Recently, metal curtain wall systems have been widely used in high-rise buildings due to many advantages, including being lightweight, rapid construction, and aesthetic features. Since the metal frame may lead to lower energy performance, thermal discomfort, and condensation risk due to the high thermal conductivity, its thermal performance can be important for the improvement of the overall thermal performance of the curtain wall system, as well as the energy efficiency of the building envelope. This study aims to evaluate variety of design strategies to improve the thermal performance of steel curtain wall frames. Five base cases and three further steps were selected for two different head profile shapes based on a state-of-the art technology review, and their thermal transmittances were calculated through simulations according to the ISO 12631 standard which is an international standard for calculating thermal transmittance of curtain wall system. Measured results that were obtained from hot-box tests were compared with the calculated results to validate the simulation method of this study. The shape of the head profile did not strongly influence the overall thermal transmittance, and the choice of strategies for the rabbet space was more important. More effective strategies could be decided according to the steps for variation development. This result can serve as a guideline for the design of high-performance curtain wall frames.
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