Dynamic racking performance of an Earthquake-Isolated Curtain Wall System

Jamie L. Brueggeman, Richard A. Behr, Heinrich Wulfert, Ali M. Memari, Paul A. Kremer

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

36 Scopus citations


Dynamic racking tests, coupled with air leakage tests, were performed on full-size specimens of a new, Earthquake-Isolated Curtain Wall System and a widely used, conventional curtain wall system (used as an experimental control). Dynamic racking tests simulated seismic movements that could be imposed upon a curtain wall system as a result of interstory drifts. Air leakage tests were performed as an indicator of serviceability performance of both curtain wall systems during the dynamic racking tests. The Earthquake-Isolated Curtain Wall System demonstrated strongly superior performance in terms of both serviceability (glass cracking and air leakage) and life safety (glass fallout). The conventional system exhibited vulnerability to annealed monolithic glass cracking and glass fallout at dynamic racking drift indices of 1.9% and 3.1%, respectively. No glass damage was observed in the earthquake-isolated system up to the dynamic racking displacement limit of the test facility, which corresponded to a drift index of 4.9%. Air leakage rates through vision panels in the conventional system remained constant up to a drift index of 1.9%, after which the air leakage rates increased rapidly. In contrast, air leakage rates through vision panels in the earthquake-isolated system remained unchanged up to the 4.9% drift index capacity of the test facility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages22
Specialist publicationEarthquake Spectra
StatePublished - Nov 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


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