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    United States Patent [19]Biebuyck

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1US006158182A[11] Patent Number:[45] Date of Patent:

    6,158,182Dec. 12, 2000

    BUILDING CURTAIN WALL54][75][73]

    Inventor: Lawrence F. Biebuyck, Garland, Tex.Assignee: Butler Manufacturing Co., Kansas

    City, Mo.[21] Appl. No.: 09/063,504[22] Filed: Apr. 21, 1998[51][52]

    Int. CI? E04H 1/00U.S. CI. 52/235; 52/204.53; 52/212;

    52/770Field of Search 52/235, 211, 212,

    52/204.53, 764, 770, 784[58]

    [56] References CitedU.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS

    3,932,974 1/19764,619,092 10/19864,724,637 2/19884,799,344 1/19894,803,820 2/19894,817,351 4/19894,873,806 10/19894,984,400 1/19914,996,809 3/19915,065,557 11/19915,077,947 1/19925,185,979 2/19935,252,154 10/19935,253,459 10/19935,333,428 8/1994

    Wright.Kaminaga 52/235Evans.Francis.Metrick.Michlovic 52/235Jeschke.Bockmiller 52/235 XBeard.Laplante et al. 52/235Takeda 52/235Azzimonti.Hoffman.Parinas et al.Taylor et al. .

    52/235

    120d

    5,354,4105,546,7135,560,1495,592,7955,746,0325,839,236

    10/1994 Cohen et al. .8/1996 Voegele, Jr. et al. 52/235 X10/1996 Lefevre.1/1997 Rinehart et al. 52/2355/1998 Koike et al. 52/235 X

    11/1998 Frey 52/235OTHER PUBLICATIONS

    "HP-400 Systems-Y4" Glazing", Vistawall ArchitecturalProducts, Apr. 1989, 1 page.Primary Examiner-Carl D. FriedmanAssistant Examiner-Brian E. GlessnerAttorney, Agent, or Firm-JeukensProfessional Corporation

    & Gilchrist, A

    [57] ABSTRACTAn improved building curtain wall, including improvedapparatus and methods for assembling and anchoring curtainwalls, are disclosed. The curtain wall, apparatus, and meth-ods each utilize a structural member having a first section forsupporting a panel member, and a second section for secur-ing to a fixed structure. The second section has a base anda first hole formed through the base. The curtain wall,apparatus, and methods also each utilize an anchor member,received within the second section, and having a second holeformed therethrough. The present invention eliminates laborintensive and error prone steps in the installation of a curtainwall; reduces the material costs of the curtain wall; andallows the current wall to be used in high stress applicationssuch as hurricane force winds.

    33 Claims, 6 Drawing Sheets

    10 2/

    5 4 5 2

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    1BUILDING CURTAIN WALLFIELD OF THE INVENTION

    The present invention pertains to curtain walls used forbuilding exteriors and, more particularly, but not by way oflimitation, to improved apparatus and methods for assem-bling and anchoring such curtain walls.

    HISTORY OF THE RELATED ARTCurtain walls are typically constructed of extruded alu- 10

    minum frame support members having generally U-shapedchannels for supporting a plurality of panel members thatserve as the exterior of a building. Such panel members aremost often panes of glass, but other paneled building mate-rials such as aluminum, granite, slate, or concrete are also 15utilized. Such panel members are often of identical size andshape. However, near doors, opening windows, or otheraccess points into the building, panel members of differentsizes and shapes may be utilized.More specifically, such curtain walls generally include a 20horizontal sill member having an upwardly facing If-shaped

    channel at the bottom of a wall section, a horizontal headmember having a downwardly facing If-shaped channel atthe top of a wall section, and a plurality of vertical mullionsrunning between the sill and head members. Panel members 25are supported by the If-shaped channels of the sill memberand the head member, and the vertical joints betweenadjacent panel members are formed at the mullions.Typically, the mullions are disposed interiorly of the sillmember, the head member, and the panel members so that 30only the joint between adjacent panel members, and not themullions themselves, are visible from the exterior of thebuilding.Referring now to FIG. 1, a schematic, cross-sectionalview of a sill member 10 of an exemplary, conventional 35

