Word-of-the-Month: Curtain Wall
Unlike a traditional wall, a curtain wall does not provide structural support to the roofing system of a building. It is mainly utilized to keep the weather out and the occupants in. Traditionally, a curtain wall is an architectural element of a building that is designed to span multiple floors.
The development and use of structural steel and reinforced concrete allowed for small columns to support a roofing system and for the exterior walls of a building to be much lighter. The earliest versions of a curtain wall were used in the late 18th century in Britain at buildings like the Ditherington Flax Mill, known as the ‘grandfather of skyscrapers,’ where iron was used to support the roofing system instead of the exterior walls.
The new 55,000-square-foot Kirkendall Public Library will utilize a curtain wall to open the facility to the outdoors in Ankeny, IA.