curtain wall design guide manual

Curtain wall frame conductance is a function of the frame material, geometry and fabrication (e.g. A curtain wall is defined as thin, usually aluminum-framed wall, containing in-fills of glass, metal panels, or thin stone. Water penetration of curtain wall frame corners is likely to leak to the interior and/or onto insulating glass below. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has developed a new manual providing guidelines for the design of curtainwalls. In cold climates insulation should be installed between the back pan and the exterior cladding in order to maintain the dew point outboard of the back pan so that the back pan acts as an air and vapor barrier. Because these units are frequently custom designed, the amount of movement to be accommodated can be carefully engineered into the system. The mullion dimensions tend to be slightly larger than a stick system due to their open section as compared to the tube shape of a standard stick curtain wall section. Curtain walls and perimeter sealants require maintenance to maximize the service life of the curtain walls. Minimize the proportion of framing exposed to the outdoors. Significant updates were made to reference documents, material engineering properties, specification language, laboratory testing overview information and weatherability requirements. Include lab mock-up thermal testing in addition to CFD modeling for analysis of project-specific conditions. Weeping of water is only a secondary function. The four-way intersection refers to the location where four adjacent units meet. Unitized systems generally rely on rain screen design principles and gaskets and/or the interlock of mating frames for moisture protection at joints between adjacent modules. Modules are generally constructed one story tall and one module wide but may incorporate multiple modules. Anodized aluminum frames cannot be "re-anodized" in place, but can be cleaned and protected by proprietary clear coatings to improve appearance and durability. Careful integration with adjacent elements such as other wall claddings, roofs, and base of wall details is required for a successful installation. The wind and gravity loads of the curtain wall are transferred to the building structure, typically at the floor line. However, unlike a stick system which has an integral hollow shape, the split mullions must be allowed to move independently to accommodate the building movement thus complicating the introduction of steel. Interior glazed systems allow for glass or opaque panel installation into the curtain wall openings from the interior of the building. There is currently discussion among building science experts that, at least for cold climates, a less expensive way of achieving energy savings might be through the use of curtain walls with high (over R-6) insulating values. Shadow box construction creates the appearance of depth behind a transparent lite of glass by incorporating a metal sheet into the curtain wall behind the lite. Anchoring of unitized curtain wall typically consists of a proprietary assembly with three-way dimensional adjustability. With a properly designed system the water that enters the system at the gasket corners will weep out through the snap cover weep holes. Foam glazing tape weather seal is discontinuous at horizontal panel joints to achieve pressure equalization between weather and air seals at vertical unit joints. For low rise construction with easy access to the building, outside glazing is typically specified. Curtain wall leakage, both air and water, can contribute to IAQ problems by supplying liquid water and condensation moisture for mold growth. Due to the lack of interior air adjacent to opaque curtain wall areas, these areas are subject to wide swings in temperature and humidity and require careful detailing of insulation and air/vapor barriers to minimize condensation. The units should be completely assembled in a factory and shipped to the site for installation on the building. Water that infiltrates the interlocking vertical mullions drains to the interlocking horizontals that must collect and divert this water to the exterior. It is common practice to incorporate thermal breaks of low conductivity materials, traditionally PVC, Neoprene rubber, polyurethane and more recently polyester-reinforced nylon, for improved thermal performance. National Institute of Building Sciences Locate exterior perimeter sealant joints behind trim cover to prevent water inside trim cover from bypassing the exterior sealant joint. See discussion of back pans below. Typically, for products more widely available on the market, the aforementioned values are readily available from glass manufacturers/fabricators.

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