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Unitised Highrise Summary (High Performance)

Highrise Unitised or Panelwall systems offer a total cladding package, which are flexible and versatile. The design options for architects from the combinations of materials and colours available today are almost limitless.

Refer to the specific suites available in this category PW1000, PW800, PW600, PW400 as well as a lowrise version - an economical suite designed for projects with smaller floor to ceiling heights and low wind zones.

Since 1985 Thermosah Commercial Limited has developed a totally integrated highrise, performance, unitised panelwall suite to enable all the product aesthetic features to be used on one project. These products can also be used on lowrise applications where large spans or large panes of glass require a higher strength system. The suites have been used extensively on major high profile projects throughout New Zealand and our export markets, including Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the South Pacific Islands.

The advantages/features of unitised curtain walling are:

  • Off-site fabrication and glazing
  • Quality assured due major portion of the facade is completed in a factory environment
  • Speeds up site installation process due to modular construction
  • Reduces on-site delays related to inclement weather
  • Dramatically reduces scaffold and crane requirements
  • A variety of cladding materials and feature elements i.e. solarshading / fins (vertical / horizontal) can be incorporated into the system. including Zinc, Terracotta tiles, aluminum panels etc.
  • Seismic movement is accommodated within the system
  • Fabrication programme can continue even if the site falls behind (i.e. bad weather)
  • Completed frames can be stored on floors in loading crates ready 
  • Manages differential rates of thermal expansion and contraction.
  • Connection details to accommodate construction tolerances.
  • Glass design and its integration with the glazing system to ensure glass warranties are complied with.
  • Can catch up delays in construction programme due to speed of installation.

The weathering design of these suites follows recognised international curtainwall design principles - rainscreen pressure equalisation and system drainage - which requires primary and secondary weathering. The rainscreen acts as a primary water-stop, the second airseal and cavity acts as a backup to collect and drain away any water that manages to penetrate the primary rainscreen barrier.

All internal cavities of the system are designed to be pressure equalised (ie no pressure differential between the outside face and any internal cavity). This feature allows the water which penetrates the rainscreen to drain freely back to the exterior. The rear air seal is critical to the system's weathering performance as air infiltration acts as the medium which transports water through to the building's interior, ie it is the prime cause of any leakage.


Façade Laboratory Testing
Thermosash owns and operates the largest façade testing facility in New Zealand where we test our systems and custom designed suites to ensure compliance with AS/NZS 4284:1995 or project specific requirements.


The standard guarantee is 10 years from the date of practical completion for these products. This covers workmanship and weathertightness, providing the contract includes fabrication, installation and glazing of all components.

Design Guidelines

Integrated Elements - Almost an unlimited type of materials can be integrated into a unitised panel, including different glass types, metals, brackets to receive externally mounted fins, louvres, venetians or building signage for example.

Thermosash Services

Thermosash can provide further technical support, design and performance data on request. We are able to provide a full design and costing service covering the many technical and performance aspects associated with a particular building design. We can design, fabricate, install and glaze our systems anywhere in New Zealand or overseas, either in conjunction with our local specialists or directly through our own organisation.


Prefabrication - Panelwall systems are manufactured and glazed in a factory environment, stored and only transported to site when needed.

These pre-fabricated and glazed panels are delivered to the floors in crates and positioned by floor mounted cranes or monorail units. The panels have interlocking legs, requiring sequential placement around the building floor before the next level can be installed.

It is highly recommended that the units are installed from ground up in predetermined directional order to maintain the best detail connection between panels. Special methodologies need to be considered when recladding a building demands a top down approach.


Looking After Your Building - Maintaining glass, metals and stone are all particular to the environment that they are placed in, eg marine, environmental pollution, exposure to natural washing, etc.

It is recommended by almost all material suppliers that building washing should occur every 3-6 months to prevent staining to glass and environmental pollutants from corroding metals and to maintain the material warranties.

A full maintenance manual is provided on completion of a project for all the elements integrated within a project.