Curtainwall Primer for Design Professionals

Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE

Course Outline

Definitions of a curtainwall sometime differ between an Architect and an Engineer. It is therefore important that a structural engineer understand the different types of systems available and in use. This one hour online course will provide the user with a basic understanding of curtainwall systems as they relate to the structural design and detailing of the supports for this specialty type of building cladding. This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end.

Learning Objective

At the completion of this course, the student will:

Course Introduction

A curtainwall system is a specialized type of cladding typically used in the construction of commercial and institutional buildings. Definitions of a curtainwall sometime differ between an Architect and an Engineer. It is therefore important that a structural engineer understand the different types of systems available and in use. A clear understanding of the curtainwall supplier's design criteria will enable the structural engineer to properly design the supports required for this type of building cladding.

Course Content

The course content is contained in the following PDF file:

Curtainwall Primer for Design Professionals

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If you have trouble reading any of the material on line, it is recommended that the course material be printed out for better resolution.

Course Summary

There are two types of curtainwall systems; "stick" and "unitized". Although the stick system is cheaper, the unitized system has the advantage of more flexibility relative to allowable deflection of the supporting structure. Non-curtainwall systems such as strip windows and punched windows are often incorrectly referred to as a curtainwall by architects. The structural engineer-of-record should provide to the curtainwall manufacturer the required component and cladding wind loads required. The structural engineer and the curtainwall manufacturer should communicate with each other to ensure that the deflection of the supporting structure is within the criteria established by the material vendor.

Related Links

For additional technical informaion related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:

Curtainwall Connections - HALFEN
http://www.modernsteel.com/Uploads/Issues/December_2007/122007_30772_steelwise_web.pdf

Quiz

Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz


DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDHonline.org or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.