Curtain Walls are becoming common and practical materials due to the increase in the number of high-rise and modern buildings projects. These products are thin, aluminum-framed cladding systems that create functional and energy-efficient characteristics for the construction. They come with a variety of fillings which include metal panels, delicate stones, or even glass. The curtain wall system features a framing that is joined or attached to the buildings primary structure. It is essential to note that they do not bear the load of the roof or the floor; instead, it relies on the construction’s system, particularly at the floor section. Thus, the gravity and wind loads of these products are transferred to the structure of the building. One of the most immeasurable things about curtain walls is that these systems range from the manufacturer’s standard catalogue methods to the specialized custom wall panel.

History of Curtain Walls Systems

Curtain walls system production is dating back to the 1930s. They rapidly came into use in World War II. By that time, industries were started to utilize aluminum for various purposes other than military ones. In the modern era, curtain wall systems are gaining structural importance equivalent to new buildings elements and standards. Due to the fact that the cladding materials are constantly exposed to external factors such as atmosphere, wind, dust, and rain, the curtain wall should have an appropriate design, installing methods, and regular maintenance. These factors depend on the durability and functionality of cladding and wall systems installed on the construction to support the facility’s structure. The expense of these materials depends on the type of curtain wall the landlord would like to utilize for the building. However, buying them can be a perfect investment for the owner because these products shield the facility’s exterior and even protect the interiors from further damages.

Most Practical Types of Curtain Walls Systems

Manufacturers precast curtain walls at their factory and assemble them before sending them to the construction site. Depending on the method of the components assembly, they are typically two types of curtain walls systems. These types include stick curtain wall systems and unitized curtain wall systems. Knowing the unique characteristics of each product allows designers and builders to complete any project equivalent to their customer’s demands while providing the best result. The following sections are a practical introduction to both types.

Stick Curtain Walls Systems

In the stick curtain walls method, installers should assemble the components piece by piece on the primary structure of the construction. These systems are mainly practical for low-rise buildings which are often in small regions. The installation method makes limitations for high-rise building because it is essential to have exterior access for reaching higher elevations. The stick system promises flexibility as it provides space for onsite arrangements. Additionally, it features the advantage of low shipping costs. The time and labor consumption will not be underestimated as tending to be relatively high.

Unitized Curtain Walls Systems

As the name itself tells, the unitized curtain walls systems are already assembled in the manufacturer’s factory. In these systems, the production process installs and brings the components together as a single unit and then sends them to the buildings site. Thus, they do not require individual installation, and it negates the need for higher time consumption. The unitized curtain wall systems’ size and height are directly comparative to the floor-to-floor measurement of the facility. They are common and popular materials for high-rise buildings. One of the noticeable benefits of these systems is that they do not need external supports such as scaffolding or cranes. Utilizing temporary hoist or mini cranes for any projects will often do the job. These particular systems offer the advantages of quick installation in constructions and perfect quality as the components are predeveloped in a modern factory with precise machines. However, the unitized curtain wall systems tend to increase the shipping cost due to the need for more extensive and more efficient protection during the transportation to the construction sites.

Components of Curtain Walls

Various components play an essential role in using curtain walls for buildings claddings. The following are the structural elements of a single curtain wall product that need to be installed on the construction’s structure.

Back Pans

Back pans are metal sheets that are sealed and attached to the system framing around the perimeter behind the opaque areas.


These are horizontal railing members that are used to support the dead weight of the system.


Mullions are components that are created on each curtain grid segment and extremities.

Vision Glass

They are transparent glasses installed on the curtain walls system called vision glasses.


The curtain wall anchor system is utilized for attaching cladding materials assembly to the construction’s structure.