Window Receptor Frames: What You Need to Know

June 29, 2007
Publication: RCI Interface

Abstract: Designers often wrestle with the ques­tion of whether or not to include a receptor frame (or sub-frame) around aluminum window assemblies and how to specify these important components. In general terms, receptor frames are additional fram­ing components that encase or surround one or more window (or storefront) compo­nents (much like stud tracks hold light-gauge metal studs in place; see Figures 1A and 1B). In some instances, receptor frames enclose all four sides of a glazed assembly, while in other cases, receptors are installed only at the head or sill.|Receptor frames are most commonly used to simplify window installation, ac­commodate variations in size or level/plumbness of window openings, or allow deflection of structural slabs.|A lack of understanding of the potential benefits and drawbacks of receptor frames can often lead to unwise decisions during design. Glazing subcontractors often decide whether or not receptor components will be provided. Sometimes these decisions are made for strong technical reasons, though more often than not, the main reason is to simplify installation (thereby reducing labor cost). Often, little thought is given to the potential drawbacks.|This article examines general pros and cons of receptor frame assemblies and some common problems observed with these systems in fabrication facilities and in the field. General recommendations about how to design and construct functional receptor frame assemblies will also be provided.

Keywords: Windows