Window Walls Technology Update

December 2018

Window walls are popular for their larger outdoor views. Their reputation for being inefficient and problematic may be undeserved.

Window walls have improved in quality and address some of their past problems according to a review prepared by the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) and the University of Toronto’s Building Tall Research Center.

This document suggests that window walls can compete with and possibly outperform traditional walls in high-rise buildings. Its authors conclude that window walls are preferable for residential buildings. In addition to costing half the price, window walls are easier to customize, install and maintain. They do a better job of isolating each suite thus preventing the transfer of sound and odour.

Window walls are aesthetically more pleasing. Designers have more flexibility to be creative and condo owners like the results. With so many condo buildings lacking balconies and sufficient windows interior and exterior window walls provide a nicer design, more natural light and better views. Auto darkening features allow for privacy and protect against sun.

Problems of water penetration, common in past years, have been resolved to the point where window walls are comparable with other building wall systems. Better sealants are now utilized that, when properly maintained, help window walls reach their expected service life of 10 to 15 years. When panels do need to be replaced the process is easier, less costly and less disruptive to residents.