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Innovations in Curtain Walling: Trends Shaping the Future of Architecture

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As aluminium curtain walling contractors, we like to think we’ve got our finger on the pulse of the industry. With this in mind, here is a rundown of five exciting trends pushing the forefront of curtain walling architecture.

Whether you’re already familiar with curtain walling or just discovering the concept, this blog post will showcase the incredible things the technology can achieve. 

1. Greater Complexity

As technologies advance, so too does the ability of designers to realise ever-more complex aspirations. Through the use of innovative, high-performance materials, designers and architects can bring to life complex shapes, patterns, or other artistic elements that may not have been possible in the past.

The aesthetic appeal of these elements combined with the structural integrity to ensure their safe and sustainable realisation paves the way for some truly exciting buildings in the future.

2. Moving Elements

What better way to make a building more interesting and appealing than by incorporating moving elements? There are plenty of examples around the world, with more being built each year, and it’s innovations in materials and techniques like curtain walling that make it all possible.

One of our favourite developments with moving components is the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi. The facade of each tower is covered in a skin of geometric elements that open and close in response to the intensity and direction of the sun. Not only is this practical and aesthetically pleasing, it also draws on an architectural style that has been used in the region for hundreds of years: a great example of combining the modern with the traditional.

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3. Better Efficiency

Incorporating curtain walling into architecture is not only a way to further expand an architect’s design toolkit; it can also lead to greater energy efficiency and higher levels of user comfort by tailoring the conditions inside the building according to outside conditions. 

Following the logic of the example above, it’s easy to see how responsive moving elements can reduce reliance on heating or lighting systems, and this ability for occupants to curate their environment in real-time will continue to underpin improvements in the green credentials of new buildings.

4. Improved Sustainability

Curtain walling also facilitates more environmentally conscious design choices, thanks to its compatibility with sustainable materials and construction techniques. For the former, curtain walling lends itself more readily to recycled aluminium, sustainably-sourced glass, and efficient insulation than other building methods.

Thanks to the lighter overall weight of materials involved in constructing buildings of equivalent sizes, curtain walling also leads to lower emissions arising from transportation of materials at each stage of the construction process.

5. Incorporation of Green Technology

There are more environmental benefits to consider with curtain walling, too: solar panels, for example, are easily incorporated into curtain wall designs, opening up the possibility of a building generating part or all of its own energy with no negative impact on its design or aesthetic appeal.

Living walls are also easily mounted on curtain wall frameworks, offering a unique and visually stunning way to bring plant life into the heart of a city’s architecture. In an age where the environment is more important than ever, this connection between the natural and manmade can contribute not just to how a city looks, but the fundamental questions and assumptions at the heart of urban design.

Curtain Wall Systems: the Future of Architecture

As you can see, curtain walling is more than just a construction system: it’s an opportunity to revolutionise how and why we design buildings. In a world facing numerous challenges, from economic to environmental, having the courage to ask questions and challenge assumptions is one of the ways we can create lasting change. And how better to do this than move toward buildings and architectural philosophies that are adaptive, sustainable, and beautiful parts of our urban environments.

Choose Crucial Engineering for your Curtain Wall System Needs

As well as dreaming big about the future of architecture, we daily deliver curtain wall systems for all businesses all around the UK. Our client portfolio includes local family-run businesses through to global brands like KFC, and we help them all to manifest their brand philosophy in their physical premises.

To find out how we can bring your architectural vision to life in a way that’s compatible with your budget, get in touch today. Our team of experts will be happy to talk through your needs and outline the process to make your vision a reality. 

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