What is a Curtain Wall, its Type and Advantages?

By: | September 05 , 2022

What is a curtain wall? The term curtain wall is quite famous in the entire construction world as it simply indicates the structure that is provided in the exterior wall of the house and there are many curtain wall types. These types of walls were even famous during the ancient time as they were proved to be more protective in safeguarding the castles and similar another type of buildings from any type of external attacks. Further, they were said to be quite good at protecting the house from the invaders. However, in the present time, the concept has undergone a great change as it simply indicates protecting the exterior of the house from rain or wind. Most of the commercial buildings mainly try to put these types of walls in their outer structure. This type of wall is said to be a protective one. With the passage of time, the concept of these types of walls has undergone good changes. In the present time, a curtain wall is mainly put over the wall to stabilize it to some extent. They are also said to be a good option for protecting the wall against excessive rain or wind. This is perhaps a wonderful invention.

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Types of Curtain Walls

  • Stick curtain wall systems
  • Unitized curtain wall systems

These are prefabricated and constructed in a factory before being delivered to the job site. Its types are divided into two categories based on how the components are put together.

Stick Curtain Wall System:


The components of this system are pieced together on the building’s framework. This method is mostly employed in low-rise structures or in small spaces. This is because it is necessary to have outdoor access in order to reach higher heights. Because it allows for onsite alterations, this type guarantees versatility. Though it provides the benefit of reduced shipping costs, the labor and time expenditures should not be overlooked, since they are sometimes rather significant. The components of this type may be cut, machined, assembled, and scaled to fit the project’s particular measurements because they arrive in parts.

Advantages of stick curtain wall system: 

It is appropriate for angular or complicated facades.

  • Sightlines are smaller in this arrangement than in unitized ones which makes them suitable for all types of structures.
  • The factory’s speedy manufacturing process and the flexibility of the building sequence allow for quick changes.

Unitised Curtain Walls System:


The pieces for this system have already been assembled at the factory. The components are assembled and transported to the job site as a single unit from the factory. Individual installation is no longer required. The size of this product is proportionate to the structure’s floor-to-floor height. They are used in high-rise structures since they do not require external support like cranes or scaffolding. Mini cranes or temporary hoists are all that are required. Because the components are made in a factory setting, this system has the advantages of speedy construction and high quality.

Advantages Unitised Curtain Walls System:

  • Because all of the panels are pre-assembled before arriving on-site under this approach, the building is completed quickly.
  • This has superior quality and is easier to maintain because the major assembly occurs in a well-regulated industrial setting.

Categories of the curtain walls.

  • Spider Curtain Walls
  • Rubber curtain walls:
  • Fiberglass curtain wall:
  • Photovoltaic curtain wall:
  • Stainless steel Curtain wall:
  • Glass Curtain wall:
  • Timber curtain wall:
  • Brick curtain wall:
  • Fire curtain Wall:
  • PVC Curtain wall systems:
  • Spider Curtain Walls

    They are widely accepted and allow for maximum daylighting, spider curtain walls use huge transparent glass surfaces which allow ample natural light to come in. Glass panes are attached to the supporting structure by unique fittings like spiders, rules, clamps, tension rods, and other supporting pieces. Commercial structures frequently employ this product.

  • Rubber curtain walls:

    They are mainly rubber strips that are used on the wall. Rubber strips are the most common type of wall decoration. For wall-style curtains, production operations are divided into pieces that can span a very long distance. They may be shaped and designed into practically any form or pattern. Special applications call for these bespoke strip hangings.

  • Fiberglass curtain wall:

    It’s mostly seen on the outsides of numerous business buildings. They expand usable areas in every room since the excellent thermal performance keeps the space comfortable right against the FRP frames. Just like glass, they also have stable expansion and contraction rates.

  • Photovoltaic curtain wall:

    It can generate electricity with the help of solar energy. In fact, it is an energy-saving glass curtain wall. It has been developed with the assistance of new technology and so they are weather resistant.

  • Stainless steel Curtain wall:

    It is such a type of wall that is most prominent in many buildings. Steel is said to be a high-class material so they are quite genuine in such cases. These types of steel can give good strength to the entire wall.

