Glass Curtain Wall Elements:Properties and Behavior

by Barry J. Goodno, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; School of Civ. Engrg., Georgia Inst. of Tech., Atlanta, Ga.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 6, Pg. 1121-1136

Document Type: Journal Paper


The spate of recent failures of glass claddings in modern high-rise buildings has called attention to the need for improved understanding of cladding static and dynamic behavior so that rational procedures for its design can be developed. To this end, a frame-panel finite element model was developed to represent a typical portion of the glass curtain wall between story levels in a 29-story glass-clad building and a parametric study of its displacement response and vibration properties was conducted. Window response was shown to be sensitive to the rotational stiffness of the gasket and flexural stiffness of the framing elements for selected panel aspect ratios. Vibration frequencies of the frame-window system were in good agreement with values obtained in field and laboratory experiments. The cladding model presented is suitable for inclusion in existing multistory building models and is currently being used to study cladding-structure interaction in high-rise buildings.

Subject Headings: Cladding | Building design | Frames | Glass | Curtain walls | High-rise buildings | Finite element method | Vibration

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