Today's building construction requires speed, efficiency, and economy. To meet these needs, prefabricated wall panels are being incorporated in curtain wall systems, creating a rapidly expanding market. To illustrate concepts, benefits and needed research and development, the design and use of a panelized wall system are discussed. The prefabricated panels are manufactured using steel studs and a mechanically fastened rigid board sheathing. The exterior envelope can then be completed using a factory installed EIFS (exterior insulation finish system) or a conventionally built brick masonry veneer. The development and constructability of the panelized curtain wall system are described along with associated design and code validation testing. In addition, the need to integrate water management details into the curtain wall design is also reviewed. A current construction project provides the transition from design to installation and exemplifies the benefits of panelized construction.
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