low-rise buildings or small areas.

The reason to achieve a more significant height, external access is necessary, this would further require scaffolding, cranes, etc.

This reduces the transportation prices because on-site changes are possible, but the consumption of time and labour is more.

2.Unit Curtain Wall System:

The unit curtain wall system involves using interlocking units that are purchased from the factory.

The measurement of unified curtain walls will depend on the height of construction from the ground, it is necessary to remember the mode of transport and installation when planning the depth of the mask.

This system is mostly used in tall buildings; it does not need external assistance like a crane or scaffold.

Only mini cranes or temporary hoists can be mounted on the floor to help during installation.

This system achieves rapid construction and high quality due to factory construction, but this increases the high charges due to the need for more comprehensive protection during transportation.

3.Unitized curtain wall system:

In this system, mullion members are set up separately.

Per-assembled framing units are placed between them.

Curtain Wall Components:

Curtain Wall Components

Mullion and transom of a curtain wall:

Transom or horizontal rail curtains have horizontal members on the wall panel and anchored on the edge slab or beams.

These are mainly concerned with supporting the dead weight of the curtain wall.

In traditional or viscous curtain wall techniques, each system must be deployed one by one.

Fitting requires high-quality testing and accuracy but in the integrated system, the factory product arises as two units that have to be associated.

Panel Framing details:

The characteristic of the unified system is to divide the multilayer and specific changes in the panel perimeter.

In the case of a sticky curtain walls, all types of partitions are not informed for single unit.

In a long time, an intermediate transom may be required, which will permanently divide the entire vertical panel into two parts.

To prevent the condensation, mullion and transom are thermally damaged, it prevents chilly interweaving.

The weather condition of curtain walls:

Weather tightness is mainly associated with the difficulty of water permeability and to avoid this, impermeable insulating units are employed.

Any water enter into the gasket is direct to the refund, which is flushed out through the transom joints in the flip, or the molly is exhausted.

Support Conditions of Curtain Walls:

This curtain wall system hangs from above, then supported at different ground levels, therefore it is necessary to have an inflexible edge beam to keep it away from an extreme deflection.

These vertical deflections can disturb the curtain system; later, proper edge beam will prevent injury to the curtain walls and cladding system, when it is hugely flashed.

As an alternative, an additional substantial metal spinal column may be provided for expansion between the columns of the sides; later it is not necessary to hook up with the side beam or ground slab.

Sharp spines are mainly hot-rolled segments.

Advantages of curtain wall:

  1. Small wall footprint: Available in additional floor area.
  2. Parallel scheduling:  It results in faster installation.
  3. Lighter structure: It results in easier transport and installation.
  4. Improved natural light: It results in a flexible architectural design.
  5. Structural Flexibility: It results in easy structural engineering.
  6. Structural independence: It results in flexible architectural designs.

Disadvantages of curtain wall:

  1. The construction of these walls requires high skilled laborers.
  2. Also has a high shipping cost.
  3. It needs a higher degree of protection for units when transportation
  4. The necessity of expensive lifting equipment’s on site.

Application of Curtain Walls:

  • It establishes a system track record.
  • Also, gives the best waterproofing performance.
  • It is condensation resistance.
  • Also, provides finish durability.
Also read: Retaining Wall, Parapet Wall, Masonry Wall & CMU Walls


A curtain wall is an essential construction because of its functions, rapid structures, lightweight, and provide significant aesthetic view.

It is a significant and unique invention in the civil engineering field.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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