A few weeks ago I toured a project with Brion Doyle from Spectrum General Contractors and we talked about options for putting operable windows into storefront and curtain wall systems. As it turns out, many manufacturers have not anticipated or provided for the architect’s push for using these systems in residential applications. There is however a great work around where you need an operable window.
You can go ahead and order your aluminum storefront or curtain wall from a manufacturer like US Aluminum, Kawneer or EFCO and leave out the glass in on of the panels. The you can order an aluminum casement window without fins from a company like Milgard and do an installation much like you would a retrofit window. The aluminum in both products is very similar in color and style and looks factory made. To further that look you have the option of using aluminum break metal in adjacent locations to blend with the frame.