Learn About Load-Bearing Structures in Curtain Wall Systems

November 7, 2022
Posted in Blog
November 7, 2022 admin

Any structure must be designed to evenly spread its weight between the top and the foundation. This process is called load-bearing structures.

Alongside the design features of Load bearing structures, buildings nowadays utilize curtain walls. These walls are not structural, and their purpose is to transfer the Load of wind and gravity to the building’s structure. The benefits of the use of curtain walls consist of the following:

  • Sleek exterior design
  • Rain and wind resistance
  • A lightweight alternative to façade design
  • And offering airtight insulation of the structure

In this article, we will look into Load bearing structures alongside curtain walls and Load bearing structures in curtain walls. Continue reading to learn about these two architectural design choices.

What Are Load-Bearing Structures?

Since the 1700s through the mid-1900s, the most common kind of construction for low-rise and small structures have been Load bearing structures. But nowadays, it’s a less viable choice for significant buildings and skyscrapers and is rarely utilized. However, this method is still utilized in smaller residential constructions.

Load-bearing structures comprise building components that securely carry and transfer the weight to the ground. Load-bearing structures’ framework ensures the building’s strength, stability, and performance.

Load-bearing structures are mainly made up of strong and heavy brick or stone masonry walls that must support the whole structure, including the horizontal floor slabs, which might be reinforced concrete, wood, or steel components.

In other words, the walls Load bearing structures don’t only act as a barrier to split rooms or separate you from the exterior. The Load of the structure is handled by the load-bearing wall, which transfers the weight to the foundation.

What Are the Main Components of Load-bearing Structures?

Load-bearing structures are made up of components that securely carry and distribute the weight to the ground. This structure ensures the building’s stability and performance. Walls, columns, beams, and foundations are common examples. For the design process to be successful, it is essential to comprehend the structural principles of Load bearing structures.

Load-Bearing Walls

Load-bearing walls carry loads from the slabs above them to the base. One can use concrete, brickwork, or block materials to construct these Load bearing structures. The majority of the outside walls of building construction are load-bearing. Only after providing alternate support for the above-supported building floors in high buildings could a load-bearing wall be removed and replaced with the appropriately chosen wall.

Beams In Load-Bearing Structures

Beams are another fundamental component of Load bearing structures composed of wood, concrete, or metal. It is the primary member that bears the Load on the structure.

The load-bearing capability of a beam element is determined by its depth and breadth. Because beams contain a considerable amount of internal and external stresses, they are susceptible to more shear and compressive force, therefore, need to be fortified more than the other components of Load bearing structures.

curtain walls

What Are Curtain walls?

Curtain wall systems are non-structural siding or cladding techniques for creating exterior walls. They are commonly associated with multi-story structures.

Curtain walls divide the interior from the exterior, but they only sustain their weight and the stresses exerted on them, which they carry back to the building’s core structure. This is in contrast to load-bearing structures in which the external walls constitute an integral element of the building’s core structure.

Curtain wall systems typically have a lightweight aluminum frame on which glazed or opaque infill panels can be attached. Whether or not these infill panels are composed of glass, they are frequently referred to as “glazing.”

Types of Systems implemented.

Three curtain wall systems are available: face-sealed, water-managed, and pressure-equalized. Pressure-equalized rain screen claddings typically give the highest levels of resistance to air and water penetration, with water-managed systems coming in second. Let’s look further into these systems.

Water Managed Curtain Walls

Water-managed curtain walls incorporate drains and weep systems from the glazing pocket instead of zone-glazing, which allows more water to be forced into the system and swept away. Since no air barrier exists, the pressure difference between the glazing pocket and the interior may be strong enough to force water vertically higher than internal gaskets and cause leaks.

Pressure Equalized Systems

Unlike water-managed curtain walls, pressure-equalized systems prevent all external pressures from driving water past a barrier. Connecting gaskets or wet seals act as airtight barriers where the glass’s inner face meets the glazing pockets inside the face.

The outside face of the glass, exterior glazing materials, and the outside exposed face of the aluminum frame act as a rain screen, diverting water away from the structure. A pressure-equalization chamber in the glazing pocket, located between the outer rain screen and the internal air barrier, decreases water penetration by equalizing the pressure difference across the rain screen.

Load-Bearing Structures in Curtain Walls, How Do They Work?

As we have concluded, the curtain wall hangs in front of the structure and solely supports its weight. But for Load bearing structures in curtain walls, an anchoring mechanism transfers the Load to the wall behind it.

In other words, the curtain wall load is carried by a load-bearing system that spans all levels in skeletal buildings, creating Load bearing structures in curtain walls. In this situation, the anchoring system extends from floor to floor or is somehow attached to the building’s Load bearing structure.

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