Educational facilities recognize high-performance windows are key to achieving healthy, high-performance learning environments. They must meet both generalized and purpose-specific needs such as athletic facilities or libraries, but remain attractive to students, faculty, and donors. And increasingly, they must also be environmentally responsible and affordable to maintain.
The Construction Specifier recent article suggests modern aluminum-framed curtain wall systems can meet all of these expectations and performance requirements. Here are some of the key takeaways on choosing a curtain wall.
Why Curtain Wall for Openings
When do you choose a curtain wall over other, similar solutions? The answer is based on the height of the openings and the complexity of the project. Curtain wall has a robust range of design and performance options.
Design and Performance:
- Non-loadbearing wall
- Span multiple floors
- Fully captured system or as a two- or four-sided structural glazed system
- Factory-glazed or field installed and glazed
- Operable vents and thermal performance for climate comfort and productivity
- Large source of natural light, connecting interior and exterior spaces
Why is Choose Aluminum
Most fenestration systems, including educational facilities, use aluminum as the framing material. Aluminum is unique in its durability and flexibility, which makes it a good choice when both performance and appearance are critical. Aluminum offers a few key benefits in curtain wall systems:
Aluminum’s versatility has long made it a preferred material in many construction projects. Combined with the fact that it is available in numerous shapes its structural attributes allow aluminum to be used in nearly every application – from windows to doors, from curtain wall to skylights – adding the comfort of modern thermal control with an abundance of natural light. Read more about the versatility of aluminum: Aluminum Window Frames Offer Versatility.
Aluminum is sustainable. Aluminum is a noncombustible and natural material. It is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (in the form of bauxite), next to oxygen and silicon. Aluminum is environmentally friendly and non-toxic, even when subjected to high temperatures. It is 100 percent recyclable regardless of any applied finish and can be recycled repeatedly while still retaining the same material physical properties. Read more about aluminum’s recyclability: Aluminum Window Frames Offer Recyclability.
Aluminum can be used for applications from small windows to large spans between floors and provides the necessary structural properties with a high strength to weight ratio. The ability of aluminum to withstand wind loads and still retain its shape is beneficial in maintaining structural integrity while resisting water and air infiltration. This also allows the building to keep its desired appearance. Read more about the strength of aluminum: Aluminum Window Frames Offer Design Flexibility and Affordability.
Aluminum is available in several finishing options and myriad colors. Architectural paints or anodized coatings provide an attractive finish for frames and excellent resistance to the elements. Once coated, aluminum typically does not require refinishing. Read more about the versatility of aluminum: Aluminum Window Frames Offer Versatility.
Why Curtain Wall benefits Education
As The Construction Specifier explains, curtain wall systems offer many benefits to educational facilities for creating healthy, high-performance learning environments.
Maximum use of daylighting:
- increased student cognition
- fewer absences
- reduced energy use and associated emissions and natural resource consumption
- minimized maintenance costs, and associated material and labor costs
- lower overall operating and life-cycle costs
- improved recognition for sound fiscal management
Curtain wall has a clear benefit for both aesthetics and comfort of the building occupants. Read more about the benefits of natural light: The Impact of Natural Light in Schools and Colleges.
Curtain wall is a smart choice for educational facilities. They offer a wide range of customization while still offering performance. Not sure which fenestration product is right for your project? Contact us for a quote and learn more about St. Cloud Window’s SCW9000 curtain wall.
At St. Cloud Window we know every project begins with a challenge or an idea of what a building might be. We bring that vision to life with our distinctive design aesthetics, precision performance, and design-to-delivery support. Learn more about how our products can deliver on your design objectives and site requirements here. Then, check out our full line of historic replica and acoustic window products, and get in touch for more details about any of our high-performing commercial window products.