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What is a Curtain Wall System?

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The first thing you’ll notice about a building is its design and structural features. Today, a curtain wall system is one of the best ways to enhance the structural integrity of a building. It helps protect the building from harsh weather conditions while giving it a beautiful design. 

The curtain wall systems can be installed with a myriad of glazing options on the building’s interior or exterior. It takes into account important elements such as the effects of thermal contraction and expansion, thermal efficiency, and the sway and movement of a building. 

But first!

What is a Curtain Wall?


A curtain wall system is as its name suggests. It is a non-structural wall system made of lightweight materials such as aluminum and glass. They work by transferring the load of gravity and wind to the structure of the building. The materials integrated into the curtain wall system are air and water-resistant for a durable and long-lasting solution. 

There are two types of curtain wall systems: unitized or modular systems and stick systems. Unitized can be classified into three categories. You can either choose to go with the water-managed option, face-sealed, or pressure-equalized. Water-managed systems are designed with moisture drains to prevent water from sipping into the building. 

Face-sealed walls entail sealing the materials between the frame and the units of the frame. The pressure-equalized option blocks wind and other external forces by keeping the building airtight.


What are the Different Types of Curtain Wall Systems?


Stick Systems


Stick curtain wall system involves sticking glass on the exterior of the building to provide structural support to the structure. The sophisticated wall system also serves as a form of protection for your building model. It significantly works on keeping the interior secure while also enhancing the appearance of the building. 

Furthermore, the system also provides long-term commercial benefits to business owners. It has reduced repair costs and low maintenance expenditures. The curtain wall system can prove to be quite a cost-effective investment, especially in commercial buildings. 

Unitized or Modular Systems 


As the name suggests, unitized or modular systems have their key components glazed and arranged into a single unit to form a unitized system at the factory. It does not involve the installation of a single material separately. The curtain wall system is quite popular in tall commercial buildings. 

Some of the main benefits of unitized systems include reduced labor costs and speedier construction. Note that unitized systems can have high shipping costs. It is because of the delivery of the huge curtain wall unit and escorting it safely to the main building site.

What is the History of the Curtain Wall System?


Commercial buildings rely on the exterior walls to support the weight of the building. Reinforced concrete and sturdy materials such as steel have become the standard materials used in construction. When walls were no longer required to support buildings, builders began using materials to replace concrete walls. 

The use of glass as an exterior wall became famous and gave way to the wide range of curtain wall options today. Curtain walls in the 18th century used wood to hold the components together during the Ottoman Empire. Earlier curtain walls used fiberglass compounds or steel mullions fitted with asbestos to attach and hold the plate glass. 

These options were replaced with silicone sealants and glass. Materials such as aluminum were introduced much later as the western economies industrialized. 

What are the Benefits of Curtain Wall Systems?


Curtain wall systems are quite popular, especially for modern commercial buildings, for their wide range of benefits: Some of these benefits include:

Weather Protection


The curtain wall system is designed to enhance the design and offer excellent weather protection. It can withstand extreme weather conditions without collapsing. The system protects against the wind by equally distributing the kinetic force to the surface of the building. 

Impressive Visuals


This goes without saying; curtain wall systems improve the appearance of a building. There is quite a wide range of curtain wall designs that provide striking and stunning visuals. It is quite effective in commercial buildings to help attract clients or meet the standard demands of a modern design.

Flexibility in Design


Apart from the striking visuals, curtain wall systems offer flexibility in design. With the help of a commercial glass manufacturer, you can choose from an array of glazing designs to suit your specific needs or budget.

It is also possible to contact a professional commercial glazer to quickly change the design or theme of your building to help reflect your business branding.  

A Cost-Effective Investment


Compared to concrete walls, the materials used in curtain walls are quite cheap. Curtain walls also reduce power consumption a great deal by stabilizing the temperature of the building. 

Apart from that, curtain wall systems also require little or no maintenance, which makes it a cost-effective investment.  

Curtain Wall System's Thermal Performance


The overall thermal performance of the curtain wall system will depend on factors such as glazing infill, fabrication, parameter details, frame material, and the construction area. For instance, aluminum has high thermal conductivity. The system also integrates thermal breaks of low conductivity to improve thermal performance. 

For many years, aluminum has been widely used for its lightweight, corrosion resistance, and design flexibility. Due to advances in technology, steel has re-emerged as a better high-performance option.

One of the best things about steel construction is that it can support larger and heavier glasses. It is three times stiffer than aluminum. Steel has also longer time durability and high thermal performance. 



There is no doubt that curtain walls are the most modern feature of the contemporary architecture used in the majority of commercial buildings today. Curtain walls are specially designed to provide maximum protection to your building while providing an amazing appearance.

The system can also prove to be a cost-effective investment in the long run, which makes it the ideal option for offices and business buildings.  

Are you looking to integrate curtain wall systems into your building? Contact Weiye Aluminium for the best curtain walls, and let us ensure you get the best architecture.