Step-By-Step Guide to Installing Industrial Curtain Walls

Industrial curtain walls are a simple product to understand. They are constructed of only several materials with the main one being fabric. The modular panels connect with hook and loop fasteners, allowing for walls in virtually any size or shape. Their flexible and affordable design make them an ideal solution for a wide range of industries and applications. In this article, we will walk you through the curtain wall installation process step-by-step. As we will see, like everything else with industrial curtain walls, installation is easy.

Step 1: Determine the Curtain Wall Location

First, it is essential to identify the exact location where the curtain wall will be installed within your facility. This is an important step that will be determined during the ordering process. 

Step 2: Securely Attach the Mounting Angle

Next, attach the mounting angle to the building's structure, ensuring that no fasteners penetrate the roof decking or building supports. There should be four anchor points for each 10’ piece of mounting angle attached to the building structure.

Step 3: Position the Curtain Wall Panels

Rite-Hite provides a custom engineering drawing with each Zoneworks curtain wall project. Using the drawing, find the starting point location and correctly labeled curtain wall panel. Position that five feet wide panel against the mounting angle. Bring the top of the curtain into the roof deck fluting to establish a tight seal. Proceed to secure the panel to the mounting angle using five self-tapping fasteners and fender washers, one on each end at the seams and three evenly spaced for the rest. Lower the curtain wall panel down to the floor. Ensure the first curtain wall panel installed is plumb, and randomly verify others.

Step 4: Sequential Panel Installation

Continue with the sequential curtain wall installation of panels—attaching the top of panels to mounting angle, bringing the curtains down to the floor, and connecting the hook and loop fastener side edges together while maintaining the 1-½” panel-to-panel overlap. Repeat this process until the final panel is securely affixed to the terminating wall.

Step 5: Adjust the Bottom Sweep

Trim the bottom sweep as necessary to accommodate the floor elevation.

Step 6: Incorporate a Door (Optional)

If you require easy access for personnel and equipment, integrating a door within the curtain wall is a possibility that can be added at any time. To complete a door installation, begin by first installing a door frame tight to the wall surface, then trimming an opening in the curtain wall. Secure the trimmed curtain wall panels to the door frame and move forward with the door installation.

Common Industrial Curtain Wall Installation Questions

In addition to understanding the industrial curtain wall installation process, you might have other questions. Here, we present answers to five common installation-related questions:

1) Do I need a permit to install curtain walls?

While temporary vinyl curtain walls often don't require permits, it is a wise move to consult local Authority Having Jurisdiction to ensure you are in compliance.

2) How are obstructions that need to pass through the curtain wall handled?

Wall penetrations are expected. The beauty of curtain walls lies in their adaptability. If obstructions are in the way, you can cut the curtain wall to fit around them and then securely tape it. This practical solution ensures a seamless fit and functionality.

3) What is done when there is positive or negative air pressure?

In situations where the curtain wall is exposed to varying positive or negative air pressures, additional security measures, such as anchor straps or a continuous mounting angle along the floor, can be employed.

4) Can curtain walls be installed between racking?

Yes, and in most cases, you don’t even have to remove the product in the racks. You may have to remove the rack support brackets depending on their spacing, but then simply drop the curtain wall panels in the flue space between the racks. If needed, you can make a small cut in the curtain panels and re-install the rack support brackets through the curtain panels to maintain the seal and structural integrity of your racking.

5) Can I install a curtain wall or is professional assistance required?

For Zoneworks walls, anyone with mechanical aptitude can install them after reviewing our architectural drawings and discussing with our sales or engineering staff. Typically, we conduct a pre-installation site visit or conference call to make sure all parties understand the procedures and answer any questions or concerns. We find this to be very effective in resolving any potential issues. However, if you don’t have the manpower or time to complete the installation, we offer full turn-key installations to provide the support you need.

There are many benefits to using curtain walls with installation being one of them. When you order a Zoneworks Curtain Wall by Rite-Hite, we will be there every step of the way.

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