To accomplish as many critical seals as possible in controlled factory conditions, and minimize dependence on field labor, “unitized” curtain wall systems have been developed. Unitized curtain walls are factory assembled and glazed, then shipped to the job site in units that are typically one lite wide by one floor tall. Most unitized curtain wall systems are installed in a sequential manner around each floor level, moving from the bottom to the top of the building.
Unitized frame construction is one of the fastest ways to install glazed frames and close a building very quickly. Utilizing this type of construction does take a quite a bit of pre-planning and forethought. The design of the system plays an enormous role in the ease of fabrication, assembly, glazing and ultimately, installation. The fabrication, assembly and glazing are all performed in the controlled environment of the factory, under the watchful eyes of the QA/QC inspectors. The greater majority of what are usually the problem areas of any glazing system are mitigated in the factory. However, close attention must be paid to a few areas on the frames during the installation process, to ensure that the system has air and watertight integrity for the life of the building.