Curtain wall and storefront systems are both used in building construction to enclose the building envelope, but there are some key differences between them.
Below are the main Differences Between Curtain Wall and Storefront
- Purpose: The primary purpose of a curtain wall system is to provide a non-structural exterior enclosure that is designed to resist air and water infiltration, wind loads, and other environmental factors. On the other hand, storefront systems are typically used for ground floor applications and are designed to provide a storefront appearance for retail and commercial spaces, while still offering some degree of structural support.
- Structural Support: Curtain walls are generally non-structural and rely on the building’s main structure for support. They are typically attached to the building frame or structure at various points and are anchored to the foundation or structural slab. In contrast, storefront systems are often used to provide some structural support, especially at the ground floor, where they may support a significant amount of the building’s weight.
- Glazing: Curtain walls typically use large panels of glass or other transparent or translucent materials to allow for a maximum amount of natural light to enter the building. In contrast, storefront systems often use smaller panes of glass, typically with aluminum framing, to create a more traditional storefront appearance.
- Installation: Curtain walls are typically installed in large sections or modules and require a significant amount of on-site assembly and installation. In contrast, storefront systems are often pre-fabricated off-site and can be installed quickly and efficiently, making them a popular choice for commercial and retail applications.
- Cost: Curtain walls tend to be more expensive than storefront systems due to their larger size, more complex design, and higher degree of customization required. Storefront systems are typically more cost-effective and are often used in applications where cost is a primary consideration.
In summary, while both curtain wall and storefront systems are used for building enclosures, they are designed for different purposes and have distinct differences in terms of structural support, glazing, installation, and cost.