What are the Pros and Cons of Curtain Walls?

What are the pros and cons of curtain walls? Although curtain walls provide architectural and possibly energy efficiency benefits, they still have their disadvantages. For example, curtain walls can drastically increase the cost of construction and maintenance.

Benefits of curtain walls

It’s similar to putting a curtain inside the home to cover the window. The curtain will prevent some of the heat and light coming into the house. This results to thermal efficiency (savings on air conditioning) and glare reduction. The result will be more comfortable to the body and pleasing to the eyes.

On the other hand, curtain walls for highrises and commercial buildings offer much more. These benefits and advantages are fairly common when curtain walls or building envelopes are used:

  • Can be used either to block light or allow light to penetrate deeper into the building (glass materials enable this)
  • Provide additional sound insulation from the outside of the building
  • Reduce water and moisture penetration into the building
  • Providing a unique and more elegant look to the building facade

These functionalities make curtain walls popular for highrise buildings for residential, commercial or government purposes.

Disadvantages of curtain walls

The disadvantages are mainly due to additional costs associated with building and maintaining the curtain wall. For instance, curtain walls require additional glass and steel for completion. These materials can become vulnerable against weather elements (rusting, mineral deposits, stains). As a result, they require regular maintenance to keep their aesthetic value intact.

Construction costs may also increase significantly because of the addition of a curtain wall. The costs may further increase because of additional requirements (e.g. reducing heat transmittance by a certain percentage).

Moreover, curtain walls can be a major cause of project delay. The installation of these structures may be delayed by unfavourable weather conditions. This could in turn lead to additional costs on labour and manpower.

Pros and cons of curtain walls

Despite the disadvantages mentioned above, curtain walls still serve as the design focal point of buildings. Furthermore, they could contribute to energy savings (lighting and air conditioning) in the long run.

That’s why here at CGS Facade Group, our goal is to keep the disadvantages at a minimum to help realise the client’s vision. We perform thorough analysis (e.g. thermal, acoustics) and then propose feasible designs that align with the client’s ideals and objectives.

After the analysis and design, we could then take care of the installation (including product sourcing and factory inspection of the materials). Our technical team have already done this in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and overseas locations. Contact us today if you require a complete curtain wall service.