Understanding and Comparing Different types of Curtain Walling Systems

Curtain Walling has gained popularity for offering advantages like thermal insulation, acoustic insulation and resistance to water and air and also for adding visual appeal to buildings. However, not many are aware of the types in which these systems are available. It is necessary that you learn about what these types are and which one is the most suitable for your building. Here’s an introduction to two main types of these systems, along with a point-by-point comparison of the two.

Stick built systems: These are built by assembling different components piece by piece right at the installation site.

Unitized or modular systems: In this, the large units assembled at the factory are transported to the installation site for immediate installation.

What types of buildings are these systems apt for?

It depends on mainly three factors:

  • Building height: Stick built systems are a great option for low rise buildings as installation can be done with convenient exterior access and support. Unitized systems, on the other hand, are recommended for tall buildings where interior support would help in installation of the pre-fabricated units floor by floor.
  • Building location: If your building is located in a seismic area, it is better to opt for unitized curtain walling systems. It is because these systems perform better to withstand structural movements.
  • Building shape: For buildings with flat surfaces, it is possible to fabricate the units on site. However, for those with slopes and multi-dimensional shapes, pre-fabrication of the units must be done at the factory.

Which offers better quality?

Though each of these systems offers good quality, unitized system scores over stick built system. Why? This is because, the units are fabricated in the factory environment under the right temperature and other controlled conditions. However, an experienced professional in shop fronts and curtain walling solutions can ensure equable quality with stick built systems too.

Which requires more installation efforts?

This can be divided into the following sections:

  • Labour: As the units come pre-fabricated from the factory site, the requirement for on-site labour is much lower. For stick built systems, you would need adequate labour to fabricate the units.
  • Transportation: Stick built systems score better in this regard. It is easy to transport small units to the installation site. However, transporting big pre-fabricated units for a unitized system can be cumbersome and would require special transportation modes. Transportation cost may be higher in this case.
  • Time: Installing the pre-fabricated units in the case of a unitized system would obviously consume less amount of time. More time would be required to fabricate and install the units in stick built systems. As a result, these systems also call for the need of storing the units in case of poor weather conditions.
  • Equipment: Installing stick built curtain wall systems from the exterior would require the use of cranes and scaffolding. Unitized systems don’t require these as they can be installed from the interior using mini cranes and hoists.

Two other types of curtain walling systems

  • Pressure-equalized systems: In this type, all external forces that can let water penetrate into the installation are blocked.
  • Water-managed systems: In this type, there is no arrangement to block the external forces pushing water into the installation, but there are drains and weeps that allow the penetrated water to flow out.

We, at Lancashire Shop Fronts can help you decide the right kind of systems that would suit your needs as well as installation time and overall budget. We also ensure that the top-quality materials like aluminium and glass are used to achieve all great benefits curtain walls offer.

We serve the northern areas of Lancashire like Blackpool, Blackburn, Preston, Burnley as well as Warrington, Liverpool, Manchester, Cumbria, Merseyside, Cheshire, and Yorkshire.

By |2019-12-03T17:06:49+00:00July 31st, 2019|Blog|