Building Design and Construction

Precast-Concrete or Metal and Glass Facings

In contrast to siding in which a single material forms the complete wall, precast concrete or metal and glass are sometimes used as the facing, which is backed up with insulation, fire-resistant material, and an interior finish. The glass usually is tinted and is held in a light frame in the same manner as window glass. Metal panels may be fastened similarly in a light frame, attached to mullions or other secondary framing members, anchored to brackets at each floor level, or connected to the structural frame of the building. The panels may be small and light enough for one man to carry or one or two stories high, prefabricated with windows.
Provision for expansion and contraction should be made in the frames, when they are used, and at connections with building members. Metal panels should be shaped so that changes in surface appearance will not be noticeable as the metal expands and contracts. Frequently, light-gage metal panels are given decorative patterns, which also hide movements due to temperature variations (‘‘canning’’) and stiffen the sheets. Flat sheets may be given a slight initial curvature and stiffened on the rear side with ribs, so that temperature variations will only change the curvature a little and not reverse it. Or flat sheets may be laminated to one or more flat stiffening sheets, like mineral-fiber panels or mineral-fiber panels and a second light-gage metal sheet, to prevent ‘‘canning.’’
It may be desirable in many cases to treat the metal to prevent passage of sound.
Usual practice is to apply a sound-absorbing coating on the inside surface of the  panel. Some of these coatings have the additional beneficial effect of preventing moisture from condensing on this face.

Metal panels generally are flanged and interlocked to prevent penetration of water. A good joint will be self-flashing and will not require calking. Care must be taken that water will not be blown through weep holes from the outside into the building. Flashing and other details should be arranged so that any water that may penetrate the facing will be drained to the outside. (See also Art. 11.21.)

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