The Structural Curtain

by John G. Tawresey, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; KPFF Consulting Engineers, Seattle, WA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 11, Pg. 42-46

Document Type: Feature article


Curtain walls are not standard off-the-shelf items. For major projects, they are almost always custom-designed. Typically, curtain walls are on the critical path of project and often account for 15% or more of the total construction cost. AT&T's Gateway building in Seattle is an example of a complex design, where one structural engineering firm consulted with both the stone and glass suppliers, coordinating design and construction. Seismic loads, wind loads and a constricted site were among the constraints. Design collaboration between the project architect and the principal structural engineer is also described. The building is one of the few major buildings for which the basic structural scheme established the architectural design, according to the architect. Other features include the concrete mat, for which all 10,500 cu yd were placed in 13 hours, a U.S. record.

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search