Sure you must have heard of curtain walling. The mechanism has gained great popularity as it offers a multitude of advantages – making the building attractive, thermal and acoustic insulation and resistance to adverse weather conditions. However, there is a lack of awareness of the types of curtain wall systems that are available. In this post, we aim to introduce various types of these systems and the one which will suit you the best. Curtain walling comes in two forms-
Stick built systems: These systems are built by assembling different components. The assembly is done piece by piece and is carried out at the installation site.
Unitized or modular systems: In this system, large units are assembled at the factory and transported to the site where the installation is to be done.
Which system suits which type of building?
It depends mainly on three factors:
Adding height to the building: Stick-built systems are very suitable for adding height to low-rise buildings as their installation can be carried out on an external basis. Unitized systems are suitable for tall buildings that need internal support by using pre-fabricated units.
Building location: If your building is located in an area with high seismic activity, unitized curtain walling systems that will suit it. The reason behind this fact is that these systems are better at withstanding drastic structural movements.
Building shape: buildings with flat surfaces are better with stick-built systems. Modular systems are better for buildings with slopes and multi-dimensional shapes.
Which system offers better quality?
Though both the systems offer good quality, the unitized system is more favored over the stick-built system. The reason behind this is that the units which are fabricated in the factory environment are manufactured under the right temperature and conditions.
Which system requires more effort during installation?
This answer needs details on various aspects:
Labour: Unitised systems are pre-fabricated at the factory site; therefore we need less on-site labor. In stick-built systems, adequate labor is required as the fabrication of units is done at the installation site.
Transportation: Stick-built systems are easier to transport. However, transportation of big pre-fabricated units can spell trouble as special transportation would be required. It may also lead to higher transportation costs.
Time: The system consumes less amount of time as it uses prefabricated units. On the other hand, stick-built systems require more time. These systems also require ample storage requirements if poor weather conditions exist.
Equipment: Installation of stick-built curtain wall systems requires the use of cranes and scaffolding. Unitized systems don’t require these systems as mini cranes and hoists can be used for installation.