Window Walls: Exploring the Blurred Lines Between Glazing Products

Date: April 24, 2019 7:30am
Location: SGH Chicago
Speaker(s): Bradford Carpenter
sgh chicago

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 3800 
Chicago, IL 60603

7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Presentation & Discussion
9:30 - 10:00 a.m. Breakfast Reception

We will also hold an evening session for this seminar.

Participants will earn 1.5 AIA/CES Learning Units (LU/HSW) for their attendance. Attendance is free and open to all; please invite colleagues. We will serve refreshments.



The term “window wall” has become increasingly popular in the construction industry, typically referring to a large section of horizontal glazing installed between building slabs. This simple concept has a broad reach and can involve many different products and configurations. With little consensus, it is important for project teams to consider: What is a window wall, and what do I need to know for my project? In this presentation, we will explore glazing product types – windows, storefronts, and curtain walls – and the distinctions they have in window wall applications. We will also review the subtleties of each of these systems to help designers, owners, and contractors balance constructability, schedule, and cost. 

After attending this seminar, participants will be able to: 

  • Identify and understand the typical design and performance characteristics of window wall systems, including standard industry terminology.
  • Learn the applicable industry standards that govern the design, testing, and installation of window wall systems.
  • Understand the range of available window wall systems, the variability in system design, and relative performance differences between systems.
  • Learn design strategies to provide optimal performance of window wall systems and understand common construction and in-service issues with some typical window wall systems.


brad carpenter

Bradford S. Carpenter, P.E., LEED AP BD+C | Principal 
Brad Carpenter is experienced in investigating, rehabilitating, and designing building enclosure systems on historic and contemporary structures. He specializes in the design and integration of complex building enclosure systems – including waterproofing, air and water barriers, rain screen cladding, and fenestration systems – with a focus on design efficiency, constructability, and performance. He closely collaborates with designers and regularly leverages the cross-disciplinary capabilities at SGH to develop creative and thoughtful solutions to rehabilitation and new design challenges. 


  • Owners
  • Facilities Managers
  • Property Managers
  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Attorneys