A Guide To Curtain Walling


The outside of your property is the first thing people will see when they approach it and it can set the tone for the rest of your building. As such, there is a lot to consider when choosing the best facade.

Firstly, because you want it to look good, but also because you want it to be durable, effective and budget-friendly.

This is where curtain walling comes into consideration.

Thanks to its modern look and elegant finish, this style of building is becoming increasingly popular. But if you’re not sure exactly what this is or why you should choose this style for your property, let us tell you.

What is curtain walling?

Curtain wall systems are non-structural cladding systems used on the outside of buildings. These are typically made with a lightweight aluminium frame, which is used to support the glazed or opaque panels that seal the building. These panels are typically described as glazing, even when they’re not made of glass.

So essentially, this is a way of wrapping a building from the outside to give it a more modern look. This style is generally associated with larger, multi-storey buildings.

Because these panels are non-structural, they are not designed to take the weight of the building and only support their own weight. This is quite a contrast to many other forms of traditional construction in which external walls make up an integral part of the structure.

Why do people choose to use curtain walling?

Since its iconic use on the Empire State Building back in 1929, curtain walling has been growing in popularity on larger buildings.

But at this point, you might be wondering why someone would choose this style rather than older and more traditional methods. Well, these glazed panels serve a number of important functions, including letting in light and protecting the interior of the property from the elements.

They also offer aesthetics and design flexibility, transparency and thermal functions. But to help you get a better understanding of exactly why people are choosing this technique, we’re going to look at some of the main advantages and disadvantage of curtain walling in more detail in the next section.

The advantages and disadvantages of curtain walling

One of the best ways to really understand what curtain walling is and whether it is the right solution for your property is to look at the benefits of using it and some of the reasons it might not be so good.

To help you with this, we’ve pulled together a list of the pros and cons below.

The advantages of curtain walling:

  • Curtain walling is durable. This means it will last longer and better protect your property
  • Although it might be more expensive to create curtain walling than windows, because curtain wall panels are lightweight and don’t need to be structural, these can actually end up saving money during construction
  • Curtain walls let the light in, making the building feel bigger and brighter
  • They are aesthetically pleasing and can have a really elegant finish, making your building look great. This could be particularly important if this is your office or workspace as it can reflect your brand
  • Plus, these make your building look modern and clean
  • Curtain walling is safer than some other options as it can keep out strong winds and rain, and because these are designed to fit perfectly, you don’t have to worry about any glass panels becoming loose or breaking
  • The correct design can result in a building envelope that provides a much higher level of thermal performance. This can make the building much more energy efficient

But as with anything, there are some downsides to curtain walling that you need to be aware of.

The disadvantages of curtain walling:

  • Curtain walls will need more maintenance in order to get the most from them. This means that regular cleaning of the glass and frames might be necessary
  • These panels are harder to install and because they need to be attached from the outside, the construction team will often experience delays during the installation period due to bad weather
  • On some rare occasions, these panels can let in too much light and it can become distracting to those inside. However, this can be controlled using tactics such as adding darker flooring and interior walls

In most cases, the advantages of curtain walling far outweigh the disadvantages in the long run. But just be sure that you’ve weighed up all your options and thought carefully about the purpose of your building and the look you want it to have.

This will help you to determine if curtain walling is the ideal solution for you.