The intelligent building envelope with an aluminum facade

The curtain facade (or “curtain wall”) is a light facade which ensures the closing of the envelope of a building without contributing to its stability. This type of facade consists of a framework – uprights and crosspieces – usually made of aluminum profiles, and glazed or opaque fillings mounted on it.

Characteristics of a curtain wall

Aluminum curtain wall: A curtain wall is a light wall made up of one (or more) wall (s), which is mainly characterized by:

– a weight of less than 100 kg / m3, providing it with excellent inertia (compared to 200 kg / m3 for a façade made of concrete or masonry, etc.);

– a frame composed of uprights and crosspieces, called secondary, serving as support for glazed or opaque, straight or curved filling elements. The delivery on site of these manufactured products allows rapid installation.

– a system of fasteners allowing this secondary framework to take over the primary structure of a building made of metal, concrete or wood, in order to ensure its stability with respect thereto.

Aluminum profiles are most often used to form the framework of a curtain wall (uprights and crosspieces). Light, thin and resistant, they meet the constraints of lightness and resistance to corrosion, thanks to an anodized or powder-coated finish ensuring their unalterability. Aluminum also provides maximum light and allows larger openings. More info on surface treatments

Typology of curtain facades: 2 main mounting principles

There are different types of curtain facades depending on the mounting technique of their frame and the assembly of glass fillings on it (glazing glazed, glued or attached). Each construction depends on the know-how of the company and the scope of the project to be carried out.

Grid mounting

The grid facade technique consists of fixing the secondary framework to the skeleton of the building by making a sort of grid, then placing the filling and finishing elements. This is the most common case. The assembly is fixed to the noses of the floors on each level. The framework is in the form of linear elements, uprights and crosspieces, or frames pre-assembled in workshops. More info on the grid front

“Elements” mounting

A “frame” frame curtain facade is fully assembled in the workshop before arriving on site, in the form of self-supporting elements from 2 to 3.50 m corresponding to a facade grid. This type of light facade consists of uprights, crosspieces and a glazed filling. The frame is attached to the floor using hooks attached to the corners. More info on the frame facade

Curtain or semi-curtain facade?

We distinguish the curtain facade from the semi-curtain facade according to its position vis-à-vis the nose of the floor and vertical structural works:

– the curtain wall is fixed to the external face of the load-bearing structure of the building and runs in front of the floor nosings. It seals air and water over its entire surface;

– the semi-curtain wall consists of two walls, a heavy interior and the other light exterior, and only exists when the structure of the building includes concrete or masonry spandrels. It is alternately made up of watertight horizontal bands, and non-watertight glass fillings located in front of the lighters.

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