Window Wall solutions by TFS
Unlike a curtain wall, a window wall is located between the floor slabs. As with the single curtain wall, the window wall is also made in-store and shipped to the site assembled. The units are anchored in the head and sill and sealed in place with a seal. The window wall is also a curtain. Since the window wall is located between the floor slabs, there is no need for fire protection. This also means that, in certain cases, noise transmission may be less important than in the case of curtain walls.
By itself, a window wall can usually span a floor up to 12 feet. In addition, the vertical struts will need to be loaded with steel to increase structural strength. The installation of window walls can be done from the outside or from the inside and really depends on the requirements of the project.
The aesthetics of window walls are very different from curtain walls. Architects need to consider how the protruding edge of the slab will be handled during the design phase of the project. There are some very creative ways to embed metal panels into a façade to cover the edge of the slab and integrate it into the window wall system. There are some window wall systems that can mimic curtain walls on small scales, but nothing comes close to achieving the same continuous look like a curtain wall system on large facades.
Depending on the design intent, the window wall may not work. For example, if your project is a 20-story building and you need a continuous exterior glass facade, a window wall is not the best choice. It lacks the structural strength and integrity of the curtain wall, so the height of each project is a major factor when considering both systems.
In terms of cost per square foot, a window wall is generally cheaper than a curtain wall, although the cost of maintaining the exposed edge of a slab must be considered. The window wall also has a large number of sealed seams, which can lead to long-term maintenance costs.
Deciding between a curtain wall and a window wall can be challenging due to the many variables that must be considered when designing building envelope systems. There are many factors to consider when choosing a glazing system, and the correct solution may vary depending on the building structure.
If your team wants feedback on finding the best glazing solution for your project, please contact us for help. Our experienced TFS team is always happy to help! Because we design, manufacture, and install both systems, we are impartial to any solution and will happily help you determine what is best for your project.