Seismic behavior of curtain walls containing insulating glass units

Ali M. Memari, Richard A. Behr, Paul A. Kremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


In-plane dynamic racking crescendo tests were performed on full-scale curtain wall mock-ups dry glazed with six different insulating glass unit (IGU) configurations and one laminated glass unit configuration. The tests were conducted to determine the service-ability and ultimate limit state behaviors of these configurations tested under simulated earthquake-induced lateral drifts. All IGU configurations tested were manufactured with an annealed monolithic pane and a laminated pane with an argon fill and an anodized aluminum spacer between the panes. Several parameters were varied in the laminated pane of each configuration including glass lite thickness and glass type in the laminated pane (annealed, heat strengthened, and fully tempered), and PVB interlayer thickness for the laminated pane. Properties of the annealed inside pane were not varied. For each configuration, average drift values for the occurrence of glass cracking in each IGU pane, glass fallout from the monolithic pane, and pullout and fallout of the entire glass unit are reported. Relevant damage to the aluminum framing is also reported. Results of these tests can be used to assess the seismic resistance of similarly glazed architectural glass panels in practice and to improve the design of asymmetric IGU configurations for use in seismic regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-85
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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