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The object of this paper is to discern recurrent interactions between the exterior wall and structural systems in buildings. A general discussion in which the reader is introduced to the basic structural imperatives of high rise construction is presented first. Dynamic building movement due to gravity loads, wind loads, and thermal expansion/contraction are examined next so that an understanding can be gained regarding the performance requirements for exterior wall systems. Each of the basic design approaches to exterior wall construction (conventional masonry, panel systems, aluminum-framed systems) are discussed with emphasis placed upon their interrelation to the building structure. Various case studies are analyzed which demonstrate how these issues are handled on specific projects. Conclusions are drawn and correlations observed which can help the architect and structural engineer become sensitive to one another's goals.
interstory differential movement, creep, head receptor, thermal expansion and contraction, unitized curtain wall, wind tunnel, weather barrier, torsion, eccentric loading
Vice president, Tishman Construction Corporation of New York, New York, NY