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What is a Curtainwall Test?
Energistics was one of the first firms to perform curtainwall tests. We have probably performed more of these tests than other laboratory in the country.

There is a wide range in the thermal properties of the glass and mullions that form a curtainwall. One of the common uses for a curtainwall test is to insure that the proposed curtainwall is neither under - or over-engineered for the climate in which it will be built. Therefore, it is critical to check thermal performance under actual mockup conditions. As an example, a building in a city with a colder climate would benefit from a curtainwall system that had better thermal properties than a city with a warmer climate. The better the insulating characteristics of the glass and mullions, the easier it is to attain and hold the temperature set point. Another purpose is to allow the clients to "feel" what the space will be like when the heating and air conditioning systems are operating.

How is a Curtainwall Test Conducted?
In a curtainwall test, we construct both the curtainwall and a typical office space, taking into account room size, ceiling height, and the positions and sizes of the diffusers that will be used to distribute the air. To test the efficacy of the proposed curtainwall, we set both the airflow and the temperature to the specified levels and monitor the ability of the diffusers to keep the room at a specific temperature set point.

Curtainwall tests also help us to monitor the flow of air movement as it exits the specified slots or diffusers. As the air enters the space, we actually "map" the movement of the air with smoke generated by a commercial "smoke" machine. As the smoke disburses, we can videotape its movement.

Successful Curtianwall Testing
Reference for temperature and airflow are very individual, and in some cases, regional. In the northern climates, occupants don't really like to "feel the movement of the air" in the space. In cities like Houston, the preference is just the opposite. For these reasons, we insist that the client actually come to the mockup test and experience the conditions him - or herself.

The most common problem we find is that the specified diffusers do not perform as the client wishes... sometimes "dumping" the air so it literally hits the occupant in the head; other times stratifying, coming down in layers so that it is cooler at the floor than it is higher up. In a recent project we were able to remediate this problem for a client by recommending and then testing different diffusers.



Reverberation Testing

Mockup Room Testing

Curtainwall/Diffuser Room Testing

AHU Mockup Room Testing

Miscellaneous Testing