Curtain Wall Insulation - Features and Benefits

Posted on Friday Jan 14, 2022 at 12:26PM in Insulation

Curtain wall insulation applications are sleek, attractive installations for a range of uses. They get their name from the way they are installed: they hang on the outside of a building and attach at each floor line. They are appropriate for a range of uses and have an array of benefits.

Curtain wall insulation is most often used in commercial buildings. Typically thin and lightweight, it offers good thermal and acoustic protection without a lot of added bulk. Curtain wall insulation can be found in a variety of places, including skyscrapers, office buildings, parking garages, and more.

Facade Types
Aside from its insulating properties, curtain wall insulation is often very aesthetically pleasing. Any building that has a facade is going to have a curtain wall assembly anywhere there is non-vision glass. They are produced in a variety of facades to suit any project, including glass, stone, metal, and more.

U and R Values
U-Values are the inverse of the R-Values. To get them, you would divide 1 by the R-Value; for example, 1/R-38 equals a U-Value of .0263. You would need to add up all the U-Values of all the products included in the wall assembly. Therefore, U-values for curtain wall insulation include all facets of the entire wall assemblies, from the inside out. These facets would include facade type, insulation installed in the spandrel area, air space, interior insulation, and interior finish type.

R-values only include the insulation type and thickness required to be installed within the wall assembly.

When providing calculations for exterior assemblies and energy codes, we use a U-value that equates to an R-value for an exterior wall.

Fire Protection
Exterior curtain wall assemblies offer strong fire protection to their applied structures. Fire protection is required to keep a building up to code, and depending on the building’s proximity to the lot line, it must have a 1-2 hourly rating.
For example, a 2-hour rating means that specific wall assembly would hold up for two hours in a fire before the flames could breach the assembly. This provides an additional level of safety and allows time for evacuation in the event of an emergency.

When installing curtain wall assemblies, the installation type is specific to the UL fire-rated assembly used to install the insulation within the spandrel opening in the curtain wall assembly. Each UL system is very specific as to what types of fasteners and insulation can be used in their tested system. Commonly used types of application systems include:
● picture frame
● Impasse
● quick clip
● mechanical with pins

Value-Added Products
At SPI, we offer several products to complement our curtain wall line, including:
● Safing for the perimeter joint pre-cut to fit within the slab edge joint
● Pre-cut mullion covers and pre-cut shapes to fill the void within the corner mullions - large corner mullions are required to be filled with mineral wool insulation to increase thermal value and ensure the fire rating of the curtain wall assembly

We also fabricate top-of-wall STI Fire Plugs and strips for the interior fire-rated wall assemblies to be used in egress hallways and elevator shafts.

Contact your branch today for more information on our curtain wall insulation options or to receive a quote.

Sponsored by Jon Suttle

Digital Transformation Strategies

Posted on Tuesday Oct 05, 2021 at 04:25AM in General

When we sat down and really looked at our website and digital presence, we realized that we had a lot of work to do. As a leader in the fabrication and insulation industries, SPI recognized that our website was not in line with that distinction, and we have been working hard to redesign it. As we began this process, we focused on user experience – what was missing from the current site? What parts of it were too filled with jargon to easily understand? What could we do to make it more navigable?

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