What Does Spandrel Panels Mean In Construction?

What Does Spandrel Panels Mean In Construction?

What Does Spandrel Panels Mean In Construction?

A spandrel panel in construction is a prefabricated triangular panel used in roof construction to separate spaces under the roof, or to complete the gable end of a roof.

It can also refer to the area between the sill of a window and the head of the window below it in buildings with more than one story.

In a traditional buildings, it refers to the roughly triangular space or surface that is found between a curved figure and a rectangular boundary.

In reinforced concrete structures, spandrels are horizontal beams extending between columns and supporting a wall. Spandrel panels may also be used for aesthetic and functional purposes such as providing acoustic, thermal, fire-resistance and structural performance requirements.

Problems with spandrel panels were linked to the Lakanal House fire in 2009, and following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2018, the government published advice that building owners should test their spandrel panels for safety.

Advantages Of Using Spandrel Panels

Spandrel panels offer several advantages that make them an attractive alternative to traditional masonry construction. One key benefit is the time savings that come with using pre-manufactured panels, which eliminates the need for on-site brickwork.

Additionally, when spandrel panels are manufactured to meet robust standards, they offer excellent performance in sound and fire ratings making them an attractive option for meeting building code requirements.

Another advantage of using spandrel panels is that they offer greater protection from the elements than traditional brick gable ends. With brickwork, construction can be delayed by poor weather conditions, or workers may be exposed to potential health and safety risks.

In contrast, spandrel panels can be manufactured in a controlled environment and quickly installed with the help of factory-fitted slings, allowing them to be easily lifted into place by cranes.

 This eliminates the need for additional scaffolding, which can result in cost savings on labor and equipment.

What Material Is A Spandrel Panel?

Spandrel panels are made of either glass or metal and are used to fill in the spaces between the mullions of a curtain wall or storefront. They are typically 1″ or 1/4″ thick and can be insulated to help reduce energy costs.

Spandrel Panel Design

Spandrel panels are prefabricated triangular panels used in roof construction to separate spaces under the roof, or to complete the gable end of a roof.

They can also be used as cladding panels to fill the space above the head of a window on one floor and below the cill of the window on the next floor on high-rise buildings.

When designing spandrel panels, there are several factors that must be taken into account. These include acoustic, thermal, and structural requirements, as well as ensuring safe and effective working practices.

The base of the spandrel panel must provide continuous support at a minimum of 300mm above ceiling level, while foot detail requirements should be met for four-sided structural silicone glazing to prevent glass edge-to-center movement.

The optimum solution for spandrel panel design is to use insulating glass shadow boxes with a durable and stable “opacifier” space behind them. This will help ensure that the spandrel panel resembles the glazed vision area in appearance from the building’s exterior.


Additionally, attention should be paid to ventilation and shade conditions behind the spandrel panel in order to achieve good uniformity.

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