  • Glass Curtain wall:

    It is said to be aluminum-framed walls with metal panels. The frame can be attached to the whole building and so there is no need of carrying it. These types of frames are very light-weighted. After the conclusion of World War II the existence of glass walls was noticed. They need very less attention while cleaning. This is the main advantage of using glass walls. They remain fine for a long time. However, with the advancement of technologies, there have been some variations in the glass walls. Various categories and types of this type of wall have been introduced and they are much better and good than the existing ones. Some of the walls require very less time for installation. It can also be installed with the help of advanced machinery and tools. But during the early days, all these walls has to be installed manually and it required good involvement of manpower at the same time.

  • Timber curtain wall:

    It is frequently used in conjunction with hardwood interiors. These are a fantastic alternative to standard aluminium ones. In addition, engineered structural wood mullions may be utilized both internally and externally to provide long-lasting and low-maintenance benefits. This material is commonly used in high-end custom residential, boutique retail, and hospitality buildings.

  • Brick curtain wall:

    This type of wall provides an ideal look in most of the living room. This type of wall is presumed to be stronger in character.
    Wood Curtain Wall Systems: This type of wall is skillfully created so that it can be matched with any type of design and shape. It is very warm and friendly in nature.

  • Fire curtain Wall:

    This type is typically used on the exterior of a building where energy efficiency is required. This fire-rated product has been meticulously developed and built to prevent the spread of flames, smoke, and radiant and conductive heat. They consist of fire-resistant glass and frames, as well as component pieces that have been developed and tested to function together.

  • PVC Curtain wall systems:

    To be very specific PVC type of curtain wall system is very popular and renowned in the domestic market and part of South East Asia and the Middle East. They are used in the industrial and manufacturing industries because they provide dividers while allowing access from both ends. It is far less expensive and easier to install, especially in high-traffic commercial premises. It has a long lifespan and does not need a lot of upkeep. These can endure a lot of force and scratches, so they won’t break quickly.

Ingredients For Curtain Wall Installation:

There are some materials that are involved in the making of this type of wall. These are transform, mullions, anchor, and vision glass. Without these materials, it is very tough to manufacture a curtain wall. All the ingredients are related to each other. Let us go through some of the items.

Firstly it must be said that the vision glass is mainly used for the vision purpose. It is a transparent one. These types of glasses are very glossy. It shines throughout time. However, the cost of installing a curtain wall depends upon its height. The higher ll the more would be the cost.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Curtain Wall:

It is equally important to know about the merits and demerits of such types of walls. This is very vital for the proper installation process.

There are ample advantages of the curtain wall system.

It has already been known to many that before the ancient period various types of materials such as cement or mud were used to make this type of wall. These made the whole wall very heavy and the passing of light was perhaps impossible. But with the emergence of curtain walls, transparent materials have been introduced. Now, one can easily observe the sunrays and similar other objects.

Apart from preventing the building from air or rain or even moisture, the walls are equally safe and protective from spreading the fire between the floors of the building. Suppose if a fire is caught on one floor then it would take a long time to reach the other floor. In the meantime, many lives can be saved.

These types of walls require very little maintenance. They can be easily washed by simple water. A simple water wash can make the walls look glossy or shiny at the same time. They always shine in a single wash and make the whole building very attractive.

If there are horizontal winds then these types of walls can protect the entire building from any type of severe damage. In short, there are various advantages of erecting these types of walls in many buildings. Due to its ample advantages, most of the commercial buildings are relying upon and prefer to use these types of walls. In other words, the look of the newly constructed buildings has been changed with the introduction of curtain walls.

Disadvantages of Curtain Walls

The main and important disadvantage of using this type of wall is that it always demands regular maintenance. This is mandatory work that must be carried out by the workers.

The installation process of the curtain wall is presumed to be a time-consuming one. Sometimes, it also becomes very costly to erect such walls. So all the detailed information on this subject must be gathered before the installation process.

While cleaning the cleaners must be very aware, especially of the anodized materials as they may be removed with the touch of water. Those areas must be avoided as much as possible or cleaned in a cautious manner.

Sometimes it is observed that the walls are not at all durable and hence it needs to be removed within a short time. So regular inspection is mandatory in such a condition for judging the condition of the walls.

It has been seen that curtain wall is really a very important product in the present time. Keeping in mind the advantages and disadvantages there are other beneficial features that make this item an important one. Even, the participation of the curtain wall materials is equally important.

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