This one-year project was intended to look at different possibilities related to the integration of wood components into curtain-wall systems. These wall systems are usually composed of large glass surfaces supported by a metallic frame which is attached to the building structure by different connection systems. From the interior side, curtain walls usually use aluminum components. These elements could be replaced by wood components and lead to a new market opportunity for wood-based products, especially in non-residential and mid- and high-rise buildings.
Over time, more and more architects and engineers are becoming more inclined to the addition of ‘green materials’ in the building design processes and are trying to create systems that will be aesthetic, durable and energy efficient. The use of wood-based products in curtain-wall systems could offer a new market share for some wood-based product manufacturers and would also provide architects and engineers with alternative products that naturally possess the required characteristics. This study is intended (a) to document the actual systems available and used (mainly in Europe) and (b) to examine the feasibility of integrating wood components in our North American curtain-wall systems.