Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2012)
A Review of the Behavior of Structural Silicone Glazing Systems Subjected to a Mega-Earthquake
Structural silicone glazed (SSG) curtain wall systems have offered architects and owners the ability to design a facade with unique aesthetic features since the 1970s. While their ability to durably withstanding natural weathering and even high wind locations across the globe has been well established, their performance under seismic events is less well recorded. This paper presents a review of the performance of SSG systems following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that shocked Chile in Feb 2010, which registered within the top five recorded in past history. Field reviews of existing low-, medium-, and high-rise buildings were inspected in the aftermath of the event to evaluate the performance of the different SSG variations of this system type (two-sided, four-sided, stick, unitized, among other variations) combined with other facade components such as: type of glazing, glass sizes, interstory drift, width of structural grid, slab/beam rigidity, etc.