Curtain Wall Laboratory Testing
Curtain Wall Mock-Up Testing was pioneered by A.A. “Sak” Sakhnovsky from the University of Miami in the 1950s and 60s. The laboratory provides a structure (to which the curtain wall contractor fixes his specimen), which is then enclosed to form an air-tight chamber. Mock-Ups are usually at least three modules wide and two stories high, but can be much bigger, and they must include movement joints. Besides the basic tests of Air Infiltration, Static Water Penetration and Structural Load, there are a number of other procedures and tests designed to verify the performance of the wall in accordance with the specified standards.
Laboratory Testing verifies that the design of the proposed system is capable, when assembled under ideal conditions in the laboratory, of meeting the design criteria (for example air and water tightness and wind load). It also shows the contractor’s team where the critical details are and the importance of the workmanship. Every large Job should be tested whether or not the system has been tested before; every job is different, and the installers have to know that quality is important to the client’s team. There is just too much at stake not to verify performance by testing a valid prototype.
Our laboratory can accommodate 12 or more different mock-ups and or very large mock-ups (widths of 15 m and heights up to 22m have been tested) and very high pressures. We are accredited by both UKAS and GAC to ISO 17025 (the ISO 9000 of the laboratory world) and our results are therefore universally acceptable. The lab is managed by our Curtain Wall Testing Manager, Clarence Facun, who has been with us since 2003; he and his team of engineers and technicians have conducted literally hundreds of tests.