Curtain walls are typically designed with extruded aluminum members, although the first curtain walls were prepared of steel. The aluminum frame is typically in filled with glass, which endows an architecturally pleasing building, as well as benefits such as day lighting and environmental control. Other familiar infill includes stone veneer, metal panels, louvers, and operable windows or vents.
Storefront systems are different from the Curtain Walls as they are designed to span multiple floors, and take into consideration design requirements such as thermal expansion and contraction, building sway and movement, water diversion, and thermal efficiency for cost-effective heating, cooling, and lighting in the building. The new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, is constructed with Curtain Wall technology.