    curtain wall is shown. Sill member 10 secures a curtain wallto a concrete slab 12. Although not shown in FIG. 1, a headmember similar to sill member 10 secures the curtain wall toa concrete slab between floors of a building or other buildingstructure, and a plurality of mullions span between sill 40member 10 and the head member. Sill member 10 istypically formed as an integral aluminum extrusion. Sillmember 10 generally includes a channel section 14, ananchoring section 16 disposed interiorly of channel section14, and a cover 18.Channel section 14 and cover 18 cooperate to secure a

    panel member 20 to sill member 10. More specifically,channel section 14 includes a base 14a and two legs 14b and14c that form a upwardly facing If-shaped channel. Asupport member 22 rests on the top surface of bas~ l~a. L.eg 5014b has a groove 24 proximate the upper end of Its mtenorsurface, and leg 14c has a support surface 26 proximate theupper end of its interior surface. Cover 18 has a downwardlydepending resilient leg 28 that engages a groove 30 on theexterior surface of leg 14c. Cover 18 also has a tongue 32. 55Panel member 20 is supported within channel section 14 viasetting block 34 and resilient gaskets 36 and 38. Settingblock 34 is disposed on the top surface of support member22. Resilient gasket 36 has a tongue 36a that engages groove24 of leg 14b. Resilient gasket 36 is typically pre-installed 60in groove 24 of leg 14b during manufacturing of sill member10. Resilient gasket 38 has a groove 38a that engages tongue32 of cover 18 and a surface 38b that mates with surface 26of leg 14c. Channel section 14 further includes a plurality ofsupport legs 40 below base 14a.Anchoring section 16 includes a base 16a, a leg 16b, and

    a plurality of support legs 42 below base 16a. Base 16a has

    6,158,1822

    a plurality of holes 44 spaced along its length for receivingbolts or fastening means 46, and the diameter of each hole44 is substantially identical to the diameter of a threadedshank 46a of each bolt 46. Leg 16b has a groove 48 for

    5 receiving a tongue 49 of cover 18.The following technique is typically used to install a panelmember 20 of such a conventional curtain wall. First, sill

    member 10 is laid on a shim 56 in the proper position on slab12 and is used as a template to drill holes into slab 12 foreach bolt 46. One should note that shim 56 does not runcontinuously along the length of sill member 10. Instead,shim 56 is used at low points of slab 12 to level sill member10, if necessary. Second, sill member 10 is removed fromshim 56, and a hole 50 with a larger diameter is drilled in theplace of each of the holes drilled using sill member 10.Third a structural insert 52 is secured within each of holes50 vi~ epoxy or other conventional means. Each insert 52has an internally threaded hole 54 for receiving bolts 46. Apreferred structural insert 52 is sold by HILTI of Tulsa,Okla. Fourth, sill member 10 is repositioned on shim 56 andsecured to slab 12 using bolts 46. Fifth, a sealant 58 isdisposed on slab 12 along both the exterior and interior sidesof shim 56. Sixth, a head member similar to sill member 10is secured to part of the building structure using the above-described techniques. Seventh, vertical mullions are securedbetween sill member 10 and the head member at appropriateintervals along the curtain wall. Eighth, support member 22is disposed on base 14a of sill member 10, and setting block34 is disposed on support member 20. Ninth, panel member20 is then installed from the exterior of the building,typically first being tilted into the channel section of the headmember, and then being dropped into channel section 14 ofsill member 10. Tenth, cover 18 is installed in sill member10, and a glazing stop is installed in the head member of thecurtain wall. Eleventh, resilient gasket 38 is disposed ontongue 32 of cover 18 of sill member 10, and a similar gasketis disposed on the tongue of the glazing stop of the headmember.Of course, multiple panel members 20 are typically

    arranged side-by-side and are secured and sealed betweensill member 10 and the head member in this manner, withtheir vertical joint overlapping at a mullion. This verticaljoint must then be sealed from both the interior and exteriorof the building using both resilient gaskets and/or structural

    45 silicone.While such curtain walls, and other conventional curtain

    walls, have proved to be reliable commercial buildingsystems, they suffer from several drawbacks. For example,securing the sill members and the head members to theircorresponding building structure re