Rehabilitation and design of storefront systems demands consideration of many factors, from thermal performance and operability to historic landmark sensitivity and appearance. With large sheets of glass, storefronts maximize light and views, but less wall area also means it is more difficult to keep out the elements. Storefront design is a balance between aesthetics and performance. Heat transfer, glare, condensation, and air/water infiltration are challenges for storefront assemblies. While it may seem straightforward to choose an assembly from a manufacturer’s collection, finding the right system for the situation takes thoughtful evaluation.
Based on the information presented in this article, readers should be able to:
- Identify the defining features and components of storefront assemblies and distinguish them from curtain wall and window wall systems.
- Apply design considerations such as thermal performance, wind load, moisture penetration, resiliency, and safety to the design and rehabilitation of storefront facade systems.
- Evaluate and treat deterioration and distress in storefronts by classifying conditions and weighing repair-or-replace criteria, including historic significance, aesthetics, and energy performance.
- Specify a program of performance testing for proposed storefront configurations that meets code requirements and confirms that the assembly performs as expected.