Study has revealed that metal and glass exterior curtain walls constructed between the late 1960's and early 1980's can perform poorly and become very ineffective in preventing water infiltration. One such high-rise commercial office building demonstrates that wall performance against water infiltration is compromised due to cyclic wind loads, poor performance of gaskets and sealed joints and poor performance of fasteners and welds used to connect aluminum wall components. Failures and restoration methods at sealant joints and mechanical connections of the curtain wall are illustrated at eight major joint conditions. Methods and approaches used to restore weather resistance and structural integrity are discussed. Use of structural and non-structural silicone sealants as well as unique methods of mechanical anchorage are highlighted. Criteria driving the restoration design are presented, including: minimal disturbance to tenants, no disturbance of asbestos materials, a pleasing visual solution and providing for future long-term wall performance.
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