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An Advanced Frame of Mind Next-generation framing for energy-efficient glazing by Chuck Knickerbocker All images courtesy TGP CURTAIN WALL AND WINDOW FRAMING ESTABLISHES THE TOTAL POSSIBLE AREA OF UNOBSTRUCTED GLAZING, PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR HIGH-EFFICIENCY GLASS UNITS, AND CAN HELP IMPROVE THERMAL PERFORMANCE. WITH PROPER SPECIFICATION, IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO HELP MANAGE A BUILDING’S LIGHTING, HEATING, AND COOLING ENERGY CONSUMPTION. HOWEVER, THERE IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN GOOD DAYLIGHTING AND INCREASED ENERGY CONSUMPTION. A curtain wall with poor thermal and solar heat gain performance in an open, loft-style office building can be problematic. As interior temperatures rise in the afternoon sun, occupants close the window shades and turn on the air-conditioning, increasing HVAC systems loads. The energy consumed to cool the room offsets the lighting loads saved from the curtain wall’s natural light stream. To avoid this heat exchange dilemma, much of the specification process focuses on the glazing material itself. Glass comprises a large portion of the curtain wall and window area. Bolstering its performance can 38 the construction specifier | february 2014 CS_February_2014.indd 38 1/14/2014 3:46 PM